We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Currency denominations to use in London

Glen Burnie, MD
Level Contributor
146 posts
24 reviews
Currency denominations to use in London

My wife and I will be in London for 5 nights. We'll be using credit cards, but will also take some cash. What are the common denominations used? Is it hard to break larger bills?

Also, we have Visa chip credit cards, but no PIN #'s. Will that be an issue?

Thanks!

Edited: 8:22 pm, August 24, 2016
Best Seller
Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, and Bath...
5,733 Reviews
from $121.80*
Best Seller
Stonehenge, Windsor and Bath with Pub...
2,272 Reviews
from $124.50*
Best Seller
Harry Potter Tour of Warner Bros...
771 Reviews
from $102.00*
Melbourne
Level Contributor
10,686 posts
147 reviews
1. Re: Currency denominations to use in London

Fives tens twenties and maybe 50s

Breaking bills will vary, just as it does where you live

Melbourne
Level Contributor
10,686 posts
147 reviews
2. Re: Currency denominations to use in London

Endless discussion here about Visa chip issues

http://tinyurl.com/hl2gjq6

Melbourne
Level Contributor
10,686 posts
147 reviews
3. Re: Currency denominations to use in London

This is what the notes look like

https:/…england-pound-sterling.jpg

Edited: 8:28 pm, August 24, 2016
County Dublin...
Level Contributor
31,971 posts
4. Re: Currency denominations to use in London

No big notes.

New Mexico
Level Contributor
14,061 posts
110 reviews
5. Re: Currency denominations to use in London

You will be fine with your Visa chip card. It will act as a chip and signature card at attended machines (restaurants, grocery store, shops, manned ticket windows at train stations). It will be helpful if you have a pen to sign with as staff won't always have one handy.

At unattended check outs in grocery stores and at tube station machines our chip card worked just fine, no need for a pin or signature.

We used Apple Pay for over half our transactions (set up with a chip card) and that was very convenient, no need to sign.

I suggest you don't get any £50 notes here in the US as there have been reports that US banks will sometimes still hand out older obsolete bills. You will get a better rate of exchange at the ATMs in London than you will here in the US anyway.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
59,157 posts
12 reviews
6. Re: Currency denominations to use in London

'Is it hard to break larger bills?' Yes. I quite agree with lordk, taking £50 notes isn't worth the potential aggro.

Some merchants or vendors may ask that you place your card into the chip and PIN reader to indicate that the functionality is not in place and that a chit will need to be created, but with that your card(s) should be accepted.

Glen Burnie, MD
Level Contributor
146 posts
24 reviews
7. Re: Currency denominations to use in London

Thank you, everyone!

London, United...
Level Contributor
428 posts
7 reviews
8. Re: Currency denominations to use in London

Definitely avoid £50 notes; I have never used one and in my various retail/hospitality jobs have probably only come across a few in 14 years.

Melbourne Australia
Level Contributor
1,196 posts
44 reviews
9. Re: Currency denominations to use in London

What a bugger. I ordered some English pounds here off my bank and they supplied me with 40 50 pound notes! What to do now?

London
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
23,950 posts
77 reviews
10. Re: Currency denominations to use in London

Are you seriously considering carrying £2000 in cash? That's a terrible idea whatever the denomination.

Edited: 1:15 am, August 25, 2016