Let’s get right to it. Coinstar charges a fee to be able to deposit your coins and get cash back. Yep, that’s right, you have to pay them money to get cash from your coins. They are a business of convenience after all. Luckily for you, we’re here to show you how to deposit your coins for free and Coinstar allows you do to do it. It’s not against the rules and they even show this on their site.

counting coins on table

*Important Note: While Coinstar’s fee is 11.9% nationally, it’s up to each retailer who carries the machine to the rate they will charge. Please pay attention to the screen when you are counting your coins at your local Coinstar location. It could be less or up to the 11.9% fee. From what we have seen, this fee stays pretty close to the one Coinstar indicates.

On our quest to get people to realize they need to stop paying bank fees, we also wanted to share that with people who use the popular Coinstar coin counting machines. I’ve used them many times in the past, but always hated paying them to process the coins.

Well, after looking around, I was able to find a way to get them to process my coins for free and it’s not illegal. It’s actually part of their system. The caveat is you don’t get your coins back in cash, but in a different form. Read below to see how you can skip the Coinstar fee and save yourself some money in the long run.

When I would have a ton of coins, it used to be harder to find a machine to deposit them. There were only a few. Now when I look for Coinstar near me, I find them in so many places, including most Walmarts. This makes it easy to deposit coins, outside of paying that 11.9% processing fee.

One of my most popular posts on this blog was when I wrote about how it seems many banks don’t accept coin deposits anymore.  I get a lot of emails about the subject to this day and that post was over six years ago.  I still see a lot of chatter on forums about banks around some towns not accepting coins at all.

Some banks have coin counting machines in their lobby, but they might only be for account holders. There are others like TD Bank which charges a fee to use the machine.  I hate how it’s so much of a pain to deposit or exchange real legal tender.  It shouldn’t be this way.  I think we might have to blame our consumer culture of switching to plastic, the expense of keeping coins, and companies like Coinstar.

What is Coinstar?

I’m sure most of you are familiar with Coinstar, but for those who aren’t, this company produces coin counting systems that are placed in stores.  You can find a majority of them at grocery stores like Kroger and Walmart, but also are at some other smaller chains around the country.  These machines make it super easy for you to go in, dump your coins in their counting system, and then collect the cash.  It’s so easy, but they don’t do it for free. Coinstar’s fee is 11.9% of your total deposit.

Yes, when you use a Coinstar machine and want to get cash for your coins, they take nearly $12 for every $100 in coins you deposit. This number varies from store to store as they might subsidize the processing fee, but this is the standard fee as indicated by Coinstar.  You can even watch as the fee comes out when your coins are counted.  You can literally watch the convenience fee right in front of you. Ouch!  On the upside, you get to come in with a bag full of change and walk out with a fist full of cash.  How doesn’t love that?

How Does Coinstar Work?

I get this question quite a bit, so I figured I would address it. Most don’t understand how you can put money in and then it give you money back. Coinstar doesn’t give you money from their machine. When you drop your coins in their counter, it takes some time to count each coin. It will even drop out a few in a little tray that it couldn’t figure out (sometimes those coins might not be accepted currency).

Once it counts the coins, it gives you a total. This is after the 11.9% fee is taken out. You can choose to get paid with cash, get a gift card to certain store (see below), or donate to a charity. If you select cash, that’s when the fee is taken out. If you choose the other two, no fee is taken from your coin amount.

By selecting cash, you get a printed receipt from the machine. You then take this receipt up to the customer service counter of the store it’s located in. They are the ones responsible for providing you with cash. Coinstar then pays the store. So, Coinstar doesn’t pay you directly. Their machines just count the coins, then give you a receipt to collect that cash.

But, who wants to pay almost 12% on their money? Not this guy, so that’s why I’m showing you how to bypass it!

Bypass the Coinstar Fee

Luckily for you, I’m here to show you how to bypass the Coinstar fee. I hate having to pay money for convenience products, especially when the coin deposit market seems undeserved by those who should be serving it most. Banks!  If all we had were Coinstar machines, then the fee might be lower.  Either way, who wants to give up 12% of their money just to have it counted and exchanged for bills?  I don’t!

Coinstar does give you the ability to bypass their fee.  Instead of getting cash for your coins, you can choose to get an e-gift card instead.  These are for many large and well-known companies.  If you need to get some shopping done, then you can just choose those instead.  Their list of retailers have dropped a bit, so I want to show you which ones you can choose to bypass the Coinstar fee!

Even Coinstar talks about it on their site (it’s under the Help Center).

Is there a charge to use a Coinstar kiosk?

Not always. Free coin counting is available at most locations in the United States if you cash in your coins for an eGift Card. We have more than 20 stores and restaurants to choose from. If you decide to turn your coins in for cash, there is an 11.9% coin processing fee. Fees may vary by location.

Not all Coinstar kiosks provide all of the gift cards listed in the table below. They often update the retailers here and some only provide one option like Amazon.

If you’re going to go the Amazon gift card route, make sure you check out our most popular post on how to save the most money on Amazon.

UPDATE: Coinstar has reinstated some e-cards back into the mix. This is the updated list.

