Converting Older United States Dollar Bills

  • I received from my Dad 150 American Dollars about 12 years ago. I never have thought to change this money but a few days I tried change it in a currency exchange in Sydney and the guy didn't change it because the series are old.

    One Hundred Dollars - Series 1988 Fifty Dollars - Series 1988 What do I have to do to change this money?

    Can you post a picture? The old bills are still legal tender in the US but are pretty rare these days. I would suggest just trying a different place.

    Look for a different currency exchange? US currency remains legal tender forever, and 12 years is not that old. I just looked in my wallet and found a Series 2004 $20, which I must have got from an ATM just last week. If you know anyone who's traveling to the US in the near future, you could also sell it to them.

    Not only can you still convert it, but you might even be able to sell it for more than face value if it is very old or rare.

    @NateEldredge I don't think the US Currency Notes from the 1930s are legal tender anymore. If a 100,000 USD note is still legal tender. I want one of those. :P

    @NateEldredge Turns out you're right. Just that there are so few of the 1934 10000 and 100000 bills that they're almost nowhere to be found **but** they are legal tender in the United States nonetheless. :O I'm genuinely shocked. Is this common in other countries as well?

    Send them to me, and I'll send back your currency of choice. I promise.

    This question appears to be off-topic because it is not about traveling.

    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's just about money and exchange not while travelling. It's a good question though but should be on

    I ended up with one of these old 100 dollar bills as a gift from mom when I was visiting Ankara, Turkey. A very large bank, and a smaller currency dealer rejected it saying that their machines rejected it. I will use it Back home.

    I have the same problem. I travelled to Europe back in 1998 and one of the 100 USD bills got ripped. It is from the 90's series, which have the smaller Benjamin Franklin. I was just looking into an old book and found this bill cut in halves. So stuck it with tape and I cannot change it here in Mexico. I suppose I'll wait to travel to the US to give it a try. I was happy to find this damn note but I'm challenged at exchanging it. If not possible it will be a very expensive souvenir! E.

    @AdityaSomani A $100,000 USD bill would likely be worth quite a bit more than that nowadays. However, it's still probably not worth as much as it was at the time it was issued and don't be too surprised if the police get called if you try to spend one (because many, if not most, people will think it's fake.)

    @reirab: Nah, it would be worthless because there are no bills of such a denomination. The largest was $10,000 and only two were made.

    @Joshua No, the $100,000 bill was a real thing. It was only used for transfers between Federal Reserve Banks, though. It was not in public circulation. See here, here, and here.

    @NateEldredge (Old comment but...) "Legal tender" isn't really a relevant concept, here. Legal tender refers to forms of money that must be accepted in payment of a debt. US dollars are not legal tender in Australia and, besides, the asker is not in debt to the currency exchange. The exchange can choose to change whatever money they want and their decisions will depend on a variety of practicalities such as how feasible it is to train their staff to check different note designs for forgeries.

    @DavidRicherby: Quite right. My point was that, since the bill is legal tender (in the US), it is certainly worth USD 100 to anyone who owes a debt in the US. Effectively, anyone who can get this bill to the US can receive USD 100 in value for it. Therefore, I would expect that some currency exchange somewhere would want to accept it, subject to a reasonable discount and/or commission, and that it's worth searching for such an exchange. I'm certainly not claiming that any currency exchange is *required* to accept it.

    @NateEldredge It's only legal tender if it isn't counterfeit!

  • What you are talking about is this 100/50 USD bill:

    Series 1996 $100 Bill

    I have had this problem many times. If you end up with old USD bills older that series 2003-6 then it won't be accepted by most countries and money changers outside the United States. More frequently the problem I have noticed is with the bills with the front face photo to be smaller than the current bills. Bills with the enlarged pictures i.e the new ones are widely accepted.

    Note: This does not apply to the smaller denomination such as 1, 5, 10 as these denominations still use the smaller pictures.

    I would suggest two solutions. The first is to try a large bank within the city you are traveling to. These have sophisticated machines and UV scanners which would allow them to check your money without concern and exchange it. Unfortunately this method is not fool proof and you may get rejected in one or two places before you come forth one which will accept it.

    They are still legal tender and will be valid in the United States. They are not used outside due to lack of security within these old bills. So obviously the other solution is to either spend them in the United States or deposit them in an ATM in the United States where they are easily accepted. You can then withdraw from the ATM smaller bills which will be fresh and would most likely not have this issue.

    We found similar problems in some parts of Africa. Different currency exchanges have different standards - I haven't heard of a general rejection of particular notes here in Australia so there's probably a fair chance you'll be able to swap it somewhere else. Suburban banks could be an option, as they probably don't get trained the same way as other companies.

    Not exactly the bill pictured; the bills in the question are at least _50 years newer_ than this one.

    haha, yeah, you know the bill is old when it says that you can redeem it directly for gold. That hasn't been the case in a _long_ time.

    Everything $5 up (to $100) uses the new larger-picture design, since 2003-2013 depending on denomination. Only $1 and $2 are still the old design, and of thse only $1 is normally used; $2's are only useful for people wanting to make life difficult for a storekeeper, toll-taker, etc.

    @MichaelHampton Haha. You're absolutely right, I guess for lack of a better picture I just stuck to that one to get the idea across. Feel free to change it to the Series 1996 bill if you find a picture.

    Note: in the USA, almost no ATMs accept cash deposits.

    @zwol in Pittsburgh, PA, most ATMs accept cash deposits, assuming that you are a customer (PNC and KeyBank definitely)

    As of today, only the $1 bill has the small portrait.

    Actual green backs; how nostalgic.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM