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Foreign Exchange Guide to the United Kingdom

Read this currency guide to the United Kingdom with money transfer and travel tips.   [USD/GBP=0.7608]

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 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

The pound slumped throughout the summer as a “no deal” Brexit became increasingly likely. In August, the pound fell versus the dollar to a fourteen-month low of 1.266, and versus the euro, it fell below 1.1 for the first time in a year.

It came as a relief, then, when in early September the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said he was “determined” to strike a deal with the UK and that he hoped to establish “the closest relationship possible.” At the time of this report (September-7), the pound had recovered into the 1.29s and the 1.12s versus the dollar and euro respectively.

On monetary policy, the pound got no support from the Bank of England’s decision in August to raise its benchmark interest rate to 0.75 percent – the highest since 2009. An outgoing member of the BOE’s decision-making board has said that UK interest rates will need to stay low for at least another 20 years.

Looking ahead, the pound is set to recover further versus the euro based on technical analysis. Between early August and early September, GBP/EUR traced out a textbook inverse Head and Shoulders pattern on daily price charts. A weekly close above the pattern’s neckline on September 7th was sufficient confirmation and reasonable targets are between 1.135 and 1.14.

For GBP/USD, in September, Citibank offered a 6-12 month forecast of 1.21.

The interactive chart below shows the USD to GBP exchange rate for the previous 3 months with rate alerts for days when the exchange rate moved up or down significantly or for 30 day highs and lows.


USD-GBP 3 Month chart
USD-GBP 3 Month chart
USDGBP currency converter

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.

 

Compare Travel Money Exchange Rates vs the Banks

USD $1,000 → Spend British pound sterling (GBP)

ProviderSpend Amount USDExchange RateCostReviewsLinks to Offers
Travelex Online US logoTravelex Online US
£692.10 GBP
Top Provider
0.69218.86%
 
HSBC logoHSBC
£685.20 GBP
£6.9 less
0.68529.77%
Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo
£676.00 GBP
£16 less
0.680610.98%
Wells Fargo Bank logoWells Fargo Bank
£671.50 GBP
£21 less
0.685211.57%
U.S. Bank logoU.S. Bank
£671.30 GBP
£21 less
0.671311.6%
Travelex Online US: rate, rating & reviews
From amount:$1,000 USD
To amount:£692.10 GBP
Exchange Rate:0.6921
Total Cost:8.86% (against USD/GBP mid-rate: 0.7594)
Fees:$0
Timestamp:
Rate Fetched: Wed Sep 19 2018 14:00:04 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Rating:
 
: 4.3/5.0
Reviews:
HSBC: rate, rating & reviews
From amount:$1,000 USD
To amount:£685.20 GBP
Exchange Rate:0.6852
Total Cost:9.77% (against USD/GBP mid-rate: 0.7594)
Fees:$0
Timestamp:15:07 Local
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo

Banks - Average Rate :
From amount:$1,000 USD
To amount:£676.00 GBP
Exchange Rate:0.6645
Total Cost:10.98% (against USD/GBP mid-rate: 0.7594)
Fees:$10
Wells Fargo Bank: rate, rating & reviews
From amount:$1,000 USD
To amount:£671.50 GBP
Exchange Rate:0.6852
Total Cost:11.57% (against USD/GBP mid-rate: 0.7594)
Fees: Minimum 20 USD
Timestamp:15:07 Local
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
U.S. Bank: rate, rating & reviews
From amount:$1,000 USD
To amount:£671.30 GBP
Exchange Rate:0.6713
Total Cost:11.6% (against USD/GBP mid-rate: 0.7594)
Fees:$0
Timestamp:15:07 Local
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Request a free multiple-vendor quote: Get Quotes
* Cost = exchange rate margin + fees vs USD/GBP mid-rate: 0.7594
Rates @ 09/19/2018
 

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!

