You have until end-June to exchange expired Czech banknotes at any bank

The Czech National Bank has warned that any older banknotes made before 1999 can only be exchanged at seven locations from July this year.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 18.06.2024 14:00:00 (updated on 18.06.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech National Bank (CNB) has urged people to exchange their old, invalid Czech banknotes before the end of June. According to the central bank, approximately 41 million invalid banknotes are still in circulation, causing potential confusion and inconvenience for merchants and customers.

From July 1, 2024, the only place to exchange these expired banknotes will be at one of just seven CNB branches located across the country (in Czechia’s biggest cities). There is no announced deadline for how long people may exchange the old notes.

If you have an old banknote (made between 1995 and 1999) and you wish to exchange it for a valid one, you have until June 30 to go to “any credit institution performing cash operations,” according to the CNB. This includes almost all commercial banks with a cash desk.

You can recognize expired, invalid banknotes by the thin silvery stripe that does not change color when tilted. In contrast, valid banknotes have a wider strip that changes color from brown-purple to green when tilted. The year of issue can also indicate if a banknote is invalid.

Reducing confusion for all

The CNB has set a clear goal of having only one sample of each banknote in circulation to speed up the processing of banknotes. This change will also significantly simplify transactions for Czech residents and foreign visitors.

The CNB has also issued a reminder that expired banknotes cannot be used in the normal payment system, and merchants have the right to refuse them. If accepted, these banknotes must not be put back into circulation. 

The central bank also notes that the largest number of expired banknotes still in circulation are the CZK 100 notes, with approximately 20 million pieces. They are followed by the CZK 200 pieces, of which there are approximately 13.5 million. There are also almost 2 million CZK 500 notes still in circulation, and just over 1 million CZK 2,000 pieces.

The CNB says that old coins can no longer be exchanged and are now permanently invalid.

The exchange policy does not apply to banknotes worth CZK 5,000, which remain valid in both the old and new patterns. 

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