Signs about accepting $100 bills.

I have noticed, in a few gas stations and sandwich shops,signs posted that read “We do not accept $100 bills”. Is this really legal? I thought that cash was good “For all debts,public and private”. Does anyone know? Just wondering. Thanks!

Hi Vega! Welcome to the boards. Your question has been dealt with a few times on the boards in the past, recently here:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=61422

If that one doesn’t answer your question, I know it’s a topic that comes up every once in a while. Do a search on it, and you should find your answer.

I looked up the reference and that does not really address the question for a gas station or sandwich shop, although it works for most other situations. You have just poured $20 worth of gas into your tank and then noticed the sign. You offer them a $50 bill and they refuse to take it. So you drive off, maybe promising to bring them the money the next day. They call the cops who stop you and you tell your story. Then what? I suppose they could try to siphon the gas out of your tank, but that solution is not exactly viable in the sandwich shop.

What they really mean is “we won’t make change for a $100 bill” and they’re under no obligation to do so. They’ll presumably be happy accept the bill and not make change, but in that case you’re likely to withdraw your offer to pay with a $100 bill. You still owe them $18.85 (or whatever) though.

I asked a similar question a little while ago. The impression I got was that you still owe the money. It’s up to you to find suitable payment method (smaller bills).

my question about $100

>> I have noticed, in a few gas stations and sandwich shops,signs posted that read “We do not accept $100 bills”. Is this really legal?

Yes, it is 100% legal (unless you can find a law stating otherwise, which you won’t). They offer to sell you gas under those conditions and you are free to take your business elsewhere.

Another reason some businesses won’t accept large bills is because they are afraid of getting counterfeit currency. I know of several businesses in this area that have been given counterfeit bills and they just simply stopped accepting them altogether.

I know in my area that fake $50’s and $100’s have been passed at local merchants.

At my pizza delivery job, we don’t say we won’t take them. We just state on our badges and other literature (coupons and flyers) that our drivers don’t leave the store with more than $20. We’ll take a $100 bill, as long as you’ve ordered more than $80 in food. This of course is a safety concern, so that muggers will weigh the low gain against the potential jail time. (Taking less than $20 is a misdemeanor, but threatening someone for their money [even if they only have $1] is always a felony.)

People of a certain ethnicity in my area seem to always have only $50’s and $100’s when it comes time to pay for the pizza. I think they cash their checks (no checking accounts) into large bills for convienience in paying rent and other big expenses, but forget to get smaller bills on off weeks when they just want an Extravaganza with jalepenos.

Thanks for all the responses! I’m sorry I didn’t check for past threads. My question is answered,so now I must go get change!