Loose coins seem to multiply in my house, they end up all over the place and make too much noise. But “a penny saved is a penny earned” and the leftover change can come in pretty handy.
I have coins in several different places, like in my white piggy bank, the console of my car, and of course at the bottom of my purse.
Now it’s time to raid my stashes and get cash for my loose change. I did some research on how to get cash for my coins without paying a lot of fees, and here’s what I found.
For a fee, a Coinstar machine will count your coins for you, and then print out a cash voucher receipt to exchange for actual bills.
Cash Voucher: You can choose the cash voucher option and take to the cashier in exchange for bills. However, you will be charged almost 10% (9.8 cents) for every dollar counted, which can really add up if you have a decent about of change.
eCertificate: This is the free coin counting option, which doesn’t charge you a fee to print out a certificate with a code that can be used online instantly at any one of their participating stores.
Gift Card: Like the eCertificate, choosing a gift card will save you the 10% counting fee. If you shop regularly at the grocery or retail stores they partner with, this can be a great option.
Cash Donation: Instead of exchanging your money for cash or a gift card you can choose to donate it. They provide a list of charities you can choose from, and once you make the donation it will print out a tax deductible receipt you can keep for your records. As with the certificate or gift card options, choosing to donate your coins will save you the coin counting fees.
If you don’t want to pay the 10% fee, use the gift card or donation options from Coinstar, the next best thing is to check with your local bank. Most banks will have a coin counting machine that customers can dump the change into and exchange for cash.
Normally no additional fee is charged, but for noncustomers some local banks will charge a small (2%) processing fee. This is to discourage commercial owners from laundry mats, car washes and other coin-based operations from cashing in massive amounts of coins at one time.
If the bank doesn’t have a coin machine, you can purchase coin wrappers (or ask your bank for free ones) for only $2.50 a bag. Just count and roll the coins yourself, then return to the bank to deposit into your account or get cash.
This is the cheapest choice, but the downside is that you might spend the better part of an evening counting and rolling your change, and it’s not as cost effective if you spend hours and hours doing it. There might be more important things to do with your time; like enjoying your family, relaxing or finishing up a project.
Whether you choose the most convenient or cheapest option, keeping track of your loose change can really add up; maybe it’s not such a bad thing after all.
Do you cash in your extra change, or just keep in a jar or bottle at home?