UK currency: Pound sterling (£)
Irish currency: Euro (€)
- You won't be able to use British pounds in Ireland or euros in the UK, except in some hotels and tourist shops.
- Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own pound sterling bank notes. These are worth the same as notes printed in the rest of Britain, but some shopkeepers in England and Wales may refuse to accept them.
Tell your bank about your travel plans two weeks before you leave. Card activity in a foreign country could be mistaken for fraud and you could find your
Credit cards and ATMs
- ATMs are very common across the UK and Ireland. If you use an Australian card, remember that you could be charged a foreign exchange fee and a withdrawal fee for every transaction.
- Credit cards are widely accepted, but again, you could be charged a conversion fee of 2-3% every time you make a purchase. Ask your bank about a traveller's card with no, or low, fees.
- Carry at least two cards and more than one currency (Australian dollars, pounds, euros). Split your money and cards between separate bags. That way if you lose one, you have a back-up.
Tip: Certain Australian banks have agreements with overseas counterparts to allow you to avoid ATM withdrawal fees. Check with your bank before you go.
You can buy euros and pounds from an Australian bank before you leave, or you can change Australian dollars at currency exchange outlets or at some UK or
- Avoid changing money at the airport – it's unlikely you'll get the best rate.
- Travellers' cheques aren't so common these days, but some UK banks and retailers will still cash them.
- If you're concerned about money security you could take a
pre-paid travel money card, which works in a similar way to travellers' cheques but can also be used like a debit or credit card (there will be fees, of course).
Travel money cards
Travel money cards work in a similar way to travellers' cheques, only they're more versatile and are used just like debit cards. They can be pre-loaded with foreign currency and cancelled if lost. If you're planning on doing a lot of shopping, they can work out cheaper than using your credit card.
Check our travel money card reviews to be sure you're getting the best one for you.
Carry at least two cards and more than one currency (Australian dollars, pounds, euros). Split your money and cards between separate bags. That way if you
lose one, you have a back-up.
For more advice, see our travel money guide.
VAT (Value Added Tax)
is applied to many goods and services in the UK and Ireland. Unlike in some other countries, this will almost always be included in the advertised price,
so you won't get any nasty surprises. You may be eligible for a VAT refund on some goods when you leave the UK or Ireland. (See below for more).