Tips to Consider when Exchanging Currency in London

Tips to Consider when Exchanging Currency in London
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Tips to Consider when Exchanging Currency in London: London is a bustling city with multiple currency exchange centres in and around the city. Some of the popular service providers include Victoria Street FX, Global Money Exchange, and Thomas Exchange Global Strand in Victoria and cities around. 

Before spending your hard-earned money, there are a few tips to consider before exchanging currency in London. This includes knowing the current value of GBP against INR or avoiding airport currency exchange. In this blog, we will discuss the important tips to consider when exchanging currency in London. This will help you make informed decisions and get the most value for your money. 

Also Read: If you are planning to pursue higher studies in the US, learn about How to Manage Money in the US. This detailed blog talks about the Banks in the US, ATMs, cards and currency exchange. 

How to Get the Best Exchange Rates in London?

To get the best exchange rates in London, you must know the value of GBP against INR, watch out for the additional charges while currency exchange, and compare the exchange rates of different service providers. 

Many currency exchange kiosks in London offer various options for currency exchange, each with its own set of considerations and exchange rates. Thus, keep the following pointers in mind to get the cheapest currency exchange. 

Know the Currency Changes Value

Currency keeps changing its value based on various factors like inflation, terms of trade, government debt, political stability and many more. So does the value of GBP changes which is the official currency of London.

For example: the value of GBP as of 18 December 2023 was 106.7925, but as of 02 January 2024, it is 1 GBP = 105.171282. INR. 

This means that the exchange rates you saw while researching differ from when you plan to exchange the currency. Be mindful and keep an eye on exchange rates and consider exchanging money when the rates are favourable. Rates can fluctuate daily, so timing your exchange can impact how much foreign currency you receive.

Compare Exchange Rates

It is always best to compare rates from different currency exchange providers to get the best deal. Even a small difference in rates can significantly impact the amount of foreign currency you get in hand.

  • Look for different currency service providers, and ask them what exchange rates they offer. 
  • Make a list and note it down. 
  • Compare the exchange rates of all the currency suppliers, and check which one offers the lowest exchange rate. 

For example: Shruti went to Victoria Street FX and Holiday Money Exchange in London. She found out that both of them offered different exchange rates and charged different commissions. She made a table and noted it down. 

Major FactorsVictoria Street FXThomas Exchange Global Strand
Exchange Rate Offered10000 INR= 99.948 GBP10000 INR= 99.5 GBP
Transaction Fee0.34 GBP per 100 INR0.42 GBP per 100 INR
Commission Charged1%1.2%

After comparing both the currency exchange service providers, she was clear about choosing Victoria Street FX considering the slightest of differences in the exchange rates offered and additional charges charged. 

Watch Out for Additional Fees

Be mindful of hidden fees or commissions charged by exchange services. Sometimes, a seemingly good rate might come with additional charges that affect the overall value of your exchange.

Sometimes, currency exchange suppliers provide delivery and ask for delivery costs. Well, there is no delivery cost for exchanging currency up to a certain amount. 

Avoid Airport Currency Exchange

Each currency exchange counter at the airport seems to offer special deals and ‘best offers’. However, these kiosks at the airport are just to take advantage of the travellers as they want last-minute currency exchange. They hardly have any motivation to offer competitive rates and end up charging higher in comparison to other options available for currency exchange. 

Airports are rarely the best place for currency exchange and one should avoid exchanging money at airports. They often offer less favourable rates due to higher operating costs. If possible, exchange a small amount for immediate needs and wait to exchange larger sums elsewhere. 

Also Read: Every study abroad student must know about how to navigate currency exchange risks. Check out our blog to know about management tips in detail. 

Use ATM Withdrawals Wisely

When using ATMs, try to use those affiliated with major banks to minimise withdrawal fees. Additionally, check your own bank’s policy on foreign transactions to avoid unnecessary charges. 

Another tip to consider when exchanging currency in London via ATMs is to carry Zero Markup Forex Cards. These cards help you make transactions at the exchange rates prevalent during the time of making transactions. You don’t have to pay extra fees or any additional charges with these cards. 

Consider Your Needs

If you are carrying more currency than required, there are changes you might end up not using it all. In such a case, you will have to exchange foreign currency to Indian rupees and pay additional currency conversion charges. 

Thus, you must determine the amount of foreign currency required for your trip to avoid exchanging more than necessary. Carrying excessive amounts might pose a security risk.

Beware of Scams

Stick to reputable currency exchange providers to avoid scams or counterfeit money. Be cautious with street exchanges or unknown vendors offering seemingly attractive rates.

Always check online reviews and look into the company’s registration status to be aware of the authenticity of the currency suppliers. 

Ask About Buyback Policies

Inquire about buyback policies before exchanging. Some providers offer the option to reconvert unused foreign currency at a reasonable rate upon your return. 

However, if this option isn’t available, consider spending all your money as getting the remaining currency exchanged will also be charged and you’ll end up paying twice for currency exchange. 

FAQs on Exchanging Currency in London

What is the best way to exchange cash in London?

The best way to exchange cash in London is to exchange money with reputable currency suppliers like- Thomas Exchange Global, Travelex, Eurochange, or Convent Garden FX. 

Should I exchange currency before travelling to London?

It is best to exchange currency before travelling to London as last-minute currency exchange can lead to paying higher currency conversion fees. RBI allows you to exchange currency 60 days before your travel or study abroad plans.

What to look for in a currency exchange?

Always research the currency exchange rates, compare them with other suppliers and watch out for additional fees before exchanging currency in London. 

Is it a good idea to exchange currency at the airport?

No, exchange rates at airports are much higher than other methods of currency exchange. They end up taking advantage of travellers for last-minute currency exchange and charge more to cover their operational costs and profits. 

What is the cheapest way to exchange currency?

Your bank or credit union (like Western Union) will be the cheapest place to exchange currency as they charge very nominal currency conversion fees. 

This was all about the important tips to consider when exchanging currency in London. You must know that the value of currency keeps on changing and it is advisable to keep checking the exchange rates at regular intervals. Identifying that this rate is suitable for you to exchange currency and then comparing it with the other currency suppliers is ideal to avoid paying additional fees. Always avoid exchanging currency at airports and beware of the scams. 

To know more about the tips and straightforward advice on study abroad finances, reach out to our experts at 1800572126 to help ease your study abroad experience.

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About Shubhika Garg

Hey there! I'm Shubhika- a proud graduate in English Literature and Language from Delhi University. My journey as a content writer transitioned from online teacher into the world of words. Stepping into the domain of blogs and articles, I discovered my passion for writing growing deeper and stronger. Having said that, I have experience of writing for diverse industries in automobile, technology, ed-tech, finance and mental-health; crafting details to help you find the solution to what you are looking for. Join me as I invite you all explore and learn together.

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