Can stores really decide which legal tender they will accept?

I was at Blockbuster and due to my upcoming vacation, I only had a $100 bill. They would not accept it. Is this legal on their part. Their refusal was not based on lack of change but it was a matter of policy. They had a handwritten note on the cash register "Please No $100 Bills".
I have seen this at other places too, and I understand that if everyone paid with large bills they wouldn't have change but can they really refuse it? Legal tender IS legal tender, isn't it?

Answers:
Yes, they can. They can tell you no $100 bills, no American Express, no Mastercard, etc. It is legal.

"The pertinent portion of law that applies to your question is the Coinage Act of 1965, specifically Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled "Legal tender," which states: "United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues."

"This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy."
I think that they can..I've seen that policy so many times and I've never heard of any actions being taken against the stores
While legal tender IS legal tender, it is NOT a requirement of law that the store accept such.

By the way, you should read the actual statute. The $100 bill is "legal tender" FOR DEBTS OF THE UNITED STATES.

In fact, they could decide tomorrow to accept only two chickens and a goat and not run 'afoul' of the law.
The problem is that there are so many counterfeit $100 bills going around that lots of the big outfits just don't wanna see 'em.
Some stores have legitimate security conserns. The do not like keeping enough change on hand to handle a lot of big bills. However, if you fill your Hummer at the local Citgo with $93 worth of gas, there is no reason they should not take it, and make an immediate drop.
I would say that it is legal just based on the amount of places that I also see these signs.

A note though, a place cannot refuse you if you would like to pay in pennies.
Ok its a bit tricky here, but the law says that our money is legal tender for all debts, public and private.

When you want to buy something, there is no debt if there is no transaction. If they refuse to rent you the video or cd, then there is no transaction, hence there is no debt.Now if you were in a restaurant and wanted to pay for a meal that was already consumed, they would have to accept the 100 dollar bill.

Also most places of business do not want to accept large denominations more so because of the risk of accepting a counterfeit bill than having to keep large amounts of currency in order to make change.
Can the individual store in a chain of stores make individual policy is the question you should concentrate on here.

First, find out if the store is a company store or a franchise. In either case, you will need to request to see the stores written policy concerning the acceptance of $100.00 bills. IF they do not have a written policy then legally they do not have grounds to refuse the note. You can file a complaint with the company and or frachisee. You should in addition file a written complaint with the BBB, your town or city's and your state's Commerce Department.

Despite what I've read in another posting to you, ALL DEBTS (public or private) also includes payments for goods and services at time of purchase. The reasons for the wording was to differentiate and make legal only bank notes printed by the US MINT under authorization of Congress and as carried out by the US Secretary of the Treasury. This was particularly aimed at keeping British Pounds, Mexican Pesos and Confederate currency from ever being used within the borders of the United States.

This is a lot to do to make your point, but you have a valid point and were treated unfairly. Many states do not allow hand written signs such as that found on the register to be legally enforceable unless it is written into the company's policy which are open to public inspection. You could pose this question to a local legal aid society or a professor of law at a local university or college, they are more likely to know about the individual and relavent codes in your state.

Yes, you were inconvienced. You do have the right to decide with whom you do business, choose wisely with your money, you earned it, they only want to seperate you from it.

I hope this helps.
Yes, it's legal.

I once had a place refuse to accept my cash (small bills too), because they only took checks or credit cards.
"Legal tender" simply means it's valid for use as payment and recognized by the Federal government as national currency. It does not mean anybody *has* to accept it. "Ballbuster" could require you to pay in beads and wampum, if it so desired.


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