Military payment certificates were once issued to military service members stationed in foreign counties. They have now become collectors items and some series can be quite valuable. Replacement notes in particular can sell for high prices. Continue reading to learn more about these notes.

Military Payment Certificate Series 481 5 Cent Note
A military payment certificate series 481 5 cent note


The US Department of War issued out military payment certificates (MPC) from the years 1946-1971. These MPCs could be redeemed for US dollars when a soldier left an MPC zone. If a soldier went on leave then the MPCs could be converted into local currency.

Instead of paying out US dollars, the government issued out MPCs as currency in order to combat currency arbitrage profiteering. Back when the troops were paid in US dollars they were able to convert the dollars into local currency which created a black market rate. The dollars were more valuable and the local foreign currencies were less stable. The MPC helped with this issue.

Military payment certificates came in different denominations. Generally, the higher-denomination bills will have more numismatic value. There are 5 cent notes, 10 cent notes, 25 cent notes, 50 cent notes, $1 notes, $5 notes, $10 notes, and $20 notes. The designs are different for each series.


The value will mainly depend on the series and the note's condition. Replacement notes will sell for higher prices. Replacement notes are more rare and thus more valuable. These replacement notes have a number at the end of the serial number, where as the standard notes have a letter at the end of the serial number.

Most of the common military payment certificates are not valuable and only worth a few dollars in fine condition. MPCs in the better condition grades will sell for more money. Uncirculated notes will sell for the highest prices.

Most of the MPC replacement notes are worth over $100 in fine condition. In uncirculated condition the value can exceed $1,000 for certain series.

Ultimately, the value of an MPC will depend on its series and its condition. See the list below to learn the value for some of the MPC series that we have featured on our website.



Standard Catalog of United States Paper Money