Money in the UK

The British currency is Sterling () - pounds and pence or pennies, issued by the Bank of England.

Prices are written in the form 9.99 [nine pounds and ninety-nine pence] or 49p (0.49) [forty-nine pence], for example.

Notes in use are 50, 20, 10 and 5.
Coins in use are 2, 1, 50p, 20p, 10p, 5p, 2p, 1p
There are 100 pence (pennies) to the pound.
Traveller's cheques are not viable currency and must be exchanged for cash before use.
Some coin phones and automatic vending machines do not take the copper coins, 2p and 1p.

Look here for current exchange rates

Traveller's cheques may be exchanged at any bank or building society. You will need to bring your passport with you as proof of your identity and signature. If you wish to buy non-British foreign currency, many banks ask that you order in advance. A better solution is to visit a bureau de change, a travel agent such as Thomas Cook, or an American Express branch, at the airport or in a larger city.

Like many smaller towns, Henley is more restricted than London in its choice of cash facilities. Bear in mind that during busy periods (ie Henley Royal Regatta) cashpoints may run very quickly out of notes. The local supermarkets (Tesco and Waitrose) will give you cash back (ie a cash withdrawal) on your card when you use it to pay for food.

Opening hours vary between branches, with Monday to Friday 9:30-15:30 being the most common. Major branches often open slightly earlier and remain open later, however very few are open outside of normal business hours (9:00-17:30). It is advisable to undertake important transactions before 15:00 to be sure of prompt completion. Saturday opening is at the discretion of the branch and should not be relied upon.

Beware the Bank Holiday, also known as a public holiday in the UK. Cashpoint (ATMs) facilities remain open, but branches are closed and the cash machines can often run out.

An overwhelming majority of cashpoints support Amex, a href="" target="_top">Visa or MasterCard transactions. UK residents will know that whilst normally located at bank branches, cashpoints are regularly found in larger supermarkets, entertainment venues, university campuses and other large institutions. Services are usually available 24hrs. Some banks and some building societies will charge you a small fee to use their cash machines to get money out unless you are already a customer of theirs, which will appear later on your statement.

Although using your credit card to get cash attracts a commission charge for most accounts, it is usually no more than a bureau de change would take and your withdrawal will be converted at the exchange rate for that day.