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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=0.7765]

 
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

31-December-18: UK politics was in a state of disarray in December and a no-deal Brexit was still on the table. As a result, December saw sterling strike a 20-month low against the dollar ($1.248) and a 3-1/2-month low against the euro (€1.1) — 17 percent less than it had been worth relative to each currency prior to 2016's referendum on EU membership.

Impact of no-deal: The Bank of England has predicted a shocking 25 percent loss in the pound’s value in the event of a “disorderly” no-deal Brexit, under which there will be serious border delays and a marked loss of confidence in Britain’s financial institutions.

In the more likely event of a milder, “disruptive” no-deal Brexit, under which goods face tariffs but flow somewhat easily, sterling still loses 15 percent, the BoE believes.

How likely is no-deal? Less than a 30 percent chance, suggested an expert at Swedish bank SEB late in the year — no-deal was certainly far less likely than markets were pricing in, which made sterling significantly undervalued.

SEB forecast minimum appreciation to €1.1765 for GBP/EUR and alluded to rates around $1.37 for GBP/USD, or much higher should Brexit be cancelled via a second referendum or other means.

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.

 

Travel Money - Exchange Rate Comparison

Travel Money Providers
Ratings & Reviews
Amount GBP(£)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostCurrency ServicesDelivery/CollectDeal Links
Wells Fargo Bank logo
728.43 GBP
Value & Rating
0.7433$206.37%Branch-
Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo
728.32 GBP
£0.11 less
0.7357$106.39%Branch-
U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank logo
728.20 GBP
£0.23 less
0.728206.4%Branch-
 
Travelex Online US logo
722.20 GBP
£6.23 less
0.72220^7.17%Online order, Branch pickup, Home delivery2-3 days
Wells Fargo Bank: Travel Money USD→GBP
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$20 USD (Minimum fee)
Exchange Rate:0.7433 (4.46% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:728.43 GBP
Total Cost:6.37%
Time:18:07 Local
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

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

Travel Money USD→GBP
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$10 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.6808 (12.49% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:728.32 GBP
Total Cost:6.39%
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
U.S. Bank: Travel Money USD→GBP
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:0
Exchange Rate:0.7282 (6.4% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:728.20 GBP
Total Cost:6.4%
Time:18:07 Local
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
Travelex Online US: Travel Money USD→GBP
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$0 - No fees for Debit & Credit Cards
Exchange Rate:0.7222 (7.17% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:722.20 GBP
Total Cost:7.17%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Wed Jan 16 2019 16:00:04 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Currency Services:Online order, Branch pickup, Home delivery
Delivery/Collect:2-3 days
Rating:
 
: 4.3/5.0
Reviews:
 
Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Shop-around with multiple providers: Get Quotes
 

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 Transfers - Exchange Rate Comparison

Foreign Transfer Providers
Ratings & Reviews
Receive GBP(£)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostTransfer ServicesTransfer SpeedDeal Links
 
WorldFirst logo
7,699 GBP
Value & Rating
0.769901.04%Bank Transfers - Online & Phone1-2 days
 
OFX logo
7,703 GBP
£4 more
0.77030^0.99%Bank Transfers - Online & Phone1-2 days
Wells Fargo Bank logo
7,543.4 GBP
£156 less
0.7557183.04%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
HSBC logo
7,537.68 GBP
£161 less
0.7549$153.11%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
Banks - Average Rate
Bank of America logo U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo
7,492 GBP
£207 less
0.7536153.71%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
Bank of America
Bank of America logo
7,442.82 GBP
£256 less
0.7518$1004.33%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
U.S. Bank
U.S. Bank logo
7,442.82 GBP
£256 less
0.7518$1004.33%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
WorldFirst: Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:
Exchange Rate:0.7699 (1.04% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,699 GBP
Total Cost:1.04%
Time:18:07 Local
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online & Phone
Rating:
 
: 4.6/5.0
Reviews:
 
OFX: Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:0^ - No fees for BestExchangeRates users (normally $12 for smaller transfers)
Exchange Rate:0.7703 (0.99% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,703 GBP
Total Cost:0.99%
Difference:
£4 more than using WorldFirst
Time:
Rate Fetched: Wed Jan 16 2019 16:02:27 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online & Phone
Rating:
 
: 4.8/5.0
Reviews:
Wells Fargo Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:18
Exchange Rate:0.7557 (2.87% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,543.4 GBP
Total Cost:3.04%
Difference:
£156 less than using WorldFirst
Time:18:07 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
HSBC: Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$15 USD (.15%)
Exchange Rate:0.7549 (2.97% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,537.68 GBP
Total Cost:3.11%
Difference:
£161 less than using WorldFirst
Time:18:07 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

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

Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:15
Exchange Rate:0.7503 (3.56% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,492 GBP
Total Cost:3.71%
Difference:
£207 less than using WorldFirst
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Bank of America: Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$100 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.7518 (3.37% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,442.82 GBP
Total Cost:4.33%
Difference:
£256 less than using WorldFirst
Time:18:07 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
U.S. Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$100 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.7518 (3.37% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,442.82 GBP
Total Cost:4.33%
Difference:
£256 less than using WorldFirst
Time:18:07 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Shop-around with multiple providers: Get Quotes
 

Popular GBP cross rates


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

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
16 Jan 20191.2866Latest
09 Jan 20191.27991 Week+0.52%
17 Dec 20181.26151 Month+1.99%
20 Jul 20181.31336 Months-2.03%
16 Jan 20181.37981 Year-6.75%
16 Jan 20171.20402 Years+6.86%
17 Jan 20141.64245 Years-21.66%
18 Jan 20091.483410 Years-13.27%

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

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
16 Jan 20191.1282Latest
09 Jan 20191.10771 Week+1.85%
17 Dec 20181.11141 Month+1.51%
20 Jul 20181.11956 Months+0.78%
16 Jan 20181.12441 Year+0.34%
16 Jan 20171.13562 Years-0.65%
17 Jan 20141.21305 Years-6.99%
18 Jan 20091.116610 Years+1.04%

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

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
16 Jan 2019139.9618Latest
09 Jan 2019138.46731 Week+1.08%
17 Dec 2018142.34191 Month-1.67%
20 Jul 2018146.32136 Months-4.35%
16 Jan 2018152.32231 Year-8.11%
16 Jan 2017137.44392 Years+1.83%
17 Jan 2014171.41825 Years-18.35%
18 Jan 2009134.315610 Years+4.2%

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

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
16 Jan 20191.7912Latest
09 Jan 20191.78391 Week+0.41%
17 Dec 20181.75771 Month+1.91%
20 Jul 20181.77166 Months+1.11%
16 Jan 20181.73111 Year+3.47%
16 Jan 20171.61152 Years+11.15%
17 Jan 20141.87035 Years-4.23%
18 Jan 20092.213010 Years-19.06%

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

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
16 Jan 20191.7045Latest
09 Jan 20191.69121 Week+0.79%
17 Dec 20181.69201 Month+0.74%
20 Jul 20181.72716 Months-1.31%
16 Jan 20181.71451 Year-0.58%
16 Jan 20171.58652 Years+7.44%
17 Jan 20141.79975 Years-5.29%
18 Jan 20091.844610 Years-7.6%

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