British Bank Notes
©Christopher Bill

Money in Scotland 

The pound Stirling (£), commonly abbreviated to GBP, is the official currency used in Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. One pound is written as £1 and is divided into 100 pence (p). On this page you can find useful information about money in Scotland, how it works and how you can spend it.

Coins and Banknotes

There are a variety of coins and banknotes in circulation across the UK.  

  • Coins available are 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2 
  • Banknotes most frequently come in denominations of £5, £10, £20, £50.  
  • £1 and £100 banknotes exist; however, these are rarely used and may not be accepted by all retailers.  

Any ‘Pound Sterling’ notes can be used in Scotland; however, you may notice that Scottish banknotes look different from those in the rest of the UK. This is because some banks in Scotland have permission to print their own notes. These banknotes are legal currency and can be used across the whole of the UK, not just in Scotland.  

It’s also important to note that coins and banknotes have been updated in recent years, and some old designs are now out of circulation. It is important to bear this in mind if you are planning on bringing any money from a previous visit to the UK, as it may no longer be accepted.  

Withdrawing Cash 

Banks will typically offer the best exchange rate, however cash can also be easily withdrawn from any of the many ATMs or cashpoints dotted around the city. These can usually be found outside supermarkets or bank buildings. Please note that while most ATMs will be free to use, some will charge a small fee to withdraw money.  

Credit Cards and Debit Cards 

Credit Cards and Debit Cards are used widely in Edinburgh and across Scotland with Visa and Mastercard being the most commonly accepted. American Express can be used but may not be accepted by all retailers, so bringing an alternative card is encouraged.  

Contactless payment either by card or phone is also very common in Edinburgh and has a limit of £100.  

Note: Those travelling to parts of Scotland outside of Edinburgh are encouraged to carry some cash on them, as some more rural businesses may not support card payments.  


Tipping in Scotland is seen as a kind gesture, rather than an obligation. It is often used as a form of rewarding particularly good service, and is more customary in the hospitality industry, such as in restaurants, hotels and taxis. If you do decide to leave your service person a tip, 10-15% of your final bill is most appropriate.