11 Best Places You Can Change Your Coins for Cash For Free

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Who wants to carry the burden of coins with them? No one, right? But you have to continue with the same because you do not know where to get change counted for free. 

You can get change counts for free by exchanging them with the bank or can make donations from them. Also, you can take the help of the Coinstar machine. In this article, you will learn several more ways through which you can change your coins into cash. There are a variety of methods to convert coins into cash that are outlined in the article. 

So, stick to the article to know the ways that free you from the burden of coins and help you to earn more cash.

How to Change Your Coins to Cash? 

Well, you cannot carry the change jar everywhere to pay for your purpose. For example, when you want to buy an airline ticket, you cannot go to the counter with a big jar of coins.

What to do, then?

You have to cash them. Coins to Cash!

You might be wondering “How” to change coins to cash? Well, here are a few ways to put that spare change to use productively.

Coin Counting Machine

There are coin counting machines in front of a grocery store or in a supermarket. The most popular machine is Coinstar Machine allows you to change coins to cash, gift cards or donations. It counts up to $3000 worth of coins.

How does it work?

Pour in your counts in the kiosk.

Choose the exchange option: cash, gift card or charity donation. If you opt for cash, there is a processing fee of 11.9% which may vary location to location.

Add coins to the tray and lift the handle to put them in slots.

After all your coins are counted, you will receive a voucher for cash or a gift card which will have a code printed on it. If you chose a charity, you would receive a receipt for the donation.

Take your cash voucher to the store’s register to claim the cash and redeem the cash voucher on the same day of issuance. In case of a gift card, use the code printed on the top to shop at any store, restaurant or online.

Easy! Isn’t it?

The only drawback of coins to cash at Coinstar is the processing fee of 11.9%, i.e. for every $100, and you will have to pay a fee of $12.

Gift Cards

Coinstar waives fees if you exchange coins for a gift card. Therefore, you can opt for a gift voucher which has no fees. You can claim gift cards from Amazon, Starbucks, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe, Southwest Airlines, Game Stop, and others. However, depending on the individual machine, you can choose the retail outlets, online outlets or restaurants.

raise gift card

Depending on the location, the retailers listed on the Coinstar site will be available at the kiosk or grocery store. Hence, it is advisable to check your nearest machine that will provide the full value of the card.

Opt for a gift card if you would actually use it at the retailer then only it is worth to trade coins for a gift card or else it will not be worth to choose this option.

In exchange of coins for a gift card, you will be given a code equal to the value of coins and redeemable instantly.

Make Donations

Another option is to give a donation for a charity. Put your coins and get the receipt.
Coinstar waives the coin counting fee if you donate for a charity. Your change will be wired to the Red Cross, The Humane Society, UNICEF, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Feeding America, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, United Way and others.

If the charity you would like to donate is not listed on the Coinstar, you can ask the organization directly if they will take the donation of your change jar from you at any local office. Your donations made on the Coinstar, every cent will go to the charity, and in return, you will receive a receipt.

Donations are tax-deductible and even if it is a coin donation you can save the receipts.

Listed below are the main locations for the Coinstar Machine but not necessary that you will find a Coinstar machine at every location of the mentioned store. It would be advisable to check with your local store for information before changing the coins to cash or gift cards or donations.

Grocery Store:


Take it to the Bank

All those dimes and nickels will be worth more by depositing in the bank in your account than sitting around in your house. If you don’t want to change coins to cash, then deposit them in your bank account. Some banks allow you to deposit unrolled coins into your account can be a big timesaver.

But it would be better to check with the bank beforehand to avoid the trouble of getting turned away. Irrespective of rolling the coins and deposit, at least you can earn a small interest on those coins in your account than just keeping them idle for months and years.

Even though many banks have phased out with coin counting services in recent years, there are few bank branches that keep an annual event ‘Piggy Bank Day’ where they bring out their coin counting machine to entice community members to set up accounts with the bank with their change jar earnings.

