We all treat our money as something much more than just paper. But when Missy’s daughter treats a $20 like she would any other paper, Missy runs into a problem of what to do with her $20 bill and wonders what happens then.

The Value Of Paper Money


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  • Amy Fox


    If you have both halves, they will exchange the bill. If it was torn so that you had 2/3, but had LOST the other 1/3, they would still honor it. If you only have the ONE half, they will NOT honor it.


  • Shayna

    I have same problem.. my older son who is only 9 years old.. He’s deaf and I am deaf parent too.. He got angry and decided to tear something somehow it was $5 bill.. I had to taped it back together store still accept it.. I been try figure out how to explain a child about the bill..

  • Lisa

    Missy, I worked at a bank and interesting view you brought up. I’m sure we all wonder the same at one point or another. However, if any “piece of paper/money” is torn they will not accept it. Now if it was a small torn and taped yes but all the way and taped back together they don’t take it or exchange it for the value. Let me know if you get lucky. Of course over time the rules might of change. Let me know the outcome of your trip to the bank.

    • Paul

      If the torn or cut currency is put back together and it shows the both sides of serial numbers and it matches, then the banks should be able to honor it. The paper money is actually not a paper. It is made of cloth. (note that it wont wash away in the washing machines/ dryers compared to the normal papers being washed away)
      The problem with some people not understanding the value of the currencies is that they are not understanding what or how much it takes to “earn” to get to be able to make purchases with it. A dollar may be sufficient to buy a candy from a vending machine. But it wont be enough to buy a Big Mac from McDonald’s. These vending machines are more likely not going to accept any torn or cut currencies. Therefore, it wont help get you even a small bag of chips.

  • cy

    Missy – just put it back together with clear tape – it still has value as long as you have both halves and can tape it together. I did that when the boys tore it. My mom did that, too, and that was how I learned. The halves have the same serial numbers on them so if they match, the dollar still has value, torn or not. And Lynda – you are correct – if paper were made of paper, it would dissipate when exposed to water, and we know paper money do not dissipate with water…so there is no paper product in the paper money. If you feel the texture of the tree-based paper product and “paper” money, you will feel they are made of quite different materials.

  • Sam

    Well really, the bank will replace your half as long as there is more than 51% of the bill. Anything that is 50% or less will not be replaced. So a 2/3(66%) Bill that is torn, bank can replace 2/3, but not if you still have the 1/3 of bill.

  • Maurice

    The real value of any bill is two or three cents. FRS (Federal Reserve System) creates bill and gives to United States Citizens. And we have to pay it back to FRS with interest. So, where do we get interest to pay it back? Other view to think about it.

  • Sweetie

    You can use the scotch tape it to put a whole 20 and give to bank to exchange for that.
    that’s all.
    No such if tear half becomes 10 dollars, etc….

  • Jojo's view lol

    for money itself like bucks or coins u just can’t split it up for other things like food or things that you can split it up in half. but for the money itself can’t be split it up in half :)

  • Joe

    The value of $20 is now $10. It will honor as long you have other half matching the number on the bill.

    By the way, it is linen, not paper. You can iron the wrinkle money literally.

  • Tom Posedly

    Most of readers are right that you either must have two serial numbers on one piece or must have both halves to have it redeemed. You should teach your children the real value of dollar. Due to deficit spending by our government for the last 50 years. The real value of dollar has gone from 1 dollar to ten cents. Accordingly the value of $20 is now $2. Ask any old timers who remember paying 35 cents a gallon of gas. Now it averages at $3.50.

  • James

    When I was a NTID NSC business manager in 1980, I gathered cash for counting and noticed the $20 bill with the face of George Washington. It was pasted with scotch tape. Then I went to a bar and asked for a change.

  • Beata Payne

    that is true ! bank can accept half bill that point bank won’t loose it why not you explain them good deal or good idea or good suggestion:)

  • Alyssa Swartz

    i totally agreed with you when you said if 20 dollar bill rip half then it should be 10 dollars, same as 10,5,1 dollar bills! it would save paper, trees and environment (:

  • David

    Missy I really never thought about what you said about torn up half and about the bank and U.S. Treasure Dept. I never think of that just wonder. Hope you get anything money exchange from U.S. Treasure Dept. let everyone what you get.

  • Thomas

    love all of your shows, ur awesome!!! btw tell me what happened to your half of $20 bill that u sent it to govt? just wondering :-)

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