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What USA bank notes??

Level Contributor
8 posts
3 reviews
What USA bank notes??

Hi all,

Travelling to the states in a few months.

Going to carry a combination of cash (around $500 USD), travel bank cards plus my credit card for emergency.

Just wondering what bank notes are most used?

13 replies to this topic
Dublin, California
Level Contributor
23,894 posts
47 reviews
1. Re: What USA bank notes??

$20 notes.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
16,852 posts
52 reviews
2. Re: What USA bank notes??

For small purchases (like a beverage, tube of toothpaste, etc.), $20, $10, $5, and $1. If you’ll be leaving gratuities at your hotel, at restaurants or other businesses, it’s handy to have some $5 and $1 notes (most Americans call them bills)..

Some businesses post signs that they will not accept anything larger than a $20 (exceptions would be if you are making larger purchases). Many merchants keep limited amounts of cash on hand (partly because so many people use credit, debit, or mobile apps to pay for retail purchases). So it is harder for them to make change from larger bills; this is true especially early in the day when there hasn’t been much activity.yet.

Elk Grove...
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong
Level Contributor
20,041 posts
4 reviews
3. Re: What USA bank notes??

The "most used" would have to be $1. You cannot live in the USA without dealing with $1 bills on a daily basis. The "high dollar amount" bill would be $20, most common. $100 bills are rarely used.

Of course, nowadays many merchants accept visa/mastercard for payment, even for small amount, even under $1 (but individual shops set their house rules on the minimum). McDonalds... buy an ice cream cone, $0.89. Even with tax it is under $1. Yeah, you can pay with your credit card. It is a common place now. And you can almost always pay with ATM cards. Increasingly more popular - Apple Pay, Google Pay and the rest.

If you have problem breaking a $100 bill, take it to a bank. They would do it. Or go in to a store run by Chinese. Buy something. :) $100 bills are commonly used especially among the older generation of Chinese.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
98,199 posts
17 reviews
4. Re: What USA bank notes??

What country are you from? The travel cards sold in Australia are all very poor value, but many sold in the UK are good.

Level Contributor
11,479 posts
1 review
5. Re: What USA bank notes??

$20 and $50, now that the ATM machines are dispensing both denominations

Guadalajara, Mexico
Destination Expert
for San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas
Level Contributor
4,603 posts
6. Re: What USA bank notes??

You need to use your credit care, not debit, for hotel security deposit and car rental. The car rental you should have a decent available balance on CCD. You can get a good credit card with advantageous points on travel as well as great for international transactions, credit cards are always the safest as you can dispute charges before you are out any money. You can get good debit cards for international travel also. The deals change all the time and are worth the research if you travel alot. USA is a credit card place for the most part.

Level Contributor
108 posts
1 review
7. Re: What USA bank notes??

“You can get a good credit card with advantageous points on travel“

Depends where OP lives. We do not have such credit cards here for example and all credit cards are subject to a government tax annually so credit cards are not so popular here. I have one for US travel but with no rewards and a low limit relative to limits on US cards. I long for the day we might get a rewards card in our market.

Silicon Valley, Ca
Level Contributor
3,046 posts
58 reviews
8. Re: What USA bank notes??

$500 in cash is a lot to carry on you. If you have a debit (ATM) card that is widely accepted at ATM machines in the US (preferably with low or no fees) plus a credit card for most purchases, you will not need to use so many bills. If you start out with $200-$300 in cash, I would not have any thing larger than a $20 bill.

Santa Monica...
Destination Expert
for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Mammoth Lakes
Level Contributor
31,649 posts
45 reviews
9. Re: What USA bank notes??

I wouldn't bring more than $100-$200 in cash. Use ATMs to get more cash if needed.

San Jose, California
Destination Expert
for California
Level Contributor
18,186 posts
120 reviews
10. Re: What USA bank notes??

I like to spend cash - makes it easier to stick to a travel budget, so I don't think that starting off with $500 is too much. I routinely carry close to that amount. But yeah, don't get anything higher than a $20 bill if you can help it.

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