London Adventures in Foreign Exchange

Last week, I spent too much time rambling around London trying to find good deals to change my Hong Kong and Canadian dollars.

For everyone’s information, I discovered the following:

  • HSBC would not change your money unless you have an account with them.
  • A different branch of HSBC tells me that you can.
  • The Post Office advertises in big banners that they have 0% commission. In return, they just give you shit rates.
  • Travelex gives you amazingly good rates, according to their website.
  • But once you’re standing in front of a Travelex, the rates are mysteriously shittier and you discover that they charge commission.

Misled by their website, I headed down to the nearest Travelex, which is at the Tower of London. Upon realizing that I was duped, I told them to piss off and decided to play tourist for a bit.

Tower of London-1

Tower of London as seen from the Tower Hill tube station. I thought it was a tower (duh), but apparently it’s a castle-cum-infamous-torture-chambers-cum-apparently-haunted-house.

Pretty impressive, considering it’s in the middle of the city.

Tower of London-2

Entrance to the Tower. I didn’t go in. My mission that day was to get my money exchanged before everything flippin’ closes.

Tower of London-3

Here I’m standing just outside the Travelex. That’s the Tower Bridge.

Tower Bridge

A better look at the Tower Bridge.




And that’s about as touristy as I got that day.




I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought of it before, but I then called Sarah in Canterbury and asked her if she knew where good exchange rates could be found.




And people, it’s MARKS & SPENCER.




It’s true, I went there and got the best rates I’ve come across here. Who would’ve thought to go to M&S for foreign exhange?!!

But what the heck, as long as they give me more for my money and, like Nasty says, as long as they don’t give me a GBP70 note!








Note to people as clueless as me: the GBP70 note doesn’t exist. D’oh!

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8 thoughts on “London Adventures in Foreign Exchange

  1. I hate exchange rates!! I went almost 2 months still having to use my American bankcard because Lloyds TSB was so freaking slow at giving me an account here. I’m jealous you got to go by the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. I STILL haven’t been by there yet!

  2. Yeah?! I went to HSBC yesterday and they opened an account for me right away! (That is, of course, when I finally have a proof of address.)

    Yeah, it was pretty cool to see both of them, eventhough I didn’t go in. I’m still trying to see just the free sites first until I come up with some sort of income. :D

  3. Pingback: Where HP Sauce comes from « Carebear in Crazyland!

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