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What should you do if you still have an old five pound note?

Published 5 May 2017 by

You should check your wallets, purses and piggy banks. According to the Bank of England, there are still 150 million paper £5 notes left with the public.

The notes will stop to be legal tender after Friday 5 May 2017 (today). That means shops and restaurants can refuse to accept the paper £5 note, which features a portrait of Elizabeth Fry on the back. However, some banks and building societies might still accept paper £5 notes after this point.

To make sure you know what to do if you still have an old fiver, we take you through your options.

Spend them

You can spend an old paper £5 note until midnight on 5 May 2017. That means you only have a few hours left to spend your old fivers in shops and restaurants.

Some shops may continue to accept paper £5 notes after today. However, it's up to them whether they do. Your bank should let you exchange old £5 notes or deposit them into your account for some time.

Receive an old paper £5 note from a cashier today? Ask them to exchange it for a new plastic £5 note.

Exchange or deposit them

You can exchange or deposit an old £5 note at these places from 6 May 2017.

Post Office: As a thinkmoney customer, you can take your old £5 notes to your local Post Office® branch to deposit into your thinkmoney account. Take your card with you and the money will be in your account instantly.

Bank or Building Societies: Your bank or building society should let you exchange or deposit an old fiver into your account. Get in touch with your account provider for more details.  

The Bank of England: You can swap your old £5 notes at the Bank of England at any time in the future. You can either take the fiver in person or send it by post.

You might even be able to exchange an old fiver if it's not in the best condition. You will need to fill out a form to see whether you can claim back for a damaged note.

All notes returned to the Bank of England are shredded and turned into compost.

Should you keep an old fiver?

It is possible that the old paper £5 notes could be worth something in the future. You might want to keep an old fiver if it has a low serial number or is in near perfect condition. These could be valuable in the future but there's no guarantee.  

You can always exchange an old £5 note at the Bank of England at a later date if you can't sell it. Alternatively, you might want to check that you don't have a valuable new fiver. Find out how you could make money off a new £5 note in our blog.

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