I currently have 100 US dollars (2009 series) and want to use them anywhere in the world.

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    – Mark Mayo
    May 9 '18 at 4:37

They are valid, in the sense that they are legal tender accepted by the US Government, but any individual business anywhere in the world can decide whether or not to accept them or not. There is no guarantee anyone will accept your money. Some businesses may not accept $100 bills at all (in the United States, it's not uncommon for stores to only accept $20 and smaller), and of course, the place you are going must accept US currency in the first place (US currency is, overall, quite popular worldwide, but only local currency is accepted at most businesses in the vast majority of countries). Some countries have local idiosyncratic practices about currency acceptance, such as not accepting creased or worn bills.

However, the 2009/2009A series is the most recent version of the US $100 bill, containing all the modern security features. If an establishment is willing to accept US $100 bills, they're likely to accept yours.

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    @nikhil There's an FAQ on the treasury site about this: "This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise." May 7 '18 at 21:58
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    @Nikhil "legal tender" means only that you have to accept it as payment of a debt, not that you have to accept it to purchase something. An increasing number of U.S. businesses don't bother accepting cash at all these days. Nearly all airlines have gone that way for in-flight purchases, for example. And, of course, it's more-or-less impossible to buy something online with cash.
    – reirab
    May 8 '18 at 8:32
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    @nikhil - In broad strokes, the law is basically that you MUST accept all forms of legal tender to settle a debt, but if your paying in advance, you can be as picky as you want. For example, a family restaurant can't refuse a $100 bill because you're paying a debt (for food already eaten) but McDonald's can because your paying for food you haven't gotten yet. There are lots of little catches, but essentially if you owe money they have to accept $100, if you can leave your purchase behind and not owe a thing, then they don't.
    – coteyr
    May 8 '18 at 8:40
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    @nikhil: They have to accept legal tender for payment of a debt. Before you buy an item, there is no debt. They don't have to sell the item to you. For payment of debt, the risk of forgery is lower, since the business already agree to give you a loan, and if your $100 note is a forgery then they just don't reduce your debt, so they lose nothing.
    – gnasher729
    May 8 '18 at 10:29
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    @ZachLipton - However if a business were to sue for nonpayment because a customer offered them legal payment in a format they declined (like, say, $100 bills), I can't imagine a court doing anything other than ordering them to accept the cash they were originally offered.
    – aroth
    May 8 '18 at 11:47

Most countries have their own currency and will not accept US dollars as payment. However, you can find bureau de change or currency exchange shops in most large cities and international airports where you can change your US dollars into the local currency, or if you are in the US, into the currency of the country you are travelling to.

There are some countries that will accept US dollars, but you should find out what currency is used before you travel.

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    I think the point of the question is that overseas bureaux often do not accept older U.S. notes.
    – choster
    May 8 '18 at 3:24
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    @choster The OP did not indicate any reason as to why they thought the notes might not be valid. I am simply answering the question as written, without assuming any non-stated information. The question as written seems to be "can 2009 series US dollars be used as a worldwide currency", to which the answer is a definite "no, but they can be easily changed in most places". If the OP wants to clarify their question, I will rewrite my answer.
    – CJ Dennis
    May 8 '18 at 4:37
  • Yeah, "anywhere in the world" is pretty broad.
    – Beanluc
    May 8 '18 at 23:56
  • I am curious about your claim that most countries will not accept US dollars. While it is probably true, many stores in many countries, especially in tourist areas, will accept US dollars, albeit with an awful, unstated, exchange rate.
    – StrongBad
    May 9 '18 at 1:57
  • @StrongBad While there are some places that accept foreign currency, that tends to be because they have a direct border to that second country (such as USA to Canada and Euro to the UK). There are other countries that individuals trust in another currency as much as their own (though that's an outlier reason). In most of these cases change given will be in the local currency (and at an exchange rate to favour the shop etc). I don't know of any shops in the UK that take USD in any form, and didn't see it as an option in any part of Europe that I've visited.
    – Rycochet
    May 9 '18 at 12:58

US $100 bills are one of the most heavily forged currencies in the world, see for example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superdollar

A new $100 bill with extra security features was introduced October 2013, labelled "Series 2009A"; is that what you have?

Also note that currency may be rejected overseas for reasons that seem trivial; I recently had a number of smaller bills rejected for: a tiny mark from a ball point pen, a worn crease, a tiny tear in the margin, and a bit of red ink from an ATM.

  • I can't spend us $100 bills at the Canadian Post Office in my town due to fraudulent 100 dollar bill circulating May 8 '18 at 7:37
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    @FreeSoftwareServers I live in the U.S. and there are lots of places here that don't take them, too. :) Honestly, about the only time I do find them useful is when I'm traveling overseas, as some currency exchanges will give a better rate for 50s and 100s than for smaller bills. Nowadays, I usually just avoid that anyway and get local currency from an ATM (my bank refunds the ATM fees, so it ends up being a better deal than the exchanges.)
    – reirab
    May 8 '18 at 8:37
  • In Cambodia, almost all transactions are in US dollars. You'll get back US dollars in change, except for the smallest parts where you'll get Riel's back. I've had vendors refuse to take $100 bills that I'd gotten out of a bank in the US before traveling because they either looked old, or didn't have the newer security features. So at least in Cambodia, make sure your larger US bills are the most recent vintage, and nice & crisp.
    – delliottg
    May 10 '18 at 18:26

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