RetailerGift Card Limits
Amazon.comMinimum amount: $5.00.
Maximum amount: $1,000.00.
AMC TheatresMinimum amount: $5.00.
Maximum amount: $100.
Applebee’sMinimum amount: $5.00.
Maximum amount: $500.00.
Cabela'sMinimum amount: $5.00.
Maximum amount: $500.
Chili’s Grill & BarMinimum amount: $5.00.
Maximum amount: $100.00.
Domino'sMinimum amount: $10.00.
Maximum amount: $100.
Home DepotMinimum amount: $5.00.
Maximum amount: $2000.
GameStopMinimum amount: $15.00.
Maximum amount: $500.00.
Gap
(Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta)
Minimum amount: $10.00.
Maximum amount: $500.00.
Hotels.comMinimum amount: $10.
Maximum amount: $500.
IHOPMinimum amount: $5.00.
Maximum amount: $200.
iTunesMinimum amount: $5.00.
Maximum amount: $500.00.
Lowe’sMinimum amount: $5.00.
Maximum amount: $1,000.00.
NikeMinimum amount: $5.00.
Maximum amount: $500.00.
Regal Entertainment GroupMinimum amount: $5.00.
Maximum amount: $100.
ShowtimeMinimum amount: $25.00.
Maximum amount: $200.00.
SephoraMinimum amount: $10.00.
Maximum amount: $500.
Southwest AirlinesMinimum amount: $25.00.
Maximum amount: $500.00.
StarbucksMinimum amount: $5.00.
Maximum amount: $500.00.
SteamMinimum amount: $10.00.
Maximum amount: $100.00.

As you can see, all of them require at least $5 to get an e-gift card.  If you don’t have enough coins to get a gift card, don’t use Coinstar.  You really should wait until you get more coins.  There are a wide variety of retailers which are available to get e-gift cards.  I think this is the best way to deposit your coins and not pay a fee.  If you shop places like Amazon.com, like I do, then this could be a good way to get rid of your coins and use your money for something you want.  Since I’m a Prime member, shopping at Amazon is easy for me and I don’t mind using e-gift cards from my coins, which are sitting around collecting dust.  No one likes dusty coins!

Here are the instructions from Coinstar about how to obtain an e-gift card from their kiosk.

Step 1 – At the kiosk, pick the eGift Card you want. The selection of eGift Cards varies depending on location of the kiosk.

Step 2 – Add coins to the tray, lift the handle, and guide coins into the slot. Some kiosks accept bills too.

Step 3 – When the kiosk is done counting, you’ll receive a printed voucher with a unique eGift Card code—ready to use online or in the store.

Donate Coins to Charity

Coinstar has also added some options on kiosk to donate your coins to charity. Their list is quite small, but at least there are some options there. This means you will not be charged a fee for using the machine and all your money can go to charity. This could be a great way to teach children about giving. Currently, Coinstar only has seven (7) charities on their list. They include:

  • American Red Cross
  • Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
  • Feeding America
  • The Humane Society of the United States
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • Unicef
  • United Way
  • WWF (World Wildlife Foundation)
Coinstar Charity donation list

They indicate that not every charity is available on all kiosks. You can go to their charity page and click each foundation to see where that donation option is available.

Now, I wish I didn’t have to write an article such as this.  Why do we need to find ways to use our coins without paying a fee?  Why do banks get to say they won’t accept coins, when they are perfectly legal tender and I’m sure it might be the law to accept them (not sure).  What do we tell our children who have piggy banks and want to deposit their coins?  Do we have to take them to the closest Coinstar and show them how capitalism works along with convenience fees?  I’m sure that won’t be a fun one to explain to your child when they see their hard saved coins shrinking to a processing fee.  That’s not something I want to show my son.

If you have coins and you need to deposit them, but your friendly bank won’t accept them, then take them to the closet Coinstar and use them to get an e-gift card.  Bypass the stupid Coinstar processing fee and keep all your coinage.  Why not treat yourself to your favorite retailer and use the coins for something for you.  There is nothing wrong with splurging on yourself every once in a while!

*Update – A kind reader took the time to comment regarding Coinstar and Walmart. You can use their coin counting machines and get a receipt to use toward your Walmart purchase. That’s a good way of doing it as well, if you like shopping at Walmart.

Find a Coinstar Near You

If you are looking for a Coinstar kiosk near you, their own website makes it pretty easy. You just go to the Find a Kiosk page on their site and put in your address or zip code. The map is pretty good and kept updated by Coinstar themselves.

You can also use our handy form below to put in your address and it will go on the Coinstar site and search your location for you.

Below are some national store chains that provide access to Coinstar machines. Not all of them have the same fee structure, so make sure to check the kiosk when you get there.

  • Walmart
  • Harris Teeter
  • Food Lion
  • Albertsons
  • CVS
  • Kroger
  • Meijer
  • Ralph’s
  • Winco

Roll Your Own Coins

If you don’t want to pay the fee for Coinstar and you don’t need a gift card, why not try to roll your coins and take them to the bank? Now, my bank doesn’t take coins much anymore (or they give me a really hard time), so this would work for me, but there are still many banks that have no issues with taking coins. This is especially true with credit unions. You can either go get rolling sleeves from the store, or hit up Amazon like I would and search for coin rollers. Right to your door with almost no work!

