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When Do The Old £20 Notes Go Out Of Circulation?

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When Do The Old £20 Notes Go Out Of Circulation?

It's officially less than 12 months until the old £20 and £50 notes come out of circulation and people are being urged to spend them or trade them in ahead of the expiry date.

Much like the £10 and £5 cash notes, which have been replaced by plastic ones, the £20 paper notes will officially come out of circulation in 2022 and people are being urged to use them before they are no longer legal tender.

The new notes are made out of polymer plastic and are said to be harder to counterfeit, more environmentally friendly, and last double the time of their paper predecessors - as well as being able to withstand a cycle in the washing machine (we've all done it).

The paper £20 bill was first introduced in 2007 and the new polymer plastic one, which features the artist J.M.W. Turner, has been in circulation since February 2021.

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The first new £50 note, which features Alan Turing, went into circulation in June 2021.

The new polymer £20 note features artist J.M.W. Turner on the back. (Credit: Bank of England)
The new polymer £20 note features artist J.M.W. Turner on the back. (Credit: Bank of England)

When do the old £20 and £50 notes go out of circulation?

Both the paper £20 and paper £50 notes will officially go out of circulation on 30th September 2022.

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After the deadline, you'll no longer be able to spend them anywhere, but you will still be able to trade them in if you have a UK bank account.

It's estimated by the Bank of England that approximately £9 billion worth of paper £20 and £15 billion worth of paper £50 notes are still in circulation.

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, it's been difficult to spend cash as most places have insisted upon contactless/card payments to reduce the level of contact.

Where can you trade in your old £20 and £50 notes?

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You can trade in your old paper notes at any bank and most Post Offices.

Alternatively, you can post off your old notes to the Bank of England and have the money either deposited in your account or given back to you in new notes (if it's under a certain amount).

If that's the route you're going to go, be warned that the BoE has said you're responsible for any loss or damage of the notes, so it would be wise to get the envelope signed for.

You'll need to have a UK bank account to be able to trade them in after this time.

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Unfortunately, this may mean some piggy banks get prematurely smashed in the process, but it's better than your rainy day fund becoming worthless.

So once again, that's 30th September 2022.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash/Colin Watts

Topics: Bank of England, Money

Laura Sanders
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