London money update!

by hedy on July 2, 2011

So, I went to London with my ING Orange card in hand (they let you update that you are going away online), and my Capital One card* (I called them to let them know I was going away).  I did find that I needed cash for tips, some tours, and items I purchased in some shops.  I got cash at atm’s twice:  I found that find a service-charge free atm was very easy (ING did charge me a fee, ironic as they are being eaten by Capital One).

Oyster CardOne large purchase we had to make via cash was a week-long Oyster card. Rick Steves’ London 2011 recommended it, and we were very happy with ours (how ingenious we muggles are),  However, the vending machines only took chip and pin cards, so we had to pay cash at a bodega. We had no further issues, other than each store needing to swipe my card for me-if that weirds you out you might need a chip and pin pre-paid card.

I found I was able to eat reasonably when I wanted to by going to a Marks and Spencer Simply Food or Co-operative.  Vegetarian items were common and labeled, so I ate well, locally and tastily when I wanted to do so.

*Incidentally, I have been nothing but happy with my Capital One card.

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