Get Better Savings Rates

If you’re interested in doing away with any high bank fees, check out these top banks for better savings rates. You can also read our selection for the best savings rates you can get from a savings account. Stop only getting 0.01% at big banks when online banks and credit unions are now providing you with 10X more at a minimum. Who wouldn’t want to earn 10X more on their money?

Have you ever tried this method to bypass the Coinstar fee?  Which retailer would you get a gift card to?

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153 Comments

  1. I haven’t used a coinstar in a long time due to living in Japan, but I will be back in the states for good next year. I am glad that these machines have been modified to give gift cards. I hate paying that fee and only used these machines if I had an abundance of change. Thank you so much this is great information.

    1. After wading through this entire promo for everything but the kitchen sink, you offered no other solution to fee avoidance. Thanks for nothing.

      1. I guess you have issues with reading because there is a whole section in there showing you how to get around the fee with gift cards. Please read and check out the table. Can’t help it if you can’t grasp the content.

  2. Is the issue that most banks don’t take lose coins? I have never had a bank not take my coin deposits, but maybe that’s because I wrap them? First, I find the coin counting relaxing and second, I love knowing how much change we have saved. Lastly, it has become a lesson with the kids. They are learning coin denominations in school so this helps to reiterate at home and work on their skip counting. Seriously who is willing to hand over 10% of their savings (to someone aside from the government we are FORCED to pay)???

    1. I have been to banks which don’t take loose or rolled coins. This is becoming more commonplace recently as banks are trying to reduce fees and taking/counting coins is expensive. Bigger banks don’t take rolled coins because many people try to short the roll.

      1. Interesting tidbit on the gift card option. However, I did read your initial blog about your bank (which we share in common) and was surprised to hear they don’t accept your coins? Wow! I would definitely give them a hard time about that. I have been banking there for over 7 yrs, and always take them my rolled coins, without an issue. I mean if you run a business, it is inevitable, you will amass a significant amount of change. I do agree it’s crazy how dependent we have become on paperless technology, and I was even psyched out by a local upscale restaurant here in Miami, that does not accept cash! You DL their app, and pay for services using your phone. There is no till on location anywhere, just one of those QR readers to scan your phone.

        1. Well, I’m just a consumer at that bank. I don’t have any business accounts there and my business doesn’t deal in cash, so no coins. I feel cash is slowly going out of style and the banks are just helping the process along.

      2. I bank at a large bank for many years (BofA), but I have not deposited rolled coins (I used to in quantity) for many,many months. (Don’t bother unless I need the money)Never had a problem before, but my account is grandfathered in now for some time. Checking with no monthly fee as long as I only use ATM to deposit cash or checks. $8.95 a month if I go inside and use a teller for anything. I’m a server at a restaurant so I only deposit cash or my paycheck is direct deposit. I was told (again,many months ago) that I could bring in coins and have them sent to the regional office to be deposited to my account (have to trust the count),but I guess this this is better then an automatic 10%.

        1. Many banks have just said “no” to coins. While I think they are supposed to allow them, they just don’t care. My bank (large one) flat out said they will not accept coins. I had to go to a credit union with a friend to get them counted. I was going to roll them, but most places said they wouldn’t take them either way unless I was a business. This is why Coinstar has become so popular, but the 10% sucks!

          1. Yeah, banks are weird with coins. I once tried depositing $14.72 in unrolled pennies at the drive through teller. The container BARELY got up the little tube deal and then I saw it explode like a claymore inside the bank window. They apparently didn’t think it was funny (I did), and then they didn’t process the deposit! They wouldn’t even give me my pennies back. Jerks.

          2. They are. Some have no problem, but others just don’t seem to care. One told me that if they aren’t getting the truck for the coin deposits soon, then they won’t take them for several days.

          3. I bet if you look deeper there’s prob some correlation between banks and coinstar. Or owned by former banker(s)

        2. I too have taken coins into B of A to be sent out and deposited into my account. I took in $175.00 of quarters only and after 3 weeks got $65.39 credit. Long story short argued, filled out firms and finally gave up! CROOKS DON’T TRUST THIS METHOD.

        3. Yes, putting the coins in one of the specially-marked BofA bags is an option, but they take 10 – yes – TEN business days to “process” and post the total to your account. That is absurd. There is no reason in the world those speedy coin-counting machines all the banks had on their counters couldn’t still be used — they aren’t that busy and it was a great service. They just don’t want to do it anymore.
          Our BofA has dwindled to one or 2 tellers who look miserable, there’s no drive-up window or even the vacuum canister, the carpeting is threadbare, there are no decorations, and I swear they’ve dimmed the lighting to save money…it’s really sad. Conversely, Webster bank looks like a thriving enterprise with at least 5 tellers, free coffee/treats, bright lighting, and everyone looks like they WANT to be there!!

  3. I have never thought about doing this to bypass the fee, but it’s a great thing to do especially before the holidays or someone’s birthday, that way you can bypass the fee and take care of someone’s gift with loose change at the same time.

  4. Having worked at a bank that charged to take coins this is a good option to look at. It always drove me nuts to be told I had to charge people just to give them their money. We’ve not run into this yet with our bank, but with the way they love fees I don’t see it as being too far off.

  5. I didn’t know about this. I’ve never used a CoinStar but we do have a huge thing of change that we need to cash in. I will probably go the gift card route.

