I guess banks are hurting more than I realized. They seem to be hoarding their small bills.
Today, I went to a bank right next to my house, to save time, and withdrew money from that bank’s ATM. I paid $3.00 for that convenience. Then I went through the drive thru and asked if they could please change the 5 twenty dollar bills into ones and fives for my garage sale. This is how the conversation went:
Me: Can you please change these twenties into ones and fives?
Teller: And what account is this associated with?
Me (with stupid look on my face): Excuse me?
Teller: Do you have an account with us?
Me: No. I just want to exchange cash for cash. I’m not asking you to cash a check.
Teller: Well, we do not normally do that.
Me: You cannot give me cash for cash?
Teller: Not unless you are an account holder with our bank. But I will do it for you today.
Me (still with stupid look on my face): You are kidding me, right?
Teller: No, I am not.
She proceeded to exchange my money, but under clear duress. I had no idea that it was such big ordeal for banks, who have on hand usually more than $100 in cash, to trade one denomination of currency for another denomination.
When she returned and sent my money to me, she assured me that this was a common practice for ALL banks. This piqued my curiosity. I came home and called my bank. The woman who answered the phone seemed as dumbfounded by my experience as I. So I’m not sure where the original bank teller got her information.
I just know I will NEVER bank with that bank.
Do you see me trying to exchange my money and you won’t let me? Rude!