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Before converting to British pounds ...

Are you a cash bringer? Credit card group?

"How much cash should I bring with me?" Is a headache for first-time travelers to the UK. As a matter of fact, when you exchange for pounds, you will have to pay a considerable fee, which is said to be a few percent, and if you convert the remaining pounds into Japanese yen again without using it, you will have to pay a reasonable fee again. May take. On the other hand, credit card fees are usually set much lower than currency exchange.


For your reference, I would like to introduce "in what cases do you need cash?"

British people rarely carry cash



It is often said that British people carry only about 20 pounds. Japanese people are surprised, "That's it !? What to do when you can't use a card !?", but in reality, it's rare in everyday life in the UK that you can only use cash .

  1. Take a taxi

  2. I get on the bus

  3. Give a tip

  4. Purchasing goods at a vending machine

  5. Small privately owned small purchases (newspapers, sandwiches, juices, etc.)

  6. As a gift for children and weddings

  7. Church donations

  8. Purchases at charity donations and charity-related events held at schools, street corners, shops, supermarkets, etc.

Among these, I think that there are 1 to 4 scenes where travelers use cash that they encounter.

1. 1. Take a taxi : There are almost no taxis that accept a card, so if you take a taxi, ask the driver through the window how much it will cost before you take a taxi, and if you have enough cash (ride fee plus 10%). Please check before boarding.

2. 2. Tipping : At restaurants, etc., when you pay with a card, you may pay the amount including the tip. Some restaurants can't do that, so in that case, put the tip in cash on the table. Also, at the hotel, the tip for the boy when you bring your luggage and the tip for the concierge staff when you make a reservation for something will be cash.

3. 3. Take the bus : If you're in London, use theOyster Card , a card likeSUICA in Japan, mainly used when using public transportation in London. It's cheaper than a one-day ticket. It is the most economical way to pay (available), so if you use the bus, we recommend that you buy an Oyster card that can also be used on the subway. In rural areas, you may pay in cash when you get on the bus, but recently it has become common to buy a ticket on the site of the bus company you use and then get on the bus.

4. Use vending machines : Mainly installed in buildings with manned convenience stores, such as airports, train stations, and public facilities. The number of vending machines that accept cards is increasing, but there are quite a few problems such as "no change" and "no purchases", so purchasing at a manned shop is better. I think it's convenient.

​ Considering the above, you can see that if you don't take a taxi, you don't need much cash.

There is a traveler "money-related trouble" in the UK



Here are some common problems so that you don't "fail ..." despite a lot of thought and preparation.



1. 1. I got the remaining pounds that my family bought when I went to England many years ago, and when I tried to use it in England, it was an old bill that can not be used now.

 Actually, this trouble has occurred quite a lot, and it is recommended to check whether the money can be used now before going to the UK. In particular, the 5-pound and 10-pound bills will be replaced by plastic-like textures in 2016 and 2017, and from February 2020, the 20-pound bills will also be replaced by new bills, so these three types Special attention should be paid to bills.

This is the current bill that can be used. Bank of England site


Nowadays, it is difficult to exchange old bills without an account at a British bank, so it may be better to give up exchanging for new bills unless there are a lot of bills left. ..

*** By the way, 1 pound coins can only be used with new coins in two colors, gold and silver.


2. 2. When I exchanged money at the bank, I was given only £ 50 bills, and when I shopped there, I was refused receipt.

In the UK, £ 50 bills are rarely on the market, and small privately owned shops and shops that don't have a pen to check for counterfeit bills called "checkers" are allowed to refuse to accept them. increase. Especially when you get out of the airport and take a taxi to pay for a £ 50 bill and refuse to receive it, you are really at a loss. When exchanging money at the bank, please ask "Please insert small bills as much as possible" so that you will not be in trouble immediately after arrival.

3. 3. When I brought myJCB credit card, the places I could use were limited.

 Cards that can be used almost anywhere in the UK are VISA or Mastercard. Other cards can be used in many places in big cities like London, but they cannot be used in local cities, so if you are traveling mainly with credit cards, please use these card companies.


4. Traveller's check was not available.

 Traveller's checks have become quite limited in places where they can be used in big cities like London. Please use other payment methods.


5. I lost my cell phone with my wallet and couldn't contact the card company without card information.

 Many people put the photo / number / contact information of the card on their mobile phones as information in case of loss, but some people lose it at the same time when they are lost, so you can also use other means to store this information. We recommend that you keep it.

6. I received a local bill in Scotland and was told that I couldn't use it when I returned to England.

 If you shop in Scotland and get a change, make sure you have a bill that can be used in the UK. Scotland is also "UK" from the perspective of Japanese people, but there is a system different from that of Britain in terms of currency, language, education, politics, etc. Please note that British banknotes can be used in Scotland, but Scottish banknotes cannot be used in the United Kingdom. Even in the UK, exchanging Scottish banknotes for British ones is not easy. It is best not to receive it.


Current 1 pound coin →

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