The easiest way to break a $100 bill or another large bill is to visit your local bank or credit union, even if you don’t have an account at the institution.
Alternatively, some grocery stores, Walmart and Target locations, and cash-only businesses will exchange a $100 bill for you at the customer service desk. Other locations may require you to make a purchase to get smaller bills.
For more ideas on where to break or exchange a $100 bill, see below.
The most efficient place to break a large bill is at a bank or credit union, but there are a few other places where you may be able to do so.
Be sure to look out for signs that read “Bills no larger than $50” or some other variant to make sure the establishment doesn’t already have a policy in place for not accepting large bills.
We’ve ordered the list below starting with the best overall options.
1. Banks and Credit Unions
Your bank or credit union will be able to change your $100 bill without a problem.
Some locations may require you to show your ID or provide your account number.
If you don’t have an account at the financial institution, you can still stop at a local bank or credit union and ask if it would be willing to exchange a large bill.
2. Grocery Stores
Most grocery stores will exchange a $100 bill at the customer service desk if there’s enough cash available. A store manager may also direct you to a specific cashier lane, if necessary.
Sometimes, you can get change for a large bill after making a purchase at checkout or even a self-checkout lane.
Keep in mind that the register may not have enough change to break a $100 bill at any given time, and you may have to wait for a store manager to assist you. In this case, it would be easier to start at the customer service desk.
You can use a $100 bill to make a purchase at a Walmart store and receive change from a cashier or self-checkout machine.
However, Walmart stores will not exchange large bills (including $100 bills) at the customer service desk.
You can ask to exchange a $100 bill for smaller bills at Target. Bring the large bill to the customer service desk and simply request smaller bills.
You can also use a $100 bill to make a purchase and get change back. Most Target self-checkout machines accept $100 bills.
5. Restaurants and Bars
Restaurants and bars can usually provide change for a $100 bill if you use it to pay for food and/or drinks.
Sometimes, a restaurant or bar may be willing to simply exchange the bill for smaller bills for you, especially if it’s after a particularly busy period, such as after a lunch rush or happy hour.
6. Cash-Only Businesses
Cash-only businesses like smaller restaurants and laundromats may be willing to break a large bill, as they often have a variety of small and large bills on hand.
Remember to be on the lookout for any posted signs specifying that an establishment does not make change or break large bills.
7. Spas and Salons
Spas, nail salons, and hair salons often have cash on hand and can exchange large bills for customers, especially if you’re looking to leave a cash tip.
You may also be able to ask an employee for change; they may have smaller bills from tips received throughout the day.
8. Tattoo and Piercing Shops
Some tattoo and piercing shops only accept cash and many of the employees receive cash tips throughout the day. You may be able to ask the receptionist or an employee to exchange a large bill.
If you’re at least 21, you should be able to break a $100 bill at a casino.
Casinos often have bill breaker machines on the floor. But a bill breaker machine likely won’t let you choose the type of bills you’ll get back.
Alternatively, you can visit the cashier’s cage to request change. The cashier may ask to see your ID.
For more about getting change, our related research also lists where to get change when banks are closed.