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How Much Is a $500 Bill Worth Today?

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As of 2020, the now rare $500 bill is worth somewhere between $650 and $850, but it can be worth much more than that depending on the individual bill’s condition and other factors. In fact, the value can possibly extend into thousands of dollars.

Since $500 bills are no longer in circulation, they have become collectors’ items. Gone are the days where you could withdraw a $500 in cash from your savings account as a crisp $500 bill. Learn more about the $500 bill, including its current value and history, below.

Is there a $500 bill?

The $500 bill, along with other large denominations, was discontinued by the Federal Reserve in 1969. Since then, the $500 bill has become a sought-after item for currency collectors, with the value of some of these elusive bills reaching up to the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Due to the bill’s status as a collectors’ item, it’s unlikely you’ll receive one from the ATM or as payment. But if you find one stashed in a relative’s attic, you could get a pretty penny from selling it.

What a $500 bill is worth today

Most $500 bills are worth somewhere between $650 to $850 today, as long as they are in decent condition, according to AntiqueMoney, a website run by paper money expert and long-time collector Manning Garrett. However, there are some $500 bills that are worth significantly more:

  • While the $500 gold certificate note printed in 1882 is typically considered more common, it’s possible for the note to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the seal type and signature on the bill.
  • Then there’s the $500 gold certificate note that was printed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) in 1922 and is the last large size $500 bill printed in the U.S. Most of these bills are now worth around $4,000 each, and if the bill is in especially great condition, its value can reach into the tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Meanwhile, the $500 gold certificate that was later printed in 1928 is even more valuable as it was printed during a year when gold certificates were issued in the country for the last time. With only 420,000 of these $500 notes printed, they are now worth anywhere from $2,000 to $15,000 each.

As you can see, there is quite a variety of $500 notes that were printed during their time in circulation. Determining the exact worth of a $500 note can be tricky, as there are a few key factors, such as rarity and the note’s physical condition, that must be taken into consideration.

With so many different variables at play when considering their current worth, the general rule of thumb is to always reach out to a qualified collector for an educated appraisal.

A brief history of the $500 bill

The Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) used to print paper notes for several large monetary denominations, including $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000. Today, the $100 bill is the largest monetary denomination printed and placed into circulation, which means that the possession of a $500 bill could mean you are holding something rare, and possibly of great value.

19th century: The first $500 note was printed by the BEP during the Civil War, and was issued well into the 1960s. Millions of $500 bills were printed over the note’s lifetime, according to AntiqueMoney.com.

20th century: While the $500 bill could be found in the pockets of the very wealthy, the Treasury Department’s website states the bill was mostly used by banks for large payment transfers. Over time, the advancement of banking technology began to steer the higher-denomination paper currencies, including the $500 note, toward obsolescence, and the BEP printed the final $500 notes in 1945.

Discontinued in 1969: The note then stayed in circulation until the Federal Reserve discontinued the note on July 14, 1969, removing it from public circulation altogether.

Who is on the $500 bill?

The appearance of the $500 bill depends on when it was issued.

On the 1918 series of the $500 bill, you’ll find John James Marshall, the fourth chief justice of the U.S., on the front of the bill. On the back is a depiction of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto crossing the Mississippi River.

On the 1928 and 1934 series of the $500 bill, U.S. President William McKinley’s portrait appears on the front.

How many $500 bills are left?

With millions of $500 bills printed before their discontinuation, it is difficult to determine how many are still left today. Federal Reserve banks are required to destroy any $500 notes (as well as any other notes that have been discontinued from public circulation) they receive, and it’s unclear how many $500 bills are being destroyed on a regular basis.

Given the increased monetary value of the bill over the years, consider yourself lucky to encounter one in everyday life.

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What Is a Patriot Bond and What Can You Do With It?

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Created in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Patriots Bonds are a type of savings bond that allowed Americans to grow their money while financially supporting the country’s anti-terrorism efforts. While new Patriot Bonds are no longer being issued today, if you already own one, you can certainly redeem it.

