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Buying Dollars

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ZeroG, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. ZeroG

    Hitman

    Joined: Feb 8, 2014

    Posts: 543

    Location: Aberdeen

    So it's now only 4 weeks until I go to the US for the first time, so excited to be going to PAX. I've got most things sorted out now. Have a Monzo card topped up which I will mainly be using for spending as there's no currency conversion fees but I want to take some cash with me but most places I see have a minimum £300-£400 order. What would be the best place to order dollars from and are there any places which do smaller amounts?
     
  2. Psycho Ned

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jul 25, 2003

    Posts: 8,417

    Location: Northants

    Will add the usual 'Get a Halifax Clarity card' at the top here which is the usual (and correct answer!) when it comes to foreign money transactions!

    If not that then I just use http://travelmoney.moneysavingexpert.com/ and use whoever has the best rate for my needs!
     
  3. Fubsy

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Dec 12, 2003

    Posts: 8,628

    Location: Thatcham

    Withdraw using the Monzo - no fees there either. Don't bother doing any currency conversion as the rate you get will be worse than the MasterCard conversion rate.
     
  4. dowie

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jan 29, 2008

    Posts: 38,964

    Why not just use a cash machine at the airport? I don't understand this need to take cash to developed countries? There was another thread recently where someone wanted to get some HUF in advance and people were giving bad advice like try Debenhams or go to the post office instead of simply using a card to withdraw cash when you get there.
     
  5. Peerzy

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 9, 2008

    Posts: 6,689

    Burn the Monzo card, get either a Halifax Clarity or Nationwide Select CC (or both).

    Change up about £50 into dollars at whatever local high street place is closest so you have a bit of cash for tips.
     
  6. ~>Dg<~

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jun 1, 2006

    Posts: 31,309

    Location: Notts

    this makes no cents :confused:
     
  7. Bennie-Mac

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 10, 2008

    Posts: 11,975

    Location: Bangor, Northern Ireland

    Not sure on the rates at the minute but Tesco money exchange let you exchange small amounts. I got £40 worth of Icelandic Krona back in September for competitive rates. Not that the rate is massively impacting on small amounts.
     
  8. rogan

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jul 15, 2011

    Posts: 1,528

    Location: London

    Why?

    I've been using monzo in monthly trips abroad for almost a year now and its by far been the best FX expeirence i've had
     
  9. ZeroG

    Hitman

    Joined: Feb 8, 2014

    Posts: 543

    Location: Aberdeen

    Not all cash machines offer free withdrawals, although i'm not sure if this is because of the cash machine owners or something. I just thought it best to have some cash on me on arrival.

    I'm not interested in getting a credit card either from another bank.
     
  10. Fubsy

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Dec 12, 2003

    Posts: 8,628

    Location: Thatcham

    I can only speak from using it in the US (NY) and Poland myself. Didn't have any hassle finding free withdrawal machines. If you want cash before hand, then just pop to somewhere local that does currency and get a small amount to get you going.

    Btw, having another CC as backup if something goes wrong is a wise move if at all possible.
     
  11. Vinny1511

    Gangster

    Joined: Jul 9, 2005

    Posts: 445

    Zero - I'm off to Florida in 58 days (Not I'm not counting :)) and am using Revolut the currency card.

    I cannot speak highly enough of this card so far - The exchange rates are incredibly close to that of the bank rates, so the XE is generally better than in cash.

    The app that comes with the card gives you total control to change currency back, block a card and unlock it at will, and transactions appear instantly in the app (I've tried using it in the UK).

    It's a MasterCard so transactions on the card cost nothing, you can withdraw up to £300 per month before you get charged, but if you are like me, most transactions will be carried out by card anyway.....

    I'd recommend having a look :)

    /Edit, should have read the OP properly ! John Lewis have a competitive rate for exchanging cash..
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  12. dowie

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jan 29, 2008

    Posts: 38,964

    But you're not going to get free currency exchange either. Might as well get cash out at the airport.
     
  13. bobbyspangles

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Sep 27, 2011

    Posts: 1,575

    I think I was charged something like 11% commission buying 50€ from the Post Office last week. Any one-off cashpoint withdrawal charge has got to be better than that.
     
  14. ZeroG

    Hitman

    Joined: Feb 8, 2014

    Posts: 543

    Location: Aberdeen

    What do you mean free currency exchange? When i buy with the Monzo card abroad there isn't any fees.
     
  15. dowie

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jan 29, 2008

    Posts: 38,964

    I mean exchanging currency, the subject of this thread, taking your GBP and getting USD.
     
  16. ScoTTyBEEE

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 1, 2004

    Posts: 1,941

    Location: London

    Get a Revolut card for pre pay debit and clarity card for credit.

    Or...you could get a card like the new curve card, which acts as a wrapper around your current cards and does the same thing.
     
  17. Bennie-Mac

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 10, 2008

    Posts: 11,975

    Location: Bangor, Northern Ireland

    I will never not recommend Revolut, brilliant app and super exchange rates.
     
  18. Vinny1511

    Gangster

    Joined: Jul 9, 2005

    Posts: 445

    Agreed Bennie.

    I've not used it properly yet, but I've got a few thousands dollars loaded onto mine I preparation for our trip - So far, I'm really really impressed. The rates, as you say are excellent and the support is too....
     
  19. englishpremier

    Soldato

    Joined: Feb 15, 2003

    Posts: 6,780

    Location: Europe

    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017