Money Matters

So you’re going to Jamboree and you are now thinking about the money you need to take. From how much to take, to how to take it. This page covers some tips and suggestions for you to think about, but please remember they are just that, and you should make your own decisions for what is best for you.

How Much?

How much should you take? Well, this can be a bit of a loaded question with answers ranging to how long is a piece of string. Most of the basics you need for Jamboree is included in the fee, so the money you bring is mainly for buying extras, from ice creams, extra food at food houses, snacks from the onsite supermarkets, or souvenirs from the onsite shops on the Jamboree or in Seoul.

If you are IST you will also likely need more money than say a participant, who will have unit funds. IST on the pre-event should remember that food money was refunded, so you will need money for food in Seoul.

So, how much spending money should you take? You want at least a little bit, if just for emergencies, and having some for some luxuries and the odd souvenir of your time is a good idea. In a bit we will discuss cash and cards, so if you take too little, then you hopefully still have the opportunity to get more. Some people recommend in the range of £10 a day, with a lump sum for gifts/souvenirs. Souveneers at Jamboree can cost as little as a few £ for a badge, to items over £100 for branded backpacks, with a plethora of items in between. Think about what you would budget for spending should you go out on a day trip to London or the seaside. If you get a travel card / bank account as mentioned below, then in the worst case a young person can contact their parent and ask for a top-up.

How to take it?

It is a good idea to use a mixture of Cash and Cards when traveling for the world scout jamboree. A small amount of cash can help for emergencies and for places that only accept cash. With the remainder of your cash on a card, you can then pay via card or withdraw more cash at an ATM.


When getting your cash, check out a comparison site. Different exchanges will offer you slightly different rates, and you can usually find much better rates online than in person at say a post office. Meaning you can get more Korean won for your money. Just make sure you are confident the site you buy from is real/trusted.

Check out or try FairFX that I have used before which generally has great rates. The Mastercard base conversion rate that the cards I mention below use is generally better than most cash exchanges, but it is best to have some starting cash, and remember depending on what card you get that there are cash withdrawal limits. (Use online cash exchanges at your own risk, most comparison sites are fine, but check them out)


I have mostly used cards since the American World Scout Jamboree. There are many cards out there now that give you zero-fee money transfers, where your money is transferred from GBP to KRW at the MasterCard base rate. You may already have a bank card that has good rates/or no fees, or you may want to look into some.

What you get will slightly depend on your age. Some cards are essentially pre-paid credit cards, and others are basically bank accounts with no foreign conversion fees. And if you are under 16, then the latter you cannot get without some extra help.

Pre-Paid Cards

Pre-paid cards are usually topped up before you head out to the Jamboree, and they convert British money into Korean won at the point you add credit to the card ready for use abroad. If this card is got by a parent, then they can usually check the balance remotely and top it up if needed. I have never personally used this method, as I use the next method I will explain, but it has been used by many participants before.

Hyper Jar Kids Card or A FairFX-linked card seem the best options for youth. With mostly free fees except for a ATM fee on the FairFX card. Both need to be pre-topped up.

Bank Accounts with Zero Foreign Fee Cards

This is generally my preferred method and what I do when I got to jamboree. As these are bank accounts you can easily transfer money in and out via bank transfer, and if you are a participant then you can usually log your parent in too to see your account if needed before you leave home, or just have money transferred to you if you need a top-up in GBP.

Unlike pre-paid cards, these cards carry the currency in GBP as your normal bank account would. When you make a purchase of ATM withdrawal on the card, the exchange rate is checked at the time of transaction and converted at the MasterCard base rate. Now some banks charge % fees for this, but the ones I will list below shouldn’t.

Earlier I mentioned age. Now this is because many different cards have a minimum age limit. Monzo is 16+ and so is Starling which I will mention below. However, Starling does do a kite card for under 16’s where a parent signs up and adds credit for the young person. The young person can sign in, and so can the parent. The parent can also control spending with this card to some extent and view all transactions.

The two cards I have, and I would recommend you look at, are Monzo and Sterling. They are pretty much the same in terms of fees except in a few small differences. Starling in my opinion has a slightly better edge as while it has the same daily ATM limit as Monzo should you need cash, it doesn’t have a monthly limit. Mozo however has a daily limit and a monthly limit, after which it charges an extra fee for withdrawals. Both however will be suitable for normal contactless/chip and pin transactions without any fees and without any limits you are likely to reach on jamboree.

Card Payments AbroadNo FeeNo Fee
Cash WithdrawalsNo Charge(In a month)
Up to £200 – Free
Over £200 – 3%
Cash Withdrawal limitsup to 6 withdrawals per day (Max £300 total)£200 per month fee-free, charged beyond that. Daily limit £200.
Exchange RateMastercardMastercard

If you are taking some money in cash, and don’t think you will spend that much extra, then either card will suit most people.

Starling – Found Here

Starling Kite (<16) – Found Here

Starling Teen (17yrs/18yrs) – Found Here

Monzo – Found Here (This link contains a £5 referral code. You get £5 free if you sign up and use the card within 30 days of signup)

The advantage of a card over too much cash is you can cancel/freeze the card if lost. The Jamboree site will have a bank in operation to do currency exchanges, and ATMs to withdraw money. We still don’t fully know the onsite situation on whether places will be cash only, card only, or both, and there has been “Jam Money” mentioned that may be a top-up system on ID cards. In America, we could use cards in most onsite shops, and food houses depending on the contingents.

Cash Withdrawals

So you’ve got yourself a card that uses the MasterCard base rate with no extra fees, great! But you’ve run out of that starter cash you bought with you, and the place your shopping takes cash only and you need to visit an ATM. Make sure you pay absolute attention to the ATM that you are using for the following things.

  • ATM Fees: Some ATMs will charge for providing the service of withdrawing money. Check several ATMs before using them to see if you can find one with no fee.
  • ATM Foreign Conversion Fee: Some ATMs will ask if you want them to convert the money you are withdrawing into the currency of your card and charge you in GBP. Unless you’ve found a very honest machine, the answer to this should almost always be NO. You want your card to do the conversion at the MasterCard rate, not the poor rate the ATM owner will give you.
  • Pay attention to how much you are withdrawing. Usually, you have to select an amount in the foreign currency that you want (KRW), not the GBP amount you want to exchange. Make sure what you take out will convert to the GBP limit you have for withdrawals on your card.
  • Pay attention to card skimmers just like you would in the UK.

What about JAM Money?

You may have heard or seen posts about JAM Money on Facebook or elsewhere. The Koreans currently have a placeholder for more information to come soon on this. It is expected that it may be another form of payment at the jamboree, where you can top up something like your ID card with credit to use at onsite shops. We do not know how this would be topped up or anything else at this moment. But when information comes out I will update this post.