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Exchange coins and banknotes

At the Banco de Portugal’s cash offices, you can exchange valid banknotes in escudos as well as damaged euro banknotes. You can also exchange euro banknotes and coins.

If you are unable to exchange valid banknotes in escudos and damaged euro banknotes in person, you may send them by post to the Banco de Portugal, using the registered delivery service for declared value items (Correio Registado com Serviço Especial de Valor Declarado).

Those sending money by post to be exchanged must comply with the following requirements: 

(a)  Identification details and other information on the applicant:

  • name, ID card or Passport number and issuing country (if a natural person); or
  • name of the company and Legal Person Identification Number (if a legal person);
  • in both cases, address, telephone number and/or email address, as well as the necessary data to perform a bank transfer (IBAN, for accounts domiciled in Portugal, or SWIFT CODE and other necessary bank information, for accounts domiciled abroad).

Note: Lack of one or more of these identification details (name, identification number or address) will result in the transfer being denied by the Banco de Portugal.

 

(b)  Money must be secured in two envelopes:

  • banknotes to be exchanged must be placed inside an envelope, which must be sealed and marked with ‘Contém Numerário’ (contains cash) on the front, with a breakdown of the banknotes;
  • The identification details, other information on the applicant and the envelope containing the money must be placed inside a second envelope, which must be sent using the Correio Registado com Serviço Especial de Valor Declarado service to:

                     Banco de Portugal       

                     Departamento de Emissão e Tesouraria        

                     Unidade Central de Operações com Numerário

                     Apartado 2001 

                     1100-012 Lisboa

The delivery service for declared value items (Serviço Especial de Valor Declarado) is designed to protect the content of mail to the amount declared by the sender (up to €5,000). In the event of loss, damage or theft, the customer is reimbursed for the real value of said loss, which cannot exceed the declared value.

If you provide us with an email address, we will acknowledge receipt of your application and provide you with the file number of the application by email.

Each case is dealt with on a first-come, first-served basis. Response times depend on the complexity of the case.

 

Exchange banknotes in escudos

Banknotes in escudos may also be exchanged for euro banknotes and/or coins at Banco de Portugal cash offices, up to 20 years after they have been withdrawn from circulation (see the collection term expiry dates). The deadline for exchanging escudo coins passed on 31 December 2002.

A valid banknote in escudos that is damaged or mutilated may be exchanged for euro banknote(s) and/or coin(s) in the following situations:

  • When entire or in fragments which, when joined together, form the exact and unequivocal same banknote;
  • When incomplete, presenting a fragment with at least 75% of the total area and including the right or left half;
  • When incomplete and in fragments which, when joined together, make up, at least, the area referred to in the aforementioned point.
Exchange banknotes in foreign currency

Banco de Portugal does not exchange foreign banknotes, except banknotes of countries that have joined the euro, and only during a period established by the European Central Bank (usually a two-month period after the date when the Member State in question joined the euro).

The banknotes of countries that have joined the euro are exchanged for euro banknotes and/or coins, at an irrevocable exchange rate, free of charge, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., in five of Banco de Portugal’s branches:

  • Lisbon cash office;
  • Porto Branch cash office;
  • Madeira Regional Delegation – Funchal;
  • Açores Regional Delegation – Ponta Delgada;
  • Faro Agency.

Banco de Portugal may exchange up to a maximum amount corresponding to €1,000.00 per transaction, per person/day.

When a new Member State joins the euro, Banco de Portugal publishes the terms and conditions of the corresponding exchange of banknotes on its institutional website and through a circular-letter addressed to the banking sector.

Exchange of damaged banknotes

Banco de Portugal replaces mutilated or damaged banknotes for a banknote of equal value, fit for circulation, where:

  • The authenticity of the banknote is confirmed; 
  • In the case of the banknote being mutilated, the fragment of the banknote presented is at least 50%, or, if less, where the applicant proves that the missing parts have been destroyed.

If doubts remain about whether the banknotes' mutilation or damage was intentional, the applicant must identify himself/herself and explain in writing what caused the mutilation and damage or what happened to the missing parts of the banknote.

If the banknote has ink stains or is dirty, a written explanation should also be given of the circumstances in which this occurred.

 

Neutralised banknotes

A neutralised banknote is a banknote damaged by the action of anti-theft devices installed in ATMs (of the Multibanco network) or in banknote transportation cases (called Intelligent Banknote Neutralisation Systems - IBNSs). 

Neutralised banknotes should not be accepted under any circumstances.

If you inadvertently take possession of a neutralised banknote, you should go immediately to a police station of the Polícia Judiciária, Banco de Portugal or a credit institution.

The credit institution that exchanges neutralised banknotes must not apply any rate, fee or charge of any kind.

Exchange of damaged coins

Banco de Portugal reimburses or replaces euro coins that have become unfit for circulation where:

  • Their authenticity is confirmed;
  • The coins presented have become unfit for circulation due to prolonged circulation or an accident.

Banco de Portugal may refuse to reimburse euro coins that are unfit for circulation which have been altered either deliberately or by a process that could be reasonably expected to have the effect of altering them, notwithstanding reimbursement of coins collected for charitable purposes, such as ‘fountain coins’ (Article 8 of Regulation (EU) No 1210/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2010) . 

If analysing the coin presented gives rise to doubts over its genuineness, it should be withdrawn and submitted for analysis under the terms defined by Banco de Portugal.

 

Exchange operations

At its cash offices, Banco de Portugal provides the desired denominations and quantities of banknotes and/or metal coins for direct exchange.

The conditions are as follows:

  • The banknotes to be exchanged should be grouped according to denomination and, preferably, faced and oriented, i.e. with heads upwards and all following suit;
  • The coins to be exchanged should be separated according to denomination, except in the cash offices of Lisbon, Viseu, Porto, Évora and Funchal, which have automatic machines for exchanging current and commemorative euro coins;
  • Acceptance operations for current and commemorative euro coins are limited to €1,000 per person per day;

COVID-19: from 1 July, banknote exchanges at the Lisbon cash office have been subject to prior appointment. To book your appointment please call: +351 213 130 000

 


[1] The delivery service for declared value items (Serviço Especial de Valor Declarado) is designed to protect the content of mail, containing valuable items or documents, to the amount declared by the sender (up to €5,000). It should be used when the sender ships items with a disposable value, banknotes or other securities. In the event of loss, malfunction or total destruction, the customer will be reimbursed for the real value of said loss, which cannot exceed the declared value.