Do you have a jar full of coins sitting somewhere in your house?
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There’s a good chance that you’re like many people who store coins away to exchange them later.
As the use of debit and credit cards and digital wallets becomes more prominent, cash and coins are slowly becoming a thing of the past.
And most people don’t want to stand at a counter at a store, counting out change to give to the store associate when they buy groceries and other household items.
So, they keep their coins in a jar and wait until it’s full to trade them in for cash.
If you’ve filled your jar but don’t want to count and sort your coins on your own, you’ve come to the right place.
We’re going to explain where you can go to exchange your coins for cash for free!
Are There Free Coin Counting Machines and Coin Exchange Spots?
Yes and no.
Most coin-counting machines that you find when you’re out shopping at the grocery store charge a fee for their service.
It’s understandable because the machine costs money to operate, and the company that owns the machine needs to make money somehow.
These fees can range anywhere from 5% to a whopping 20% of the amount of money you exchange!
Those are fees you probably want to avoid if you’re simply looking for a machine that can sort your change, count it, and give you the cash in exchange for coins.
There is one coin counting machine that can do that, but you’ll need to know a trick first.
It’s called Coinstar, and here’s how it works.
What Is Coinstar?
Coinstar is a company that puts coin counting machines in stores across the United States.
The company has had kiosks in place since 1992, but more and more have been placed over the years, allowing customers in stores to easily visit the self-service kiosk and exchange their coins.
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If you’ve ever dealt with trying to sort your coins and count them at home, you probably understand how handy it can be to have a machine that does it for you!
That’s where Coinstar comes in.
How Does Coinstar Work?
When you visit a Coinstar machine, you can simply follow the instructions on the screen to get your coins counted and sorted.
Once you pour your coins in, the machine will get to work and start sorting and counting them.
Once it’s finished, it will give you a total for your coins on the screen.
From there, you can decide which way you want to receive your money: cash or a gift card.
You can even choose to donate them to charity if you don’t care about getting money back.
Before you do bring your coins in, though, be sure to clean them off.
There should be no debris on your coins, or it’s possible that the machine won’t be able to count them correctly.
Also, some coins that are in bad condition and worn may not be able to be counted.
That can make your final total a bit off, but it should be pretty accurate as long as you take the time to clean your coins a little bit before placing them in the tray.
If you choose to get your coins exchanged for cash, the machine will print off a voucher for you to bring to a store associate to get your cash.
What are Coinstar Fees?
Coinstar fees are fairly high – if you want your coins exchanged for cash, that is.
If that’s the case, the kiosk will charge an 11.9% processing fee on the total of your coins.
So, for example, if you turn in $50 worth of coins, the machine will take $5.95, leaving you with $44.05.
That’s not a huge amount, but it’s still a bummer if you were planning to get your full amount in cash.
There’s a plus side, though.
You can choose a gift card option at the kiosk instead of cash.
When you do this, you’ll get an eGift card of your choice based on the options the kiosk gives you.
Choosing a gift card means that you get to keep your full amount safe from fees!
Gift cards given through a Coinstar kiosk are not subject to the 11.9% fee you get charged when you ask for cash.
And there’s never a charge just to use the Coinstar machine, either, so you won’t have to spend a dime to get your coins exchanged.
Where are Coinstar Machines Located?
You can use the Find a Kiosk tool on the Coinstar website to find a kiosk near you.
They are typically found in grocery stores and restaurants, and Coinstar partners with several of them to place their kiosks.
When you use the tool, you can also search specifically for kiosks that offer cash, a gift card, or a charity donation, so that you can find a kiosk that caters to the option you want (most machines offer all three, but not all of them do).
In addition to the United States, Coinstar has kiosks available in the UK, Ireland, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, and Spain.
What Other Services Does Coinstar Offer?
Coinstar offers some other services for people who want to exchange coins.
For example, it allows businesses to use the machine to exchange large numbers of coins at a time.
