Pound to US dollar exchange rate

Find the best GBP/USD exchange rate for 18 May 2021.

Whether you’re transferring money to a loved one or conducting business in the US, make your money go further with a strong exchange from British pounds to US dollars.

Live Rate

= $ 1.4186

Refreshing in: 60s | Tue, May 18, 09:58PM GMT

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Historical Rate chart of GBP and USD

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Updated: 18 May 2021 21:58:43 UTC

Looking for the best exchange rate?

There are other factors to consider when sending an international money transfer in addition to the exchange rate, including the transfer fees, the payment method, the speed of delivery and the level of customer service. What’s best for you might not be best for someone else.

Today’s mid-market rate

The mid-market pound-to-dollar exchange rate is 1 GBP = 1.42 USD. (Rate accurate as of May 18, 2021.)

We’ve gathered today’s best rates to inform your foreign exchange decisions when sending money from the UK to the US.

Refreshing in: 60s | Tue, 18 May 09:58pm GMT
USD AUD CAD EUR CNY GBP INR MXN PHP
1 USD = 1.0000 1.2833 Inverse: 0.7793 1.2063 Inverse: 0.8290 0.8181 Inverse: 1.2223 6.4252 Inverse: 0.1556 0.7049 Inverse: 1.4186 73.1287 Inverse: 0.0137 19.8388 Inverse: 0.0504 47.7918 Inverse: 0.0209
1 AUD = 0.7793 Inverse: 1.2833 1.0000 0.9401 Inverse: 1.0638 0.6375 Inverse: 1.5686 5.0070 Inverse: 0.1997 0.5493 Inverse: 1.8204 56.9872 Inverse: 0.0175 15.4598 Inverse: 0.0647 37.2428 Inverse: 0.0269
1 EUR = 1.2223 Inverse: 0.8181 1.5686 Inverse: 0.6375 1.4746 Inverse: 0.6782 1.0000 7.8538 Inverse: 0.1273 0.8616 Inverse: 1.1606 89.3883 Inverse: 0.0112 24.2498 Inverse: 0.0412 58.4179 Inverse: 0.0171
1 GBP = 1.4186 Inverse: 0.7049 1.8204 Inverse: 0.5493 1.7113 Inverse: 0.5843 1.1606 Inverse: 0.8616 9.1149 Inverse: 0.1097 1.0000 103.7412 Inverse: 0.0096 28.1435 Inverse: 0.0355 67.7979 Inverse: 0.0148

Compare today’s rates from providers who can send GPB to USD

Table: sorted by promoted deals first
Our table below lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Choose if you want to send under or over £10,000, and you’ll be shown a list of services that can help you.
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
Wise (TransferWise) for large transfers
Within an hour
From £3.75

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
TorFX
24 hours
£0

View details
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Central FX
24 hours
£0

View details
CentralFX's dedicated team will guide you or your business from first call to final payment.
Currencies Direct
Within an hour
£0

View details
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
£0

View details
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
XE Money Transfers
24 hours
£2
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ £25 Amazon voucher when you refer a friend

View details
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within an hour
From £3.75

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Azimo
Within minutes
From £0.99
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ First two transfers free for new customers.

View details
Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.
CurrencyFair
24 hours
€3
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Zero fees on your first 10 transfers

View details
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Remitly
Within minutes
From £1.49
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates for new customers

View details
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
WorldRemit
Within an hour
From £1.99
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.

View details
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
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Best ways to send money to the USA

How does the British pound trade against the US dollar historically?

The British pound has a rich history and is the oldest actively traded currency on the foreign exchange (forex) market. The first exchange rate between the GBP and USD was published in The Times on August 10, 1866.

Since then, the GBP = USD currency pair has been affected by various factors. One of these factors is the interest rate between the UK’s Bank of England and the US’s Federal Reserve, which affects the value of currencies when compared to each other. For example, when the Fed intervenes on open market activities to strengthen the USD, the value of the GBP trade against the USD could decline.

From 2012 through 2016, the GBP has had an average worth of $1.35 to $1.75. There is some confusion to why the pound consistently trades stronger than the US dollar, taking into account the US’s more powerful economy over the UK. It turns out that the nominal value of a country’s currency and its economic strength have little to do with one another.

The effects of “Brexit” on currency exchange

After Brexit — or Britain’s proposed exit from the European Union — in June 2016, the GBP has plummeted against the USD, reaching extreme lows of 1.20 against the US dollar.

However, this low is nothing compared to the 1.05 record low in February 1985. The GBP is expected to remain volatile during this period of the UK’s exit from the EU.

In December 1957, the GBP reached its highest ever against the dollar at 2.86. Since then, the GBP has been in a decline and hasn’t hit more than 2.0 in the last decade.

GBP > USD exchange rate history

We’ve put together the annual average exchange rate for the British pound against the US dollar from 2007 to 2016.

2016201520142013201220112010200920082007
GBP = USD1.3556731.5285041.6477011.5647681.5848771.6041231.5458931.5653941.8554432.001560

Here’s the monthly average exchange rate for the British pound over the past 12 months.

MonthGBP = USD
Feb. 20171.243545
Jan. 20171.234480
Dec. 20161.247756
Nov. 20161.245045
Oct. 20161.235094
Sept. 20161.314193
Aug. 20161.308817
July 20161.314450
June 20161.418438
May 20161.451924
April 20161.430589
March 20161.426061

What affects GBP > USD exchange rates?

In general, five factors affect how the British pound trades against the US dollar.

Prices and inflation

These elements play an important role in the value of the British pound. Countries with high levels of inflation see higher currency depreciation when compared with other currencies.

Monetary policy

The Bank of England controls the supply of the British pound and promotes its stability. This means that whenever inflation is rising to a level that threatens stability of the British pound, the Bank of England will use its policy tools to control inflation.

Confidence and sentiment

Traders rely on public confidence about the economy. Whether the public is optimistic or pessimistic about the wealth and resources of the UK can be a key to detecting shifting trends in the economy.

Economic growth

The UK’s economic activity also affects currency value. The growth of the economy is measured by its gross domestic product (GDP). GDP reports include the preliminary GDP, the revised GDP and the final GDP — all estimating trends that will impact the economy.

Balance of payments

The balance of payments is like a country’s accounting record of interaction with the rest of the world. It’s made up of three accounts, but only the current account affects exchange rates. This account reveals how much a country is exporting and importing, as well as the flow of income and transfer payments.

How much is traded between these currencies?

The GBP > USD currency pair makes up 85% of all currency cross-rate trades. It is the third most commonly traded pair, taking a 14% share of all daily trading volume.

Did you know?

The GBP = USD currency pair is often referred to by forex traders as trading the “cable,” a reference to the cable across the Atlantic used to transmit exchange rates in the 1800s. In London markets, it’s called “Betty” — cockney rhyming slang that mutated “cable” to “Betty Grable.”

Bottom line

No matter your reason for transferring money abroad, you want to make an informed decision.

When choosing a money transfer service for currency exchange, it’s best to look for an exchange rate that’s closest to the mid-market rate and comparable to historically low exchange rates within the past year.

What is the mid-market rate?

The mid-market rate is what your money’s actually worth on the global market compared to another currency. It’s the midpoint between worldwide supply and demand for that currency — and the rate banks and transfer services use when they trade among themselves.

Use the mid-market rate as a baseline to compare against the rates provided by your bank or transfer service. With it, you’ll discover which companies offer the best rates.

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