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Foreign Exchange Guide to the United Kingdom

This currency guide to the United Kingdom helps you choose the best way to save money on GBP transfers and travel money.    [USD/GBP=0.8027]

 
United Kingdom
Country Code:
GB
Domestic Currency:
British Pound Sterling
Symbol - Code:
£ GBP
Telephone Prefix:
+44

This is a foreign exchange guide to the United Kingdom, the British Pound Sterling currency plus sending GBP transfers and travel tips.


In this the United Kingdom currency guide we take a look at :

  1. British Pound Sterling info - general info about the British Pound Sterling
  2. British Pound Sterling in the markets - recent GBP moves and predictions from the FX markets
  3. Travelling in the United Kingdom - currency & money saving tips
  4. Buying British Pound Sterling cash online - travel money for the United Kingdom
  5. Sending money to the United Kingdom - save on British Pound Sterling bank transfers to the United Kingdom
  6. British Pound Sterling exchange rates - latest & historic exchange rates.
  7. GBP News - the latest British Pound Sterling related articles from our blog.

British Pound Sterling (GBP) general currency information


What is the British Pound Sterling currency code and symbol?

The three letter currency code for the British Pound Sterling is GBP and the symbol is £.


Which countries use the British Pound Sterling?

It is the domestic currency in United Kingdom, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jersey and South Georgia And South Sandwich Islands.

The British pound (ISO: GBP) is one base unit of sterling – that being the name of Britain's currency – and is subdivided into 100 pence.

Contributing to around 13% of all foreign exchange deals, the pound, or sterling, is the world’s fourth most traded currency.

Reputedly, sterling is 1200 years old. It is said that Anglo-Saxon traders used silver pennies in the eighth century called ‘sterlings’, 240 of which would equal one pound in weight.

Due to its membership of the European Union, Britain could have adopted the euro as its currency upon its introduction in 1999, however the British government opted against this because it wanted to retain monetary policy independence and because it perceived euro adoption as offering only small economic benefits.

In recent years, the most significant event to affect sterling’s valuation was the UK’s vote to leave the European Union on June 24th 2016 – a day on which the exchange rate for GBP/USD fell by as much as 11%.

In the past two decades, the pound’s highest valuation against the dollar occurred in November 2007 when GBP/USD reached 2.1161. Its lowest value came in October 2016, three-and-a-half months after the historic ‘Brexit’ vote, when GBP/USD reached 1.1905.


British Pound Sterling (GBP) in the markets

Pound valuations will continue to fluctuate based on Brexit No-deal, Deal and Remain probabilities. No-deal prospects may increase if, as is widely expected, ardent Brexiteer Boris Johnson becomes the UK’s next prime minister. However, some banks argue that Johnson’s appointment would make little difference to no-deal or remain probabilities.

The pound is unlikely to receive much in the way of meaningful respite until November, analysts say, when hopefully the UK-EU Brexit arrangement, or lack thereof, is known (Boris Johnson insists that the UK will not seek any further Article 50 extensions beyond the October-31 deadline).

The pound would be doing far worse if it weren't receiving some support from the Bank of England which, surprisingly, is the only major central bank still considering higher interest rates in 2019.

By some margin, the pound was the worst-performing major currency in the second quarter. It slipped in late June to multi-month lows against a number of important currencies, including the Australian dollar, New Zealand dollar, euro, Canadian dollar and Swiss franc.

For more details read the full article British Pound Sterling Forecasts.

The interactive chart below shows the USD to GBP exchange rate and trend for the previous 3 months:

Travel, Currency and Money saving tips for the United Kingdom

 

England is still one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Be sure to get out of London as England's smaller cities and beautiful country villages are fascinating and boast a robust culture. England is not known as a budget location and if you don't keep an eye on your budget it can be expensive.

ATMs are everywhere and all major credit cards are accepted  though you could purchase a Prepaid Travel Card if you prefer not to carry your credit card with you all the time while travelling.

