I’m sure you’ve seen CoinStar machines at your local grocery store and some of you may already use their services, but the hefty fee has always kept me away. I typically pay for all my purchases with my Barclaycard, but for some reason I still seem to accumulate quite a bit of change.
When I was younger, I actually enjoyed rolling up change and cashing it in at the bank. One year, I got an electric change counter for my birthday and went to town! It didn’t work too well but it got the job done for small amounts of change.
I’m sure the change counting technology has improved since then, but I can’t justify spending any money on a change counter these days. I just don’t spend enough cash and therefore get enough change to make it worthwhile. I’d like to think that my time is somewhat worthwhile so I definitely don’t want to waste it rolling up quarters and pennies.
I’d Rather Not Pay a Fee
So that pretty much leaves me with only two options: let my change sit in a jar and lose out to inflation or take it to a CoinStar and pay a hefty 9.8% fee. Until recently, I chose the former. There’s not a whole lot of use for change these days, casinos won’t even take change in their slot machines anymore. I would rather let my money sit there idle than pay some company 10 cents on the dollar to count my money haha. Most of my readers should know by now that I hate fees!
Last year, I heard about a promotion on Slickdeals between Amazon and Coinstar where you would get an additional $5 in MP3’s for any $20 pour into an Amazon.com gift card. When I looked further into the deal, I discovered that Coinstar now charges(I guess they’ve been offering this for a while) no fee pours when you redeem for a gift card. There’s a pretty extensive list of companies that you can opt for a gift card from and as soon as I saw that Amazon was one of them, I was in. Here are a few of the main ones:
- CVS Pharmacy
In my opinion gift cards are as good as cash these days so there’s really no point in paying a 10% fee to get cash when you can get a gift card for free.
Amazon Gift Card = Cash
I buy a ton of stuff on Amazon since they have great prices, free 2 day shipping with Prime and amazing customer service. Even though they now charge sales tax in California, I always manage to get a hold of Amazon gift cards at a 10-20% discount. There’s really no better feeling than coming home to a gigantic box of paper towels on your doorstep 🙂
So I guess I don’t hate CoinStar machines anymore now that I can cash out without a fee. I’m sure all the companies listed above have some sort of kickback agreement with CoinStar but that’s fine with me as long as there’s no fee for me. I was planning on waiting until I have kids and having them roll up my change for me, so I guess I’ll get to cash in a little earlier than expected.
Readers, did you know about this CoinStar trick? Or is there a better/easier/faster method of turning change into cash out there that most people may not know about.
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-Harry @ PF Pro