US dollars in the UK


#1

I would like to withdraw some US dollars in the UK.

I am travelling from LBA and MAN airports soon.

Does anyone know if this is possible and fee free?

Thanks

Dave


#2

There are no ATM machines (outside of airports - and only 1 or 2 there) that can give you foreign currency. Of course you can exchange the old fashion way but, the rate will be terrible compared to revolut. Also, try to exchange tomorrow- the rate will be better (not a weekend)

I don’t understand why you can’t get it out whilst your over there? I assume you have a revolut card? You can’t get a better rate for USD than the live exchange.

Unless of course you know the rates going to drop in which case exchange the money in the app now and then withdraw from the bank when your over here thus securing the higher rate. :slight_smile:


#3

I am going to St Lucia. I don’t know if the cash machines there give you usd, I think they give you ecd.

The hotel only accepts usd.

Thanks

Dave


#4

Do the hotel not take card?

I think I may be understanding your problem now. The hotel almost certainly will take card but, they may try to hold / preauthorise the money on that card which may not work.

You could take a credit card and give that to the hotel and then ask to pay any outstanding balance with the revolut card.

Or exchange the money in advance at a standard money exchange service…


#5

Yes that’s why I need to get some usd.


#6

Raphaels Bank operates cash machines all over London, particularly in Tube stations, most of which issue EUR and some of which issue USD. When I have used these cash machines with a EUR-denominated card issued in a Eurozone country, my account has been debited in EUR at face value with no fees. But I understand that holders of UK-issued cards have suffered dynamic currency conversion, whereby Raphaels Bank converts the amount to GBP before debiting your card, which would defeat the purpose of using Revolut.

Forget HSBC UK cash machines, some of which issue USD, because they do dynamic currency conversion to GBP even on US-issued cards, and even worse on HSBC USA cards!

Do not proceed with a withdrawal if it indicates that you will be charged in GBP. Please let us know how you get on.


#7

I have in the past used a Raphaels Bank cash machine in London using my Revolut card. Just make sure you refuse DCC (i.e. make sure you select to have your account debited in USD) and you should get pretty good rates.

To be honest, though, at least in central london the competition is really strong for USD exchanges, and you get pretty decent rates almost anywhere. I did that mostly out of interest, and because such a machine is in walking distance from my office. I would’ve gotten almost the same rate at the nearest beareu (at least sufficiently close that even for a few hundred pounds the difference would’ve been smaller than the tube fare had I not been able to walk).


Foreign Currency Withdrawal at Travelex atm (Heathrow, Gatwick etc.)
#8

@nanos - it’s good to know that Raphaels now gives the option to UK-issued cards of DCC or not. I’ve only used their machines for EUR withdrawals on a Eurozone-issued card. Of course, if you already have a USD balance in Revolut, it will come out of that. I don’t see why any Revolut user wouldn’t first convert their own currency to USD before transacting in USD.


#9

:smile: and I can’t see why I should convert first - its a superfluous step in my opinion, as I’ll get the same rate either way


#10

No, you don’t get the same rate. If you buy all of the USD that you will need in the immediate future, you choose and have the opportunity to optimise the rate. If you spend in USD directly from another currency’s balance, then you are at the mercy of whatever the rate is at the time of the transaction; you lose the opportunity to choose your rate.


#11

And the difference is obvious, for example, at the weekend.


#12

True. But obviously rates can go both ways, so you can win or loose. (I’m sure you know that.) What I meant is that if I have a single transaction at a given time, it won’t make a difference whether at that time you first make the conversion, then withdraw, or withdraw immediately.


#13

Excellent point, @ViR. It is madness to spend at the weekend in one of the 16 supported balance currencies without first buying the currency during the working week when FX markets are liquid with good prices.