  6. Yet another reason I switched to a credit union.

    I don’t deposit coins often, but when I do the CoinStar machine in the lobby is free.

    10‰ processing charge is highway robbery! Thanks for the tip on retailers who have them for free.

    1. I’m part of a credit union, but it’s not local, so I can’t deposit coins. There are a few here which have the coin machine in the lobby, but I’m not a member. They charge me to do it when not a member. The fee is highway robbery, yet people still use these machines regularly.

    1. That is correct. The ones in my area will charge you a fee if you’re not a member. That kind of negates the principle of depositing coins though.

  7. This is such a sad story that this article needs to be written. I ran into this situation a couple of years ago when I was looking to deposit a couple of hundred dollars worth of coins at my local bank and they would not accept the coins (even though they were all rolled up). I proceeded to throw a large amount of attitude at the teller and proceeded to the nearest Commerce Bank (now TD) and was told unless I had an account that I would be charged a fee. I was flabbergasted! After researching Coinstar and finding out I could skip all fees and get an Amazon gift card, I’ve been a Coinstar fan ever since. It is ridiculous that in this country legal tender can be rejected by the institutions designed to accept them under all circumstances.

  8. I had coins to cash in and couldn’t find a bank that would take them. I was going to go the Coinstar route, but refused to pay the fee. The idea of a gift card is nice, but I wanted the cash. I ended up getting lucky. My Mom has an account with a small community bank that lets you use their coin machine for free. So I went with her there to turn my coins into bills.

    It’s so sad that it has come to this.

    1. You did get lucky. I was lucky to find a credit union around my area that would take them, but I had to get my mom who was a member to take me in. Stupid, just stupid!

  9. I used to use Coinstar all the time when I was a pizza delivery driver. Now our credit union on base has a free machine for us to use, but like you said, it’s only for members. But I wish I would have known about this before! I had no idea you could avoid the fee by going with a gift card. Extremely useful to know. I have a few friends that will be extremely glad to hear this!

  10. I used to be the treasurer for the Humane Society and before they outlawed coin deposits outright, the tellers would literally roll their eyes and huff and puff when they saw me some in because lots of our donations were with small bills and coins. In fact, they still have an event in the summer called Pennies for Pets where they take change at the farmer’s market. To raise $500 in rolled coins that people donated and then have the bank say they won’t take it was almost criminal in my mind. Anyway, we switched banks and it’s hasn’t been an issue there yet. I suppose someday, they will all outlaw them everywhere and that’s sad. Coins add up to dollars!

  11. Now that we use cash more we have more change accumulating. Absolutely nuts that a bank charges to take coins. Fortunately my bank does not do this so my kids are safe in rolling their coins. And I wouldn’t give up 10% of the worth of my coins. Give me the gift card instead…and I’ll take in no particular order Starbucks, Home Depot, Amazon, and iTunes. Not sure what that says about my priorities. 🙂

  12. Thanks for the helpful information regarding Coinstar. I use it every now and then and did not know that they offered the gift card option. As I also am an Amazon Prime member, this will work great for me.

  13. My soon to be wife has $1000s worth of pennies, I may try my credit union to see if they will count them and give me face value. Any thoughts?

    1. I would definitely go to a credit union and see if they will handle the coins. $1000s in pennies is a ton of coin, so you might find some push back. You can also call to see if there are any credit unions around that have the coin counting machines. If they do, ask around your friends to see if they are members. I was able to get a a lot of coins counted at my mother’s credit union in their coin machine. It was much easier than rolling!

      I wouldn’t want to pay Coinstar the 11% fee. That’s too much money, especially if you can use it toward your honeymoon!

  14. I JUST CALLED THE CREDIT UNION I BELONG TO AND THEY WANNA CHARGE ME 5% FOR MY UNROLLED COINS. GUESS IM GONNA HAVEVTO BY ONE OF THOSE SMALL MACHINES FOR MYSELF THAT HOLDS THE ROLLS AND YA FILL THEM UP AND ROLL YOUR OWN CHANGE THAT WAY .

    1. You could just put your coins in Coinstar and get a gift card out and keep everything. Why not just do that?

      By the way, I think your CAPS lock is stuck on. You don’t need to type in all CAPS.

      1. For some people, poor, low, or skewed visual acuity may necessitate CAPS, Grayson. 🙂

  15. What you guys don’t see coming is the banks pretty soon
    won’t want your paper currency either. It cost them to process cash also.So it will all be electronic transactions or
    there will be a fee.!!!!!!!!!!

      1. Sweden or Norway is getting ready to implement a cashless society in the next year. Also there are some disquieting things in the pipeline that make me think the less cash in the bank the better(bail-in language in Dodd-Frank and negative interest rates being just a couple) trust me they are working hard to take your money.
        Also thanks for the gift card tip. My bank is in Texas so it’s very helpful.

  16. Worth noting, some bookmakers/betting shops have machines which you can dump change in en masse, and then rather than betting it you can just click a ‘collect’ or ‘pay out’ button and it prints a receipt allowing you to go up to the counter and get the amount in question in more manageable denominations. There is no charge for doing it this way.

  17. Fortunately, my bank (at several branches) has a coin counting machine in their lobby. It’s free (for account holders only) and handy to use. I save up my coins until I have several hundred dollars, dump the coins into the machine and it’s automatically added to my bank account. It’s great!

