If you're planning a trip to the United Kingdom, or want to buy something from a U.K. company or website, you need to know how much the British pound is worth in dollars. To calculate this value, you use an exchange rate between the two currencies. Keep in mind that this rate changes all the time, so you won't know exactly how many dollars one pound is worth until you exchange currency or make a purchase.
Types of Exchange Rates
Currency exchange rates are not all the same. For example, rates on financial information websites or in newspapers are typically the rates that banks use when they exchange currencies. These rates are not the same as the ones you get from individual banks as a consumer. For example, at the date of publication, the New York Times rate gives you $1.54 for every £1; the Bank of America rate would give you $1.62.
Make the Exchange Calculation
To make a single pound to dollar currency conversion calculation, multiply one pound by the exchange rate. For example, if your exchange rate from pounds to dollars was 1.555, multiply 1 x 1.555. Based on this rate, one pound is worth $1.55. On the same principle, £100 is worth $155. If you ever want to work out how many pounds you get for dollars, divide the number of dollars by the exchange rate. For example, with this rate, $1 is worth 64 pence (there are 100 pence or "p" in a pound).
Use an Online Calculator
Use online exchange calculators on financial information and institution websites to work out how many dollars are in a pound if you don't want to make your own calculation. For example, the Bloomberg Business site, Yahoo Finance and Travelex websites all have automatic calculators.