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How Much Is a $500 Bill Worth Today?

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

500 dollar bill

If you went to the bank today to withdraw $500 in cash from your savings account, you’d be handed five $100 bills or perhaps 25 crisp $20 bills. But there was a time when much larger bills were in circulation, and the bank teller would have handed you just one $500 bill. Today, the now-rare $500 bill is worth somewhere between $650 and $850 but can be worth much more depending on their condition and other factors.

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.

The BEP would even eventually print a $100,000 Gold Certificate note, but these were only provided to Federal Reserve Banks and never put into circulation for public use. Today, the $100 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, a website run by paper money expert and long-time collector, Manning Garrett.

20th century: While the $500 bill could be found in the pockets of the very wealthy, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’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, towards obsolescence, and the BEP printed the final $500 notes in 1945.

Discontinued in 1969: The note then stayed in circulation until the Federal Reserve inevitably discontinued the note on July 14, 1969, removing it from public circulation altogether. Since it’s discontinuation, the $500 bill has become a sought after item for currency collectors, with the value of some of these elusive bills reaching up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

What a $500 bill is worth today

The possession of a $500 note means you are holding a rare piece of American history — and potentially even a substantial source of financial gain.

The worth of a $500 bill has grown since its years of public circulation. A money collector need only search online to find other collectors selling $500 bills for thousands of dollars on eBay.

However, 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 need to be taken into consideration.

According to AntiqueMoney, most $500 bills are worth somewhere between $650 to $850, as long as they are in decent condition. But there are some $500 bills that are worth significantly more. The $500 gold certificate note printed in 1882 is typically considered to be more common, but depending on the seal type and signature on the bill, it’s possible for the note to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The $500 gold certificate note that was printed by the BEP in 1922 was the last large size $500 bill printed in the US. 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. The $500 gold certificate that was later printed in 1928 is even more valuable as it was printed during a year that 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.

There is quite a variety of $500 notes that were printed during their time in circulation. 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.

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 destroying on a regular basis. But with the increased monetary value of the bill over the years, consider yourself lucky to encounter one in everyday life.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Ben Moore
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Ben Moore is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Ben here

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How to Get a Debit Card

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Debit cards are a must-have for many consumers today. They’re more widely accepted than checks, safer than carrying around large sums of cash and, unlike credit cards, don’t land you in debt (unless you overdraft).

Luckily, getting a debit card with a checking account, prepaid debit card or even a savings account can be simple. This step-by-step guide on how to get a debit card covers the different types of accounts and how you can get one.

Decide what kind of account you need

There are many ways to get a debit card. The best option for you will depend on your financial situation and goals.

  • Checking account: This is a good way to safely store money you plan to use in the near future. A checking account from a bank almost always comes with one of these cards that gives you easy access to those funds. Some banks offer a bonus for opening a checking account, and there are also ones that earn rewards. If you’re after bonuses and rewards, keep in mind that these accounts often come with higher fees. Your local credit union is also a great option for a checking account — and debit card — with minimal fees. Plus, it’s smart to build a relationship with a credit union as you might want to use it for other financial needs in the future, such as a low-interest credit card, personal loan or mortgage.
  • Savings account: Some savings accounts and money market accounts will give you a debit or ATM card that allows you to make purchases and withdrawals using your savings. However, this option isn’t ideal for most people since Federal Reserve Regulation D limits savings accounts to six transactions per month. Exceeding that limit could result in fees or your account being closed.
  • Online bank account: Online banks operate without brick-and-mortar locations. Because they have fewer overhead costs, high-yield online checking accounts often have higher APYs and lower fees than traditional banks.
  • Prepaid debit card: It is possible for a financial institution to reject you for a checking account, usually because you have outstanding debt or banking fees from a prior account. Prepaid debit cards don’t require a bank account, and you can load money directly on the card with cash.
  • Debit card for teens: If you’re looking to get a debit card for your teen, look into debit cards and checking accounts specifically geared toward teens and students, which tend to come with lower fees and may not allow overdrafts.

Step-by-step guide on how to get a debit card

Now that you know what you want, follow these steps to open an account and get a debit card.

