Best GBP exchange rate
Compare today's best rate for US Dollar to Pound Sterling
What is the best GBP exchange rate?
Confused about how to find the best USD/GBP rate? When you start to look for a good place to exchange your US Dollar for Pound Sterling it can feel like there are as many different rates out there as there are currency exchange services. So which is the best to pick?
To find the best GBP rate it helps to understand a bit about the mid-market exchange rate. That’s the one you’ll find with a currency converter tool, or a Google search.
The mid-market rate is a good benchmark because it’s the exchange rate that banks and currency exchange services get when they buy and sell currencies themselves. However, it’s not usually the rate that they pass on to regular customers converting USD to GBP for a trip abroad, to pay an overseas bill, or to remit funds to a loved one.
Instead, to calculate the exchange rate offered to customers, providers usually take the mid-market exchange rate and add on a percentage fee, known as a markup or margin. This means you’re paying more than you may realise when you convert currencies.
The key to getting the best GBP rate is to find a provider which uses the mid-market exchange rate – or as close as possible to it – with clear and transparent fees for whichever service you’re looking to use.
What is the best place to exchange USD/GBP?
Where you find the best exchange rate will depend on the service you need.
If you’re sending a payment overseas, for example, you can find some providers online which will use the mid-market exchange rate to convert to the currency you need, with no markup added. This can mean you pay less overall compared to using a service which adds an extra fee to the exchange rates available for customers. Online international money transfer services are also usually fairly easy to use, and can often provide faster transfers compared to a regular bank.
How to get the best US Dollar to Pound Sterling rate
The key to finding the best USD/GBP rate is to do some research. The right provider for you will depend on a number of factors, including the specific service you need, the amount of money you want to exchange, and your own personal preferences.
The good news is that there are lots of different services out there, depending on exactly what you need. Online international money transfer services, for example, can offer fast and convenient overseas payments, while digital multi-currency accounts offer easy ways to hold and exchange between different currencies conveniently and – often – with good exchange rates on offer.
Which providers offer the best GBP rate?
If you need to convert your US Dollar for a trip or to make an international payment, Wise offers a rate of 0.803729 for exchanging USD to GBP.You should always look for the best possible exchange rate, regardless of the conversion method you’re using. Right now, the mid-market exchange rate for exchanging USD to GBP is 0.805. For example, if you want to send 1000 USD to GBP, the rate offered by Wise is 0.803729 and its fee is 10.88.
From our table, the second best rate is offered by MoneyGram. The rate MoneyGram has for sending USD to GBP is 0.796258.
- Wise USD / GBP exchange rate = 0.803729
- MoneyGram USD / GBP exchange rate = 0.796258
- OFX USD / GBP exchange rate = 0.7945
When is the best time to exchange USD/GBP?
Exchange rates move around all the time, based on changes in global markets. That means there’s no best time to exchange USD, as the rate you get will depend on what’s going on in wholesale currency markets around the world.
It can be helpful to track how the USD / GBP exchange rate is looking before you need to exchange your money, so you’re aware of how the rates are trending. You can do this fairly easily using a currency converter tool, or simply by looking for exchange rate data on Google.
If getting a specific rate is important to you, some providers also let you set up target rate alerts which can be handy. You’ll be able to make a note of the rate you’re hoping to achieve, and the provider will then notify you if and when their rate hits this level, so you can convert your funds, or make your payment.
How to compare exchange rates?
Comparing exchange rates is not as time consuming or difficult as it might sound at first. You’ll be able to check out the table above, or use a tool like our comparison calculator. This compares the rates and fees for a number of leading providers and services, to help you find the best rate for your specific needs.
Check out a few different services to find the best rates out there, so you’ll know you’re getting a good deal on your currency exchange.
How can you avoid overpaying for GBP currency exchange?
There are a few things you can do to avoid overpaying for USD currency exchange:
Look at both the fees and the rates for any service you may use – some providers claim to charge no fees, but simply hide their charges in the exchange rates available
Use an online currency exchange calculator – or just a Google search – to keep an eye on rates and see how they’re trending before you exchange
Compare some different providers using a comparison calculator which can give you insights into both the rates and fees on offer for your needs
Avoid exchange services which have a captive market – such as exchange kiosks in airports or hotels, as these tend to have higher overall fees and worse exchange rates compared to alternatives
Why does the exchange rate matter?
The exchange rate is used to calculate how much you’ll get when you convert one currency to another. So, if you’re sending 1,000 USD to someone and need it to be deposited into a bank account in GBP, the exchange rate dictates how much your recipient will get in GBP in the end.
When a bank or currency exchange service buys and sells currency, they’ll usually do so at what’s known as the mid-market exchange rate. That’s the rate you’ll find whenever you use a currency converter tool or a Google search. However, this isn’t usually the rate that you get when you’re sending a personal payment overseas, or when you’re converting currency for a trip abroad for example.
Instead, the rate you get when you convert currency as an individual will normally include a markup. That’s an extra fee that’s bundled up in the exchange rate used to convert your USD to GBP. This exchange rate markup pushes up prices – even if it’s hard to see. And because it’s usually a percentage fee, the amount you pay can rise steeply if you’re sending or converting a higher value of payment, until the markup is the largest transaction cost you’ll pay by far.
Why does the exchange rate always change?
Exchange rates change all the time, based on changes in global markets. This is largely down to supply and demand at a wholesale level. When more governments, banks and large organisations want a particular currency it pushes up demand, which may mean the exchange rate goes up as that currency becomes more expensive to buy. On the other hand, if the demand for a particular currency falls, the balance may tip the other way, which means the exchange rate may fall as it becomes easier and cheaper to buy that particular currency.
Global currency markets are influenced by a huge number of political, economic and environmental factors, which makes them notoriously difficult to predict. For normal customers, the best thing you can do to get a good deal on your currency exchange is to shop around with a tool like our comparison calculator, and make sure you find the most competitive rate out there at the point you’re transacting.
FAQ – Best GBP rate
The best GBP rate will depend on exactly what service you need. Exchange rates vary based on the provider you pick, the amount of currency you want to exchange, and whether you’re making an overseas payment, spending with a card internationally, or exchanging travel money for example. To get a headstart on finding the best rate out there, check out our comparison calculator which looks at the rates and fees available from some leading providers.
If you’re sending a payment overseas you’ll want to find a provider which offers the mid-market exchange rate, or as close as possible to it. The mid-market rate is the one you’ll find on Google. While lots of providers add a markup – an extra fee – to the exchange rate they use to convert customers’ money, some pass on the Google rate, which can keep costs down. Use a comparison calculator to find the best provider for your specific payment.
The exchange rate is the calculation used to convert your home currency to the currency you need for your travel or international payment, for example. It’s the amount of USD it’ll cost you to buy GBP – or whichever other currency you need. When you’re converting from one currency to another you need to check the exchange rate being used, as well as any other fees you’ll pay, to figure out the overall cost of your transaction.