United Kingdom Money

Currency

UK currency is the pound sterling (£), divided into 100 pence (p). Coins come in denominations of 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2. Notes are in denominations of £5, £10, £20 and £50.

Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, shops and restaurants – MasterCard and Visa are almost universal . ATMs, which are often known in the UK as Cashpoints, cash machines or informally as 'holes in the wall', are very widely available and usually dispense £10, £20 and sometimes £5 notes. Traveller's cheques can be exchanged at most banks.

Tipping

A service charge (tip) of 12. 5% to 15% may be added to your bill, so check your bill carefully. If service isn't included, you can leave a tip of 12%-15%. People generally do not tip in pubs in London. Bartenders sometimes hand back change on a tipping tray, although it's still up to you to choose to leave a tip. Most hotel bills include a service charge, usually 10-12%. For room cleaning staff, you can leave an amount of your choosing on departure. It is customary to simply round up to the nearest pound.

Tax Refund

VAT (Value Added Tax - a mandatory tax on almost all goods and services in the UK) is 20%. After you purchase in any Tax-Free shop, you can claim the VAT back when you leave European Union (not just the UK). Minimum purchase amounts at a store before claiming back VAT would normally start at £30.