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Forint currency updates

ADVISORY
Brought along about $50 worth of forints left over from our January 2018 trip to Budapest -- and was told the first time I tried to use some that "money no good -- too old!" The shop owner directed me to the post office across the street which exchanged all my old bills for new bills in the updated format, no charge.
SO...if you are traveling to Hungary with last year's money, check it out and exchange any outdated bills before you try to spend them.

Posted by
7538 posts

Lauri, could you do me a big favor? We are starting our trip next September in Budapest. Could you please bring me $100 worth of forints and I can pay you at the meeting? We could arrive with some cash and not have to hit up an airport ATM in that case.

Posted by
568 posts

Its always a good idea to keep an eye out re this. Alot of people got caught out when Britain updated its notes recently. What was bizarre was alot of people had paper money given to them by their American banks long after we had moved to plastic notes, very difficult as only the Bank of England in London would change them by then......

Posted by
2081 posts

I was once given an old 2000 forint note--worth about $7--in change from a liquor store and felt that they probably knew a tourist wouldn't realize, thus before travelling there I now check online to see which notes have been updated and was able to catch one and refuse it. Hungarians can be really fussy about accepting notes with excessive wear or small tears, so don't accept any like that if possible.

Posted by
5230 posts

Andrea, sure thing. See you on the 18th with forints in hand.

Posted by
16567 posts

The preference for nearly-pristine currency is fairly common in at least some former Iron Curtain countries. I don't know the history behind that.

Slightly related: In 1972 a fellow tourist's traveler's check was rejected in a Soviet hard-currency shop (catering to tourists and the rare local with access to something other than rubles) because the original signature had an upward-sloping crossing of a "t" whereas the countersignature had a downward-sloping crossing of the same letter. The mind boggled.

Posted by
10654 posts

Hungary has been phasing in new bills for a number of years now. You can also change them at banks. The last time I did it at a bank there was two paper forms a few signatures and I needed my passport and that was for one 10,000 ft note. Please tell me its easier at the Post Office....

Posted by
5230 posts

James E, I exchanged HUF 14,000 (in bills 5000 and less) at the post office without any forms or passport needed. Maybe the bigger bills have different rules ?

Posted by
10654 posts

I walked out of the bank laughing about the signatures and the passport (it was rare, but I had it with me). Next time I will go to the post office. And I guess my memory was wrong as the Tens arent up yet. I just remember signing two documents and the guy copying my passport number. But here is the poop on what is going on, and amazingly it has nothing to do with being an Eastern Bloc Country.....

https://welovebudapest.com/en/2017/02/22/the-central-bank-of-hungary-issues-new-hungarian-forint-bills/

Posted by
4776 posts

It is always a shock to Americans when a European country does this. I have to be honest, I don't get it, not sure why it imperative to change notes and not accept old ones, heck, in the US you can still use 60 year old Silver Certificates if you are so inclined. It is not like they believe the notes are bad. But I suppose, all a part of travelling.

Posted by
10654 posts

I think that puts us in rare company. But do know that if you use that silver certificate and it ends up in a bank someplace it will go straight to a shredding machine. I did some work in a Federal Reserve building several years ago. The project dealt with sound isolation for the shredding machines. These babies run all day and all night destroying old bills. The average life expectancy of all buy $100 bills is less than 7 years. In this case the Hungarian government is trying make their money more counterfeit resistant; the same reason we have changed our bills fairly often the last few years. I've seen Euros change a few times too ... again, not Soviet Bloc. I think they had an expiration date too if memory serves me correctly.

Posted by
4776 posts

Yeah, I have a Family member associated with the Federal Reserve and several in the Banking Industry, and pulling worn and outdated notes is a common thing, and helps turnover, but they are still legal tender. I suppose as well it helps that the US changes notes once in a stretch of decades as oppose to more frequently.

Somewhat to topic, a new 20 GBP is supposed to be released in February, so avoid hauling a bunch of old ones back with you if traveling to the UK soon.

Posted by
4465 posts

new 20 GBP is supposed to be released in February

To be precise, it is released on 20:02:2020. But not at 20:20.

Posted by
1614 posts

Paul....I came across a stash of silver certificates Dad collected over the years in his store. I walked into my bank with a stack of battered old $1 bills to deposit and I’m still waiting for the phone call....they would not accept them for deposit until they heard from “downtown”. ??? I don’t get it either.