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How Much Cash Can You Fly with Legally on a Plane?

Inside: Are you planning a trip and want to know how much cash you can bring with you? If so, this guide will teach you everything you need to know about carrying sums of cash on a plane.

Are you curious about the legal limits on how much cash you can carry onto a plane?

The answer might surprise you!

Are you looking to travel more and explore the world?

In this post, I’ll tell you everything that I discovered while doing some research. I hope this information will help clarify any questions that are still lingering in your mind.

But don’t worry – most travelers aren’t carrying that much cash on their trips. In fact, fewer and fewer people actually have cash on them to make a purchase.1

So what are you waiting for? Start packing your wallet with some of these friendly tips.

Are you planning a trip and want to know how much cash you can bring with you? If so, this guide will teach you everything you need to know about carrying sums of cash on a plane. We outline the different limits that apply to flying with cash and the security procedures that must be followed when transporting large sums of money by air.

How much cash can you fly with on a plane?

You can bring as much cash as you want on a domestic flight.

When traveling into the United States, you must declare any amounts of $10,000 or more when you go through customs. When traveling to other countries, the regulations vary, so you need to verify the customs requirements in the country you plan to visit.

Request to be screened in private so that your cash doesn’t get stolen. Keep your cash in a safe place and don’t bring too much with you when flying.

This is one of the important travel essentials when flying.

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What is the legal limit for flying with cash?

Picture of cash for the legal limit for flying with cash

It is not illegal to fly with large amounts of cash on a flight.

There is no limit on the amount of cash you can carry with you when flying domestically within the United States.

However, if you are traveling internationally, you are required to declare any amounts over $10,000 USD to customs. Failure to do so can result in a penalty.

To avoid potential theft, it is advisable to request a private screening when going through security.

Can I fly with 20k cash?

You can fly with 20k cash without any consequences, as long as you you are flying domestically in the United States.

If you are carrying more than $10,000 in cash or equivalent value when traveling into the United States, you may need to notify customs and fill out a Report of International Transportation of Currency and Monetary Instruments (FinCEN 105).2

What are the risks of flying with cash?

Picture of a passport, cash and plane for the risks of flying with cash.

There are risks involved in flying with cash, including being targeted by criminals and losing your money to theft. Plus there are rules and regulations you must be aware of.

Also, if you get caught carrying large sums of cash that are thought to be from illegal activity, you could face criminal charges and a hefty fine. Additionally, flying with cash makes you a target for thieves, so it’s important to be smart about how you carry your money when traveling.

1. Required to declare your cash if you are carrying more than $10,000

If you are carrying more than $10,000 in cash when flying, you must declare it to the local custom border agency. If you fail to report the cash, it can lead to civil and criminal penalties.3

You are NOT required to disclose if you are carrying less than $10k in cash.

2. Subject to confiscation of your cash if you are carrying more than $10,000.

If you are caught carrying more than $10,000 in cash while flying, the authorities may confiscate your money if they believe the money is suspected to be related to criminal activity. To get your money back, you may have to go to court.

Not declaring the transportation of money is a serious offense and can lead to civil and criminal penalties. Therefore, it is important to declare any large sums of cash when asked to fill out customs forms.

If TSA suspects that the excess cash is related to some kind of criminal activity, they will turn the issue over to a law enforcement agency as TSA has no law enforcement powers.

3. Subject to forfeiture of your cash if you are carrying more than $10,000.

If you are caught carrying more than $10,000 in cash by customs officers, the money may be seized and kept by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

This is called civil forfeiture, and it is a serious offense. If you are convicted of this offense, you may face civil and criminal penalties.

According to TSA, when presented with a passenger carrying a large sum of money through the screening checkpoint, the TSA officer will frequently engage in dialog with the passenger to determine whether a referral to Homeland Securites or law-enforcement authorities or is warranted. As in this case in Philadephia when TSA found $250k in cash.4

How can you secure your cash when flying?

If you’re like most people, you probably have a few things in your luggage that you would rather not leave behind if something goes wrong: passports, medications, and cash.

Unfortunately, there are few reliable ways to securely carry large sums of money while on a plane.

Step 1: Know the cash limits

There is no limit to how much cash you can bring with you on a domestic flight within the United States.

However, if you are traveling internationally to the US, you are limited to carrying $10,000 USD (or equivalent) without declaring the cash you are bringing in. If you have more than $10,000 in cash, you may need to declare it or get documentation stating its origins.3

It is not necessary to keep your cash tightly taped or hidden; simply declaring your money may be enough.

Step 2: Understand what needs to be declared

Travelers traveling to countries outside the European Union (EU) must declare cash worth €10,000 or more on a form before arriving at their destination.5

Similarly, travelers traveling to the United States (US) must complete a Customs and Border Protection Declaration Form 6059B.6 In both cases, significant penalties may be incurred for inaccurate declaration or non-compliance.

When flying with cash, it is important to be aware of the relevant regulations in order to avoid any problems. All cash above $10,000 USD must be declared when arriving at an airport in the US. In the EU, any cash totaling €10,000 or more must be declared on a form before arrival.

Failure to do so can result in severe penalties.

