How much cash can I carry when travelling to the US?

  • I was wondering if someone knows the legal limit of cash money allowed per adult tourist when entering the US, especially from the UK.

    The reason is that I would like to get the best conversion rate and buy some dollars (selling my GBP) at the UK cambios/exchange offices so that my bank fees and other charges can be avoided. Therefore, taking the legal limit of cash will help me to make the most out from the currency conversion mishapps.

    Any idea on those numbers?

    Why not get a new current account that has a debit card with low exchange charges? They rate will be better than taking cash.

  • user11911

    user11911 Correct answer

    7 years ago

    When you are departing from the UK and travelling to a non-EU country, you have to declare if you have €10000 or equivalent at UK customs (around $13000). Then on entry to the USA you will have to declare if you are carrying $10000 or more. Also make sure you have some documentation on you to show the 'source of your funds', bank statement, receipts etc...

    I can confirm that Thomas Exchange is currently offering 1.6605 and the company is certainly not 'dodgy', they have been in business for over 30 years. There are no fees or commission on top and their rates are always better than the Post Office, M&S and all banks as they are a currency specialist.

    If you use your Natwest card abroad they charge around a 2% withdrawal fee plus a 2.75% exchange rate conversion fee, so the rate may seem ok but when you get your statement you will see the additional fees.

    Another option may be to transfer the US Dollars to your US Dollar account instead of carrying so much cash (again Thomas Exchange will offer better rates than your bank).

    I think I will do that. But do they ask for my bank statements? Surely, if I show that my tickets and hotels are paid for and I am carrying about $600 cash, isn't that enough?

    Metro Bank have a 0% withdrawal fee for taking out money abroad. When I went traveling around South America for a year I opened an account purely for this reason, as there was no way I could take a years worth of funds in cash, and it saved me a small fortune.

    From the 18th March the Metro Bank will charge fees if you use your card outside Europe.

    So will you only be carrying $600? If so there is nothing to worry about :)

    If you're only talking about $600 in total, just use your credit/debit card. Sure, you'll have to pay fees but it's not going to come to any significant amount and it will give you the peace of mind of not carrying around relatively large amounts of cash.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM