US Dollars

Offering a world of experiences American travel has always been popular with British tourists, from family fun in Florida to adults only entertainment in Las Vegas; golden beaches and Hollywood glamour in California to spectacular Colorado landscapes and the bright lights and shopping of New York.

Whatever your plans are for travelling to the States, you will be accommodated with a warm American welcome, hospitality to suit your budget, generous dishes and a world on a scale unseen throughout much of Europe, from shopping malls to scenery. It seems everything is bigger in America.

The US dollar exchange rate

A rocky exchange rate since the economic downturn in 2008 has meant that the US has become more expensive for UK travellers who have traditionally enjoyed good rates against the dollar, falling to a low of 1.4 dollars to the pound.

Although the rate of exchange has hovered around 1.5 dollars to the pound for much of the year, down from a pre-economic downturn rate of around 2 dollars to the pound, it is showing signs of recovery. With a rate of 1.6 more common as of autumn 2013, it means that shopping trips to the US are once again becoming better value. This rate may change so you should always check for the latest rate.

Tips for getting more dollars for your pound

  • If you are travelling to America, pre-order your dollars before you get to the airport to save money by getting a better dollar exchange rate with less commission
  • Dollar bills come in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100-dollar denominations. There is also a 2-dollar bill but it is fairly rare
  • You’ll usually only see 1, 5, 10 and 25-cent US coins, but there are also 50-cent and 1-dollar coins
  • When you order your currency ask for lower-denomination dollar bills that are more widely accepted in taxis and smaller shops.  $50 or $100 bills won’t always be accepted, so when you exchange pounds to US dollars ask for smaller bills, like $20s and $10s. Tipping is widespread, so make sure you take plenty of $1 bills for taxis, hotels and bars.

Dollars the basics

  • The official currency of the United States, US dollars are also used in other countries, like East Timor, Ecuador and El Salvador, and there are many other countries who accept the US Dollar even though it is not necessarily the legal currency – such as Zimbabwe, Iraq and Nigeria
  • Dollar bills come in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100-dollar denominations. There is also a 2-dollar bill but it is fairly rare
  • You’ll usually only see 1, 5, 10 and 25-cent US coins, but there are also 50-cent and 1-dollar coins
  • 1, 5, 10 and 25-cent US coins are referred to as pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, respectively
  • There are plenty of slang terms for US dollars, but the ones you’re most likely to hear are bucks, referring to dollars in general, and singles for $1 bills

Want to keep track of your spending?

For a 1.6 pound-to-US dollar exchange rate, the price in pounds is 60% of the US dollar price. So for a $30 souvenir, move the decimal point back a digit to calculate 10% ($3), and then multiply by 6 to get the rough price in pounds – approximately £18. Remember to allow for exchange rates changing over time.

We recommend that you check the exchange rate before and even during your holiday, to make sure that you are getting the best value for money.

US dollar facts

  • The official currency of the United States, US dollars are also used in other countries like East Timor, Ecuador and El Salvador, and there are many other countries that accept the US Dollar even though it is not necessarily the legal currency – such as Zimbabwe, Iraq and Nigeria
  • 1, 5, 10 and 25-cent US coins are referred to as pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, respectively
  • There are plenty of slang terms for US dollars, but the ones you’re most likely to hear are bucks, referring to dollars in general, and singles for $1 bills

Get your dollars from the Post Office®

We make it easy to sort your dollars before your trip:

  • Order dollars online up to 5 working days in advance – minimum order value of £400 applies online
  • Pick up your dollars at a Post Office branch or have them delivered to your home
  • Orders placed before 3pm, on a working day, can generally be delivered to your home the next working day. Where an order is placed on a Friday and delivery is required on a Saturday, there will be a charge of £1.50
  • Pick up your US Dollars 'on demand' at over 10,000 Post Office branches. Search for nearest branch here
  • Show your Post Office receipt and we’ll buy back any left-over dollar notes commission-free

Where next?

Get a great rate by ordering your US dollars from the Post Office®

  • Order dollars online
  • Or for more details on our foreign currency service or queries regarding your order, call 0345 8500 900, Monday to Saturday from 8:30am to 5:30pm.

Calls may be recorded, monitored and used for training and compliance purposes

Today's online rates

1 GBP = 1.1820 EUR
Rates displayed are for Online orders only, additional fees may apply. See Terms & Conditions for details.
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