Roll the Coins to Cash at the Bank

A traditional method where you make children sit and learn to sort, identify and count the cash. Many banks have coin counting machines. A customer of the bank will get the service for free, but a non-customer might be charged fees for change of coins to cash.

coins to cash places

Some banks would require you to roll the coins into a paper yourself before they accept it. But the catch is at some banks, and the teller might tell you to open the rolled coins to put them in coin counter and check the coins to cash. This is because there are chances of scams, many put some fake coins in a roll.

It is better to call before you roll the coins and ask the bank if they will take coins and have a coin counting machine, whether they need to be rolled and if yes, they will give the roll paper for free. If they don’t, you find them for cheap at dollar stores.

Some financial institutions might even not take your change jar. The U.S Department of Treasury says banks don’t have to accept change if they don’t want to. The few reasons are for this rule is :

  • Coins require space to store.
  • Heavy to transport
  • Coin counting machine needs to be installed which can be an additional cost to the bank
  • A lot of work for teller

There are some banks who offer free coin counting to change coins to cash but with their own requirements:

  • U.S Bank changes coins to cash for their customers only without fees and rolls
  • Bank of America requires coins to be rolled to change coins to cash.
  • Wells Fargo is getting rid of their coin counting machines but accepts rolled coins to cash from their customers only.
  • Citibank requires coins to be rolled but may charge fees depending on the state.
  • Chase also accepts coins to cash but requires coins to be rolled.
  • Credit Union offers coin counting service to change coins to cash, but requirements may vary.
  • Community Savings bank accepts coins to cash, but the requirement may vary.

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Other Ways to Use than changing Coins to Cash

Use the Coins

You can also use the exact change at a store or supermarket. To avoid cashier’s ire and embarrassment, make sure that the grocery store has a self-checkout machine. You can hit the self check out point and deposit all the coins for your shopping. Also, you can avoid holding up the line too if you go at odd hours.

You can organize the coins and put them in use, and if not, there is always a way to exchange coins to cash.

See also: Where to Get Quarters During a Coin Shortage: 10 Places to Look.

If you don’t want to go for a change of coins to cash and deal with any of the above, then another option is to donate it for a good cause. There are many charities who would happily accept change or coins.

You can carry your change jar to places like supermarkets, fast food joints or check out lines where there are donation boxes available. If you want to donate the jar personally, then you can visit a local charity, Salvation Army or any community center.

You can also give away your accumulated foreign coins as many charities accept foreign coins as a donation.

Some coin machines not only change coins to cash but also allow you to donate it to charities directly. As mentioned earlier, Coinstar has an option of charity donation.

Designate for a Specific Purpose

You can save money by designating it for a specific purpose. You can deposit all the change in college saving funds or retirement fund.

The contribution may not be magnanimous, but it will add up to a good value over the period of time. Also, you will earn interest on the amount deposited in the college fund or retirement fund which will be higher than the savings account.

Also, you can set a target for any specific purpose like tuition fees or Christmas fund and make a saving in your change jar and later change the coins to cash. This will help you to achieve the amount and purpose.

Make it a Family Game

Your spouse and kids can have a separate change jar and collect all the coins to cash. Then, on a decided day you can count the coins and have a good family outing or movie or gift each other.

The point to note here is, you need to use only the accumulated coins and cannot spend any penny extra.

If you are able to collect more coins in a year, you can have a great family outing. But if you haven’t had luck during the year then maybe you can just settle over a candy treat.

Decorate and be Creative

There are many ideas online where you can make coin art or craft for your kids’ room or kitchen. You can do it yourself with the pennies and repurpose the coins.

There are various ideas where you can use the coins to make a cap showpiece, a pretty necklace, fancy coin tree art, beautiful ancient look like frames and many more. Pinterest has many DIY ideas, and it will be a great art learning for the children too.

Rare Collection of Coins

Coins collectibles are valuable and treasured. It is also known as coin roll hunting. There are coins which are worth more than their face value. You can buy a roll of coins from the bank and then sort out to find the rare collectible coin.

