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Did you know that Coinstar lets you use their change machine to turn your coins into cash without charging their normal 11.9% processing fee?
Yes, it’s true.
You can take your unsorted coins to a Coinstar machine, deposit them in the coin tray and receive their full face value amount in return. Read on to see if Coinstar’s No-fee Option will work for you.
Zero fees are crucial if you’re counting pennies (literally) and aren’t particularly keen on giving any of it up when you don’t absolutely have to. One way to avoid this is by using financial services that don’t charge fees like Capital One’s Fee Free Money Market account. Their Member FDIC accounts do not charge a fee to open or keep the account open. And, yes, you still earn a decent return.
Another is to choose companies that offer no fee options to customers in exchange for an alternative payout. Let’s see how Coinstar does just that.
Unfamiliar with Coinstar? Here’s a quick overview.
How Does Coinstar Work
Coinstar machines take your loose change and give you the option of cashing out in one of three ways.
- eGift Card
Regardless of which way you choose to cash out, the cash out process takes three steps.
- When you arrive at the green Coinstar kiosk, choose your payout option: Cash, eGift Card, or Charity.
- Add coins to the tray, helping them along as needed.
- Wait for the coin machine to finish counting. What happens next will depend on the cash out option selected in Step 1.
To receive your Cash, less the 11.9% processing Coinstar fee, take your voucher printed from the machine and present it to the checkout or customer service desk at the store that holds the kiosk. The kiosk does not dispense Cash. The store will provide you with the Cash.
If you chose to give your coins to Charity, then you’ll receive a receipt based on the Charity you selected in Step 1. Since donations are tax-deductible, you’ll want to keep this receipt for tax purposes.
If you’re not big on handing over your coins directly to charity, you can still make a difference. Amazon Smile is another great way to donate to the charity of your choice. The great thing is that it doesn’t cost you any additional coin on top of your Amazon purchase. Check out Amazon Smile here.
How to Trade In Coins For No-Fee With Coinstar
If you chose eGift Card as your payout selection, then you’ll receive a printed voucher from the Coinstar kiosk. This voucher contains your unique eGift Card code. Use it online or in-store just like a plastic gift card.
There is no need to activate the code. The printed voucher is ready to use as is.
Here are just a few eGift Card options that you might be surprised to find via Coinstar:
*To avoid the Coinstar processing fee, you can either select the eGIft Card or Charity payout options.*
Additional Things To Consider When Using Coinstar:
- eGift Card selection varies by kiosk location.
- eGift Card minimum amounts vary by retailer or restaurant. We saw minimum amounts as low as $5.00 to as high as $25.00
- eGift Card maximum amounts vary by retailer or restaurant. We saw maximum amounts as high as $1000.00. Can you imagine depositing that many coins at one time in a Coinstar machine?
Cointstar Near Me
Go to Coinstar Kiosk Finder and enter your city or zip code to find where you can cash in your coins. A list of Coinstar kiosks will appear along with a map. This list is sorted by the coin machines that are closest to you. A key feature available in the search results is the “Kiosk Details”. You’ll definitely want to check this out because you can see exactly what eGift Cards and Charities are available at a particular kiosk.
Generally, Coinstar machines can be found in Walmarts and grocery stores.
But, the existence of Coinstar kiosks truly varies by state and retailer. Always check Kiosk Finder before assuming that a Walmart in a different town has one.
Which Banks Have Free Coin Counting Machines?
Looking to cash in coins for free and get crisp bills in return? Unfortunately, many of the well-known banks do not have coin counting machines. But, you may find regional banks and local credit unions offer the service free for members but charge a fee for non-members.
The best way to find out is to call your regional area bank or local credit union and ask them. We even found that some of the regional banks with more than one branch location have limited availability of coin machines. This is why a phone call is the only way to know for sure.
One more thing to keep in mind is that some banks who do not have coin machines will still take coins but they must be provided in coin wrappers. Some will provide coin wrappers for free. Again, your phone is going to be your best friend as this information is not likely to be on their website.
We have found that credit unions provide free coin counting to its members along with some pretty cool budgeting tools that come with being a member.
Frequently Asked Questions
What coins will Coinstar take?
They have a huge list of unacceptable items. The good news is that most of those items are not currency.
According to their website, “Coinstar cannot accept Eisenhower silver dollars, 1943 steel pennies, pure silver, commemorative or foreign coinage.” Please do not test them on this. The Coinstar kiosk may not recognize those items and you may not even get them back.
Will Coinstar take dirty coins?
No. They will not take dirty or sticky coins. It may jam the machine and really mess with your transaction.
How much does Coinstar charge?
As of this writing, they charge 11.99% when you select the Cash payout option. The eGift Card and Charity options are available at no cost.
How long are Coinstar receipts/vouchers good for?
Let’s just say that you really need to take it to the register right then. The receipt/voucher is like cash in that if you lose it, they will not replace it.
Which supermarkets have Coinstar machines?
We have personally seen them in Walmart and HEB supermarkets. To find out which supermarkets have machines in your area, use the Coinstar Kiosk Finder.
When does Coinstar close?
The kiosk is open the same hours as the store in which it is located.
How do I contact Coinstar customer service?
You can contact their customer service here or call them at 800.928.2274. They’re available 7 days a week (5:00 AM – 9:00 PM Pacific Time).
Where are Coinstar exchange kiosks located?
Where is Coinstar located in Walmart?
We saw the kiosks located at the front of the store between the check out registers and the customer service desk.
To get the most out of your Coinstar experience, you should create a free MyCoinstar account.
Why? That way you can be the first to know about their promotions, special offers, contests and sweepstakes.
Be sure to enter the email associated with your MyCoinstar account at the kiosk so you can track all of your transactions. Doing this will allow you to track the total coins counted and the amount they were cashed in for. You can also view the date and location/kiosk you used to cash in your coins.
We’d love to know what kind of piggy bank you use to save your coins? Tin can, mason jar, or moneybox? Please let us know in the comments