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Money, Banking and Budgeting
Multi-currency debit cards (pay as you go): If you are travelling abroad your parents can top up your account online. In the case if you lose it, you can call up the supplier and they can cancel it. You can get one in the USA, you can obtain one at the airport when you arrive to the UK or SSE can take you to Travelex office, when you arrive to London).
Note: Plan your money and budget ahead (many students face a problem of overspending in the first weeks). We would recommend you to open a checking account with the U.S Bank at least 3 weeks before departure.
How to get cash abroad?
We would not recommend you to use your U.S. Card. Withdrawals with your ATM card will provide you with high exchange rate, then U.S. Cash or checks. Please, note many banks in the UK charge 3% foreign transaction fee on debit/credit purchases.
We would recommend you to use Western Union if your parents want to send you cash from the U.S. You can receive money in any currency. In many occasions the exchange rate for U.S. Dollars may be very favorable.
International Tourist Exchange Rate : www.xe.com
Other ways to send money:
Send Money by PayPal: www.paypal.com
Pay by Apple Pay: https://www.apple.com/uk/apple-pay/
Pay by Samsung Galaxy S6: www.samsung.com
Pay by Vodafone Bank Card Wallet: www.vodafone.co.uk
Please, notify your bank that you will be using you card abroad. In the case you do not do that, they may consider your transaction abroad a fraud and will cancel you payments and block the card.
Buy some pounds in cash (approximately £50) before your travel, so you will have some cash in hand in the case of any accidents.
Students are required to bring with them both an ATM and credit cards (they may be needed in the case of emergency).