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Where can I exchange foreign coins in the UK?

- Published on 22nd December 2023

foreign pile of coins

If you’re among the countless British holidaymakers who carry cash throughout your trip, only to return home with pockets full of unused foreign coins, then this blog is for you.

Let’s explore the best ways to exchange your coins back into pounds!

Should I exchange foreign currency back into pounds straight away?

First and foremost, there is no time limit on when you can change foreign currency back into pounds – however, most travellers find that if they don’t do it straight away, they forget. 

This has led to British holidaymakers storing billions of pounds worth of foreign currency. Many are unaware of how much money they have lying around.

We’re here to tell you that exchanging foreign currency back into pounds doesn’t have to be difficult, time-consuming, or expensive – it’s possible to exchange your currency in the comfort of your home.

But before we share the benefits of an efficient online exchange, it’s important to acknowledge the other options available.

Where to exchange foreign coins in the UK

It’s easy to believe the only way to convert foreign currency back into cash back is by visiting a Bureau de Exchange in person.

Sure, those exchange booths at the airports and high street are handy, but they’re not your only choice for converting currency.

mix of foreign coins

Can you exchange foreign currency at a UK bank?

This is an interesting question as it depends on the currency you have and wish to exchange. 

UK banks will exchange foreign banknotes, but they won’t accept or exchange any foreign coins. Foreign coins are more difficult to count and handle – offering very little return for the banks.

Notes and foreign cash can be exchanged at your bank, but it’s important to check the exchange rate first. 

Banks are not always likely to offer the best rates. You might even find that your bank only accepts specific currencies. So, double check before heading into town with all your foreign cash in tow. 

In short, a bank will not exchange foreign coins – however, some will offer a limited exchange service for cash notes.

Do post offices exchange foreign coins?

You may think that if you got your foreign currency from the local post office, it’s the best option to exchange your leftover travel money.

However,  many post offices only accept and convert notes and will not exchange any foreign coins.

Post offices only exchange a limited range of currencies. But with Leftover Currency, we accept niche and exotic currencies.

Which UK charities accept foreign coins?

If you’d like to donate your exchange value towards a UK charity, then the best way to do so is through a dedicated platform like Leftover Currency. 

We accept over 170 different currencies and have partnered with over 100 charities. We don’t just offer a charitable donation option – we encourage it, with an additional 5% added to every donation from us.

Where is the best place to exchange foreign currency?

We consider Leftover Currency the best place to exchange foreign currency for several reasons.

·        Supporting and converting over 170 different currencies, the breadth of our service is unrivalled. If we don’t currently advertise the currency that you have in your possession, then let us know. Our ongoing mission remains to build our repertoire and handle and exchange all currencies.

·        We provide an accessible service, inviting customers to calculate their own value and send it to us, or send us a bag of unsorted foreign coins and let us calculate it on their behalf.

·        Our charitable partnerships make it easy for customers to donate their unused coins and foreign currency, which are sent directly to the charity with an additional 5%.

·        Our service is fully online. So you can work out the value of your unused foreign currency and see it paid directly into your bank account within five working days.

·        We work to ensure we always offer the internet-leading exchange rate across all currencies, giving you the best bang for your buck every time.

·        We accept all foreign currency – be it coins or notes, old or withdrawn.

foreign coins and cash next to a calculator

Should I hold onto foreign currency for future travel?

While holding onto foreign currency can be a good idea for those with a widely used currency like euros. For many travellers, leftover currency from a previous trip is quickly forgotten – never to be used again. 

Similarly, if you have a foreign currency which is not as widely used, the risk of holding onto it is that you may find that you never need it. 

Our advice is always to exchange the currency you have back to pounds now – and buy new currency when you’re ready for your next trip.

What can I do with handfuls of different currencies?

Customers can use our website to input the exact amount that they are sending us in different currencies, or they can send us a bag of foreign coins with an exchange form and let us sort it for them.

We even accept coins which are no longer in circulation.

Leftover Currency combines ease and convenience with the highest possible exchange rate, always in your favour. 

For more information get in touch – and don’t forget to let us know if you come across a currency that we don’t list on our website! We’re always keen to expand our selection. 


Mario Van Poppel

Mario Van Poppel is the founder and director of Leftover Currency. What started as a hobby, collecting world banknotes, evolved into a fulltime job, running a successful online bureau de change. Mario is still a collector of pre-Euro banknotes and a member of the IBNS.