  • Research account features: Read up on account fees and features so you can choose the best one for you. Look for low-fee or fee-free checking accounts with low minimum balance requirements. Also seek out convenient features, such as mobile banking and online bill pay.
  • Gather necessary documents: If you’re opening a bank account, you’ll likely need to provide two forms of identification. These can include a passport, driver’s license, state identification card, birth certificate or Social Security card. Some banks will allow you to provide one form of identification and a bill addressed to you.
  • Bring funds to deposit: Most banks will require a minimum opening deposit to open an account, which tends to range from $25 to $100. This money goes into your account, and you can use it immediately.
  • Open an account: You’ll need to go to the bank or credit union to open an account in most cases. However, online checking accounts may allow you to open one through the bank’s website.
  • Request a debit card and load it with funds: Some accounts automatically come with a card, while others will require that you request it. You’ll also want to fund your account, which can usually be done with cash or check, or through another bank account.
  • Activate your debit card: Once you receive your card, you’ll be asked to activate it and set a PIN so that it can be used at an ATM. Make sure to do this immediately. After that, your card is ready to use.

How to get a prepaid debit card

Unlike a regular debit card, a prepaid debit card isn’t linked to a bank account. It’s useful for people who have difficulty getting approved for a bank account. They usually can’t be overdrawn, making them a good option if you’re prone to this.

You can purchase and reload prepaid debit cards at many grocery stores, convenience stores and drugstores using cash or check — and sometimes direct deposit. Many come with activation, monthly, ATM and deposit fees, but the best prepaid debit cards minimize those. You can even find a few prepaid debit cards that offer rewards.

Things to remember when you have a debit card

While these cards are secure and convenient, they can also rack up fees if you aren’t careful. Pay close attention to ATM fees, which can be charged by both your card issuer and the ATM owner. Most debit cards come with a network of ATMs you can use fee-free, so stick to those. Overdraft fees can also add up quickly if you don’t pay attention to your balance. To avoid these altogether, ask your bank to set up your account so that transactions that would overdraw your account are denied.

Fraud is always a threat with debit cards, from data breaches at places you’ve shopped to ATM skimmers, who use hidden devices to skim your card information from an ATM you’ve used. With credit cards, you’re only liable for up to $50 of fraudulent charges, but with debit cards you can be held liable for $500 or more.

Keep your card information safe by visiting easily visible ATMs in high traffic areas and always covering your hand while you enter your PIN. Keep your account information and PIN private, and avoid disclosing it over the phone or through email. If you shop online, don’t make purchases while connected to public Wi-Fi.

What is a rewards debit card?

Rewards debit cards offer points or cash back in exchange for every dollar you spend. The cashback cards typically deposit your earnings directly in your account, while the points-earning cards offer points that can be exchanged for travel, merchandise and more. These types of debit cards can be tempting, but they often come with annual or monthly fees that can outweigh the rewards you earn.

As with anything, the key to getting a debit card successfully is doing your research beforehand and selecting the best option for your needs. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be on your way to faster, more secure payments in no time.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Elizabeth Aldrich
Elizabeth Aldrich |

Elizabeth Aldrich is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Elizabeth here

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What Does the Dodd-Frank Rollback Mean for You?

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

It’s been a year since Congress adjusted parts of the Dodd-Frank Act financial reform package, which was originally implemented in 2010 to address the financial industry excesses that helped cause the financial crisis of 2008.

The Dodd-Frank rollback was a bipartisan effort designed to make life easier for smaller banks, and also extend certain consumer protections. However, the effort drew negative attention from those who argued that dialing back some bank oversight could possibly contribute to another financial crisis.

So what happened with the Dodd-Frank rollback, anyway? In this article, we’ve rounded up what parts of Dodd-Frank changed, what stayed the same and what it all means for your banking and personal finances.

Why was the Dodd-Frank reform enacted in the first place?

The Obama administration proposed the Dodd-Frank reform bill in response to the financial crash of 2008, which set off the worst economic downturn since the Great Recession. Congress passed the bill in 2010.

The Dodd-Frank Act spans 2,300 pages and directs federal regulators to enforce more than 400 new rules and mandates. According to David Reiling, CEO of Sunrise Banks, “It imposed particular attention on the mortgage lending industry which was considered the main trigger for the Great Recession of 2008.”

