10 Best Places to Exchange Currency in London - 2023
If you’re in the UK and about to head off on a trip overseas - or if you’ve just arrived in the UK and you need GBP in cash, you might be looking for the best places to exchange currency in London. Finding a reliable way to get your travel money is important - get a bad exchange rate, or choose a provider with high fees, and you could end up with less to spend during your stay overseas.
This guide walks through some things to consider when choosing currency exchange services, including the cheapest and most cost effective ways to get foreign currency and travel money. We’ll also introduce 10 of the top London currency exchange services, depending on where in the city you are, so you can see if any suit you.
Beat the money changer rates with a prepaid travel card
Going to a currency exchange before a holiday can be exciting, but you will often be paying hidden fees that are baked into the exchange rate.
Things to consider before exchanging money
Before you head out to get your foreign currency, here are a few things to think about to make sure you get a good deal.
Avoid airport currency exchanges
Airport and hotel currency exchange services are often pretty poor value. They rely on passing traffic, and there’s not much competition to keep the rates fair and the fees down. Instead, head to a currency exchange in the city center, or choose an alternative way to get cash, like using a travel money card at an ATM on arrival.
Check the mid-market rate
Get familiar with the mid-market rate for the currency you need before you come to change your cash. You can get the mid-market rate for your currency pairing online or with a currency converter app. Look for a provider offering this rate, or as close as possible to it, for the best available value.
Beware of ATM rates
If you’re taking money out of an ATM overseas, bear in mind that you’ll get a better exchange rate if you choose to be charged in the local currency wherever you are. In this case, your card issuer or bank will set the conversion rate, rather than the ATM operator. Where you choose to pay in your home currency the ATM operator controls the exchange rate, and can also tuck in extra fees here, too.
Get a travel money card to cut costs
One of the best ways to get cash when you travel can be to get a travel money card from a provider like Wise or Revolut. Both offer digital accounts you can open from the UK and a selection of other countries around the world, with ways to hold and exchange dozens of currencies, and linked cards for easy payment and cash withdrawals.
✅ Free to open an account
✅ Hold 40+ currencies
✅ Use your Wise card in 140+ countries
✅ No fee to spend currencies you hold
✅ Mid-market rate currency conversion with low fees from 0.43%
❌ Card delivery fees apply
❌ Some ATM fees apply once your monthly free withdrawal allowance is exhausted
❌ No branch network
✅ Open an account with no monthly fees, or upgrade for more features
✅ Use your Revolut card globally
✅ Some cards offer cash back opportunities
✅ Hold and exchange multiple currencies, with no fees up to your plan limit
✅ Some fee free ATM withdrawals based on plan type
❌ You’ll pay a monthly fee to access all features available
❌ Out of hours and exotic currency conversion fees apply
❌ No branch network
Best place to exchange currency in London?
The best place to exchange currency in London does depend a lot on where in the city you are, and which currencies you need. You’ll need to do a bit of your own research - but to start you off, we’ve detailed 10 of the top rated exchange services in London, according to Google.
We’ve also added the GBP - AUD exchange rate as an example for comparison - as rates change all the time, you’ll need to call the exchange service you pick in advance to get the live details for the currency you need.
|Name||Address||Phone number||GBP - AUD rate||Google Rating|
|Victoria Street FX||185 Victoria St, London SW1E 5NE||+44 20 78283482||1 GBP = 1.91381 AUD||4.9 out of 5 stars|
|No1 Currency Exchange Brixton||Morleys Brixton, 472-488 Brixton Rd, London SW9 8EH||+44 20 3301247357||1 GBP = 1.8782 AUD||4.9 out of 5 stars|
|Holiday Money Exchange Goodge Street||48 Tottenham Court Rd, London W1T 2EF||+44 20 37614091||1 GBP = 1.8750 AUD||4.9 out of 5 stars|
|GLOBAL MONEY EXCHANGE||313 Grays Inn Rd, London WC1X 8PX||+44 20 39836095||Not available online||4.9 out of 5 stars|
|Thomas Exchange Global Strand||402 Strand, London WC2R 0NE||+44 20 71834197||1 GBP = 1.8782 AUD||4.9 out of 5 stars|
|Thomas Exchange Global Victoria Street||141 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6RA||+44 20 78281880||1 GBP = 1.8792 AUD||4.8 out of 5 stars|
|Camden Town FX Currency Exchange London||20 Parkway, London NW1 7AA||+44 20 74850302||Not available online||4.8 out of 5 stars|
|No1 Currency Exchange London, Westfield Stratford City||Ground floor, Westfield Stratford City, London||+44 20 3301247401||1 GBP = 1.8782 AUD||4.7 out of 5 stars|
|ACE-FX||Unit 37, Bridge Station, London SE1 9GP||+44 20 73577373||1 GBP = 1.889 AUD||4.5 out of 5 stars|
|Thomas Exchange Bureau De Change Currency Exchange||5 Market Pl, London W1W 8AE||+44 20 76377336||Not available online||4.2 out of 5 stars|
- Correct at time of writing, 8th August 2023
How we rated the best places to exchange money
We’ve taken into account the Google ratings at the time of research, looking at exchange services in popular London tourist and shopping sites. As ratings are dynamic, and things change all the time, you’ll want to also do your own research before you head out to exchange your money.
