King Charles notes: How to exchange old banknotes for new Bank of England editions at Post Office

  • Banknotes featuring King Charles III's portrait were issued for the first time on 5 June
  • The new notes will circulate alongside older ones featuring Queen Elizabeth II
  • Banknotes featuring Queen Elizabeth II remain legal tender
  • The new King Charles banknotes can be obtained at select Post Office branches
  • A postal exchange service is available until 30 June, allowing customers to exchange notes for the new King Charles ones

Earlier this month (5 June), banknotes with the King's portrait were issued for the first time and entered circulation.

The move marked the first change in the sovereign depicted on the Bank of England's notes, and the new banknotes will circulate alongside those featuring Queen Elizabeth II.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

King Charles's portrait will appear on all four denominations – £5, £10, £20, and £50 – with no other changes to the current designs.

While banknotes featuring Queen Elizabeth II remain legal tender and there is no need to exchange them, people who are interested to see the new banknotes can now get their hands on them.

So how exactly can you do that, and can you exchange your ‘old’ Queen Elizabeth banknotes for the new design? Here is everything you need to know.

How can I get a new King Charles banknote?

People may only start to see the new notes appear in their change very gradually, and to begin with, you are only able to snap up the new-look currency at selected Post Office branches.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The chosen Post Offices will initially have £5, £10 and £20 denominations of the new banknotes. Thousands more Post Offices will receive the new-look currency over the coming days and weeks.

In line with guidance from the Royal Household, the new notes will only be printed to replace those that are worn, and to meet any overall increase in demand. The approach aims to minimise the environmental and financial impact of the change.

Graham Mott, director of strategy at ATM and cash access network Link, said: “As King Charles III banknotes begin to enter circulation, they will steadily be available through all cash machines as worn notes are withdrawn.”

Do I need to exchange my old notes?

London tourist Paula Cavelius with the new-look banknotes bearing a portrait of King Charles III (Photo: Jas Lehal/PA Media Assignments)London tourist Paula Cavelius with the new-look banknotes bearing a portrait of King Charles III (Photo: Jas Lehal/PA Media Assignments)
London tourist Paula Cavelius with the new-look banknotes bearing a portrait of King Charles III (Photo: Jas Lehal/PA Media Assignments) | Jas Lehal/PA Media Assignments

Banknotes featuring Queen Elizabeth II remain legal tender and there is no need to exchange them for ‘new’ ones featuring the King’s portrait.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

There likely will come a time when Queen Elizabeth banknotes are withdrawn from circulation, but the Bank of England typically provides at least three months' notice before withdrawing notes or coins from legal tender status.

This period allows the public ample time to exchange old notes or coins for new ones or to deposit them in banks.

How can I exchange my banknotes?

Though there is currently no need to exchange notes, people who are interested to see the new banknotes can still get their hands on them.

The Bank of England has put temporary facilities in place to allow people to obtain a limited amount of the King Charles III banknotes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It has set up a postal exchange service, running from 5 to 30 June, up to a limit of £300 per customer. Send in your current or old series banknotes along with a completed application form, and the Bank of England will exchange them for King Charles III banknotes.

The exchanged notes can only be sent to a UK address, and if you send more than £300, the excess cash will be returned to you via your chosen Return Postal Method, along with the £300 of King Charles III banknotes.

The Bank of England anticipates a high volume of customers and long wait times during this period, so if you need to exchange more than £300 of old series banknotes, it is advised that you avoid these dates.

The application form and further details are available on the Bank of England’s website.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Bank of England counter at Threadneedle Street in central London had also been issuing new notes featuring the King, with the same limit of £300 per customer.

However, this service will come to an end on 11 June, and from 12 June, the Bank’s counter will once again issue Queen Elizabeth II banknotes only.

How to exchange other notes

Of course, if you’re not currently interested in the King Charles III banknotes but want to exchange damaged or old banknotes featuring the Queen, you can do so through several methods.

Most banks and building societies will accept damaged or old banknotes and exchange them for new ones, even if you are not a customer, though it's advisable to check with the specific branch for their policy.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Some Post Office branches may also offer exchange services for old or damaged notes, though this can vary by location - again, it is best to check with your local Post Office.

Some high street retailers and currency exchange services might also accept old notes, though policies can differ between providers.

Have you managed to get your hands on one of the new King Charles III banknotes? Let us know in the comments section!

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.