By now, nearly everyone has seen a Coinstar machine at their local grocery store or supermarket. It’s very popular and many people have used it to exchange their gift cards for cash or to cash in loose change. But if you’ve never had any experience with Coinstar before, then it might be worth your while to know more about this service first before you bring your large jar of loose coins to a kiosk near you.
What is Coinstar?
Coinstar works pretty much like a change counter but it’s also so much more than that. First, it counts your loose change and then pays you the cash equivalent after taking out a 10.9% fee. But there’s a way for you not to pay the fee, and that is by choosing the eGift Card option or donating your money to charity.
On the other hand, if you have gift cards you don’t use, then Coinstar can also come in handy. That’s because you can exchange your unused gift cards for cash. They accept over 150 gift cards from a wide range of retailers so next time you see a yellow Coinstar machine, bring your gift cards and check out their cash offer.
How It Works
If your objective is to turn your loose change into cash, then all you have to do is bring your quarters and pennies to a green Coinstar machine. You don’t need to sort them beforehand, as the machine will take care of it for you. As mentioned, there is a fee to turn your coins into cash but if you select any of the nationally branded gift card options, then you don’t need to pay anything.
The first step is to, of course, find a kiosk near you. There’s usually one in every 5-mile radius so you don’t need to drive very far to find a machine. Just go to the Coinstar website and enter your zip code to find a kiosk. Assuming you have found one, go to the kiosk and pour all your loose change into the Coinstar machine’s tray. The machine will count your coins and tell you the total amount. You will then need to select either cash voucher, eGift Card, or donation (to charity). If you choose cash voucher, a receipt will be printed out. Simply present it upon checkout to get your cash.
A lot of people have lots of loose change in their home or office and are too embarrassed to use them or exchange them for paper money at the bank. Coinstar offers a convenient way of turning it into cash without you having to sort through your coins. And if you are bothered by the “processing fee” they charge, there is always the option of getting a gift card. They are affiliated with many well known brands such as Amazon and iTunes, and besides, who doesn’t buy online these days?
Obviously Coinstar will not magically turn your loose change into oodles of cash – it all depends on how many coins you have! But we have heard of people who got thousands of dollars worth of loose change piling up in their home so we suggest you start checking every piggy bank and coin box you own. If you have been “collecting” loose change for many years now, you might just be able to turn them into big cash with the help of Coinstar!