  18. Blah, all the coinstar machines in my area are at Walmart stores, and the only gift card options they have are Applebee’s, Chili’s, Starbucks, ITunes, Southwest airlines and Nike. Of course they don’t want you shopping at their competition, and having a Walmart gift card option would render them unable to collect the fee! So, Starbucks or Chili’s it is.

  19. Gift cards are rip off as well. You can’t possibly use up the entire dollar amount of the card. There is always some money left. Then you have to hope the gift card merchant will accept your card. They get ripped off all the time.

    1. I would disagree. If you get an Amazon gift card, you can easily use the entire amount. They allow you to make partial payments with the gift card and the rest with another card. That’s much better than giving away 10% of your money.

  20. I am so glad I came across this pin on Pinterest. This is awesome news! I am going to rush home and do just that. Time for Christmas shopping! How long does it take to receive the gift card?

  21. How about going back to using coins while making purchases? People may moan a little in line behind you, but that way you are getting full value for you money. Plus your using your money where you would normally spend your money anyhow. Using gift cards from coin star does give you more value than losing 10percent but you still are limiting your options of where you can spend your money. Plus your putting your money into multinational companies who want to eventually go cashless and take everyone’s freedoms.

  22. So here’s the deal, banks are there to make money, if they won’t take your rolled coin explain to the higher ups you plan to take your business elsewhere if they don’t. If they say no, FOLLOW THROUGH! Business account or personal, NOTHING is worth the hassle of being mistreated and disrespected in this way. As for the not taking rolled due to short rolling there’s a better way to solve that too. Write your real name and real phone number on the roll people. Also about the whole credit union out of area inconvenience thing, almost every credit union in the country is part of at least one reciprocal network of credit unions that will allow you to use their ATMs and if available their change machine as well as make deposits to your own credit unions account. Do a little research before starting an account anywhere and only be loyal to a bank or credit union that treats you like you want to be treated. As for the loose change thing, seriously how LAZY can you possibly expect to be and still keep all your cash. My bank is so great they even give me the paper to roll them. For Pete’s sake people, be respectful, be honest, treat your tellers the way you want to be treated and above all, smartly research your bank or credit union before you start letting them take even a cent of your hard earned cash be it in monthly fees or 10% your 5 year old’s hard saved tooth fairy coinage!

    1. I have banks that just say “no” to rolled coins. So it’s not about being lazy, it’s about some banks just not caring enough to take legal tender.

      Not all banks are alike, so just because your bank is great, doesn’t mean everyone has the same options.

  23. I use the coinstar at Walmart and it prints a receipt I can use at the checkout to pay for my purchase. So I just wait until I need groceries, cash in my change and use the ticket to pay for part of my purchase.

    It’s been a while, but at one time Winn-Dixie grocery stores did this too.

  24. Thank you for the tips! I have never rolled coins. Over the years, my banks have always accepted loose coins submitted to them in a bag, yes literally in a bag. Years ago after collecting shoeboxes filled with pennies, which i will never do again, I showed up at Bank of America with bags of pennies. Uncounted, I had to trust my bank. They took all the bags, $101. worth of pennies. The tellers were amused, all bags eventually went to the USMint in Philadelphia, about 10 miles from the Bank. There was a charge by the way, it wasn’t free. I was notified by BoA a few days later that a 10% charge was applied, so my pennies netted about $91. Plus change. And a few Guatemalan, Brazilian, and Canadian coins were returned to me.

    No more coin hoarding. (Let’s see how many pennies in $101? )

    Bank refusal to take US cash is news to me. They don’t like wrapped coins. But loose cash? And they make money from it? Come on. Push back if a bank won’t take your loose coins. If you have a ton of coins like me, and still no bank cooperation, contact the feds. It’s US money!!!

    Interesting option: If you are close to a US Mint, call them first, maybe they can help you directly, a drive to the Mint with your coins in the trunk may be an adventure. While you’re there, you just have to take a tour of a US Mint, what a great place!

    Yes The Mints have tours.

    I’m going to Walmart today, with maybe $20 in coins, I’ll try the Walmart e-card option. Thanks!

  25. FYI – I conducted an experiment with two different CoinStar machines in the area where I live. I had already precounted and rolled the coins prior to visiting the machines (emptied the coins from the wrappers into a jar), so I knew the amount I had. Not only did I have to pay the CoinStar fee when collecting my money, but neither CoinStar machine accurately counted my coins. It said it counted, on average, around $12 less than I actually submitted. Be careful out there. I think they rig these machines to skim more than just the fee “off the top.”

  26. I work at a casino and have brought in large amounts of change to the cage to be converted to cash. They don’t charge a fee. Not sure if this would work for patrons but i don’t see why not. Money is money, right?

    1. That could be an option for those who live by a casino. The closest one to me is 5.5 hours away and many don’t have casinos near them. If you have one, why not try it?

  27. This post = mind blown! I remember when I was a little girl, my dad would basically pay me the 10% that Coinstar takes to roll his coins up. (He always paid in cash and taught me to do the same.) I didn’t realize that banks don’t take coins any longer! Silliness. Thanks for sharing your tips with us. I’ve got a stash of coins I’ve been collecting that I want to go cash in now! lol

    1. Some banks still take coins, but I’ve found most just give you a very hard time with it or just say go to coinstar. I found that to be crazy.

