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?

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    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. Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 4:06
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    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. Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 4:07
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    Send them to me, and I'll send back your currency of choice. I promise.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Apr 12, 2014 at 0:06
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is not about traveling.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Apr 12, 2014 at 0:07
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    @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. Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 4:14

2 Answers 2


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.

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    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.
    – dlanod
    Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 6:50
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    Not exactly the bill pictured; the bills in the question are at least 50 years newer than this one. Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 4:52
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    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.
    – reirab
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 2:12
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    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. Commented Jul 3, 2015 at 11:34
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    @zwol in Pittsburgh, PA, most ATMs accept cash deposits, assuming that you are a customer (PNC and KeyBank definitely) Commented Mar 18, 2018 at 3:00

I don't know how you're going to get people to take those. The bills were swapped out after discovering Iran or North Korea had managed to get plates so good they could forge bills so well you needed a microscope to tell the difference. Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superdollar

The Readers Digest published shortly after the finding claimed it was unambiguously Iran and give really high contamination rates including the unsubstantiated claim that half of Moscow's bills were fake; however modern citations aren't so unambiguous to the source or spread.

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    I'd guess it would be hard to find a bank in the U.S. that would not accept a $100 or $50 bill from the 1980s. Even most merchants that accept those denominations would probably accept it. A U.S. bank at which you have a deposit account would almost certainly accept it (and then probably ship it off to the Fed for replacement.) Another possibility would be to take out a debt with a U.S. lender and then use it as repayment. They would be legally required to accept it. Finding somewhere in Australia might prove more difficult, though.
    – reirab
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 22:32
  • @reirab what you say is not true of a counterfeit note. We don't actually know that OP's note was genuine. The image in the Wikipedia article immediately looked suspect to me because the wrinkles in the paper show that it is somewhat different from US banknote paper (despite being "a cotton/linen blend"). This may be an example of particularly poor paper, though, because the "red and blue security fibers" don't look quite right. But this explains why people outside the US are reluctant to take these notes: they have less experience with genuine notes so are more likely to overlook the flaws.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 1, 2023 at 9:01
  • @phoog: If he got to a bank in the US, the US banks are equipped to recognize the counterfeits. But he's not anywhere near the US.
    – Joshua
    Commented Sep 1, 2023 at 15:21

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