The $2 bill dates back to 1862, was redesigned several times, and was even discontinued in 1966 due to the bill’s low use and unpopularity. How can currency become unpopular? Retailers often mistook it for a $20 bill and gave incorrect change…not to mention the problem of where to put it in the cash register drawer! But now, the $2 bill is shedding its unpopular past and being used more and more every day – why?
Partly due to inflation – those little services or items that once cost a dollar or less have now crept over $2 due to inflation. And how about small tips, such as when you’re checking into a hotel? Not too many years ago, a patron may have tipped a bellman with $1 bills for bringing up the luggage. But with inflation on the rise, patrons today are pulling out $2 bills and handing them to the bellman for the exact same service. And the $2 bills take up less room in your wallet than the wad of $1’s often carried for tips. Additionally, the $2 bill is common in other currencies – so visitors or incoming residents from other countries are accustomed to using $2 bills, and commonly ask for $2 bills when exchanging money.
So if you decide to pull out that stash of $2 bills from the souvenir drawer and go on a spending spree, watch your change carefully, as many retailers and cashiers are still not used to exchanging money with the two-dollar denomination. And believe it or not – don’t be alarmed if the cashier refuses to accept the payment at first…a recent Taco Bell patron attempted to pay for a burrito with a two dollar bill, and the cashier and manager both refused to accept it as valid currency. When the patron insisted, the cashier and manager phoned security. The security guard actually had to inform the cashier and manager that yes indeed – two dollar bills are actually valid US currency.