  28. The banks I do business with do not charge anything so I avoid the Coinstar fees by going to my bank when cashing in my coins. As a side note, I kind of love coins. Pennies and Kennedy half dollars are my favorite to hang on to.

    1. Consider yourself lucky. Many banks won’t deal with coins anymore, even rolled. It’s a hassle for them, so I’ve had large banks even tell me to go use the Coinstar machine. I’ve had some flat out tell me they don’t accept coins anymore unless I’m a business.

  29. I was getting Amazon gift cards at coinstar every time my change jar filled. I looked forward to it. Then they took the feature away at least in NJ this gone. Just the horrible fee which I refuse to pay.

  30. ARE YOU THROWING AWAY SILVER COINS? Be certain that you DO NOT deposit any coins dated BEFORE 1965! These coins contain 90% silver; all dimes, quarters and half dollars dated 1964 or earlier are worth at least TEN TIMES face value (No nickels) ie; one dime is worth at least $1.00, one quarter is worth at least $2.50 and a half dollar is worth at least $5.00 so make sure the coins you are about to deposit are dated 1965 or later because that $5.00 roll of dimes you are getting ready to deposit could be worth $50.00 and maybe even much more. Always check old coin rolls, especially if they were saved by your parents or grandparents. They could be worth a LOT of money!

    1. Where do you cash in your silver coins dated before 1965?
      I don’t know where to get the value price for them.

  31. Thanks. I’ve avoided cashing in at these machines because of that. Just been filling up jars.
    I’m Kroger bound then on to my go to store amazon thanks again.

  32. Glad I found this via Pinterest. We have a tin of nickels a friend gave my husband as a gag gift when we moved 13 years ago. After just lugging it through another move, I have been trying to remember to find a coin machine and take the tin box in, but always forget. Obviously, my guardian angel had a hand in this, helping me to forget until I ran across this information. At least I will understand my options when I hit the grocery store machine.
    Just out of curiosity, what do you suppose the Salvation Army does? You know their Christmas bell-ringing stations probably get loads of coins.

  33. For LGE Credit Community customers, some of them have machines like this in them that dont charge, Looks like its time to switch banks!

  34. So you’re telling me, that If I wanted to buy formula at let’s say Walmart and had exactly enough “rolled coins”, they won’t accept it. At coinstar they will, but either I will be charged a fee to get a recipt, then not have enough money to buy formula, or choose a “gift card” that would only be good for one store in particular. What if I need to buy gas for my car on the way home? What if I needed to pay a bill, etc? I would basically be screwed out of money any way you look at it. Nice work world.

    1. Well, as indicated at the bottom of the post, many Walmart stores have CoinStars in them and they allow you to use that money against your purchase at the store with no fee, so you could buy formula. Many places won’t accept rolled coins in bulk anymore.

      If you need to buy gas, you need to go to a bank and see if you can cash out the coins. Hopefully you would be able to at some banks (I know many don’t do it anymore), but that’s the only way.

  35. I use Coinstar to get gift cards for Lowes, so my coins become my home improvement fund. I turn them in once a year and use the money to buy things for the house.

    1. Nice! I use my coins to fund my Amazon purchases. So easy and since my bank doesn’t take coin deposits anymore (who knows why), this is the best option since I shop on Amazon often!

  36. Just last night while I was working in front of a coin machine a boy came in and leaned up against the machine and pulled out his phone and was carefully looking around to see if any one was watching him! he started pressing something on his phone and had it up against the machine and suddenly a voucher slip appeared stating your voucher slip is on its way! now I did see the printing on the machine I was pretty much close but not that close! he walked in the opposite direction of the courtesy disk to the back of the store and came around and went to the courtesy disk with the voucher slip all crumbled up. the clerk had a hard time reading it! he absolutely put no coins in the machine! if I saw the voucher printing I think I would have noticed if he was putting coins in as he was leaning up against the machine sideways not directly in front of it! the clerk gave him only $16.00 in cash. I talked wifth other people being concerned about the amount of cash if he was up to something that is why he only took a small amount of cash not to bring any suspicion on him! could I be wrong or do you think he put money in $16.00 in change could go in rather quick? I am still wondering if this is a new way of robbing? My son says maybe there is an app out there that can allow the machine to give that money out! whay do you think Am i crazy or what/ deanna soper

    1. I haven’t heard that before, but I’m sure there are ways to hack the machine to do that. You would hear the coins being counted on those machines, so you’d know if he put coins in.

  37. Fuck you this is a bunch of nonsense. This is just a troll go get people to go to your bull shit site

    1. A little angry today? Looks like it got you to come here, so mission accomplished!

      I hope you have a wonderful day and if you’re looking to hack a Coinstar so you don’t have to pay a fee, then this is not the place. We don’t teach people how to do illegal things on other people’s property.

  38. Whatever you do, DO NOT donate your money to ANY of those charities listed. Red Cross, UNICEF, etc those are some of the WORST charities out there. Your donation won’t go to help those in need, it will go straight into Corporate Office’s deep pockets! Avoid, avoid, avoid!

    1. They do have some high overhead, but you can’t tell people where they should donate their money. Some love donating to the red cross and others love Unicef. I don’t think we should discourage people from donating money to any non-profit organization.

