How and Where to Exchange Small Bills for Large Bills

Exchange Small Bills for Large Bills

Let’s face it, dealing with a bunch of small bills can be annoying. They’re hard to keep track of and can make your wallet feel bulky. If you find yourself frequently lugging around a wad of ones and fives, you might be wondering if there’s a way to exchange them for larger bills. Here’s everything you need to know about how and where to do just that.

How It Works

When you exchange small bills for larger bills, the process is pretty simple. You take your small bills to a bank or credit union and trade them in for larger denominations. The teller will likely ask why you’re doing this—after all, it’s not something that people do every day—so be prepared with an explanation. (A good one is that you’re going on vacation and want to have fewer bills to carry around.)

There are a few things to keep in mind when exchanging bills, though. First, most banks have a limit on how many bills they’ll exchange per customer per day. This limit is usually around $5,000, so if you have more than that, you might need to make multiple trips or go to more than one bank. Second, you’ll probably need to show ID when exchanging bills, so make sure you have your driver’s license or passport handy. Finally, remember that exchanging small bills for larger ones will usually result in a fee; the amount will vary depending on the bank but is typically around $5 or less.

Where to Do It

Now that you know how exchanging works, you might be wondering where to actually do it. Your best bet is probably your own bank or credit union, as they’ll likely have the lowest fees and be the most convenient option. However, if you don’t have an account at a particular bank or don’t want to pay the fees associated with exchanging bills, another option is using a service like Travelex.

Travelex is a foreign currency exchange company with locations all over the United States. To exchange your small bills for larger ones at Travelex, simply bring your cash (and ID) to one of their locations and let the representative know what you’d like to do. They’ll then exchange your money and charge a small fee for the service; according to their website, this fee starts at $7 per transaction but could be higher depending on how much money you’re exchanging.


Dealing with tons of small bills can be frustrating—but luckily, there’s a way to get rid of them! Exchanging small bills for large ones is easy enough to do; just bring your cash (and ID) to your bank or a foreign currency exchange service like Travelex and let them know what you’d like to do. There will likely be a fee involved—but it’ll be worth it when you no longer have to carry around a wad of ones and fives!