As opening a UK bank account may take several weeks, we recommend bringing sufficient funds to cover initial expenses for your first month in the UK.

St George's students outside the entrance

For safety reasons, it is not a good idea to bring large sums of cash. Here are some examples of ways to bring money to the UK.

Travellers’ Cheques

Travellers’ cheques are one of the safest ways to bring money with you, as they are replaced free of charge if they are lost or stolen. Remember to keep a record of the cheques’ serial numbers as you will need to provide this information if they need to be replaced. Travellers’ cheques must be converted into cash at a bank or exchange office to be used.

Credit Cards

Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted. Do inform your bank about your upcoming travel plans so that your card is not blocked when used abroad. It is also possible to draw cash advances from credit cards but this can attract a high level of interest. Check with your bank whether surcharges are applied for foreign currency transactions.

Cash dispensers (ATMs)

Using a debit card linked to your bank account at home can be one of the best ways to access money in the UK. The majority of banks charge fees for cash withdrawals made overseas.

Top Tips

Before leaving home, check with your bank:

  • how much currency you can carry
  • how much money can be transferred to your English bank account once opened
  • how long bank transfers will take and how much they will cost
  • whether your debit card can be used in the UK and Europe
  • what fees are charged for each withdrawal
  • your daily withdrawal limit
  • where your credit and debit card will be accepted
  • your 4 digit pin code (cards with a 5 digit pin code will not work at most ATMs)


Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2019 16:40