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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=0.7568]

 
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 Brexit debacle continues, as does above-average volatility in the British pound. Until now, the UK government’s inability to make any decisions has been to sterling’s advantage, since this casts doubt on the delivery of Brexit and/or makes a softer Brexit more likely.

Sterling’s uptrend is evident from recent peaks against the dollar, coming in at $1.322 on January-25, at $1.335 on February-27, and at $1.338 on March-13. Sterling had been as low as $1.237 in early January. It was at $1.32 at the time of this report.

Increasing the risk of a no-deal Brexit (potentially very bad for sterling) was the statement made on March-20 by EU Council President Donald Tusk, who said that the EU would agree to the Article 50 extension sought by the UK government only if British MPs first backed the current withdrawal agreement—the one that had twice been defeated by large parliamentary majorities.

Pound forecasts are futile given uncertainties over Brexit but estimates can be made for different outcomes. Currency analysts at HSBC said in February that sterling would be valued at levels near $1.10 in the event of no-deal, near $1.45 with a deal and at $1.55 if Brexit is cancelled.

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.

 
Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Shop-around with multiple providers: Get Quotes
Travel Money Providers
Ratings & Reviews
Amount GBP(£)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostCurrency ServicesDelivery/CollectDeal Links
U.S. Bank Foreign Currency
U.S. Bank logo
708.40 GBP
0.708406.4%Branch-
Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo
701.32 GBP
7.08 GBP
0.7084$107.33%Branch-
Wells Fargo Bank logo
694.23 GBP
14 GBP
0.7084$208.27%Branch-
 
Travelex Online US logo
691.00 GBP
17 GBP
0.6910^8.69%Online order, Branch pickup, Home delivery2-3 days
 

U.S. Bank logoU.S. Bank

U.S. Bank: Travel Money USD→GBP
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:0
Exchange Rate:0.7084 (6.4% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:708.40 GBP
Total Cost:6.4%
Time:6:06 Local
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Banks - Average Rate

Travel Money USD→GBP
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$10 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.6622 (12.5% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:701.32 GBP
Total Cost:7.33%
Currency Services:Branch
Delivery/Collect:-
 

Wells Fargo Bank logoWells Fargo Bank

Wells Fargo Bank: Travel Money USD→GBP
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$20 USD (Minimum fee)
Exchange Rate:0.7084 (6.4% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:694.23 GBP
Total Cost:8.27%
Time:6:06 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:0.691 (8.69% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:691.00 GBP
Total Cost:8.69%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Sat Mar 23 2019 04:00:04 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Currency Services:Online order, Branch pickup, Home delivery
Delivery/Collect:2-3 days
Rating:
 
: 4.3/5.0
Reviews:
 
 

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!

 
Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Shop-around with multiple providers: Get Quotes
Foreign Transfer Providers
Ratings & Reviews
Receive GBP(£)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostTransfer ServicesTransfer SpeedDeal Links
 
OFX logo
7,463 GBP
Best Overall
0.74630^1.39%Bank Transfers - Online & Phone, Foreign Currency Accounts1-2 days
 
TransferWise logo
7,491.6 GBP
29 GBP
0.753$511.01%Bank Transfers - Online, Foreign Currency Accounts1-2 days
Wells Fargo Bank logo
7,307.82 GBP
155 GBP
0.7321183.44%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
HSBC logo
7,302.03 GBP
161 GBP
0.7313$153.51%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
Banks - Average Rate
Bank of America logo U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo
7,258 GBP
205 GBP
0.7300154.1%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
Bank of America International Money Transfers
Bank of America logo
7,210.17 GBP
253 GBP
0.7283$1004.73%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
U.S. Bank International Money Transfers
U.S. Bank logo
7,210.17 GBP
253 GBP
0.7283$1004.73%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
 
OFX: Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:0^ - No fees for BestExchangeRates users (normally $12 for smaller transfers)
Exchange Rate:0.7463 (1.39% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,463 GBP
Total Cost:1.39%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Sat Mar 23 2019 04:02:23 GMT+0000 (UTC)
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online & Phone, Foreign Currency Accounts
Rating:
 
: 4.8/5.0
Reviews:
TransferWise: Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$51 USD (0.5% + $1)
Exchange Rate:0.7530 (0.5% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,491.6 GBP
Total Cost:1.01%
Difference:
29 GBP more than using OFX
Time:6:06 Local
Transfer Speed:1-2 days
Services:Bank Transfers - Online, Foreign Currency Accounts
Rating:
 
: 4.6/5.0
Reviews:
 

Wells Fargo Bank logoWells Fargo Bank

Wells Fargo Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:18
Exchange Rate:0.7321 (3.26% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,307.82 GBP
Total Cost:3.44%
Difference:
155 GBP less than using OFX
Time:6:06 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

HSBC logoHSBC

HSBC: Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$15 USD (.15%)
Exchange Rate:0.7313 (3.37% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,302.03 GBP
Total Cost:3.51%
Difference:
161 GBP less than using OFX
Time:6:06 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

Banks - Average Rate

Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:15
Exchange Rate:0.7268 (3.96% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,258 GBP
Total Cost:4.1%
Difference:
205 GBP less than using OFX
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
 

Bank of America logoBank of America

Bank of America: Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$100 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.7283 (3.77% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,210.17 GBP
Total Cost:4.73%
Difference:
253 GBP less than using OFX
Time:6:06 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 

U.S. Bank logoU.S. Bank

U.S. Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$100 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.7283 (3.77% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,210.17 GBP
Total Cost:4.73%
Difference:
253 GBP less than using OFX
Time:6:06 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
 

Popular GBP cross rates


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

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
22 Mar 20191.3212Latest
15 Mar 20191.33081 Week-0.72%
20 Feb 20191.30451 Month+1.28%
23 Sep 20181.30806 Months+1.01%
22 Mar 20181.41121 Year-6.38%
22 Mar 20171.24722 Years+5.93%
23 Mar 20141.64815 Years-19.83%
24 Mar 20091.469010 Years-10.06%

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

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
22 Mar 20191.1709Latest
15 Mar 20191.17421 Week-0.28%
20 Feb 20191.14971 Month+1.84%
23 Sep 20181.11326 Months+5.18%
22 Mar 20181.14511 Year+2.25%
22 Mar 20171.15592 Years+1.3%
23 Mar 20141.19505 Years-2.02%
24 Mar 20091.088510 Years+7.57%

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

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
22 Mar 2019145.1025Latest
15 Mar 2019148.29061 Week-2.15%
20 Feb 2019144.47221 Month+0.44%
23 Sep 2018147.19196 Months-1.42%
22 Mar 2018148.12291 Year-2.04%
22 Mar 2017138.90192 Years+4.46%
23 Mar 2014168.49855 Years-13.88%
24 Mar 2009143.935110 Years+0.81%

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

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
22 Mar 20191.8646Latest
15 Mar 20191.87691 Week-0.66%
20 Feb 20191.81971 Month+2.47%
23 Sep 20181.79776 Months+3.72%
22 Mar 20181.83401 Year+1.67%
22 Mar 20171.62662 Years+14.63%
23 Mar 20141.81195 Years+2.91%
24 Mar 20092.103010 Years-11.34%

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

DateExchange RatePeriodChange
22 Mar 20191.7721Latest
15 Mar 20191.77571 Week-0.2%
20 Feb 20191.71821 Month+3.14%
23 Sep 20181.68936 Months+4.9%
22 Mar 20181.82491 Year-2.89%
22 Mar 20171.66302 Years+6.56%
23 Mar 20141.85015 Years-4.22%
24 Mar 20091.803110 Years-1.72%

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