King is cash! How to turn the new King Charles banknotes into your next side hustle

Newly-minted King Charles banknotes enter circulation today, and experts say they could fetch “thousands of pounds” at auction.

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King Charles III was crowned last year, but his portrait has only just appeared on the first freshly-printed banknotes. And, despite the UK becoming an increasingly cashless society, the change is causing excitement among numismatists, or coin collectors.

It will take a few months for Charles to be seen in the public purse, as the first iteration of new notes will only be issued until next Wednesday. Notes that do appear in circulation could be a smart side hustle idea for those who want to double, or triple, their money.

Bank notes with early serial numbers may be worth a fortune to interested collectors. According to a report from Coventry Building Society, shared with This is Money, 15% of Brits who plan to apply for the new notes will sell them on eBay or at an auction for more money in the future.

How do I get the new King Charles banknotes?

The Bank of England has warned that those who want to get their hands on the new notes should act fast. You will only be able to do so from June 5 to June 30.

During this time, you’ll be able to exchange old banknotes up to the value of £300 for the new ones featuring the King by submitting an application form to the Bank of England office in Threadneedle Street, London (or, if you live nearby, you can visit the counter in person).

If you do get your hands on a £5, £10, or £20 note, make sure you read the serial number printed at the bottom of the polymer. This is because every banknote features its own unique serial number to identify and date it, numbered from 000001 to 999000.

The King has been given first access to the new wad, which means 000001 notes will not be available to collect. Still, coin enthusiasts have been known to bid money for early serial numbers, which is why the new notes could be worth much more than their face value.

Arnas Savickas is head of banknotes at Spink & Son. Speaking to This is Money, she said: “The lowest serial number of a £5 could fetch between £250 to £500, while £10 and £20 notes could go for £500 and £1,000 respectively. £50 could go for several thousand pounds.”

Do I need to exchange the Queen Elizabeth II banknotes?

Customers and businesses do not need to exchange their current plastic banknotes for the new King Charles III notes. The only design change on the new version is the monarch portrait, so if your notes still have Queen Elizabeth II on them, they will remain legal tender.

Things are different for the old paper banknotes, which have been out of circulation since 30 September 2022. On this day, the tender was replaced with more durable, polymer notes.

Customers can no longer use paper banknotes in shops and businesses cannot accept them as legal tender. If customers still have old banknotes, they should pay them into their bank account. The below banks will accept paper note deposits today:

  • Barclays
  • Halifax
  • Lloyds
  • Nationwide
  • NatWest
  • Santander

Is cash going to be phased out?

Cash is no longer the preferred method of payment for most UK customers, as more of us switch to online banking methods and contactless payments.

Mobile wallets, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, have overtaken cash payments. There is a generational divide when it comes to paying – 30% of young people say mobile is their preferred way to make an in-store purchase (compared to just 5% of those aged over 55).

Despite this, it is unlikely that customers will say goodbye to cash any time soon. The Coventry Building Society survey found that 97% of Brits still use cash, with the tenner reportedly being the “best loved note of Britons”.

Among the benefits of cash cited by consumers is better security and ease of budgeting.

From credit cards, to gift cards, to Klarna, customers are now used to having a range of options available during checkout. Businesses should adopt a customer-centric approach to transactions that embraces both modern and traditional payment methods.

Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.

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