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When you next travel in the United Kingdom, bear the following tips and tricks in mind in order to have the best time and not encounter any money problems:
- Keep some change on you whenever possible. You never know when you might need it. Even in big cities, you’ll find lots of places where cash is essential like on market stalls or when paying for parking.
- Cards are very widely accepted in the United Kingdom, but you still never know when you might go into a shop that doesn’t accept them. Even in the heart of London, there are some shops that seem like they should accept cards, but actually don’t. This is another good reason to have some cash on you at all times.
- When entering a shop, have a look near the cash register. Many shops that don’t accept cards or have special rules for cards will put a little sign there to indicate their policy. Some will simply say ‘Cash Only’, but others may let you use cards when spending a minimum amount like £5 or £10.
- Be careful about using your card too often. When paying for goods internationally, many banks will charge you a small fee for each transaction, and these little fees can quickly add up over time.
- Tipping isn’t really a big part of British culture, but you can still do it if you want to in pubs and restaurants.
- Remember that if you’re visiting Northern Ireland but decide to hop over the border into Ireland, you’ll need to use euros, rather than pounds.
- US visitors to the UK may encounter an issue when using their cards. The UK, like many other countries, uses the ‘chip and pin’ system for cards, in which the cardholder enters a pin code when making payments for security purposes. More and more American cards are being made with this technology, but some cards don’t have it. If you have one of these cards, you may have to sign a receipt when buying things or your card might be rejected.