This article covers everything you need to know about Patriot Bonds, including how to determine your Patriot Bond’s value and how to cash it in.

What is a Patriot Bond?

A Patriot Bond is a special paper Series EE savings bond that was created in direct response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Sold from December 2001 through December 2011, the bond provided a tangible way for Americans to support the country’s reaction to the attacks, as proceeds from the bonds went to an anti-terrorism government fund. A Patriot Bond can be identified by the words “Patriot Bond” printed at the top, between the owner’s Social Security number and the date the bond was issued.

While the bond may have a unique name, it functions like a standard EE paper savings bond. The bond could be purchased for amounts between $25 and $10,000. It was government-backed, making it a low-risk option for Americans to grow their money.

Each bond was assigned a fixed interest rate that guaranteed the bond would grow in value over time. And just like Series EE savings bonds today, Patriot Bonds could be purchased for a variety of uses, such as saving for retirement, growing a college fund or simply giving as a gift.

The Patriot Bond was discontinued in 2012 when the Treasury switched to electronic bonds.

Can I redeem a Patriot Bond if I have one today?

The short answer is yes. While EE bonds typically cannot be redeemed until after 12 months has passed from the date of purchase, the last Patriot Bond was printed well beyond that time frame, making it eligible for redemption.

That being said, there are some things to consider before heading to your bank to redeem it. Patriot Bonds mature in the same fashion as an EE savings bond, which means they earn interest every year for 30 years. So the longer you have the bond, the more it will be worth. Once the bond hits the 30-year mark, the bond stops accruing interest and reaches maturity, making it the perfect time to redeem.

Patriot Bonds (as well as all Series EE bonds) are guaranteed to double in value after 20 years — but you might not need to wait so long, according to Ken Tumin, founder of DepositAccounts.com. “If someone got a Patriot Bond in 2002, interest rates were much higher back then, so [the bond] could have doubled already,” he said.

If your bond has not yet fully matured, it may be in your best interest to convert it to an electronic bond, which will be helpful if you lose or damage a paper one. TreasuryDirect.gov — part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury Bureau of the Fiscal Service — has a feature called SmartExchange that can convert your paper bonds into electronic bonds. Electronic bonds are much more efficient when compared with paper bonds, as they can be redeemed anytime through the Treasury’s website and easily transferred to another owner.

How do I cash a Patriot Bond?

If you are interested in redeeming your Patriot Bond, you can head to almost any bank to exchange it for cash. In general, paper bonds come with no limitations on how much of the bond’s value you can redeem at once, but some banks may have their own restrictions.

You can also redeem a Patriot Bond through the Treasury Retail Securities Services. To redeem this way, you must have a certifying officer from a local bank certify your signature on the back of the bond. Once certified, you must then mail the bonds, your Social Security number and the Treasury’s direct deposit form to Treasury Retail Securities Services.

I have a Series I savings bond. Do I cash this in differently?

While Patriot Bonds were printed as Series EE savings bonds, you may be in the possession of a Series I bond. The value of a Series I bond is determined differently since part of the bond’s interest rate is based on inflation (thus the “I” in the name).

A Series I bond is first assigned a fixed interest rate that stays with the bond over its lifetime. Then, the bond is given an inflation rate. The inflation rate changes every six months in accordance with the inflation rate, which the Treasury announces on the first business day every May and November. The fixed rate and inflation rates are combined when determining the overall value of the bond.

Just like the EE bonds, an I bond can be cashed 12 months after the date of purchase. The bond also reaches full value maturity after 30 years.

How much is my Patriot Bond worth?

Determining the worth of your Patriot Bond is pretty easy. TreasuryDirect has a simple calculator that you can use to find out the value of the bond. Like other paper savings bonds, the Treasury’s calculator will determine the value of your bond based on factors like its series, denomination and its issue date.

