Try to spend C-notes outside of the US... no one wants them. They are hard enough to spend here. Companies want you using their own currency (gift card). Seems there is a shift from the Cash is King days to No Cash accepted. http://www.isitlegalto.com/new-york-law-legal-forum/3209-illegal-not-accept-cash.html "Recently, when we came across a restaurant in Manhattanâs Greenwich Village that had adopted a credit-card only policy, we thought it might make for an interesting little non-law related piece for the WSJ. But of course, as it turns out, thereâs a legal angle (isnât there always)? Letâs get to that in a minute. For now, the story. Tucked at the end of one of the shortest streets in Manhattan lies a well-regarded restaurant called Commerce, which opened early last year. On Wednesday, the restaurant adopted a new policy: it would no longer accept cash. Thatâs right: itâs credit and debit-cards only at Commerce, which dishes out $13 cocktails and $23 plates of spaghetti carbonara, among other fare, to its mostly well-heeled clientele. So whatâs the deal? The restaurantâs co-owner, Tony Zazula, said the convenience and security afforded by going cashless are well worth the added cost of the transaction fees imposed by card-issuing banks. Gone is the age-old restaurateurâs fear of getting robbed, either by outsiders or his own employees. âNo more armored trucks,â he says. Fair enough. But is this whole project legal? On first blush, thereâs the whiff of something being illegal about it â arenât greenbacks âlegal tenderâ for âall debts, public and private?â We asked Zazula about that, and he referred us to this page on the Department of Treasuryâs Web site. The applicable statute governing legal tender is Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, which states, simply: âUnited 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.â Okay. That doesnât sound like it works in Zazulaâs favor. But Treasury explains: 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. Nevertheless, a reader named Justin McLachlan sent us this alternate perspective, which we considered provocative enough to put up here. Writes McLachlan: Treasuryâs interpretation is right â theyâre talking about the concept known as an âoffer to treatâ or âoffer to bargainâ and generally, transactions where the obligation to pay arises and goods or services are received simultaneously. A store can forbid, say, bank notes over $50 because the person shopping there is made aware of the storeâs terms before any debt is occurred. Say I want to buy a candy bar at a gas station, but Iâve only got a $100 bill. The store refuses to take it and since Iâve not yet incurred a debt with them (I havenât eaten the candy bar), they donât have to take my $100 and I donât owe them any money. We simply walk away. But in a restaurant, you usually pay after youâve eaten the food. Youâve incurred a debt, and youâre allowed to pay for it later. Itâs not always clear how much the final bill will be or what payment forms will be accepted and without putting it in writing, itâs difficult to say I knew that they wouldnât take cash or that they donât take Discover, etc (did I fully understand the terms of the offer?). A restaurant that allows someone to incur a debt (eat their food) and pay later becomes a creditor and would be required to accept legal tender to satisfy that debt, unless there was some offer to treat or bargain in the mix, say they explicitly told their customers â in a very noticeable way â that they would only accept credit for payment and you still decide to eat their food or they make you pay up front before you even get it. Weâre not sure if Justinâs right, but we liked how he expressed his point. In any event, the other night at Commerce, at least during the hour or so we were there, the staff members all made it very clear to patrons prior to their ordering that they werenât accepting cash, thus, in our view, circumventing Justinâs issue."