Although in America all banknotes issued by the Federal Reserve since 1865 are legal tender, that’s not the case in other countries.

Britain has in the past 24 months or so been issuing new polymer £20 and £50 notes (polymer £5 and £10 notes were introduced a few years ago) and a warning has been issued to anyone who still uses cash to pay for shopping that at shops like ASDA, Tesco, Aldi, M&S or Morrisons from September, the paper notes will be rejected.

The Bank of England will allow Britons to exchange their old-style £20 and £50 notes after the September deadline, Chief Cashier Sarah John says: “Over the past few years we have been changing our banknotes from paper to polymer, because these designs are more difficult to counterfeit, whilst also being more durable. A large number of these paper notes have now been returned to us, and replaced with the polymer £20 featuring the artist J.M.W. Turner, and the polymer £50 featuring the scientist Alan Turing. However, if members of the public still have any of these paper notes in their possession, they should deposit or spend them whilst they can”.

NZers who have paper £20 and £50 notes and don’t plan going there over the next 5 months may need to arrange something with a friend or relative who is.