    1. That is correct, but no all people are members of credit unions since they require a common bond between members. Some are state employees or you have to support a certain organization. They aren’t open to everyone.

  39. These e-cards can they be used to make a payment at say Lowes or Best Buy or just to make a purchase

  40. For coin rollers, buy a bag with a nice selection of sizes (pennies, quarters, etc.) at Dollar Tree for…well, $1.

  41. They’re legal tender for debts; if you owe someone a debt they have to accept them. So if you brought a bag of quarters to the electric company they’d be violating federal law if they didn’t accept it as payment of your electric bill. Same thing goes for your grocery store service counter that accepts payments for utility bills.

    1. That doesn’t mean anything. Just because they don’t accept them doesn’t mean anything’s going to happen. The reason is you’d have to take them to court, pay legal fees, and for what? To pay a $50 bill with coins? No one would do that and these companies know it.

  42. Coinstar is occasionally a bait and switch scheme! I have used Coinstar many times, since there is no fee for exchanging coins for eGift certificates, especially for my favorite one, Amazon.
    Today was the second time I used this imparticular one at Shoprite, and it’s the last.
    I started up the screen, tapped on eGift certificate, tapped on Amazon, and sent my coins into the kiosk. After $56.12 tallied up, I hit the done button, and low and behold, there was an error, so I have to get a cash voucher instead. There is no other option. Which means I get banged for a $6.68 processing fee.
    If I initially tap on an eGift certficate and Coinstar HAS to give me a cash voucher instead, THERE SHOULD BE NO TRANSACTION FEE, PERIOD. Cash voucher wasn’t my choice. Coinstar decided that was how I get my money. UNFAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I did send them another complaint, and again, I am sure I will get the same bs canned response.

    USE COINSTAR AT YOUR OWN RISK.

  43. GRASON,
    YES TYPING ALL IN CAPS HELPS SOME OF US WHO ARE DISABLED SEE BETTER. I’M NOT YELLING…… I HAVE OPTIC NEURTICE CAUSED BY MS THAT IS MUTIPLE SCLEROSIS! SO PLEASE PARDON US WHO USE CAPS!

  44. After reading this article2abiut bypassing the fee with coinstar, I find myself sitting dazed and confused. Why? Because there was nothing about bypassing the fee in the article. If bypassing the fee by getting a gift card or giving it to charity, that’s factually an option. There is no bypassing…i love reading articles that give you zero, none, nil, nada unformation then before you read this nonsense. ROLL YOUR COINS or Use a bank that doesn’t charge. As far as the backs won’t take your COINS, WHERE? It is money! Banks love money, they will take it.

    1. Actually, bypassing means getting around and using the gift card or charity option is exactly that. You are getting around the fee by choosing a different option. Sorry you couldn’t understand that, but thank you for reading the full article.

      Yes, you can roll your coins and as far as banks not taking your coins, there are many. It is money, but it also costs them to haul the heavy currency off as they don’t store a lot of coins there. A few banks in my area don’t take coin deposits. They don’t just love money. There are many who’ve reached out to me that their banks wouldn’t take coin deposits, so make sure you know what you’re talking about before getting so irritated over here.

  45. I bank at the be of a and I just took in my coins for cash paper money back and they told me that it would take 5 to 7 working days which is ridiculous I have an account there checking and savings and have had it there for a while

  46. Thank you for your informative article. My bank is difficult about unfilled coins as well. I’ve gotten mixed messages from my credit union so rather than risk it I’ll t as Ken my little bag of coins into Wal-Mart and go from there .

  47. I’ve badly wanted a way to utilize my coins without having to roll them and I’m sure not paying 11% to Coinstar – I finally hit on using my coins at Walmart at their self-check out, just pour my coins into their slot – takes a little while but works great for any purchase under $20. I’m going to get rid of my coins this way – one sizable plastic jar down, two to go – after that I will just use those machines on an on-going basis for whenever I’ve accumulated a hand full of change, no more hoarding or worries about big jars of change building up.

      1. I don’t think this is true. The voucher you print out at the coinstar machine can be used against a purchase at Walmart. But you still have to pay the cash out fee(11.9%) at the coinstar machine. Also, it would be great if coinstar offered a walmart e-gift card option. But they don’t.

  48. Does every Coinstar provide option of Gift cards? I went to one in Loblaws, Ontario and there was no mention of gift card option. There was a disclaimer of 11.99% fee when I touched the screen of the machine. I was wondering if the machine gives option of gift card after counting is done. Any feedback is appreciated.

  49. I got an ecard for Applebee’s once and the bad thing was it didn’t get used up BUT the ink wore off the receipt so I was unable to use the rest of the balance still on it.

  50. This is quite possibly the worst-written article I’ve ever seen. Instead of rambling on for paragraph on paragraph repeating the same statement about how coinstar takes a convenience fee of 11.9% and that is annoying, you could save everyone’s time and condense the preamble to 1-2 sentences. This reads like a paper written by a middle schooler trying to reach a word count.

    1. Sorry you feel that way Nora. I appreciate you taking the time to not only read the article, but then take the time to comment. I guess I didn’t waste your time since you decided to take it all up commenting.

