15 Places to Get Cash for Coins for Free (or Cheap)

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Want to get cash for coins? I can help.

One way my family saves money is by saving coins. Every time we pay cash and get change back, the coins go into a jar.

We don’t miss them, and in fact, it’s nice not to have to walk around with that heavy change in our purses and pockets.

However, once the jars are full, it is time to cash them in. You can’t head to the airline counter with a jar full of coins.

You need to find a place to cash them in. I like to call it an exchange. My coins for dollar bills please.

Places to Get Cash for Coins For Free

Here are our top places to get those coins turned into cash.

1. Your Local Bank

Many banks have coin counting machines. You typically have to be a member to have coins counted for free. Non-members usually have to pay a fee.

Currently there are a few banks that we know of that will take your coins:

  • Citibank (requires coin rolls and some fees may vary)
  • Community Savings Banks (requirements vary)
  • US Bank (no rolls but current customers only)
  • Bank of America (requires coin rolls)
  • First County Bank
  • Western Credit Union
  • Peoples United

Things to before you go to the bank:

  • Call ahead and inquire if they want coins rolled
  • Ask if they have member / non-member fees
  • Make sure coins are free of lint and other debris

One bonus with having a local bank that will convert the coins is you can add the money directly to your account where it can earn interest. Money in the jar only earns dust.

2. QuikTrip

QuikTrip homepage

QuikTrip gas stations and convenience stores have over 800 locations in the Southeastern, Midwestern, and Southern U.S.

According to this article, you can turn your coins into any QuikTrip location and get cash.

The article says that if your local store doesn’t have enough cash to cash out your coins, they’ll give you the remaining balance in the form of the QuikTrip gift card.

QuikTrip isn’t charging a fee for this service.

Coin Counting Machines

coinstar coin counting machine

Retailers sometimes have coin counting machines that let you exchange coins for cash. You pour your coins into the machine and it will count them.

Note that it will spit out any coins it can’t identify. This could include foreign coins, damaged coins and non-coins.

If the machine spits out a real coin, put it in again. Sometimes you can get it to register by doing that.

Know that this service isn’t free. One popular coin counting machine is run by Coinstar. Coinstar has coin counting machines in stores everywhere.

What is Coinstar’s Fee?

Coinstar charges 11.9% to turn your coins into cash. You can read about how to get around that toward the bottom of this article.

Check the Coinstar website for kiosks near you. Here is a list of stores that might house coin counting machines.

3. Walmart

Walmart homepage

Walmart has over 11,000 stores worldwide. If you live in the U.S. there’s likely a Walmart near you.

Almost all of the Walmarts in my area have Coinstar machines. Walmart seems to be the largest Coinstar host store, at least in my area.

Relevant article: 10 Best Places to Get Quarters

4. Kroger

Kroger homepage

Kroger has more than 2,700 grocery stores in 35 states in the U.S. Many Kroger stores have Coinstar kiosks. Check your local store for more information.

5. CVS

CVS homepage

CVS Pharmacy has over 9,000 stores in the U.S. It has stores in every state except Wyoming. Check your local CVS to see if it has a Coinstar kiosk.

6. ShopRite

ShopRite homepage

There are more than 300 ShopRite grocery stores on the East Coast. You can find them in several states, including:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Maryland

Check your local ShopRite to see if they have a kiosk.

7. Hy-Vee

Hy-Vee homepage

Hy-Vee has over 200 grocery stores in the Midwest. Some states include Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nebraska. Your local Hy-Vee may have a Coinstar kiosk.

8. Meijer

Meijer homepage

There are more than 200 Meijer retail stores in the Midwest. They’re located in the following states:

  • Michigan
  • Indiana
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Wisconsin
  • Ohio

Visit your local Meijer store for a Coinstar kiosk. Not all locations carry kiosks.

9. Albertsons

Albertsons homepage

Albertsons has over 2,000 locations throughout the U.S. Some states include Texas, New Mexico and Illinois.

Your local Albertsons store may have a Coinstar kiosk.

10. Harris Teeter

Harris Teeter homepage

Harris Teeter has more than 200 supermarkets in seven U.S. states. They’re located in:

  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
  • Georgia
  • Florida
  • Delaware
  • Maryland

There are Harris Teeters in Washington, D.C., too. Your local Harris Teeter may have a Coinstar kiosk.

11. Hannaford

Hannaford homepage

Hannaford has nearly 200 stores in New England and New York. Note that not all locations have Coinstar kiosks.

12. Cash Wise

Cash Wise homepage

Cash Wise foods stores are located in Minnesota and North Dakota. There are dozens of stores. Check your local Cash Wise store to see if they house Coinstar.

13. Target

Target homepage

There are more than 1,800 Target stores in the U.S. Not all Targets have Coinstar kiosks. In my major city, I couldn’t find a machine at a Target.

Check your local Target store to see if it has one.

14. Kmart

Kmart homepage

Kmart stores are dwindling in number. However, there are still over 40 in the U.S. You might find a Coinstar machine at your local Kmart.

15. Lowe’s

Lowe's homepage

Lowe’s is a home improvement chain with more than 2,000 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Some stores may carry Coinstar kiosks.

Again, not all store locations have machines. As I mentioned, most of the Walmarts in my area have them. However, very few Targets have them.

You can find a kiosk location by going to the Coinstar website. Or you can ask at a store near you.

Coinstar Fees

As I mentioned before, Coinstar charges a whopping 11.9% fee if you want cash for your coins. So, if you have $100 in coins you’ll get charged $11.90.

I know, that’s a LOT of money. I’m not a big fan of paying fees. You’re likely not either.

However, there are a few options for avoiding the fee. Check out these choices.

Get an e-Gift Card for Free

Coinstar does have an option where you can get an e-gift card instead of actual cash for your coins.

You won’t pay a fee if you get an e-gift card. Coinstar has several e-gift card options. They all come with minimum and maximum dollar amounts.

Gift Card Options

CompanyGift Card Amounts
Amazon$5 to $1,000
Applebee’s $5 to $500
Best Buy $5 to $500
Gamestop$15 to $500
Home Depot$10 to $500
iTunes$5 to $500
Southwest Airlines$25 to $500
Starbucks$5 to $500

Note that the retailers and amounts are subject to change. However, if you’re looking to avoid the Coinstar fee, this could help.

Give the Money to Charity

Coinstar will waive the coin counting fee if you donate the money to charity through them. Their list of available charities is small. However, they are all good choices.

  • Unicef
  • United Way
  • American Red Cross
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
  • World Wildlife Foundation
  • Feeding America
  • Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

There’s something for everyone on the charity list. If you want to give your coins to a good cause, you can go this route.

Summary

I’ve found saving coins is a great way to save money. You don’t miss them when you throw them into the jar. They almost don’t seem like real cash.

Sometimes we’ll throw dollar bills into our coin jar, too. They really add up over time. You can save several hundred dollars a year this way.

Using your own bank is the cheapest way to get cash for coins. However, if that’s not an option you have Coinstar.

You may pay a fee with Coinstar, but at least you’ll get cash.

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