The English currency is called the pound sterling (£ / GBP).
- Paper notes come in units of £5, £10, £20, and £50.
- For smaller denominations of money, you can use coins.
- There are £1 and £2 coins, as well as coins in smaller increments (called pence) that work much like U.S. cents. Pence coins come in 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, and 50p. Learn to identify each coin here.
Most credit cards charge foreign transaction fees for each purchase you make. ATMS, however, charge a flat fee, which is usually lower than the fees charged at currency exchange centers. As a result, the cheapest way to spend money in England is usually to use ATMs that will distribute GPB.
Tipping in London
- 10-15% in restaurants (if you’re in a large group, the restaurant will sometimes add a service charge to the bill)
- Usually no tipping in pubs
- More information on tipping here
Planning Before you Leave
- Before leaving for our trip, let your bank/credit card company know that you’ll be traveling internationally. Your bank/credit card company may also have a special number you need to call if you want to reach them from outside the U.S. They will often freeze cards when you start using them abroad, so find out if you’ll need a different number than the one you would use at home, and save it in your phone before we leave.