Because of the Covid pandemic , travel has been massively reduced and so has the need for foreign cash.
However – when travel gets going again – if you are travelling to the UK you might want to bring some Sterling cash with you.
Don’t assume that somewhere offering “commission-free” currency will give you the best deal.
Exchange rates will change every day – (See the Latest Exchange Rates here).
We carried out a quick comparison of some currency exchange companies in Ireland to find out the Best Place to Buy Sterling cash in Ireland.
Tip: If you are looking for information about sending money to a bank account in the UK – you should read our article on the Best Way To Transfer Money to the UK From Ireland
Buying Sterling Cash Online in Ireland :
We checked how much it would cost in Euros to buy £700 GBP Sterling cash. We compared the figures from the currency companies websites on the same day in February 2022. All the exchange companies we used in the comparison said they do not charge commission.
- At CurrencyExchange.ie they were quoting a price of €860 for £700 Sterling. Customers can reserve currency online for collection and pay for it when they pick it up. But- CurrencyExchange.ie only have 2 pick up locations in central Dublin, they do not deliver.
- At the No1 Currency Website it would cost you €862 for £700 GBP. You can order the Sterling online and have the convenience of getting the cash delivered to your door for free. The delivery is by An Post registered post and is fully insured. (Orders under €750 cost €9.95 for delivery) . They deal in several currencies – and you can check current exchange rates on the No1 Currency Website
- Bank of Ireland quoted €864 for £700 plus a fee of €6.35 – so that would be a total of €870.35
If you are thinking of buying a car or other large value purchases in the UK – you should not be planning on paying in cash. Using Currency Fair is a good way to transfer money small to medium amounts to the UK . See below for their current rates.
See information on the Best Way to Pay for a Used car in Northern Ireland .
Alternatives to Cash When Spending in the UK
Paying by card is an option to consider when paying in Sterling when you are in the UK or doing online shopping. The main Irish bank cards will charge a fee – but most of the cards listed below have no fees.
Wise has been operating for over 9 years and is authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority under the Electronic Money Regulations. Their “borderless account” comes with a debit card and a smartphone app . You can add and convert money, get instant notifications, and freeze or unfreeze your card anytime. It gives you a UK bank account number – so you can receive bank transfers in Sterling.. There are conversion fees but the exchange rates they use are better than Visa or Mastercard.
ATM cash withdrawals are free for the first £200 a month . More about WISE
Another option if you are regularly purchasing from the UK or other non-euro countries is the N26 Bank Account. This is an “online-only” bank account based in Germany with a European banking licence.
They already have several thousand Irish customers.
The N26 account comes with a Mastercard Debit Card , which has no fees when making purchases in non-Euro currencies. The exchange rate will be the same as any other Mastercard). See other banks fees here.
Revolut is a digital payment provider (not a bank) that has a fee-free debit card for spending in foreign currencies. It also allows you to have a UK Sterling account and a Euro account. Revolut is also available in Ireland. See a Comparison of Revolut and N26 here
When outside the Eurozone, if you still need to use cash, there is also the option of using an ATM abroad to withdraw Sterling etc. But this will usually involve fees – see more here for details of ATM Charges Abroad.
See our page on some Money saving Tips when Visiting London