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Series One Euro Banknote Still Valid?

It's been a few years since my last trip to Europe and I still have the Euros I brought back on the last trip. I have two banknotes, one a 5 euro note that was issued in 2013 that appears to be acceptable to use. I also have a Series One 50 euro bank note with a 2002 date on it. Do you know if the 50 euro note will still be accepted when I return to Europe next month? Were the old Series One euro banknotes taken out of circulation?

I am asking because on a trip to England a few years ago, I unwittingly tried to pay for a meal using a 20 pound Edward Elgar bank note that had been taken out of circulation The cashier looked at me like I was trying to cheat her. Luckily I was with my cousin who is a London resident and he traded my expired note for a valid 20 pound note and said he would take my Edward Elgar note to the bank and exchange it.

I've checked the pound notes I have to ensure they are still valid but don't know if the same holds true to euro bank notes, if the old ones are still valid.

Thank you.

Posted by
1222 posts

The first series are still "legal" and you can use them. They're still rolling out the new Europa series - I don't think I've seen one of the new €100 notes so they may not be being used yet. The new €50 note is common now, but you can still use the old one.

Posted by
5621 posts

Good queston and useful answer. We also just learned that saving local currency for a future trip can be a problem when a National Bank modernizes currency to counter counterfitting.

We just found out that our old 500 kr Norwegian notes from our last trip five years ago were obsolete when we tried to use one. Fortuntly we discouvered this problem at the Oslo TI. The TI person directed us to the nation bank office where we could exchange our old bills for current series currency.

The bottom line is it is better to spend down cash and get new currency when revisiting.

Whille not a Euro country, Norway's National Bank explains the incentive to replacing currency:
https://www.norges-bank.no/en/notes-and-coins/New-banknote-series/Why-new-banknotes/

Advances in technology have provided counterfeiters with better
methods for imitating genuine banknotes. Central banks must therefore
develop more advanced security features.

Posted by
17867 posts

it is better to spend down cash and get new currency when revisiting

I couldn't disagree more. The inconvenience of having to exchange old currency at a bank is nothing compared to getting the dreaded "call your bank" message at the ATM when you arrive (it's happened to me twice, once with my first two ATM cards). It's particularly distressing when your just arrived on a Saturday morning, when your bank is closed for the weekend.

In eleven trips in this century, I've only had to exchange "obsolete" currency one time.