It also offers special services and help for anyone who thinks they might have more than $3000 in coins to exchange.
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Customers can also purchase Bitcoin at Coinstar kiosks, a service available through Coinme.
This service lets you add cash to the machine to turn into Bitcoin for any amount up to $2500.
You can also use the kiosks to add cash to your Amazon Payments balance, which is an excellent solution for people who don’t feel comfortable using debit or credit cards to pay for their online purchases.
Just enter the phone number associated with your Amazon account, choose how much to add, and insert your cash into the machine.
You can add any amount between $5 and $500.
It goes through instantly, so you can make your Amazon purchase as soon as you’re done.
You can also search for kiosks that offer the Amazon cash option with the Find a Kiosk tool.
Banks That Offer Free Coin Exchange
If you can’t find a Coinstar kiosk in your area, then you can still rely on banks to do the job for you.
Well, many of them, anyway.
Some banks only allow customers of that bank to take their coins in to exchange for cash.
So, it’s usually a good idea to head to your bank first and ask about their policy.
Here are a few banks that are known for allowing coin-to-cash exchanges:
Bank of America
Head to a Bank of America to exchange your coins for cash.
Its branches do require you to roll your coins first.
Chase banks typically require rolled coins for exchange, but they don’t limit the service solely to their customers.
Citibank varies its coin policies by location.
Some branches will actually charge you fees to exchange coins, even with your coin rolls.
But it appears that all branches do require you to have your coins rolled before you can get cash for them.
Community Savings Bank
The locations of this bank may vary in their policies, but they typically serve customers of the bank and require coins to be rolled.
Huntington Bank branches generally allow customers to exchange rolled coins for cash or deposit them into their bank accounts.
U.S. Bank locations do not require you to have rolled coins, but they do only offer coin exchanges for cash to their current customers.
You’ll need some kind of account with the bank, including a checking, savings, or credit card account.
Some Wells Fargo branches actually have coin machines in their lobbies that customers can use to exchange their coins for cash.
Otherwise, you can roll your coins and give them to a teller to get cash or deposit them into your account.
Small businesses can also open a business account to enroll in a coin deposit service that does not require them to roll their coins before depositing or exchanging them.
Your Local Credit Union
Most local credit unions will allow their members to bring in rolled coins for deposit or cash exchange.
Do You Have a QuikTrip Nearby?
If you do live near a QuikTrip store, you’re apparently in luck.
This gas station/convenience store chain has been pretty accommodating in this area for a while, allowing people to stop in and change their coins out for cash, for reasonable amounts, of course.
But since the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a coin shortage due to people not visiting businesses as much and spending money, the store has decided to help out in its own way.
According to this article, you can visit QuikTrip to hand in your coins.
The store will buy them from you down to the exact penny and will give you either cash or a gift card.
What you get depends on the amount you have in change.
The best part is that the store will not charge you a fee for the convenient service.
Alternatively, Use Your Coins to Buy Stuff!
If you don’t have banks or a Coinstar kiosk near you that will let you exchange your coins for cash, there’s still another option: Spend them!
A lot of people shy away from using coins because they think they’ll be a hassle when it comes time to pay.
But stores can’t refuse your coins.
They’re legitimate forms of money that are accepted anywhere that accepts cash.
However, you probably won’t want to walk into a store with a bunch of unrolled, uncounted change and use it to pay for your order.
It’s a better idea to have everything sorted beforehand so you know how much you have and you can be courteous to the employees and other customers in the store.
As long as you have everything counted out and rolled, there should be no problem using it at the grocery store, a restaurant, a movie theater, or wherever else you need to pay for stuff.
You might also hang onto your coins for stuff that you’d normally pay cash for, like tips at restaurants or yard sale shopping.
Conclusion: Change My Coins for Cash for Free Near Me
Now you know where to exchange your coins for cash without having to pay money for the service!
If you know of other banks that allow free coin exchanges – especially for non-customers – and other places that allow you to exchange coins, let us know in a comment below.
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