Travel Tip of the Day: Don’t Travel with Ripped Bills

Un_dollar_usDon’t Travel with Ripped Bills
Many foreign countries will accept US dollars and in some countries, they’re even the main currency—like in Cambodia. When I was there last month, I was reminded that bills with a rip or slight tear aren’t accepted there, so if you plan on spending US dollars, make sure they’re nice and crisp and not torn.

Cambodia isn’t the only place either. Once, a bellman in a foreign country (Brazil, if I recall correctly) asked me if I would replace a $5 US bill for him because he’d been given a slightly torn one and no one would cash it for him. He was smart to know that back home I would have no problem myself, and I didn’t, but the moral of the story is to appreciate how seriously some cultures take this. So play it safe, and don’t use ripped bills when traveling abroad.



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About the Author

Johnny Jet
I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

7 Comments on "Travel Tip of the Day: Don’t Travel with Ripped Bills"

  1. This is very true. I’m in a university town and the poor banks here are always getting our requests for new bills – no wrinkles, no tears. I’ve had to visit several banks at times to find bills I can take along. A few countries even specify when the bills should be printed.

  2. Same with Mexico. Little tear and it is USELESS. Thank God it is not that way here.

  3. Very Useful tip. I’ll add that bills with any writing or markings may also be rejected. In some instances foreign exchange houses and banks will not accept anything older than ten years and likewise, if there is a new bill design recently out in the U.S. other countries may not be familiar with it yet and because of so many counterfeit bills will not accept them either. When living in South America before traveling to the U.S. I would stop by my bank for cash and tell my teller to give me all her ripped, old, worn bills. She asked me to please stop by every time before I travel! :-)

  4. In Spain this year, in large (chain) bank, they would only take $50. or smaller bills also.

  5. Very true! Same in Maldives. No torn/soiled bills and sometimes they don’t accept bills before year 2000.

  6. This happened to me in Peru……somewhat universal these days

  7. I go to Vietnam every year and they are the same way. One time I was trying to get USD converted to Vietnamese Dong and I thought I ‘hid’ a $100 slightly wrinkled bill in the middle of others I was converting — but they saw it and refused to make the exchange. I find US bank tellers look at me like I have 6 heads when I try to explain I need pristine bills in order to travel!

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