Do you have a bowl full of change gathering dust in your home or countless pennies lining the bottom of your junk drawer? Then it’s time to take action and turn in your random amounts of change for cash.
A coin-counting machine makes quick work of tallying your pile of pennies — or whatever types of coins you have. And if you’re ready to cash your change in, Coinstar may be the easiest way. However, you will have to give up some of your coins for convenience.
What Is Coinstar?
Coinstar is a service that helps you cash in your small change by counting it and paying you the value, minus a fee. The company describes it best: “Turn your coins into cash.”
How Does Coinstar Work?
Coinstar has green kiosks located at supermarkets and retail stores nationwide. All you need to do is dump your change into the machine. Once you do, the kiosk will complete the hard work by sorting, counting and displaying your coins’ total value. You can cash out the coins in three ways:
- As cash
- As a Coinstar eGift Card that can be redeemed at 23 retailers and restaurants
- As a donation to a charity of your choice.
How Do I Use a Coinstar Machine?
Using a Coinstar machine is pretty simple. Here are the steps you should follow:
- Locate a Coinstar coin machine.
- Follow the prompts on the touch screen to get started.
- Choose a payment method: cash, eGift card or donation.
- Accept the terms and conditions, which include the fees Coinstar will charge you.
- Dump your clean, dry change into the machine’s tray and make sure you remove any debris that may jam the machine.
- Lift the handle to tilt the basket so the coins fall into the slot.
- Check for rejected coins in the bottom slot while you watch the machine count and display your dollar amount.
- Resubmit the rejected change.
- Once the machine is done, it will print out a voucher you can exchange for cash at the register or include a unique code you can use to pay at select online/retail stores and restaurants.
Where Is There a Coinstar Near Me?
You may find Coinstar kiosks at major grocery stores and retailers nationwide, including:
- Food 4 Less
- Harris Teeter
- Tom Thumb
Take a look at this Google Maps locator to find a Coinstar nearby.
How Much Does It Cost To Use Coinstar?
If you’d like cash, there is a 12.5% plus $0.50 fee, which may vary according to the kiosk location. There is no fee to use Coinstar if you choose to donate the funds or receive an eGift Card. The eGift Card can be redeemed at 23 retailers and restaurants:
- AMC Theaters
- Chili’s Grill and Bar
- Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta stores
- Outback Steakhouse
- Razer Gold
- Red Robin
- Southwest Airlines
- Texas Roadhouse
- The Home Depot
Where Can I Change My Coins for Cash for Free?
Paying a 12.5% plus $0.50 fee to trade your coins into cash can be steep. That’s $13 when you cash in $100 worth of change. If you have the time to sort your change and place it in paper wrappers to make coin rolls, you can trade in your coins for cash for free at your bank. Some banks may even throw in paper coin rolls.
What Banks Have Free Coin Counting Machines?
Most banks used to have coin counters for customer use. But over time, the machines disappeared. Few banks have coin counters available anymore, and in most cases, they are only for customer use. Check out these banks and credit unions that offer coin counters:
- American Eagle Credit Union: Free for customers, 10% for noncustomers
- Apple River State Bank: Free for customers
- First County Bank: Free for customers, 10% for noncustomers
- Hancock County Savings Bank: Free for customers
- JBT Bank: Free for customers, 5% for noncustomers
- Manasquan Bank: Free for customers, 15% for noncustomers
- State Bank of Dekalb: Free for customers
- Westerra Credit Union: Free for customers
How To Use the Small Change Method To Grow Your Rainy Day Fund
If you’ve traded in your coins for cash before, you’ve probably noticed that collecting small change can add up fast. Why not try using the method to grow your rainy day fund?
Designate a large bowl or jar as your “piggy bank.” Every time you pay for something and receive change, drop the coins into the bowl. Once you feel you’re ready, cash in your coins and deposit them in your savings account.
Click through to read more on effective ways to trick yourself into saving money.
Banks, ATMs and Other Services Nearby
- Nearby banks
- Bank of America
- Capital One
- Navy Federal Credit Union
- PNC Bank
- TD Bank
- U.S. Bank
- Wells Fargo
Information is accurate as of Nov. 17, 2022.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.