In the United Kingdom, the National Rail service is known to always expensive, no matter how long your trip is. Depending how worried you are about your budget, by booking your ticket with the National Rail over a week in advance and during off peak hours, you can secure you tickets for for up to 50% less.

For more travel tips and ideas on ways to save money when traveling in the United Kingdom read our UK Travel guide.

Is the Euro accepted in the UK?

The United Kingdom does not currently use the euro as its currency and it is extremely unlikely to replace the pound in the near future. You may find some shops that will accept the Euro but watch out for the EUR/GBP exchange rates they offer.

 

Travel money for the United Kingdom

 

Save money and time by Ordering your British Pound Sterling online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the GBP cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.

Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.

For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in British Pound Sterling otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.

 
Travel Money ProvidersAmount GBP(£)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostDeal Links
U.S. Bank Foreign Currency
U.S. Bank logo
750.20 GBP
Compare
0.750206.39%
Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo
742.7 GBP
7.5 GBP
0.7502$107.32%
Wells Fargo Bank logo
735.20 GBP
15 GBP
0.7502$208.26%
Travelex Online US logo
729.80 GBP
20 GBP
0.72980^8.93%
 

U.S. Bank logo

U.S. Bank: Travel Money USD→GBP
From Amount:1,000 USD
Fee:0
Exchange Rate:0.7502 (6.39% from mid-rate)
To Amount:750.20 GBP
Total Cost:6.39%
Time:6:00 Local
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Banks - Average Rate

Travel Money USD→GBP
From Amount:1,000 USD
Fee:$10 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.7012 (12.5% from mid-rate)
To Amount:742.7 GBP
Total Cost:7.32%
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
 

Wells Fargo Bank logo

Wells Fargo Bank: Travel Money USD→GBP
From Amount:1,000 USD
Fee:$20 USD (Minimum fee)
Exchange Rate:0.7502 (6.39% from mid-rate)
To Amount:735.20 GBP
Total Cost:8.26%
Time:6:00 Local
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Travelex Online US logo

Travelex Online US: Travel Money USD→GBP
From Amount:1,000 USD
Fee:$0 - No fees for Debit & Credit Cards
Exchange Rate:0.7298 (8.93% from mid-rate)
To Amount:729.80 GBP
Total Cost:8.93%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Thu Sep 19 2019 06:00:04 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Currency Services:FREE Home delivery & Branch pickup
Delivery/Collect:2-3 days
Rating:
 
: 4.3/5.0
Reviews:
 
Snapshot 09/19/2019 - See full table
 

the United Kingdom Trip Checklist    

 
  1. Compare GBP travel cash rates - probably why you are here!
  2. Search Hotel deals - Save on your accomodation in the United Kingdom
  3. Lonely Planet - world's best travel guide (coupon and deals)

Sending money to the United Kingdom

When searching around for information on how to get a good exchange rate when sending money to the United Kingdom you need to start with finding out the latest British Pound Sterling foreign-transfer exchange rate.

Then compare your bank's exchange rates to several licensed FX providers exchange rate and fees to see how much you can save (we make that calculation easy here).


Get a better deal for foreign transfers to the United Kingdom

When sending money to the United Kingdom it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :

  1. Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
  2. You specify the local or British Pound Sterling amount you want to transfer
  3. Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
  4. Once your funds are received by the provider the converted GBP amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in the United Kingdom.

Use our Send to GBP calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more British Pound Sterling deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!

 
Foreign Transfer ProvidersReceive GBP(£)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostDeal Links
OFX logo
7,950 GBP
Best Overall
0.7950^0.8%
XE logo
7,914 GBP
36 GBP
0.791401.25%
Wells Fargo Bank logo
7,723.07 GBP
227 GBP
0.7737183.63%
HSBC logo
7,717.41 GBP
233 GBP
0.7729$153.7%
Banks - Average Rate
Bank of America logo U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo
7,671 GBP
279 GBP
0.7716154.28%
Bank of America International Money Transfers
Bank of America logo
7,621.02 GBP
329 GBP
0.7698$1004.9%
U.S. Bank International Money Transfers
U.S. Bank logo
7,621.02 GBP
329 GBP
0.7698$1004.9%
 

