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How to convert coins into cash?

3 Answer(s) Available
Answer # 1 #

At a certain point, you may realize that you’ve accumulated lots of coins but need a more convenient way to spend them. There are several ways to change your coins into cash for free or a low fee.

If your piggy bank or coin jar is filled, here are some options for emptying it.

Call your bank or credit union to see if it offers free coin exchange.

“More banks are actively seeking coin deposits to help meet demand in their branches and among their retail customers that rely on coins to conduct transactions,” says Steve Kenneally, senior vice president of payments at the American Bankers Association.

Many big banks have phased out their coin-counting services in recent years, but the regional banks or credit unions that do offer coin exchange likely do so at no cost to customers. There may be a small fee for noncustomers to use the bank’s coin-counting services.

“Different banks have different coin acceptance policies,” Kenneally says. “Some accept rolled coins and some accept loose coins to process through a coin-counting machine. If they have a machine, loose coins are usually preferred.”

Rolling coins is a cost-effective way to make exchanging or spending them much easier. Many banks give out coin wrappers for free, and cheap packs can be found in various sizes at dollar and office-supply stores and Amazon.

If you have young children who are trying to learn math virtually, use the coin wrappers as a real classroom. Between all the pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters you’ve collected, they can practice counting and begin to understand basic money values.

If you’re still wary of rolling your own coin or simply don’t have the patience (time is money, after all), you could instead shell out for a coin-sorting machine. Office-supply stores, Walmart and Amazon sell coin-sorting machines for $50 or less.

Many retailers offer self check-outs that accept coins. Some gas stations, such as QuikTrip, also offer coin-exchange machines that you can use to exchange coins for cash.

Some other businesses where coin-exchange services are commonly found:

Many grocery stores have coin-counting machines, which are often located near checkouts. There’s typically a fee for the service that can amount to a few dollars. Coinstar, the most popular brand of these machines, charges an 11.9 percent service fee that may vary by location.

Coinstar also gives users the option to exchange their coins for a gift card with no fee attached. Some gift cards offered include Amazon, Starbucks and AMC Theatres but the retailers featured vary by location.

When you choose to donate to one of Coinstar’s available organizations, every cent you put into the machine goes toward your donation. Coinstar’s list of charities includes:

Charitable donations are tax-deductible, even in the form of spare change, so if you choose this option, hold on to your receipts.

Gy Bergen
Answer # 2 #

Most banks or credit unions will accept rolled coins from customers, but some may charge a fee for the service. Some banks, such as Wells Fargo, will exchange rolled coins for customers without a fee. Wells Fargo says it also offers free coin wrappers. Check your bank's policy.

iknaumj Nahar
Answer # 3 #

Turning coins in for cash means a little extra pocket money for most of us. But if you've got enough change lying around, it could make a dent in your rent or even help pay for a trip.

Jeff Stotsky and his husband, Jon Schweizer, regularly drop their loose change into an empty 25-gallon water-cooler jug. When the bottle is full, Stotsky takes it to their credit union to cash out in a Coinstar machine.

"I have to make a bunch of trips because they limit you to $500 per coin dump," Stotsky said. Because he went to a machine at his credit union, he didn't have to waste time rolling coins and, more importantly, he was not charged a fee."One time, we wound up with about $2,400, which helped pay for a trip to Disney World," he said.

If you've been feeling the pinch of inflation -- and who hasn't? -- you might be looking for untapped revenue sources. If you're looking to turn your spare change into a real payday, here's how to get started.

A lot of supermarkets have coin-sorting machines but almost all charge a service fee. (CoinStar's processing fee, for example, is currently 11.9% of whatever you convert, or $11.90 for every $100 in change.) If you go to a Coinstar at a bank or credit union where you have an account, this fee is usually waived.

"A lot of banks have gotten rid of their coin-sorting machines, or consolidated them -- so maybe one out of every five branches has one,"  Steve Kenneally, senior vice president of payments at the American Bankers Association, told CNET. "It's definitely worth calling ahead before you walk in with a big bag of change." Regional institutions, like Republic Bank in the Mid-Atlantic area and West Virginia's Hancock County Savings Bank, are more likely to still have sorting machines.

If your financial institution doesn't have a machine you should still be able to deposit coins, though it means you'll probably have to put them into rolls. (Many banks will give you free roll papers or you can buy them at Staples or Office Depot.)

Most banks only take coins from people with accounts, or charge nonmembers a percentage. Wells Fargo will turn change into cash for nonmembers for free, but only up to a certain amount.

Rolling coins is tedious but a coin-rolling machine, like a battery-operated coin sorter from Royal Sovereign ($26.99 at Walmart), makes the process a lot faster. If you're sitting on $220 in loose change, using a Coinstar at the grocery store would take that much in fees from you, anyway.If you do plan to bring rolls of coins to a bank or credit union, call ahead to find out their specific policies.

While there are different coin-sorting machines, Coinstar is by far the most common, with more than 60,000 kiosks in North America, Western Europe and Japan that sift through more than $2.7 billion in change each year.

Major chains like CVS, Target, Safeway, ShopRite and Walmart often have Coinstar machines near the front of the store. You can also check the Coinstar website for a location near you. Typically, you (carefully) feed your change into the machine and wait while it tallies up your total, while sorting out foreign coins, slugs and other detritus.

A receipt then prints out the amount due, which can be brought to the customer service desk in exchange for cash. (Many locations will limit how much you can exchange; typically the maximum is $500 per visit.)

The upside to using Coinstar is that you don't have to count or sort your change. The downside is there is an 11.9% surcharge deducted from the total, plus a 25-cent fee per transaction.

So if you pour in $50 worth of loose change, you're only going to get $43.80 back in cash. The convenience may be worth the expense for you. But there's also a workaround: There's no service charge if you accept an eGift card instead of cash. You are limited in where you can spend your money, but participating retailers include Amazon, Domino's, The Gap,, Southwest Airlines, Stop & Shop, Starbucks, Steam, Home Depot and Nike. Typically the gift cards require depositing at least $5 or $10 in change and max out at $500.With Coinstar, you also have the option of donating some or all of your change to one of eight charities:

Florida-based Publix has more than 1,200 supermarkets across the Southeast US. While Publix doesn't have Coinstar machines, it does have its own coin sorter near the front door of every location.There is a 10% fee, but that's still lower than Coinstar's rate.

There's another, more altruistic reason to cash in your coins: While there is currently an adequate supply of coins in the economy, the Federal Reserve says circulation is still down from pre-pandemic levels.

Not only did business closures mean fewer coins changed hands, but many consumers got used to online shopping and contactless payments with credit cards, Apple Pay and Venmo.

The pandemic "has posed significant challenges for the US coin supply chain," according to the US Coin Task Force.

Kenneally of the American Bankers Association said the shortage is getting better but is still a problem, with dimes and quarters in particular in short supply.

"We encourage everyone to empty their piggy banks and pay merchants with exact change when they can," he added.

The US Mint, which was partially shut down during the pandemic, has told the ABA it's currently "maxed out" on coin production, Kenneally said.

Ritz Tanezaki
Medical Writing