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You have just over a week left to spend your old £10 notes

The paper notes featuring Charles Darwin have been gradually replaced since September 2017. But there are an estimated 220,000,000 paper £10 notes still in circulation, could there be one in your wallet?

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The old paper £10 notes featuring Charles Darwin, first introduced  almost 18 years ago in November 2000, are about to be removed from service.

However estimates from the Bank of England say that there could still be around £2.2billion worth of the old notes still in circulation, so it could be worth checking to see if you have any.

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After 1 March 2018 paper £10 notes cease to be legal tender

Retailers and other businesses no longer need to accept the old paper notes after 1 March 2018, so if you have any you should aim to spend them before the deadline expires.

The new polymer £10 featuring a portrait of Jane Austen entered circulation in September 2017 and has gradually replaced the old paper notes, and currently comprises the majority of £10 notes in circulation.

What happens if you miss the deadline?

If you don’t manage to spend your notes in time you can exchange them at many post offices, banks and building societies.

The Bank of England state:

The Bank of England will always exchange its old-series notes. Notes may be presented for payment either in person or sent by post (at the sender’s risk) to:
Dept NEX, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH.

Though don’t hold onto them for too long, as you’ll only receive the face value of the note, so inflation will gradually eat away at its value (though this is true of any cash you hold on to for too long, and is not deposited in an interest-earning savings account).

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Plastic cash – the money of the future?

The new £10 note is the third stage in the Bank of England’s plans to replace all their paper banknotes with polymer material notes. So far, they’ve issued a polymer £5 note featuring Winston Churchill, as well as the new £10 note .

The next polymer note will be the £20 note issued in 2020 and will feature the painter JMW Turner.

The Bank of England state that Polymer banknotes are:

  • Cleaner: polymer banknotes are more resistant to dirt and moisture, so they stay cleaner for longer than paper banknotes.
  • Safer: the polymer material can include enhanced security features, which make polymer banknotes harder to counterfeit.
  • Stronger: improving the quality of banknotes in circulation.

They also claim that because polymer banknotes last longer, they are more environmentally friendly than paper banknotes. And the old polymer notes will be 100% recycled.

Will the future be cashless?

Well over half of our transactions are now done by credit and debit card, with the spread of contactless and mobile payments and the steady growth of online shopping making cash a thing of the past.

In addition to the recent government ban on surcharges to spend by card, there are also many plans from the payments giants Visa and Mastercard to make paying by card easier, safer and more desirable for both merchants and cardholders.

And the advent of open-banking promises many developments and new products for managing your money more effectively.

Could using your credit card be more rewarding?

Take a look at credit cards that give you something back as you spend, whether that's reward points, frequent flyer miles or hard cold cash.

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