I've seen lately that US paper money (bills/notes) older than the 2003 series is not accepted in some countries, or maybe just at major banks. Does anyone know anything how common this is, what countries etc?

(I don't live in the USA. I have some older US cash and am planning a trip. That's why I ask.)

  • related: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/25959/…
    – Karlson
    Jun 1, 2015 at 20:14
  • 1
    Could you specify "some countries"? That would give answerers somewhere to start investigating. Jun 1, 2015 at 20:50
  • @O.R.Mapper: given Burma's taste for pristine dollars I wouldn't be surprised if older notes are not accepted there.
    – Max
    Jun 1, 2015 at 20:59
  • 1
    In many countries only recently printed, fresh and crisp US notes are accepted. We need more details.
    – Calchas
    Jun 1, 2015 at 21:20
  • As a side note, I have a £10 bill with 1934 date printed on it. Apart from small portrait, its colour is also noticeably different - it's much "greener". Additionally, £2 bills/notes may not be accepted in some places even in the USA, as there are a lot of people even in the USA that don't know about the existence of £2 notes.
    – Aleks G
    May 21, 2017 at 23:01

1 Answer 1


I know it is relatively common in parts of Africa due to how common counterfeit bills made of the older series are, especially central and eastern Africa, as well as SE Asia. We fell afoul of it in Kenya with bills printed before 2007 (I knew beforehand but hadn't checked my currency carefully enough), however we had no issues changed the notes in South Africa.

Places it has been noted as an issue:

However in some of the countries, mainly the non-African countries, it can be a site by site policy rather than a generally accepted one across the board. For example, in Australia I suspect (as the answer suggests) a bank would exchange the notes, instead of visiting a currency exchange.

My recommendation for travel outside of Europe/North America would be to exchange your older US dollars in your home country if they are accepted there, either for fresh notes or something else that's generally convertible like euros or pounds.

  • 2
    I've personally seen this in Egypt, for $100 bills. It would be helpful to know where the OP lives. Truth is, a fair number of USA merchants would balk at the 1990 bill (small portrait). Jun 2, 2015 at 0:19

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