 

Compare Foreign Transfers vs the Banks

Send USD $10,000 → Receive GBP

ProviderReceive Amount GBPExchange RateCostReviewsLinks to Offers
OFX logoOFX
£7558.00 GBP0.75580.47%
 
Wells Fargo Bank logoWells Fargo Bank
£7385.68 GBP0.73992.74%
HSBC logoHSBC
£7379.91 GBP0.73912.82%
Banks - Average Rate
Bank of America logo U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo
£7335.09 GBP0.73783.41%
Bank of America logoBank of America
£7287.39 GBP0.73614.04%
U.S. Bank logoU.S. Bank
£7287.39 GBP0.73614.04%
 
OFX: rate, rating & reviews
From amount:$10,000 USD
To amount:£7558.00 GBP
Exchange Rate:0.7558
Total Cost:0.47% (against USD/GBP mid-rate: 0.7594)
Timestamp:
Rate Fetched: Wed Sep 19 2018 14:03:16 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Rating:
 
: 4.8/5.0
Reviews:
Wells Fargo Bank: rate, rating & reviews
From amount:$10,000 USD
To amount:£7385.68 GBP
Exchange Rate:0.7399
Total Cost:2.74% (against USD/GBP mid-rate: 0.7594)
Difference:
£172 GBP less than using OFX
Timestamp:15:07 Local
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
HSBC: rate, rating & reviews
From amount:$10,000 USD
To amount:£7379.91 GBP
Exchange Rate:0.7391
Total Cost:2.82% (against USD/GBP mid-rate: 0.7594)
Difference:
£178 GBP less than using OFX
Timestamp:15:07 Local
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Banks - Average Rate
Bank of America logo U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo

Banks - Average Rate :
From amount:$10,000 USD
To amount:£7335.09 GBP
Exchange Rate:0.7346
Total Cost:3.41% (against USD/GBP mid-rate: 0.7594)
Difference:
£223 GBP less than using OFX
Bank of America: rate, rating & reviews
From amount:$10,000 USD
To amount:£7287.39 GBP
Exchange Rate:0.7361
Total Cost:4.04% (against USD/GBP mid-rate: 0.7594)
Difference:
£271 GBP less than using OFX
Timestamp:15:07 Local
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
U.S. Bank: rate, rating & reviews
From amount:$10,000 USD
To amount:£7287.39 GBP
Exchange Rate:0.7361
Total Cost:4.04% (against USD/GBP mid-rate: 0.7594)
Difference:
£271 GBP less than using OFX
Timestamp:15:07 Local
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Request a free multiple-vendor quote: Get Quotes
* Cost = exchange rate margin + fees vs USD/GBP mid-rate: 0.7594
Rates @ 09/19/2018
 

Major GBP cross rates


GBP/USD - British Pound Sterling to United States Dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
19 Sep 20181.3161Latest
12 Sep 20181.30451 Week+0.89%
20 Aug 20181.28041 Month+2.79%
23 Mar 20181.41356 Months-6.89%
19 Sep 20171.35141 Year-2.61%
19 Sep 20161.30412 Years+0.92%
20 Sep 20131.60135 Years-17.81%
21 Sep 20081.822310 Years-27.78%

GBP/EUR - British Pound Sterling to Euro - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
19 Sep 20181.1262Latest
12 Sep 20181.12211 Week+0.37%
20 Aug 20181.11421 Month+1.08%
23 Mar 20181.14376 Months-1.53%
19 Sep 20171.12691 Year-0.06%
19 Sep 20161.16642 Years-3.45%
20 Sep 20131.18385 Years-4.87%
21 Sep 20081.269710 Years-11.3%

GBP/JPY - British Pound Sterling to Japanese Yen - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
19 Sep 2018147.6923Latest
12 Sep 2018145.07711 Week+1.8%
20 Aug 2018140.78581 Month+4.91%
23 Mar 2018148.04376 Months-0.24%
19 Sep 2017150.80791 Year-2.07%
19 Sep 2016132.92242 Years+11.11%
20 Sep 2013158.95035 Years-7.08%
21 Sep 2008195.441610 Years-24.43%

GBP/AUD - British Pound Sterling to Australian Dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
19 Sep 20181.8097Latest
12 Sep 20181.81911 Week-0.52%
20 Aug 20181.74531 Month+3.69%
23 Mar 20181.83646 Months-1.45%
19 Sep 20171.68811 Year+7.2%
19 Sep 20161.72942 Years+4.64%
20 Sep 20131.70275 Years+6.28%
21 Sep 20082.211910 Years-18.18%

GBP/CAD - British Pound Sterling to Canadian Dollar - 10 Year History

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
19 Sep 20181.7028Latest
12 Sep 20181.69611 Week+0.4%
20 Aug 20181.66991 Month+1.97%
23 Mar 20181.82536 Months-6.71%
19 Sep 20171.66141 Year+2.49%
19 Sep 20161.72192 Years-1.11%
20 Sep 20131.64725 Years+3.38%
21 Sep 20081.926510 Years-11.61%

GBP News and Forecasts