Step 3: Be aware of the security procedures

You should be sure to check the laws and regulations of your destination country before flying. This will help to ensure that you are following the correct procedures and are not breaking any rules.

Also, be familiar with the airport security guidelines and know what to do if you are stopped by the police.

Know is Spirit airlines safe to fly?

Step 4: Keep your cash hidden

When traveling by air, it is important to take precautions to keep your cash hidden and safe from theft.

One way to do this is to use a hidden wallet or dummy wallet.

  • A dummy wallet is a wallet with a small amount of cash and fake IDs that look realistic. This can help to trick thieves into thinking that the wallet contains more money than it actually does.
  • Another way to keep your cash hidden is to wear travel-friendly clothing with hidden pockets and compartments that offer some security.
  • Split up your money and store it in different places on your person to avoid being robbed and all of your cash taken.

When hiding your cash, be aware of what type of thief you’re dealing with and how to protect yourself accordingly. For example, pickpocketers are more likely to target people who are not aware of their purses or back pockets.

Learn how much cash should I keep in my wallet.

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Step 5: Do not bring too much cash

In today’s digital age, the need to carry a lot of cash is extremely minimal.

A general rule of thumb is only to take as much cash as you are willing to lose because it is risky and your money may be seized.

Flying with Large Amounts of Cash Wise?

Flying with large amounts of cash may not be the safest thing to do, especially if you’re not familiar with the criminal underworld.

There are a number of ways that criminals can rob people, and flying with large amounts of cash is one of the most common. Criminals can rob you while you’re boarding your flight, during your flight, or even after you arrive at your destination.

Plus you risk of getting your cash seized if you carry above the limits.

Hanger Diversion Fireproof Bag - Hidden Safe Compartment for Home & Travel

Perfect as a secret safe for for hiding cash. Plus it is water resistant.

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Can airport scanners detect cash?

According to Quora readers7, airport scanners can detect cash; however, how sensitive the TSA scanners are is unknown due to security.

Cash cannot be stored in a checked bag or carried on an individual’s person.

Therefore, individuals should not attempt to conceal cash on their bodies as the scanners will easily detect it.

How Much Cash Should I Take on a Cruise

Picture of passport and sunglasses for how much cash should I take on a cruise.

In general, it’s safer to travel with lower amounts of cash in case it gets stolen or lost.

You should take a moderate amount of cash on a cruise in case you cash for tips or small purchases. Also, you should consider other methods of payment, such as using credit cards or debit cards for other expenses.

You don’t want to carry more money than you can handle in case something happens.

Be sure to exchange your cash for foreign currency once you arrive so you don’t have to go out of your way. Keep in mind the normal way to pay in the country you’re traveling to so you’re prepared.

Learn the best places to exchange currency in London.


When traveling into the United States, you are limited to carrying $10,000 USD in cash without declaring it.

If you are carrying over $10,000 USD, it is possible for the authorities to seize or penalize you.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a limit on the amount of cash that can be carried on an airplane. The limit is currently $10,000.

The justification for this limit is to prevent people from carrying large amounts of cash that could be used for illegal purposes. Carrying large amounts of cash also makes it difficult to track where the money came from and where it is going.

If you attempt to fly with more cash than the TSA’s limit, you may be questioned by officers. If the TSA agent suspects that your money is linked to illegal activity, they may call in a law enforcement agency to investigate.

This could lead to delays, and if you are found to have violated laws governing civil asset forfeiture, you may be arrested or fined.

Will you Travel with Cash?

Honestly, traveling with large sums of money is not wise. Today there are other payment methods that are more secure and provide better fraud protection if stolen or misused.

There will be a debate on how much cash to travel with – just like how much cash should I have on hand.

However, many people still travel with large sums of cash because it is a common practice in their households.

As stated above, there are risks in carrying cash when you travel. So, it is important to be safe when traveling.

Now, check out these Amazon travel must haves!


  1. DepositAccounts. “1 in 3 Americans Can’t Make a $20 Cash Purchase Without Using an ATM.” https://www.depositaccounts.com/blog/carrying-cash.html. Accessed October 6, 2023.
  2. U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “Report of International Transportation of Currency or Monetary Instruments.” https://fincen105.cbp.dhs.gov/#/. Accessed October 6, 2023.
  3. U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “Currency Reporting.” https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/currency_reporting.pdf. Accessed October 6, 2023.
  4. Transporation Safety Association (TSA). “Philadelphia officers discover $250,000 hidden in bag.” https://www.tsa.gov/about/employee-stories/philadelphia-officers-discover-250000-hidden-bag. Accessed October 6, 2023.
  5. Your Europe. “Rules for taking cash in and out of the EU and travelling with cash in the EU.” https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/carry/carrying-cash/index_en.htm#:~:text=If%20you%20plan%20to%20enter,the%20EU%20cash%20declaration%20form. Accessed October 6, 2023.
  6. U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “Customs Declaration – Sample Only.” https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/CBP%20Form%206059B%20English%20%28Sample%20Watermark%29.pdf. Accessed October 6, 2023.
  7. Quora. “Do the scanners used in airports detect the quantity of cash you are travelling with?” https://www.quora.com/Do-the-scanners-used-in-airports-detect-the-quantity-of-cash-you-are-travelling-with. Accessed October 6, 2023.

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