I have sizable pile of cash (around $1000) that was donated by a number of people and intended to be a gift to someone else. The problem is that, because it came from lots of people, it is mostly small US bills.

Is there a place I can exchange it for a smaller number of larger bills? Will any bank do it, or do I need to have an account there? My own bank has no physical branches, so it isn't an option. Is that too much for a grocery store's customer service counter to deal with?

I'd like to avoid giving a personal check (because it would involve more work for the recipient), store-specific gift cards, or bank gift cards like Visa or American Express (because of purchase and inactivity fees).

  • 1
    Try a Liquor Store, or Truck Stop. $100 bills are the limit. Jan 6 '14 at 1:27

Several options:

  1. Banks - ask in the branches near to you if any of them would do that. They generally only service their account members, but if you smile and talk nicely to the tellers they might do that for you. It may involve some nominal commission.

  2. Check cashing places - they're everywhere, and they carry large denomination bills. They will probably do that, but will likely charge a commission.

  3. Money orders - if you don't want to give a personal check, buy a money order at the post office, and dump the cash on them. It costs a nominal fee ($1.60 at USPS).

  • 1
    Why could they not just pay in the cash to their bank account account and the next day (or whenever the cash clears) withdraw the same amount in high value notes. Jan 5 '14 at 14:58
  • 1
    @Neuromancer because his bank doesn't have physical branches.
    – littleadv
    Jan 5 '14 at 21:53
  • time to change banks then Jan 6 '14 at 14:12
  • 3
    I ended up just getting the equivalent amount in larger bills from an ATM (from our own account) and stashing the small bills for our own use over time. As for my bank, circumstances that require a brick and mortar branch arise only once in a blue moon. They are excellent in every other way, so I have no interest in switching. Jul 30 '14 at 20:05

Most banks should give them. I exchange all the time.


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