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Where To Exchange Coins For Cash

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Most standard piggy banks can hold hundreds of dollars in loose change, and that’s not to mention the jars, jugs and other repurposed objects preferred in some homes for storing pennies and dimes.

If you have a stuffed piggy bank sitting at home collecting dust, learn where you can exchange coins for cash and how to get started.

Where Can I Exchange Coins for Cash?

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Many places allow you to exchange coins for cash, including financial institutions and some retail locations you might already be visiting. Consider the pros and cons of each option.

  • Banks and credit unions. You can exchange coins for cash at most credit unions and banks, but some may charge a small fee for this service. Some financial institutions provide coin-sorting machines for self-service exchanges, and others require you to work with a teller. You might want to call a branch before walking in with a bag of change to ensure someone has time to help you. You can also deposit coins into a bank account at a branch, but you’ll need to put them into rolls yourself. Many banks and credit unions offer free coin wrappers.
  • Coinstar. Coinstar machines are automated kiosks that let you exchange your coins for cash or digital gift cards. You can find these machines near the front of the store at major retailers like Target, Kroger, CVS and Walmart. Fees vary by location, but you may pay up to a 12.5% service fee, calculated as a percentage of the transaction, and a 50-cent transaction fee to exchange coins for cash at Coinstar. So if you put $100 worth of loose change into the machine, you’d receive $87.50 back. The machine will give you a voucher after it’s done counting, and you can take this to the checkout or customer service to redeem it for cash.
  • Grocery stores. Grocery stores and supermarkets often have coin-counting machines anyone can use. These may be Coinstar kiosks, kiosks belonging to another brand or even store-owned kiosks. For example, supermarket chain Publix has its own coin sorters near the front of every store. Fees apply but may be lower than Coinstar’s. Generally, you can cash receipts from coin sorters right at the grocery store.

Where Can I Exchange My Coins for Cash for Free?

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If you’re looking for a place to exchange your coins for free, consider these options.

  • Big banks. Many big banks such as Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America will take rolled coins. For example, Chase Bank accepts coins at every branch nationwide and will exchange them for cash. The bank’s policy requires all coins to be wrapped in paper rolls for exchange and does not charge customers for this service. However, fees may apply for noncustomers.
  • Credit unions. Credit unions are generally known for customer service, and many offer members and nonmembers exchange services and access to coin-counting machines. Exchanging your coins at a credit union may be free, but this depends on the institution.

For the best chance of avoiding fees when exchanging coins for cash, visit your own bank or credit union and make an appointment to save time.

How To Exchange Coins for Cash

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While certain credit unions and banks still have coin-counting machines, many banks don’t offer them anymore and will require your coins to be rolled before accepting them.

If you haven’t already, group your change into separate piles of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. Once you’ve sorted your coins, insert them into the corresponding coin wrappers.

Here are the denominations for each type of coin:

  • 50 pennies per roll or 50 cents
  • 40 nickels per roll or $2
  • 50 dimes per roll or $5
  • 40 quarters per roll or $10

When you’re done rolling, calculate how much money you have and bring the coin rolls to your bank or credit union to deposit into your account or exchange for cash.

Getting cash for your coins at a coin-counting machine is more straightforward. Simply pour the change into the machine and let the kiosk tally your total. Then, redeem your receipt for cash as directed.

Alternatives To Exchanging Coins

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If you want to avoid fees or the hassle of rolling your coins, consider these other ways to make use of your loose change.

  • Donate to charity. If you want to support a good cause, Coinstar gives you the option to donate a portion or all of your change after counting. Choose from charities like the American Red Cross, United Way, Feeding America, the World Wildlife Fund and more.
  • Use the coins. Save your coins for situations where exact change is needed, such as parking meters or vending machines.
  • Give them to a parent or teacher. Many parents and elementary school teachers teach coin-counting or use coins for math lessons and could benefit from having real coins to practice with. Ask around to see if anyone you know might take the coins off your hands.

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