Have a ton of coins laying around the house?
If so, you may be looking as to ways to turn these coins into cash, but you don’t want to pay a fee that so many banks/machines ask you to pay. I get it.
In this post, I wanted to offer some options that anyone can take advantage if you’re solely looking to hand over some coins and get some crisp bills in return. It’s a lot easier than you think.
No matter how many coins you have, strap in and see if any of these ideas make sense to you. It works for all.
Where Can I Change My Coins for Cash for Free?
Your Local Bank of Credit Union
Not all local banks or credit unions will exchange your coins for cash at no cost, but it doesn’t hurt to at least check to see what their policies are. If they do, you’re going to find out that they have coin counting machines, similar to that of Coinstar, in which you throw all your coins in a tray and let the machine do the counting for you.
Even if the bank will do so, you almost always need to be a customer in order to take advantage. Worst case, you have to pay a fee or look for another alternative I mention later on.
You’re going to find out very few banks will have these coin counting machines, so I wouldn’t count on it. In my research, I only found about 20~ chains that offered free coin counting machines, but the trend is showing that many of them are giving up on this perk. According to MyBankTracker.com, this included JBT, Home State Bank, First County Bank, Republic Bank and the Westerra Credit Union, to name a few. I would refer to that list as it seems that they keep updating it.
In the meantime, at least contact your bank via the phone or visit their website to see if they have any coin counting options.
When in Doubt, Wrap Your Coins
This is going to take much more work, however, it’s going to be your best bet if you want to exchange your coins for cash and not have to pay a fee.
Almost every bank will accept wrapped coins and will even provide the wrappers for you at no cost, so there’s really no excuse to not start wrapping them. Even if they don’t off the wrappers, you can always pick up some up online for less than a few dollars. 99% of the banks out there, however, will provide you with coin wrappers at no cost as long as you’re a customer. You just have to ask. This was confirmed with many of the big-name banks.
Now, if you don’t want to wrap your coins and count them, I 100% get it. It’s a lot of work and I wouldn’t want to do it, either.
But, there are options.
In this case, I highly recommend you at least invest in an automatic coin counter online. These machines will do the dirty work for you just like machines in the store, and the best part is that once you invest in one, you don’t have to worry about paying fees again. The best part is that they don’t cost as much as you think, usually less than $25 to $50. I would only consider this route if you find yourself with a lot of coins, however.
Just wrap the coins, bring them back to the bank and they will be more than happy to deposit them.
Coinstar machines are located at many big-name retailers and can count your coins for you as you dump them onto a large metal tray. This option, however, can work only if you want to exchange your coins for a gift card.
Why is that, you may be wondering?
Because they don’t charge a fee as long as you select this option.
While I was writing this, you could choose from a wide variety of gift cards at no fees, including:
- Amazon (best value)
- Home Depot
Of course, this can change over time, so I do recommend you check out the official website, but just let it be known that you can exchange all of your coins for a gift card with NO fees attached. You can also donate to a charity if you’re feeling generous as well.
If interested in these gift cards and finding a machine, you can use the official website search tool to see where the kiosks are located and which ones offer particular gift card options. They all vary. Just let it be known that most of your Coinstar machines are found at big-name retailers, particularly grocery stores, such as Walmart, Kroger, CVS, ShopRite, Meijer, and the likes.
I know it’s not cash, but if you needed something at one of the stores mentioned above, you could always consider the gift card route.
And as the last note in regards to Coinstar, they do offer cash, but the fees are quite high — about 12% — to just have it count. As you can imagine, $200 in coins could easily buy that coin counting machine for life just from the fees. Unless you’re taking the free gift cards, it’s often not worth using it.
Use the Self Checkout
This trick only works if your local store has a self-checkout machine and it has a bin-like setup where you can throw a ton of coins in at once. Walmart, for example, comes to mind.
The great thing about this option is that not only will you not pay a fee, but it’s just as fast as the Coinstar machine. The only downfall, however, is that you will need to buy something at the store instead of getting cash. This shouldn’t be a problem as you more than likely need groceries, right?
Simply check out, scan your items as you normally would and then throw all of the coins into the bin to let the machine count it.
If you know you need to buy something at Walmart or any retailer with this sort of setup, then I highly recommend you at least bring a bag of coins to test it out.
If you want to exchange your coins for cash, it definitely can be done, but let it be known that you’re going to have to either do some work wrapping the coins and taking it to your bank or you may luck out and have a bank that has a free coin sorter for its customers.
If you don’t like the idea of wrapping your coins, then I would say your next best bet is either cashing out via Coinstar for a free gift card or buying an automated sorter to do the dirty work for you.
In the end, explore some of these options and see which one works best for you. No matter where you live in the states, there’s a good chance one of these options are nearby. Best of luck to you!
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