How to change euros, withdraw Pounds Sterling?

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Emilie Filou

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Where to change your euros, withdraw Pounds Sterling before and during your stay in London

As Great Britain is not part of the Euro zone, you will have to pay in Pounds Sterling. So to pay for your purchases in London, you will have the choice between:

  • change euros / pounds,
  • collect Books from a distributor,

  • pay with your bank card your purchases in pounds or euros

Do not forget to anticipate and be sure to book as much as possible from home: hotel, visits, attractions, shows, bus tour ... This trick will allow you to pay in euros (and not have bank charges) and spread out your expenses.

So what are some great tips for having Pounds Sterling and paying for your purchases free of charge? I tell you everything below!

Currency exchange in Paris: withdraw your Pounds Sterling before your departure to London

For your information, be aware that banks also offer this service but are not competitive with exchange offices.

However, not all exchange offices are created equal, so you have to compare each other's exchange rate and find the one that offers the highest bid.

As far as I'm concerned, having the chance to travel regularly, I always change my change at Opera Change Counter (CCO) and this for several years. Beyond their sense of hospitality, they offer net rates and free of charge. It is no coincidence that the Comptoir Change Opéra, which has been in existence since 1955, is the oldest bureau de change in Paris ...

Thus, to change at CCO by coming from " Good deals-London »Is the assurance of having the most attractive rate!

Do not hesitate to consult the Comptoir Change website regularly to be informed of flash sales on the British Pound but also on other currencies.

And for all those who live in the provinces, nothing is lost because the Opera Change Counter (CCO) offers an online sterling delivery and sale service.



Should you collect your Pounds Sterling at London airports or train stations?

This solution may seem convenient and easy to you, but these small advantages come at a price! Therefore, I will not recommend this alternative to you.


Should you withdraw your Pounds Sterling in central London?

Numerous exchange offices are present in the vicinity of tourist places. Avoid advice because these counters charge the highest rates on the market. Indeed, many offices located on the outskirts of Oxford Street although they post 0 commission are catching up on the rate.

If you have cash, I advise you to change the change at one of the post offices in Post Office. It is the largest foreign currency provider in the UK and therefore has competitive exchange rates. It is no coincidence that the Post Office has been voted “Best Foreign Currency Provider” five times by the British Travel Awards!

Some post office addresses in London

Pimlico Metro09: 00-17: 30 Monday-Friday
09: 00-12: 30 Saturday 9/10 Chester Court, Albany Street Métro Great Portland Street, Regent's Street09: 00-17: 30 Monday-Friday
09: 00-12: 30 Saturday Mayfair Green Park Metro09: 00-17: 30 Monday-Friday
09: 00-12: 30 Saturday 112-114 Camden High Street Métro Camden Town09 a.m.-00 p.m. Monday-Friday
09h00-17h30 Saturday 185 Earls Court Road Métro Earls Court Road09 a.m.-00 p.m. Monday-Friday
09h00-12h00 Saturday 17/21 Euston Road Métro Kings Cross, St Pancras Station08 a.m.-30 p.m. Monday-Friday
09h00-18h00 Saturday 6 Raphael Street Knightsbridge Tube09 a.m.-00 p.m. Monday-Friday
09h00-12h30 Saturday


What is the Travelex Cash Passport card?

The Cash Passport card of Travelex is a prepaid Mastercard in foreign currencies. You credit it with the amount of your choice and pay for your purchases directly in the store, or you withdraw the money from the ATM. In short, it works like a regular credit card.
With this card, no need to travel with all your cash because withdrawals from ATMs are free. Finally, the map Cash Passport can be a good plan if you have a teenager going to London for a trip.


  More information on Travelex


Pay in euros in stores with your bank card

Some stores such as Harrods, J or Harvey Nichols offer to pay for your purchases in euros either in cash or by credit card. This alternative allows you to escape the bank charges of your bank. However, some stores like Harrods do not take today's exchange rate and overstate the rate slightly. But don't panic, it's more advantageous than paying in pounds with your card and having bank charges!


Withdraw money with your bank card from ATMs

For me it is the most practical and economical solution provided that your bank has an agreement with a foreign bank. And in this case it's 0 fees !! This is a real good plan! And now you want to know what are these banks 😉? Okay !!!

Here are the banks that do not take fees!

Revolut : A British neobank that offers a free card allowing you to pay and withdraw foreign currency from ATMs free of charge.

Boursorama : With this online banking subsidiary of Société Générale, you can obtain a Visa Classic and Premier card free of charge.
Payments and withdrawals in foreign currencies are free with the Visa Premier card taken out after 06/11/2019. Before leaving, do not forget to declare your dates of stay with the "My credit card abroad" service.

BNP: BNP has a partnership with the English bank "Barclays". If you have a BNP Paribas Visa card, you can therefore withdraw cash for free from Barclays ATMs at the daily rate and without having to pay any commission.

Hellobank: This online bank belongs to BNP and therefore has agreements with Barclays. So 0 fees! In addition, their visa card is free and you earn 80 € when you open your account! Isn't that a good plan? !!

HSBC: Withdrawals are also free from ATMs in the HSBC, which are very, very numerous in London. So Zero commission!

Where can I find a Barclays distributor in London?

Metro 31St Jame's StreetGreen Park 136 New Bond StreetGreen Park 11 Bruton StreetGreen Park, Oxford Circus 15-17 Great Portland StreetOxford circus 58 Southampton RowHolborn 99 Hatton GardonChancery Lane 5a Marylebone High StreetBond Street 9 Portman SquareBond Street 5 Greek StreetTottenham Court Road 13 Artillery RowVictoria 2 Victoria StreetSt Jame's Park, Westminster 137 Brompton Road
(Distributor next to the Harrods store)Knightsbridge 30 Sloane SquareSloane Square

Barclays ATMs at London airports


Payment by credit card: what are the costs?

Withdrawing money comes at a cost. To limit costs, I advise you to withdraw a certain amount of money and put some of it in a safe place in the hotel safe.

Bank charges abroad

Exchanging currencies with the London Pass


Le London Pass allows you to exchange currencies at any London bureau de change, at a preferential rate and without commission.
All you need to do is show your London Pass at any exchange office, banks, train stations, airports and tourist information centers.

At the end of your stay, London Pass will redeem your currency and exchange Pounds Sterling to the currency of your choice.

  More information about the London Pass


N26: the bank without fees!

Recently, neobanks have appeared and are very popular with travelers. For example the neobank N26, offers a free Mastercard credit card that allows free payments in foreign currency anywhere in the world.

  More information on N26


For more information read the article: N26: a free bank card for your trips!


Revolut: the bank for travelers!

This British neobank offers a free bank card allowing:

  • de pay free in all foreign currencies
  • of the free withdrawals outside the euro zone (up to the equivalent of 200 € / month, above this amount the fees are 2% of the withdrawal)
  • to access best at free exchange system in 24 currencies including the pound sterling

Revolut now offers one of the most competitive offers on the market, which allows you to make significant savings when traveling.


  More information on Revolut


To know all the advantages of the Revolut card and what makes it different from the N26 card, see the article on this subject: Revolut the best free card for travel?


The most economical and practical solution is to withdraw cash on site with a bank card from the HSBC, Hello Bank or BNP.
If you do not have these cards, anticipate and make your change at the Comptoir Change Opéra (CCO) which offers attractive rates and can send your currency if you are in the provinces.
If you need to change your money in London, use the Post Office at exchange offices in train stations, airports or near tourist places, which charge high exchange rates.

Finally, neobanks N26 et Revolut present ultra-competitive offers for travelers!

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