How to Turn Coins Into Cash - MagnifyMoney

How to Turn Coins Into Cash

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We all have some spare change lying around. Maybe there’s a pastel pink piggy bank in your closet. Maybe there are coins filling up one of the cupholders in your car. If you ever spend cash, you’ll probably get some coins back and slowly accumulate them.

Instead of throwing them into the nearest fountain and making a wish, you could learn how to turn those coins into cash. There are convenient ways that may require a fee (e.g. Coinstar machines) and free options that may be more time-consuming (rolling coins yourself).

Read on to find out how to exchange change for cash.

Coinstar machines

You’ve probably seen people use a Coinstar machine at a local grocery store. It’s a simple process: you can dump your coin jar into the machine, which sorts and counts the coins before telling you their total value. Find the nearest Coinstar machine here.

Coinstar generally takes a service fee of about 12% for counting coins and redeeming them as cash. Depending on how much change you have, that fee could add up to a significant amount of money. Still, Coinstar kiosks are one of the most convenient options for cashing in your coins — you’re paying a fee for that convenience.

Some Coinstar machines allow you to redeem coins for an eGift Card for companies like Amazon, Apple and Starbucks. Those eGift Cards have some minimums, but there are no fees. If you know you’d like to spend your cash on a specific product, eGift Cards could be a great way to maximize the value of your coins. Coinstar machines also allow you to donate to partner charities like the Red Cross and UNICEF if you’re feeling altruistic with your extra cash.

You can also exchange your coins for cryptocurrency at a Coinstar machine, as long as you have a Coinme wallet account. You’ll receive a crypto voucher from the Coinstar kiosk that you can redeem to claim your cryptocurrency. Coinstar offers Bitcoin, Ethereum and a few other cryptocurrency options.

Banks or credit unions

You can also turn to a local bank or credit union to exchange your coins for cash — or deposit the money into a bank account. Many of those financial institutions will ask you to roll the coins to turn them in. Here are the denominations for each type of coin:

  • Pennies: 50 per roll ($0.50)
  • Nickels: 40 per roll ($2.00)
  • Dimes: 50 per roll ($5.00)
  • Quarters: 40 per roll ($10.00)

Sorting through all your coins and rolling them yourself can be tedious, but it’s the best way to get cash at the total value of the coins. Depending on how much loose change you have, it could take a while to sort, count and wrap your coins by hand. You may have to purchase coin wrapping paper, but some banks will provide it for free.

There are some banks that turn coins into cash for free without making you roll the coins by hand, but others require you to submit rolls of coins.

  • Chase Bank: Provides coin wrappers for customers (and noncustomers if the total value is under $100).
  • U.S. Bank: Coin-counting machines that deposit customers can use at some branch locations. Read our U.S. Bank review.
  • Wells Fargo Bank: No longer provides coin-counting service, but customers can roll their own coins. Read our Wells Fargo Bank review.
  • M&T Bank: Coin-counting services designed for businesses dealing with a large volume of coins. Read our M&T Bank review.
  • Citizens Bank: Accepts coins for amounts less than $20, otherwise they must be rolled by the customer. Read our Citizens Bank review.

Spend them

Of course, you could always spend your coins. If you’d like to reduce the number of coins in your car, for example, you could pay with coins when you make small purchases at convenience stores. You could also give cashiers exact change when you buy something with cash, and they might appreciate that extra effort.

Purchasing things with coins wouldn’t be realistic for larger purchases — after all, a store probably wouldn’t let you pay for a laptop with a giant wheelbarrow full of loose change — but if you’re looking to get rid of some of your loose change, you could slowly spend it over time.

How should I exchange my coins?

It might depend on whether you’re willing to make an effort to roll the coins yourself. Suppose you have $100 worth of loose change. If you’d like to simply dump all of the coins into a machine, a Coinstar will do all that work for you — but it might take around $12 off the top, so you’d only get about $88 in cash. You could also get a $100 Amazon gift card from a Coinstar machine instead.

If you bank with an institution that offers free access to a coin sorting and counting machine, that might be your best bet. If you’d like to get the full value of your coins in cash, however, you might have to roll the coins yourself. Get some coin wrappers, put on your headphones, listen to your favorite podcast and you’ll have a stack of coin rolls before you know it.