I hope this is the place to ask this question.
A few minutes ago my dog chewed my dollars, the thing is: this money is going to be used in a trip I'm doing to USA. I bought this dollars because my country's money isn't dollars, is pesos so I wanted to take some cash with me.
I have all the parts of the dollar and it's 80% complete. Should I stick with adhesive tape? Or should I travel with all the parts and wait for further instrucciones when I land in USA?
Thank you for your time in answering this question.

  • Unlike Germany or Japan, the US is a country where credit cards are the overwhelming mainstream. Use credit cards! Also, don't bring too much cash: although it's still unlikely to be mugged, there still is a small chance that it could be stolen or you get mugged.
    – xuq01
    Aug 7, 2018 at 4:53

1 Answer 1


Oops! How to deal with this depends on the extent of the damage.

If it's just somewhat damaged (and, I hope, cleaned of dog slobber), such as a ripped off corner, you can likely spend it without any issues. Damaged money won't usually be accepted by vending machines, transit ticket machines, etc..., but most cashiers will take it if it's a little ripped or torn. If it's more damaged than that, your experience may vary. Some cashiers might possibly take a bill that's been ripped in half and taped back together, but others are likely to refuse.

Damaged but not mutilated currency can be exchanged at a bank, if it's obvious that you have more than half of the the bill and both serial numbers are present. These are bills that are soiled or torn. However, whether an individual bank will do so for a non-customer is up to them; playing the "desperate tourist" card may help in some cases. You could also try visiting a smaller bank or credit union. It's also possible the currency exchange you got it from could be willing to exchange it.

If the cash is downright mutilated, to the point that security features are missing and experts will have to determine the value by piecing everything back together. you'll need to send it into the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. It can take them months or years, but they'll eventually process your claim and send you a check, a free service from the US Government.

Many businesses in the US accept credit cards, so it's not generally necessary to use cash, with some exceptions.

  • Thanks so much for your answer, I only have one question left. From the most damaged dollar, which is 80% complete but ripped I have the other two pieces, should I stick with adhesive tape?
    – Jennifer
    Aug 7, 2018 at 0:01
  • @Jennifer Is it actually a $1 bill or something bigger? Aug 7, 2018 at 0:32
  • Thanks for your help Zach! I also found useful information here google.com.mx/amp/amp.timeinc.net/time/money/4213154/…
    – Jennifer
    Aug 7, 2018 at 1:32
  • 1
    @Jennifer I wouldn't tape up a $100. Keep in mind that the majority of businesses in the US won't accept any bill larger than a $20, so 100s are a pain to spend even when they're in perfect condition. Stores that will take them are likely to be extra careful with them, so they're much less likely to take one ripped in a number of pieces. A ripped corner is probably fine, more than that could be tricky. Aug 7, 2018 at 5:23
  • 1
    @Jennifer I would take any damaged bill of $20 or larger to a bank in the US to replace it. Aug 7, 2018 at 15:50

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