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Time to buy British pounds before travel?

With Brexit causing the pound to drop, is it wise to buy pounds now before leaving the US? We'll be in Britain end of August.

Posted by
80 posts

I'm leaving three weeks from Thursday and I bought them early Friday morning after the vote. I ordered them from my bank. I would be doing this in a few weeks anyhow. I do believe that the market will correct itself. The exchange rate before the vote was $1.48 to 1 pound, the next day it was $1.38, now it is $1.37.

What you need to look at is the cost of changing your currency. I probably saved about $50 (I exchanged $1,000). Is it worth having your cash tied up in foreign currency for a couple of months to save whatever you would be saving? This is a question that you can best answer yourselves.

Posted by
21665 posts

The more important questions is the rate and fees charged by your bank. Typically in the US that can be as high as 10, 12% so I doubt if you saved much.

Posted by
12950 posts

I would not buy the currency, but I would consider paying amounts due for apartments, etc. early with my credit card to take advantage of the drop. Of course it could go lower, but it could also go higher, and it is nice to take advantage of the current rate.

Posted by
5483 posts

There is huge financial and political turmoil here and I doubt that the GBP is going to recover any time soon. One thing markets don't like is uncertainty and the UK is as uncertain as it gets these days.

Look at your bank's charges and if you like the offer, get some pounds. I can't see the exchange rate recovering before your trip.

Posted by
3584 posts

Unless you are in one of the 5 or 6 big US cities with access to good rates, I don't think it's possible to take advantage. There are some companies like Travelex that will deliver pounds (for "free") to your home at a rate of $1.51. But it is unlikely that you wouldn't be able to do better than that from an ATM when you arrive.

Posted by
8 posts

Tom_MN, which 5 or 6 big cities were you referring to? I'm traveling to Ireland in September/October...

Posted by
9363 posts

I'm guessing he means places like NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles.....places that do a lot of international business. There are no good rates at banks anywhere near me in central IL even though Chicago is less than two hours away..

Posted by
3584 posts

Yes, as mentioned, and also San Francisco. I can't get good rates where I live so don't think about it.

Posted by
61 posts

How much do you need? If you just need some "carry around" pocket cash, just wait and use an ATM at the airport. Make sure your credit card company, and bank, know that you'll be in the UK.