This will be a great activity for kids to sort, hunt and count the coins. Combine all the ideas whether you are changing coins to cash, repurposing it or using it but make sure you don’t lose coin worth more than the face value. Example, half dollar coins minted before 1965 which are 90% silver can fetch you around $7 each on sale.

According to CBS News, Americans throw away $62 million in coins each year. Whatever you choose to do with the coins, but don’t let them sit idle as you are carrying an opportunity cost on it.

It loses its value over time due to inflation. Use them efficiently in whichever way you wish – change coins to cash or simply make a coin craft.

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Where To Exchange Coins For Free

Are you looking for a free place to exchange coins? Some businesses allow you to cash in coins for free, saving you money, although most locations charge a fee.

You should always be aware of the potential percentage the company may charge before choosing to cash in your coins, whether it be at a financial institution or a grocery store.

5 Best Locations For Free Coin Exchange

The following five locations offer free currency exchange and counting services:


There are 800 QuikTrip-owned gas stations spread throughout 11 different states. The first place you can choose is the neighborhood store, if there is one.

Quick trip

As of this writing, QuikTrip does not impose any service fees for currency exchanges because of the widespread coin shortage. Aside from physically entering the petrol station, you might recover 100% of your money.

Bank Of America

Bank of America does not charge customers when they cash in their coins; customers must still present their coins to the bank in coin rolls to cash them in.

Or, to put it another way, you can’t just throw a bunch of coins on the desk and wait for the teller to sort them manually.

Wells Fargo

Another bank that mandates coin roll usage for users with bank accounts is Wells Fargo, which provides this service without charge.

US Bank

Customers of US Bank are not required to present their coins in rolls. The process of placing coins into paper holders is not necessary; you can submit coins for free.

Along with Citibank, Chase, Capital One, and TD Bank, other banks provide comparable services.

Credit Unions

Additionally, some credit unions provide free currency exchange services to their members and occasionally even to non-members.

Credit Union

Coin exchanges are free for all customers of American Eagle Federal Credit Union. Another organization that provides coin exchanges is the Westerra Credit Union, but only for members.

Coinstar, What Is It?

You throw your coins into a bucket at a Coinstar kiosk, and the device will handle the rest.


You need to throw the cash into the machine and wait while it works with Coinstar, which makes the process relatively simple. There is plenty of time to examine your bank statement or check your investments on your phone during that period. Naturally, it takes longer the more money you put into the machine.

The machine deducts 11.9% of your money, which is important to remember when using Coinstar. If you insert $100 into the device, you will only get back $88.10.

This could be a hefty charge. But contrast that with purchasing a coin machine or manually rolling pennies into coin wrappers.

Use E-gift Cards To Avoid The Free Coinstar 

Cashing out with eGift Cards is one technique to get around Coinstar’s 11.9% fee. You can keep every dollar you insert into the machine using this method.

This method will result in receiving a debit card with a specific number from the Coinstar machine rather than cash. 

E-gift cards

It functions like cash in many establishments, including AMC, Amazon, the Apple Store, Steam, GameStop, Lowe’s, Starbucks, and The Home Depot. Apple gift cards and Amazon gift cards may be enjoyable and rewarding.


Where can I convert coins to cash for free?

For account holders, several banks and credit unions provide free coin to cash conversion services. Your change will be simply thrown into a sorting device, and once the change has been processed, you will be given cash. For a modest cost, several institutions provide this function.

How do I get rid of coins?

Try bringing your coins to a nearby bank or business that provides coin-counting services to exchange them for cash. You may swap pennies for free gift cards or contribute your extra change to charity with various coin-counting devices, including Coinstar.

How do I avoid Coinstar fees?

The processing cost for Coinstar is 11.9%. You must select a Coinstar eGift card as opposed to cash to avoid paying the transaction charge. Review the list of eligible restaurants and shops before selecting the gift card choice.

Back to You

Many people have stated that changing coins to cash has provided them with a lot of money which they never knew they had.

If you change coins to cash, after cashing in the money, deposit into your savings accounts to earn interest. You can earn more value on the money then just using up the cash if not needed. Don’t miss any opportunity because ‘Every Penny Saved is Every Penny Earned.’