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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=0.7891]

 
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

Nine straight days of losses against the euro in May took the pound to a 3-month low of €1.143, and similar losses against the US dollar meant quotes in the low $1.28s — also a 3-month low.

Sterling weakness has returned following a breakdown in the UK of cross-party Brexit talks, which has brought “no deal” back to life.

It seems nothing much has changed: PM Theresa May has announced that she will ask the House of Commons to vote again on her withdrawal deal in early June (the deal has already been rejected three times).

A fourth defeat for May’s plan is widely expected and would make no-deal much realer, with little time to organize any alternative before the October-31 exit date (unlikely to be extended). It remains possible, however, that Brexit is cancelled entirely.

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.

 
Sending a LARGER foreign transfer? Request a Multi-Vendor Quote ▾
Travel Money ProvidersAmount GBP(£)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostCurrency ServicesDelivery/CollectDeal Links
U.S. Bank Foreign Currency
U.S. Bank logo
736.70 GBP
Compare
0.736706.39%Branch-
Banks - Average Rate
U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo
729.34 GBP
7.36 GBP
0.7367$107.33%Branch-
Wells Fargo Bank logo
721.97 GBP
15 GBP
0.7367$208.26%Branch-
Travelex Online US logo
716.20 GBP
20 GBP
0.71620^9%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:0.7367 (6.39% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:736.70 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
USD amount:$1,000 USD
Fee:$10 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.6886 (12.5% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:729.34 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:0.7367 (6.39% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:721.97 GBP
Total Cost:8.26%
Time:6:00 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:0.7162 (9% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:716.20 GBP
Total Cost:9%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Wed May 22 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:
 
05/22/2019
 

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? Request a Multi-Vendor Quote ▾
Foreign Transfer ProvidersReceive GBP(£)Exchange RateFee USDTotal CostTransfer ServicesTransfer SpeedDeal Links
OFX logo
7,791 GBP
Best Overall
0.77910^1%Bank Transfers - Online & Phone, Foreign Currency Accounts1-2 days
TransferWise logo
7,821.9 GBP
31 GBP
0.7862$510.61%Bank Transfers - Online, Foreign Currency Accounts1-2 days
Wells Fargo Bank logo
7,629.24 GBP
162 GBP
0.7643183.06%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
HSBC logo
7,623.55 GBP
167 GBP
0.7635$153.13%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
Banks - Average Rate
Bank of America logo U.S. Bank logo Wells Fargo Bank logo HSBC logo
7,577 GBP
214 GBP
0.7622153.72%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
Bank of America International Money Transfers
Bank of America logo
7,527.96 GBP
263 GBP
0.7604$1004.35%Online, Branch, Bank Transfers2-3 days
U.S. Bank International Money Transfers
U.S. Bank logo
7,527.96 GBP
263 GBP
0.7604$1004.35%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:0.7791 (1% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,791 GBP
Total Cost:1%
Time:
Rate Fetched: Wed May 22 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:0.7862 (0.1% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,821.9 GBP
Total Cost:0.61%
Difference:
31 GBP more than using OFX
Time:6:00 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:0.7643 (2.88% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,629.24 GBP
Total Cost:3.06%
Difference:
162 GBP less than using OFX
Time:6:00 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:0.7635 (2.99% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,623.55 GBP
Total Cost:3.13%
Difference:
167 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
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:15
Exchange Rate:0.7588 (3.58% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,577 GBP
Total Cost:3.72%
Difference:
214 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:0.7604 (3.38% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,527.96 GBP
Total Cost:4.35%
Difference:
263 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 logoU.S. Bank

U.S. Bank: Foreign Transfer USD→GBP
USD amount:$10,000 USD
Fee:$100 USD (1%)
Exchange Rate:0.7604 (3.38% from mid-rate)
GBP amount:7,527.96 GBP
Total Cost:4.35%
Difference:
263 GBP less than using OFX
Time:6:00 Local
Transfer Speed:2-3 days
Services:Online, Branch, Bank Transfers
Rating:
: /5.0
Reviews:
 
05/22/2019
 

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

PeriodChange*GBP/USDDate
1 Day-0.16%1.272820 May 2019
1 Week-1.53%1.290614 May 2019
1 Month-2.19%1.299321 Apr 2019
6 Months-1.3%1.287622 Nov 2018
1 Year-5.38%1.343121 May 2018
5 Years-24.66%1.686822 May 2014
10 Years-20.14%1.591323 May 2009

*For period to 21-May 21UTC when GBP/USD was 1.2708

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

PeriodChange*GBP/EURDate
1 Day-0.11%1.139720 May 2019
1 Week-1.18%1.152014 May 2019
1 Month-1.48%1.155521 Apr 2019
6 Months+0.81%1.129322 Nov 2018
1 Year-0.07%1.139221 May 2018
5 Years-7.84%1.235222 May 2014
10 Years+0.1%1.137323 May 2009

*For period to 21-May 21UTC when GBP/EUR was 1.1384

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

PeriodChange*GBP/AUDDate
1 Day+0.4%1.839220 May 2019
1 Week-0.74%1.860414 May 2019
1 Month+1.59%1.817721 Apr 2019
6 Months+3.98%1.776022 Nov 2018
1 Year+4.23%1.771621 May 2018
5 Years+1%1.828322 May 2014
10 Years-8.96%2.028323 May 2009

*For period to 21-May 21UTC when GBP/AUD was 1.8466

GBP/CAD - British Pound Sterling to Canadian Dollar - Historical Rates

PeriodChange*GBP/CADDate
1 Day-0.33%1.709120 May 2019
1 Week-1.95%1.737314 May 2019
1 Month-2.03%1.738721 Apr 2019
6 Months+0.28%1.698622 Nov 2018
1 Year-0.74%1.716121 May 2018
5 Years-7.33%1.838122 May 2014
10 Years-4.73%1.788023 May 2009

*For period to 21-May 21UTC when GBP/CAD was 1.7034


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