How long you can use your current £20 notes as new polymer note enters circulation?

Today (20 February) sees the introduction of the brand new £20 note, which enters circulation for the first time and features a self portrait of renowned British landscape artist, William Turner.

The new note features improved security features over its paper predecessor, including holographic wording, a 3D image of the crown and raised print to help blind and partially sighted people identify the note's value.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The new polymer note is designed to have a lifespan double that of its paper counterpart; the plastic material is less likely to tear, and the new £20 notes only begin melting at 120°C.

You will be able to get the new note from many high street banks from today.

Here's everything you need to know about them:

Can I still use the old £20 notes?

Yes, you will still be able to use the paper £20 note until the Bank of England withdraw them from circulation.

Much like the introduction of the plastic £5 and £10 notes, bringing the new £20 note into circulation will be a phased process.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"The polymer £20 note will co-circulate with the paper £20 note," say the Bank of England.

When do the old notes expire?

The exact date on which the old notes will expire has not yet been announced.

But the Bank of England has said they will reveal the withdrawal date at least six months in advance, to give you plenty of time to get rid of your old notes.

How do I exchange my old notes for new ones?

The simplest and quickest way to exchange your old notes will normally be to deposit them with your bank, if you have a UK bank account.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Bank of England say that many banks will still accept the old notes as deposits from customers, even after they've expired.

"The Post Office may also accept withdrawn notes as a deposit into any bank account you can access at the Post Office," they say.

Another method is to exchange the old notes via post with the Bank of England, but "be aware the banknotes are sent at your own risk."

If using this method, the Bank of England advise taking "appropriate measures to insure against loss or theft."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

You'll need to complete a postal exchange and send it with your banknotes and photocopies of one photo ID and one proof of address to: Department NEX, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AH.

The Bank of England can pay your money into a bank account within ten working days by cheque, but if you live in the UK and your exchange is worth less than £50, they will send you back the amount in new banknotes.

How can I get a mint condition note?

With the arrival of new notes, many collectors find themselves on the hunt for notes in mint condition and with low serial numbers.

With the new £20 notes now in circulation, the Bank of England say there is no way to guarantee any new £20 you get will have a low serial number, sequential number or be in pristine condition.