  51. Instead of Coinstar, I use the self checkout at Meijer or Wal-Mart to deposit my coins to pay for transaction. If I want the dollar bills from the coins I inserted I simply take the paid for merchandise to customer service for full refund. That way I get my money back without fees.

  52. Here’s the simplest solution… use money to pay for things. When your food bill is 11.72, pay it with real money including the 72 cents. Even better, drop a $10 and 1.72 in change. WHY would you be so inefficient as to pay with bills, take change you probably don’t need, collect it, make a trip to a machine, get receipts or cards to buy something else. Long ago as a child I dropped money into a big bank as a way to save but now, I pay the correct amount and seldom have more than $1.50 in change to my name.

  53. I just tried this today. For several years I would dump my change in the Coinstar machine at my local grocer, and then take the cash voucher and apply it towards my grocery purchase. The fee percentage has definitely increased over time. I had a bunch of quarters in my change pocket. The change counted up to $8.00; but I would have only received $7.04 of it on a cash voucher. I opted to get an Amazon e-gift card for the full amount instead. I do a good deal of shopping on Amazon, so it would be sure to be put to good use. Thanks for the tip!

  54. Bank of America takes coins without you having to roll them, and will give you the cash equivalent if you are a account holder.

  55. I found this site today Feb 13, 2018. Good article and comments. However, I find it annoying that your dates do not show what year anything was written. Your article states it was written on March 10. Why not show the year you wrote it? Same with all the comments….no year, just month and day. I don’t know how current all this is. Is there a reason for not showing the year?????? Seems to be quite common on internet articles.

  56. The donation choices just happen to be the worst “charitable organisations there are. Leading the list is the Red Cross, what a fraudulent organisation that is.
    Texas Official After Harvey: The ‘Red Cross Was Not… — ProPublica

    1. Unfortunately, we don’t get to choose what organizations they team up with. Usually these are going to be bigger ones since they can create systems to move money from Coinstar to theirs, whereas a small charitable organization doesn’t have the infrastructure.

  57. You don’t mention that the “gift cards” are printed out by the machine on thermal paper. This paper is not very durable at all and your gift amount could easily be lost if you simply let the paper sit around for too long. Coinstar offers no alternatives to this and also says they cannot reproduce these cards if they are destroyed.

    1. So, you’re going to blame Coinstar when you let a gift certificate sit around for too long? Just like a receipt, it’s thermal paper because it can work in the machine. They aren’t going to have a gift card printer in there for you. I don’t really see this issue here, but you seem to must be nitpicking something because someone left their receipt around for too long.

    2. Any time I get something like this I take a picture with my phone in case it gets damaged. Learned that the hard way

  58. So what if I put $800 worth of coins in the Coinstar, then request a $5 e-certificate? Would the other $795 be without the fee also?

  59. Wonder if Walmart charges a fee if you use the e gift card there? My son has around $100 in change and a b-day coming up so that would be awesome. Or wonder if I can get 2 different e gift cards? $50 at old Navy and $50 somewhere else

  60. I was just at a coinstar machine and tried the e-gift card option. Personally I like Starbucks, so choose that. The machine gave me a option for a new card or current card. I choose new to see what happens, and when done cashing in the coins the machine gave me a actual plastic card that I could use at Starbucks. So maybe with certain choices you get a ecard code and others a actual card. I am going to try using my regular card next time.

  61. If you live near a casino, you can take your change there. The one near me doesn’t charge a fee. Just don’t stop at a machine and gove it back to them! LOL

  62. I went to a coin star machine in Corning, California at a Safeway to cash in $27.53 in pennies and selected an Applebe’e’s gift card as to avoid the outrageous percentage they take from you, after depositing all the Pennies, the machine paid me out $27.53 which I took the receipt to the service counter and cashed it. Sure was happy to get cash rather than the gift card. Hope it happens again when I use the same machine on my next cash out !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  63. Latest news. I selected Amazon gift card and after taking 344.47 in coins, the machine says “e card is not available now”. They took $40.99 and I had to collect the cash remainder or $303.43. Previously, if the ecard was not available and they waited until you deposited your money to tell you, they did not charge the fee. Evidently they have decided to change their policy. Complaining to the store did not help, its not their machine.

  64. If i have less than 100 in coins say about 50 and choose cash will i still have a fee?

  65. Great info. This year we had a christmas jar. We knew this year would be super tight (husband became disabled right after we bought our house 🙁 and i didnt want christmas to hit and have NOTHING so we filled a jar full throughout the year. I probably have about 100 to spend on 4 kids but at least its something right? So we drive an hour from our small town home to the nearest coinstar thinking will cash it and get our shopping done on black friday only to find the kiosk broken 🙁 i just need a way to cash these out so i can get my kids something! This week go an hour in the opposite direction but i have no intention of wanting to give them a percentage for my money….makes sense to use a gift card! Thanks for the info!

  66. Great article and commentary, learned many new things I was not aware of! Have large jars of coins and about to go use Coinstar for 1st time. One idea I got from reading all this and I offer this as a suggestion, put in only the minimum amount of 5$ first and choose gift card option as a test to make sure gift cards are available on the machine used before putting in hundreds of dollars of coins and being forced to pay 12% fee if the machine won’t offer you a gift card at the end. Anyway, thank you for all this amazing information! (I had no idea about credit unions or casinos, etc. offering coin machines)