Increasingly, if you’re staying somewhere abroad it’s very easy to pay for things. You can often just use your credit or debit card or even, in some instances, your smartphone. What could be simpler? That said, there are occasions when it’s useful to have some cash on hand – for instance, for buying small items, for tipping and, of course, for emergencies – and, should you be coming to London from overseas (even if you’re travelling from within Europe), that means at some point you’re going to have to change some of your money into the local currency – pounds sterling.
But, if you’ve been in a rush before you left home and caught your flight to the UK capital (and who isn’t? Especially if they’re travelling for business), you may not have had the chance to convert currency before you actually arrived at your destination. Which means you’ll have to locate somewhere for this near where you end up staying. Don’t fret, though; being the global city it is, there are many options in London. For example, if you’ve chosen to stay at a centrally located boutique hotel London, there are some very easy-to-reach currency exchange specialists…
Thomas Exchange Global (Oxford Circus branch)
(5 Market Place W1W 8AE; 3.8 miles from The Montcalm Brewery London City)
Claiming to offer much better rates than high-street banks, the exchange rates here are very competitive. Plus, they offer a prepaid currency card, for which you’re not charged should you load it up initially with an amount in excess of £500 – the card’s apparently accepted in more than 200 countries worldwide and 32 million different locations (yes, really). And if you want currency converted from such a prepaid card into Euros or the US dollar, they should be able to do it for you immediately.
International Currency Exchange (ICE)
(339 Oxford Street W1C 2JB; 3.3 miles from The Montcalm Brewery London City)
Handily open seven days a week 10.30am-6pm (closed 1-2pm for lunch), this branch of this internationally reputed currency exchange specialists offers services ranging from commission-free foreign currency/ travel money to transferring money abroad and from dealing with travellers cheques to dealing with foreign credit cards.
Moneycorp (House of Fraser branch)
(318 Oxford Street W1C 1HF; 4.1 miles from The Montcalm Brewery London City)
Located on the second floor of the West End’s flagship House of Fraser department store, this outlet’s set in salubrious surroundings, all right, and very useful should you be doing a spot of shopping and realise you need to change currency into hard cash double-quick (especially if you’re staying a little distance away at accommodation like The Montcalm London City The Brewery hotel). Open 9.30am-9pm Monday-Saturday and 12.30pm-6.30pm Sunday.
(13-14 Hanover Street W1S 1YH; 3.4 miles from The Montcalm Brewery London City)
This outlet’s sited on the ground floor of fashion store House of Hanover and, run by the man who’s actually credited with introducing commission-free foreign money exchange to London in the early 1990s, its company has several branches throughout the capital. According to its customer reviews, previous users recommend not just the quality service in its branches – including this very one – but also on its website. Surely you can’t say fairer than that?
Foreign Payments Ltd.
(34 South Molton Street W1K 5RG; 3 miles from The Montcalm Brewery London City)
A full-range service provider (competitive exchange rates; commission-free currency and travellers cheques; commission-free buy-back of currency and travellers cheques and free delivery in the West End and the City of London), this bureau de change particularly prides itself on stocking obscure currencies that can prove difficult to procure from other high-street suppliers.