Factors to consider when choosing an exchange provider in London
Before you choose the right exchange service in London for your needs, it’s important to check a few things. Firstly, you’ll need to make sure the service you choose is licensed and regulated by relevant authorities, and well rated and trusted by previous customers. You can get reviews and ratings easily online on services like Google, which give a quick insight into what other users are saying about any specific provider.
Once you’re confident you’ve picked a legitimate currency exchange service, take a look at the fees and exchange rates on offer. It’s common for providers to state they offer fee free, or zero commission currency exchange, but in this case the charges are often just rolled up in the exchange rate used instead. This isn’t easy to spot, and can mean you’re paying more than you think for currency exchange.
Get familiar with the mid-market exchange rate for your currency before you convert your cash - or consider an alternative like a travel money card from a provider like Wise or Revolut, which gives access to mid-market rate currency conversion with low, transparent fees.
Tips for finding the best currency exchange rates in London
Here are a few ideas to make sure you get a good deal on exchange rates when exchanging currency in London:
Get to know the mid-market rate for your currency and look for a provider offering this rate or close to it
Check if it’s cheaper to order your currency online for collection - you can sometimes get a better rate this way
Find out if there’s a fee to pay when buying foreign currency with your card, either from the provider or from your card issuer
Compare as many options as possible across both fees and rates to make sure you get a fair deal
Check out online currency converters or mobile apps to stay updated on current exchange rates - or use the Exiap currency conversion tools to keep on top of the rates available conveniently
Consider online alternatives such as Wise and Revolut, for travel money cards you can use for free or low cost ATM withdrawals in the UK and abroad
Where to get foreign currency outside the UK
If you’re headed on a trip overseas from the UK you have a few different travel money options.
Often one of the best ways to get the currency or currencies you need for your trip is to get a multi-currency card from a service like Revolut and Wise before you leave for your holiday. You can then add money in pounds and either convert in advance to the currency you need, or at the point of payment. Depending on the card and provider you select, you may be able to get limited or unlimited currency exchange with the mid-market exchange rate, cutting out foreign transaction fees and keeping the costs of your trip down overall.
If you’re already in your destination, airports, hotels or banks can also be places to exchange currency - but they don’t always offer the best rates or fees, so shopping around is essential. You’ll usually find a selection of physical money exchanges in tourist destinations and cities overseas, or you could choose to withdraw cash from an ATM using your normal bank card if you’d prefer. Fees may apply in this case, depending on the bank and card you use.
How do I exchange currency after a trip?
Got left over currency from a trip overseas? You can usually sell your foreign currency cash - at least higher value notes - to the exchange service you bought them from in the first place. Be aware that the rate to convert back may not be as good as the one you bought at, and fees may apply.
If you’re not sure about how much money you’ll need when you’re away, it's good to know that a travel money card like those from Wise or Revolut can offer an easier way to convert left over funds back. Just withdraw local currency cash in your destination as and when you need to, but leave any unused money in your digital account. You can then switch currencies within your account when you get home, to withdraw back to your bank, make payments to others, or even take out funds in pounds via an ATM instead.
FAQs - best places to exchange currency in London
What is the cheapest way to get foreign currency in London ?
There’s no single cheapest way to get foreign currency in London. Shopping around is essential as fees and rates can vary widely. Use the tools and reviews on Exiap, to help you find a good provider for your specific needs.
Should I exchange money before I travel?
You can exchange money before travel if you’d like to, but it’s not usually necessary. Instead, get a multi-currency account and card from a service like Wise or Revolut, and just make cash withdrawals in your destination when you need to. That’s convenient and safe, and can mean you pay less overall, too.
Does it matter where you exchange currency?
Yes. Picking a currency exchange service with good rates and low fees can mean you get a lot more to spend when you’re away. Do some research into the best options for your needs, including exchanging cash and using a specialist travel money card instead.
What is the best reloadable prepaid card?
There’s no single best reloadable prepaid debit card. Use this guide to compare a few options to pick the one that’s right for you, thinking about features, fees and the range of supported currencies you’ll need.