Uses ‘new-looking’ currency

This item appears on page 54 of the November 2013 issue.

A note about the subscriber’s letter “Took New Bills to SE Asia(Aug. ’13, pg. 50) — for years, I have been getting newer currency before I travel, and I’ve found that the bills do not have to be brand new and never used. They just should be clean, with no marks, not wrinkled or folded, and no older than about Series 2009, or five years from the year you are traveling. I ask my small-town bank a week in advance and get the currency easily.

I last visited Southeast Asia in 2002. I went to Mongolia and Bhutan in 2007, Papua New Guinea in 2008 (where I was able to use US bills instead of the local currency), Africa in 2009, 2010, 2011 and (Kenya and Rwanda) 2012  and Central America in 2012.

Often, there would be a request to swap US bills for newer (not brand-new) bills, so they could exchange them at a bank. As long as they have been clean and new looking, I have never had a problem using US bills or exchanging them for the local currency.


Greensboro, GA