Some of the rules under Dodd-Frank include:

  • New disclosure requirements for mortgage loans, so consumers could better understand what they are applying for.
  • More oversight over banks to make sure they have enough cash reserves.
  • The launch of new regulatory agencies for the banking, credit rating and insurance sectors.
  • The creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a new government agency focused on helping consumers with money issues.

For more on the specifics of the original Dodd-Frank bill, check out part one of this series here.

What changed with the Dodd-Frank rollback?

Under the original terms of Dodd-Frank, banks faced greater regulation and oversight from the Federal Reserve when they held $50 billion or more in assets. Supporters of the Dodd-Frank rollback thought that this threshold was too low and created an excessive regulatory burden for smaller regional and community banks that don’t have the same resources as the big banks.

After the rollback, the cutoff for mandatory extra regulation was pushed up to $250 billion in assets. In addition, regulators were given the discretion to require stress tests and extra regulations for banks with between $100 to $250 billion in assets, provided the regulators think it’s appropriate.

Brandon Renfro, assistant professor of finance at East Texas Baptist University, is supportive of the rollback overall. “Bigger players are better able to handle the regulations, due to economies of scale, while the Dodd-Frank rollback will give smaller organizations slack and flexibility to operate.”

How could the Dodd-Frank rollback impact your banking?

The Dodd-Frank rollback set to reduce regulations and improve profits for smaller banks. Since these banks no longer need to go through the same strict compliance rules and stress testing, they should be able to earn more. Supporters of the rollback believed that small banks could pass these savings on to consumers, by paying higher interest rates on products like CDs and charging less for loans.

The Dodd-Frank rollback also loosened the requirements small banks face for setting up a mortgage loan. Small banks no longer need to follow the Dodd-Frank data reporting requirement meant to help detect predatory and discriminatory lending. This makes it slightly easier for these small banks to offer mortgages.

Finally, the rollback added a new protection for small lenders offering mortgages (those with less than $10 billion in assets). “One of the changes of the rollback was to allow certain small creditors additional safe harbors when determining a consumer’s ability to repay a mortgage loan,” said Reiling. “By providing additional protection to these institutions who have historically always verified a consumer’s repayment ability, this may translate to easier access to credit for consumers seeking loans at these institutions.”

Overall, the intent of the Dodd-Frank rollback is to make it easier for small banks to operate with the goal that this will improve banking and borrowing for consumers. However, this is just an inclination as there are no specific rules in the bill requiring these banks to offer better rates for their customers.

Free credit freezes, extended credit fraud protections

Beyond changes for banking, the Dodd-Frank rollback also created new benefits for consumer credit reports. First, consumers can now request a free credit report freeze from the credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. A credit freeze locks up your report so new loans and lines of credit can’t be opened under your name — a good safeguard if you’re worried someone stole your identity.

Before the rollback, you had to pay up to $10 per credit bureau to get this protection in place. Now, this service is free for any credit user who wants it.

The Dodd-Frank rollback also extended the length of a short-term fraud alert on your credit report. It’s now one year, up from 90 days. When your report has a fraud alert, the bureaus must take extra steps to verify your identity before issuing new credit, like by calling you first.

It’s not as strict as a credit freeze so you can still set up accounts yourself, but adds extra protection against identity theft. Before the rollback, you would need to reapply for a new short-term fraud alert every 90 days, but now it lasts a full year.

Could the Dodd-Frank rollback fuel a financial crisis?

It took years for the country to recover from the last financial crisis and it’s understandable to be concerned about any legislation that might make another one more likely. While the Dodd-Frank rollback does loosen some of the measure’s original rules, it retains the majority of the original protections: the new regulatory agencies, the Federal oversight of large banks, the new disclosures for mortgages, among many others.

“Could the rollback increase the chances of a financial crisis? Yes, but only by some marginal degree,” said Renfro. “The key thing of the rollback is that it limits the regulations on the small banks, who were not key contributors to the financial crisis. The large banks are still constrained by the rules of Dodd-Frank so I’m not too concerned about the change.”

The final word on the Dodd-Frank rollback

Passing new legislation is always a balancing act, and the government decided that the extra potential growth and consumer benefits justified removing some of the Dodd-Frank’s rules. The main framework of the measure’s protections remains in place, while small banks and community banks get some regulatory relief. That seems like a fair trade-off, but only time will tell whether this is the right move.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

David Rodeck
David Rodeck |

David Rodeck is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email David here

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