Where do slightly used $20 bills go?

Every time I get cash from an ATM, it’s dispensed in $20 bills, and it seems like they are all freshly minted, never circulated bills.

I tend to spend these at restaurants and grocery stores. I assume that most of these get deposited in the bank, since a storeisn’t likely to need to keep many $20s around for making change and I doubt they are paying their bills in cash. So, how do all of those lightly used bills (sat in my wallet for a week and then got handed to a cashier) get recirculated, if not through the ATMs?

They show up in ATMs all the time, perhaps your bank is near a distribution point for new bills. I see all sorts of bills in the ATMs, many are used but not abused.

The $20s I get from ATMs are in all sorts of conditions, from brand new to quite worn. Never so worn that it can’t be identified by whatever scanning technology is used. Anything worse gets destroyed.

People do still go inside the bank and get money from the tellers too.

I hated new bills, as they tend to stick together, so I would always fill the ATM with the new 20s.

Sometimes when you order cash from the Fed, you get circulated, sometimes you get freshly minted. Just depends.

Are those like human ATMs?

When I worked in banking I spent quite a bit of time at one of the largest cash sorting centers in the uk.

This place had several huge sorting machines that could count and sort hundreds of notes every minute. The machine would sort notes into 3 categories: suitable for ATM, suitable for counter service and too worn to stay in circulation. This was all based on things like torn and dirty notes and crinkles.

The counting floor had the biggest extractor fans I have ever seen and yet it was still a good idea to wear a face mask. When you’re fan counting hundreds of notes at high speed you’d be amazed at how much dust gets thrown up.

You quickly become immune to how much cash is in there. I used to quite often pull up a 20 million crate and use it as a chair. It’s just paper after a while.

Manual Teller Machines.

G strings, mostly.