Dealing with old foreign currency

Sorry if this is in the wrong place, I just wanted to share my experience of having tons of leftover foreign cash.

My thinking used to be that I would keep leftover cash and just use it the next time I travel. But I got stung with an old $100 note that no one would accept. I used to think cash would always hold its value, and that even if currency notes were withdrawn, I could still go to that country’s central bank to change it. Realistically, though…it meant I had a wallet full of useless notes.

So I decided to empty out the masses of envelopes with foreign currency and change them into actual, useable GBP. Here’s how I did it:

Current currency notes
First, I went here to find the best rate. A few of the best rates were postal services, but I wanted to go into a branch, so I went to Thomas Exchange. They filtered out the current currency from the withdrawn currency notes.

I went to King’s Cross station to find the Fourex machine. It accepted around 95% of the coins I had. Of course, the rate for coins is not as good as notes.

Withdrawn currency notes
Then I went on here to see how much I could get for the withdrawn currency notes and the coins that the Fourex machine rejected. Obviously, their rates were much worse than the rates I’d got for the current notes, and even for the coins. And there were a couple of notes that they didn’t accept. But at least I could get some value out of these notes.

And that’s how I did it. A bunch of foreign cash that I’d been hoarding, and I turned it into around £200 of actual, useable money.


If the notes are old enough they might be worth more than their denomination. :wink:


Unfortunately, they’re old enough to be outdated, and not old enough to be antiques :wink:

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It’s such a shame that Fourex haven’t managed to move beyond the South-East. For those of us that don’t have access, does anyone know of any alternatives for taking coins (I have so many bags of them lurking about the place)?

You could try - although their rate might not be great. That does mean posting them which will cost some money (although weirdly, they say they’ll cover postage costs if it’s over 1kg).

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Yes, that’s useful, although as you say, the rate is not great!!

Unfortunately, no one really wants to handle coins because the cost of transporting and their weight is more than the value they can get.