Ontario man surprised after bank refuses to accept his $1,000 bills. Here's why they won't
TORONTO -- When an Oshawa, Ont. man heard that the Bank of Canada was taking several older bills out of circulation in the new year, including the $1,000 bill, he decided to deposit two of them he had been holding onto.
Craig Sutherland went to his local bank and was surprised when the teller got a manager and after a discussion, he was told the bank wouldn’t accept them.
“I'm wondering what's going on here. This isn't some foreign currency,” Sutherland said, adding “I've got to get my money out of these somehow. It's real Canadian money and they are refusing it."
Sutherland said he had the two bills for a few years. He received one $1,000 bill when he sold a boat and the other was a Christmas present.
Sutherland said the bank told him, “I'm sorry we cannot accept these because they are being decommissioned and they are not going to be worth anything. That’s when I said ‘I know, that's why I want to get rid of them before that happens.’"
The Bank of Canada is removing the one and two dollars bills from circulation along with the $25 and the $500 bills, which were printed in 1935 and discontinued shortly afterwards.
The $1,000 bill will also no longer be considered legal tender. It was printed up to the year 2000.
Bank of Canada spokesperson Amelie Ferron-Craig said when the bills are no longer considered legal tender, Canadians may not be able to use them.
“It's the final step in removing these bank notes that are no longer being produced from circulation. After Jan. 1 you will not be able to use these bank notes in transactions," Ferron-Craig said.
The central bank says newer Canadian currency has security features that makes it harder to counterfeit and the polymer bills last up to three times longer.
The good news is that if you own any of these bills you can always redeem them with the Bank of Canada for their full value.
“One thing that's really important for Canadians to know is that the bank notes will not lose their value as the Bank of Canada will continue to honour them," Ferron-Craig said.
That was good news for Sutherland who was told he could courier his bills to the Bank of Canada and receive $2,000, but he said he was able to find another bank which agreed to accept them as legal tender.
Older bills are also popular with collectors so even if you don't cash them in with the Bank of Canada they'll be worth their face value and possibly much more.
One collector website says the $500 bill is worth between $20,000 and $60,000.