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Taking out money in the UK


We have lived in Belgium for 6 months now. Just trying to get our heads round the best way to get money for spending when in the UK. We're paid in euros so when we were in the UK recently we were taking out cash from a UK ATM from our Belgian bank account. Is it best to do this? Take out one large sum rather than several smaller ones? Or get pounds from a currency exchange in Brussels before you go. Advice and tips very welcome!


Taking money from an ATM will always be cheapest.

Feb 27, 2017 00:05

Taking one large sum will never be more expensive than several smaller ones and getting pounds from a currency exchange will always be the most expensive option.

Feb 27, 2017 08:39

Often I've found that I get a better exchange rate and less charges when I pay with my credit card rather than Bankcontact, but NOT at ATM's.
If you have a UK bank account then I have found the best solution is to transfer a chunk of Euros to the UK using Transferwise and spend directly from the UK account.

Feb 27, 2017 09:16

You can get a service that will convert cash for you from a uk to European bank account and back we used it from uk to here when moving a large amount after selling a house. If you have a uk bank account it maybe simpler to move a lump sum and use it over there where you're not then subjected to what ever the banks feel like charging you on the day which isn't predictable and certainly not always the best exchange rate

Feb 27, 2017 12:23

Take cash (in one withdrawal) from ATM's to use for buying small items. Try and use a credit card as opposed to a debit card, when paying with cards.

Avoid like the plague any bureau de change / currency exchange.

But that is a very general set of rules. It'll depend on the T&C's of your specific bank.

And as John_B notes above, the cheapest and best way is if you have an existing UK bank account, transfer money there in one transfer, and then use that UK account.

Feb 27, 2017 12:26
That's the kind of thing I mean but does require a bank account both sides

Feb 27, 2017 12:28

Take a look at Revolut and see if you can make any savings using that. I know you can save a lot on online purchases in a different currency (in terms of bank fees) but not sure if it applies to in person too

Feb 27, 2017 13:03

If you have a UK account, or a friend can help, transfer Euro to the UK account in pounds via transferwise. That is by far and away the cheapest way to get pounds.

Do NOT use your bank to transfer directly, you WILL get ripped off on charges and/or exchange rate.

Otherwise it's take out some cash via the cash point and use your visa card where you can.

Feb 27, 2017 14:29

It depends on your bank but if you're transferring out of Euro's to USD or CAD, then using someone like transferwise may be appropriate, however for a Euro to sterling transfer, you can send the money via a regular bank transfer and the costs will only be a cent or two in the exchange rate. To make it a valid SEPA payment, it has to leave your account as EURO's, and the transfer instruction has to include a valid BIC and IBAN number.

I regularly transfer Euro's (from BNP Paribas in Brussels) to sterling (HSBC in London) and the costs are very low, incredibly they are actually lower than transferring between my Euro and sterling accounts in the same bank in the UK, where I get a worse spread on the exchange rate, and a higher fixed charge per transaction.

Feb 27, 2017 16:45

Just take the money from ATMs, it will be the cheapest and by far the easiest. If you don't have UK residency you will have zero chance of opening an account anyway.

Feb 27, 2017 23:25