What to do with your old fiver - it may not be what you expect

From the places that will swap new fivers for old, to unexpected ways to spend them

Old five pound banknote

The old paper five pound notes featuring Elizabeth Fry are finally past their 'spend by' date. Unfortunately there are still millions left in circulation. So what can you do if you stumble across one in the next few days and weeks? We've tracked down five uses for an old fiver - from the downright sensible, to the more creative.

See also: Issues with new £1 coins as some melt and the middles fall out

See also: Do you have a valuable new £1 coin in your change?

See also: New coin issued to mark House of Windsor centenary


1. Take them to your bank
It's worth trying as a first step, because some banks and building societies are likely to continue to accept them for a while. They have been free to set their own policies on this, so some may only swap old fivers for new ones if you have an account with the bank, some will accept them but only as deposits into an account you hold with the bank, and others may refuse altogether.


2. Pay them into the Post Office
One of the less-well-known things the Post Office does is accept deposits into any main UK bank account. You'll need a paying in slip, but they should provide a deposit envelope, and have said they will continue to take the old fivers after the deadline.


3. Post them to the Bank of England
If you find a bunch of these, a fair way down the track, then the Bank of England is your best bet. It is obliged to accept the old £5 notes forever - either by post or in person - presumably depending on how many you have. If you have a suitcase full of notes, you will have to pass money laundering checks as usual.

4. Buy some art
Take it to the Affordable Art Fair. Artist Aiden Saunders has produced a collection, including prints inspired by the old note, which will be for sale at the fair from 11-14 May in Hampstead - for just £5. It's only available to buy using the old notes, so you could get your hands on something collectible and memorable.


5. Spend it at a vegan cafe
Some vegan businesses are encouraging people to spend old fivers with them - so they can be circulated among the vegan community, and vegans don't have to handle the new notes - which are made with animal products. There's a list of the establishments accepting the 'vegan fivers' after they are officially phased out on this website.

Incredibly valuable coins

Incredibly valuable coins