What's the largest bill in circulation? It is not the $100 bill.
There is a news report today about a man getting arrested because he tried to use a $1,000,000 bill to pay for some merchandise at a Wal-Mart.
Well, one million dollar bills are not real. They never were. You've probably seen novelty bills made to look like million dollar bills but they are of different size and design from legitimate U.S. currency -- and to make a novelty bill it can't be the same size or design of U.S. currency.
The news report said that the largest bill in circulation today is the $100 bill. And that's not true. There are in fact $500 and $1,000 bills in circulation and very much legal to own. However, you'd be nuts to spend one because collectors will pay you more than the face value of a $500 or $1,000 bill because they are rare and very collectible.
Every time I go into a casino -- where they have lots of $100 bills -- I always stop by the casino cage (the cashier or bank) and ask if they have any $500 or $1,000 bills-- and sometimes someone not knowing any better brings one to a casino to have a big party.
Of course these days the answer is "no" to my question but a couple of years ago at Caesars Palace a cashier told me that they did get a $500 bill but it was snapped up by one of the savvy employees working there.
In 2006 I cashed a $1000 bill at the Luxor cage. I got it in Paraguay from one of our company's agents who owed it to us for overpayment of commission. It caused quite a commotion with the cashiers and their supervisors. But I knew that would happen. It was like I was cashing a personal check--id's, thumbprint, and the third degree.
Wow, did you not know that the $1,000 bill could probably be sold for upwards of $1,500 ?? They "retail" for $2,000 and up and as I write this there's one on eBay with a "buy it now" price of $1,799. Even in 2006 these bills commanded a premium and I wouldn't be surprised if the price was about the same then-- give or take a couple of Benjamins.
I thought about that but I had it for 10 years & it was at home out of sight/out of mind until one day I found it while looking for something else. I should have been a little less anxious to cash it in.
KailynLaw thanks for the post and the reference. The $10,000 bills were never meant for consumers or business use, but for bank use. But you are correct that a few $10,000 bills are in the hands of collectors.
I remember --- a long, long time ago --- before there were credit cards and businessmen carried wads of $100 bills in their pockets. My Dad was in the restaurant business (as well as being a lawyer) and I remember he would sometimes bring home a stack of $100 bills that would go to the bank the next morning.
I also remember when businesses would have couriers who would carry stacks of $100 bills to banks -- all before credit cards.
It's been more than two years since the original post and not much has changed, but there has been a lot of talk.
What has changed is that the new $100 bills are in circulation. And there has been a lot of talk about having $500 bills printed again. Personally, I would like to see the $500 bill return but only if it was printed to honor President Ronald Reagan. If anyone deserves to belong on a $500 bill its Reagan who led this country in some of its most prosperous years.
But I don't think a $500 note would be very practical at all. Really... who is going to use a $500 bill except for a gambler or someone doing something illegal? I rarely carry more than sixty-dollars cash in my wallet and for any large purchase I use a credit card or a debit card.