OFX logo

OFX: Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
From Amount:10,000 USD
Fee:0^ - No fees for BestExchangeRates users (normally $12 for smaller transfers)
Exchange Rate:0.7950 (0.8% from mid-rate)
To Amount:7,950 GBP
Total Cost:0.8%
Time:
Rate Fetched: 6:00 Local
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online & Phone, Foreign Currency Accounts
Rating:
 
: 4.8/5.0
Reviews:
 

XE logo

XE: Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
From Amount:10,000 USD
Fee:
Exchange Rate:0.7914 (1.25% from mid-rate)
To Amount:7,914 GBP
Total Cost:1.25%
Difference:
36 GBP less than using OFX
Time:6:00 Local
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online & Phone
Rating:
 
: 3.5/5.0
Reviews:
 

Wells Fargo Bank logo

Wells Fargo Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
From Amount:10,000 USD
Fee:18
Exchange Rate:0.7737 (3.46% from mid-rate)
To Amount:7,723.07 GBP
Total Cost:3.63%
Difference:
227 GBP less than using OFX
Time:6:00 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

HSBC logo

HSBC: Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
From Amount:10,000 USD
Fee:$15 USD (.15%)
Exchange Rate:0.7729 (3.56% from mid-rate)
To Amount:7,717.41 GBP
Total Cost:3.7%
Difference:
233 GBP less than using OFX
Time:6:00 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Banks - Average Rate

Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
From Amount:10,000 USD
Fee:15
Exchange Rate:0.7682 (4.14% from mid-rate)
To Amount:7,671 GBP
Total Cost:4.28%
Difference:
279 GBP less than using OFX
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
 

Bank of America logo

Bank of America: Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
From Amount:10,000 USD
Fee:$100 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.7698 (3.94% from mid-rate)
To Amount:7,621.02 GBP
Total Cost:4.9%
Difference:
329 GBP less than using OFX
Time:6:00 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

U.S. Bank logo

U.S. Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
From Amount:10,000 USD
Fee:$100 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.7698 (3.94% from mid-rate)
To Amount:7,621.02 GBP
Total Cost:4.9%
Difference:
329 GBP less than using OFX
Time:6:00 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Snapshot 09/19/2019 - See full table
 

GBP/USD - British Pound Sterling to United States Dollar - Historical Rates

PeriodChange*GBP/USDDate
1 Day-0.2%1.250117 Sep 2019
7 Day+1.1%1.233611 Sep 2019
30 Day+2.9%1.212819 Aug 2019
3 Month-1.8%1.270720 Jun 2019
1 Year-5.3%1.316718 Sep 2018
5 Year-23.4%1.628819 Sep 2014
10 Year-23.5%1.630320 Sep 2009

*For period to 18-Sep 21UTC when GBP/USD was 1.2474

GBP/EUR - British Pound Sterling to Euro - Historical Rates

PeriodChange*GBP/EURDate
1 Day+0.2%1.128917 Sep 2019
7 Day+1%1.120011 Sep 2019
30 Day+3.4%1.094519 Aug 2019
3 Month+0.6%1.125120 Jun 2019
1 Year+0.3%1.127618 Sep 2018
5 Year-10.9%1.269519 Sep 2014
10 Year+2.1%1.108120 Sep 2009

*For period to 18-Sep 21UTC when GBP/EUR was 1.1313

GBP/AUD - British Pound Sterling to Australian Dollar - Historical Rates

PeriodChange*GBP/AUDDate
1 Day+0.3%1.820817 Sep 2019
7 Day+1.8%1.794111 Sep 2019
30 Day+1.7%1.795319 Aug 2019
3 Month-0.5%1.836020 Jun 2019
1 Year+0.2%1.822518 Sep 2018
5 Year+0.1%1.824919 Sep 2014
10 Year-2.8%1.878420 Sep 2009

*For period to 18-Sep 21UTC when GBP/AUD was 1.8266

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