Change, the one thing you never have when you need it, simultaneously littering your jean pockets and couch cushions, fills up your piggybank and is somewhat challenging to get rid of. Well, not anymore. The following are some ways to cash your coins for some cash and for free.
But first, should you even bother cashing coins for cash?
Good question! Before diving into where you can exchange coins for free, let's consider whether it's worth the effort to cash coins for cash.
Benefits of exchanging coins for cash
The following are some reasons to exchange loose change for cash:
Reduces clutter in your home
One major reason most people look to change coins for banknotes is how easily coins litter their homes. They stick out like a sore thumb and are relatively more difficult to store. Unlike cash, which you can keep wads in your wallet and store away, coins require more work and take more space than they are worth.
Improves your mobility
Just holding a dollar bill and a coin, you can already tell the coin weighs more. But how much more? All dollar bills weigh one gram, from the one dollar to the hundred dollar note. According to the United States Mint, the cent weighs 2.5 grams (two and half times more than the dollar bill), the Nickel weighs 5 grams (five times more than the dollar bill), and the dollar coin (about eight times more than the bill).
The problem is immediately apparent: walking about with about three to eight times more weight for the same value is just not worth the hassle.
Banknotes are acceptable everywhere
While coins and banknotes are legal tender, private businesses can still choose how they want to receive payment. Because coin management can be tricky, some businesses only prefer cash and digital transactions. This means that you might have money –in coins– and be unable to spend it.
The solution? Cash the coins, and one such the best place where you can do so is the bank near you!
Banks Offering Free Coin Exchange Services
The following are some banks that are offering free coin-cash exchange services:
Bank of America
Find one near you: https://locators.bankofamerica.com/
The Bank of America helps customer to cash their coins. Their requirements to offer this service for free are that you should be a customer and that your coins are adequately rolled.
Find one near you: https://www.usbank.com/locations/search/
The U.S. bank will collect your coins and cash them for you, rolled or not. But you can make their job easier by submitting rolled coins. The only requirement to use this service is that you are a bank customer.
Find one near you: https://www.wellsfargo.com/locator/
Like Bank of America, Wells Fargo offers coins for cash service, but only if you are a customer submitting the coins properly rolled.
Find one near you: https://locator.chase.com/
Chase Bank offers convenient coin exchange services, but they do require coins to be rolled, and they offer coin wrappers if necessary. Be aware that not all branches accept coin deposits, so it's wise to verify by phone beforehand.
Find one near you: https://online.citi.com/US/ag/citibank-location-finder
Citibank also provides coin-cash exchange services. This service is typically free for Citibank customers, but it's always best to check with your local branch as policies can vary.
Find one near you: https://apps.pnc.com/locator/#/search
PNC Bank offers free coin counting for both customers and non-customers. They have a coin counting machine in many branches where you can dump your coins and get cash.
What are the other options for exchanging coins for free?
Suppose you do not want to use a bank, or your banking partner does not offer this service for free or at all, you can consider the following options:
Select Credit Unions
Credit unions like the Sun Coast Credit Union, Penn East Federal Credit Union, and the American Eagle Federal Credit Union offer coin for cash services. Penn East and American Eagle offer the service free of charge to members, while nonmembers must part with 2% and 10% of the total being changed respectfully. On the other hand, Sun Coast offers the service free to members if they’re changing under $100, while amounts more than $100 attract a charge of 5% for members and 10% for nonmembers.
QuikTrip is a chain of convenience and gas services stores with over 1,000 locations across the United States. Since the coin shortage caused by the pandemic, the outfit has been trying to collect as many coins as possible to use as change in their outlets nationwide. This means people can change their coins at any outlet for free.
Self Checkout at Local Retailers
You have to put some leg work in to get rid of your coins. One such way is to use your coins to handle purchases at retailers that allow self-checkout.
Local small shops or convenience stores
If you're not looking to make a purchase and simply want to exchange your coins, you can directly approach some small shops or convenience stores to inquire if they're willing to accept the exchange. In general, they are often very kind and willing to help by providing free coin exchange services.
Friends or family
You might find that your friends or family members are in need of coins, whether it's for their kids' lunch money or their piggy banks. As long as it doesn't involve exchanging a large amount of coins, they're likely willing to swap your coins for cash. It's a great option to consider.
How do you wrap/roll coins?
Much of this post has focused on wrapped or rolled coins. But how do you go about wrapping or rolling a large amount of coins?
The first thing you need is the coin wrapper. Most banks give these out for free, or you can buy them at any mall or convenience store near you.
After getting the wrapper, you want to sort your coins into different types and have their corresponding wrappers available. Wrappers usually have the denomination they would hold written on them with the number of coins that can fit inside. They can also be color-coded with orange for quarters, red wrappers for pennies, green for dimes, and blue for nickels.
What’s left is to put your coins into the appropriate wrappers and properly seal off the top.
Does Coinstar cash in coins for free?
Short answer: No.
We can not talk about changing coins for cash and not mention Coinstar. Using Coinstar machines is nearly effortless and you dont need to wrap/roll coins yourself, which is why the service is top-rated. However, it's important to note that there is an 11.9% processing fee associated with exchanging your coins for cash, and this fee may vary based on your location.
So, are there any ways to avoid Coinstar's processing fee?
In fact, Coinstar offers two methods to avoid the convenience fee:
- The option to donate the coins to charity.
- Convert your money into an e-gift card.
In conlsuion, it's a good option to to use Coinstar machine. You have three options: pour in your coins for cash with an 11.9% charge that may vary depending on your location, donate the coins to charity, or convert your money to an e-gift card at no cost. If you want to learn more about Coinstar and its accuracy, here is the further reading: What is Coinstar and how accurate is it?
Other ways to get rid of your coins
There are other ways to rid yourself of your coins. They include but are not limited to the following:
Reduce your use of cash
The first step that can prevent the problem of having to exchange your loose change for cash in the first place is to reduce how much cash you use. You can not receive change if most transactions are digital or online.
Donations to Charities
Many charities will accept loose change donations. You can keep a jar of coins and donate them to a charity of your choice once it's full. It's a great way to get rid of your coins and help a good cause at the same time.
Participating in School Fundraisers
Schools often have fundraisers where they will accept loose change. This can be a great way to get rid of your coins and contribute to education funding. Check with local schools to see if they have any upcoming fundraisers.
Use coins as often as possible
If you find yourself accumulating coins, the next step is to spend them as fast as possible. Try and make your purchases in coins. Ask every retailer near you if they accept coins and use self-checkout options.
There are several ways to change coins to cash. You can check with your banking partner, credit unions near you, or a QuikTrip convenience store. You must check if they would accept it rolled or unrolled and follow the instructions above to roll your coins properly. Converting your coins to cash is just half the message. It is crucial that you follow the tips in the latter part of this post to avoid piling up any more coins.