When using the calculator, you’ll need to input your bond’s series type, denomination type, serial number (which is not required but recommended if you plan on saving the inventory of your bonds) and the month and year it was issued. As a result, you’ll learn information about your bond, such as its total price, total value, total interest earned and its final maturity.

You can also use the calendar to see the expected value of the bond in the years to come, which will help determine when you would like to redeem the bond.

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Private Banking for the Uber Wealthy: Is It Worth It?

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If you’re a high-net-worth individual — a so-called HNWI — private banking is a must-have resource for managing your financial life. Among other things, a private banking relationship gives you an outside perspective on your financial decisions, helps you find investment opportunities and aids in the management of your assets.

But before moving forward with a private banking relationship, it’s important to recognize that this service may not be the best solution for your goals. Careful analysis of the services offered by a bank can help weigh the pros and cons of a private banking relationship.

What is private banking?

Private banking is a personalized banking experience, specifically for wealthy individuals, families and businesses. Typically, HNWIs with family or personal fortunes valued at $1 million or more make use of this service. These services nearly always include the services of a dedicated banker, who provides one-on-one assistance and financial advice to clients.

According to Ken Tumin, founder of DepositAccounts.com, a LendingTree website, it is a service that really helps busy people cut down on time spent dealing with the minute details of banking, such as deposits, withdrawals, a change in address, or help with a new debit card.

Because these relationships offer such specialized attention, the service isn’t available to everyone. In order to qualify for this service, a potential client needs to have deposited a very high minimum amount — typically $250,000 to $1 million — with a bank, or simply possess a very high net worth in the millions, before they are considered for these services. According to Tumin, funds invested with a bank can be through assets, accounts, or a mixture of both.

Private banking perks

At its core, it offers standard banking services and solutions that are tailored to be quick and streamlined. Customers are able to contact their private banker on the phone or through email on their own schedule.

This easy access to simple banking services can be extremely helpful when it comes to the little details. Take, for instance, losing a debit card while traveling overseas. A private banker — for example, The Private Bank by Wells Fargo, which offers 24/7 support for their  customers — would be available to offer near-immediate assistance and expedite the shipment of the card.

Private banking also means fewer fees — this is another reward for big deposits. With Chase Bank’s Private Client service, checking and savings account fees, worldwide ATM fees and even fees on wire transfers are all waived. Chase Private Bank also allows higher deposit and withdrawal limits, access to a free safe deposit box and free personal checks.

This service also offers the option for multiple debit cards on the account so the entire family has access, as well as the ability to set spending limits. There are also options for new investment opportunities, and special access to competitive rates and discounts when opening new lines of credit. Some banks even offer financial planning to help grow your wealth.

Requirements for private banking

Bank of America

Bank of America Private Bank and Merrill Lynch both require a minimum of $250,000 in investable assets

Chase Bank

Chase Private Client requires an average daily balance of $250,000 or more. This can be through any combination of deposits and investments within Chase Bank

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo’s The Private Bank requires a minimum of $1,000,000 in deposits and investments

Citibank

Citibank Private Bank requires a minimum net worth of $25 million

Is private banking worth it?

If you are unable to meet the minimum requirements for private banking, don’t worry. Tumin believes that private banking relationships don’t provide much value overall, especially if the customer is required to maintain a high balance in a low-interest account.

“If you have $250,000 in a savings account, you might get a little extra boost of interest, but it will probably only be 0.1%. If that’s the case, you have to figure out if the loss of interest is worth the benefits,” said Tumin.

If you are required to maintain a high balance in a low interest account, Tumin recommends looking into brokerage firms which would be able to invest your money at a much higher ROI. “Someone that has a lot of wealth would be better off investing in mutual funds and ETFs through a brokerage firm. Plus, many also offer tax management services,” he said.

The rest of us aren’t missing out on much when it comes to private banking, according to Tumin. “Many banks offer free checking accounts, and high interest within accounts,” which means customers that don’t hit the $250,000 minimum can still reap some of the same benefits.