Coinstar is a machine that counts your coins and dispenses cash. You can also use it to turn your coins into eGift cards from popular retailers.
The process is simple: just pour your loose change into the machine and let it do its thing. Coinstar is a great way to eliminate your spare change.
Like Coinstar, there are several tools in the market, such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo and others. Though the best Coinstar alternative is QuikTrip which offers multiple services under one roof. Not only can you use it for coin counting but you can also buy grocery and gas from here.
- Benefits of Using a Coin Counter
- Best Coinstar Alternatives
- Wrap Up
People who want to avoid Coinstar’s 11.9% fee or want to convert their coins to a different format, these alternatives to Coinstar are worth exploring.
But first, let’s talk about some of the benefits of coin-counting.
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Manually counting your coins can be time-consuming and inaccurate. A coin counter can help you save time and ensure accuracy when counting large amounts of coins.
There are a few different types of coin counters available on the market, each with its own set of features and benefits. Here are some of the benefits of using a coin counter:
When you use a coin counter, there is no chance of error as the machine does all the work for you. This means that you can be confident in the accuracy of your final total.
Doing it manually will not only take more time, but there is also a greater chance of making a mistake.
Fixing the mistake no matter how small will add to the overall time it takes to count your coins.
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Another key benefit of using a coin counter is that it saves you time. Manually counting your coins can be a very time-consuming task, particularly if you have a large amount to count.
A coin counter can count coins much faster than you could do by hand. This is especially beneficial if you have large amounts of coins to count.
Some coin counters can count up to 1,000 coins per minute, which means you can count 20,000 coins in just 20 minutes. This is a significant time-saver compared to counting them manually.
If your coins are all mixed up, a coin counter can help you to sort them out. Many coin counters have built-in sorting mechanisms that can automatically sort your coins by denomination.
This is extremely helpful if you have a lot of coins to count as it can save you a lot of time in the sorting process.
One of the most important benefits of using a coin counter is that they are widely available. Coin counters can be found at most banks, credit unions, and some retailers.
This means that you should have no trouble finding a coin counter to use when you need to count your coins.
Once your coins have been counted, you will need to put them into bags or wrappers. Most coin counters have a built-in bagging or wrapping system that can do this for you automatically.
This is extremely convenient as it means you don’t have to stop the counting process to bag or wrap your coins. The machine will do it all for you, saving you even more time.
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Talk about a convenience store that doubles as a Coinstar alternative! QuikTrip is a gas station, grocery store, and coin-counting service all in one.
The best part is that, unlike Coinstar, you will likely cash your coins for free at QuikTrip.
However, it is not always free. Remember the National coin shortage where many stores were offering to cash in coins for free?
Well, that’s over now and some stores are starting to charge a fee again. QuikTrip was one of those stores that weren’t charging for the service, but now that the crisis isn’t as bad, they have started charging a fee, but it is still much lower than Coinstar’s.
However, if you live near a QuikTrip, it is worth checking their coin-counting policy before making a trip.
Also, you will find that QuikTrip is spread out evenly across the United States, so there is a good chance you have one near you.
They are available in 15 states and almost a thousand gas stations/grocery stores.
It is only a matter of making the trip to QuikTrip and getting your coins counted for free or close to it.
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If you want an alternative that can rival Coinstar in terms of presence, then Bank of America is definitely one to consider. They have hundreds of locations across the U.S., so finding one shouldn’t be too difficult.
Unlike Coinstar, Bank of America will cash your coins for free. Even if you don’t have an account with them, you can still use their coin-counting service.
The only thing you need to do is sort the coins out yourself. Bank of America will count your coins for you. On your own, you need to sort them into coin rolls to have them counted.
Once you do this, it becomes easier for the teller and will speed up the process. Otherwise, they’d much rather focus on customers who need more assistance.
You can sort the coins by hand, or if it’s a lot, then you can purchase a coin sorter that will do it for you. These can be found online or at your local hardware store.
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3. Wells Fargo
If you live near a Wells Fargo bank, then that’s another option to consider. They have as many locations as Bank of America, so they’re pretty widespread.
Cashing in your coins is free at Wells Fargo too. You may need to sort them into coin rolls like with Bank of America to make things easy for everyone.
The other catch is that you need to be a member of Wells Fargo to use this service. If you’re not, then you’ll have to open an account before you can cash in your coins.
Other than that, it’s a pretty straightforward process. Just take your coins to a Wells Fargo and tell them you want to cash them in.
They will count them out for you and then give you the cash. You can also have them deposited into your Wells Fargo account if you prefer.
It’s not so bad that they require you to be a customer, as Wells Fargo is a pretty good bank to use in general. They have reasonable fees and a decent mobile app.
Plus you can qualify for promotional discounts if you open a new account with them.
You can also open a brokerage account with Wells Fargo and invest your money that way. They offer a lot of services.
If you want to open an IRA with them, you can do that too.
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4. US Bank
If you have a lot of coins that are difficult to manage, US Bank has a solution for you that will take care of all the heavy lifting. Simply take your coins to any US Bank branch and exchange them for cash. There is no limit to how many coins you can exchange and there are no fees.
You also don’t have to sort your coins, as the teller will do it for you.
The best part is that, unlike Coinstar, they don’t charge a dime for their service.
They are well spread out throughout the country, which makes exchanging your coins easy and convenient.
US Bank has several ways to reach out to them if you have a question, such as a mobile app, so while you must visit the branch to exchange your coins, you can take care of other businesses online.
You can even make an appointment to exchange your coins so that you don’t have to wait in line.
If you want to explore the investing route with your coins, US Bank has a service that will allow you to do so.
This is a great option for those who want to take their time and learn about investing before putting their money into it.
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CitiBank is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, offering a wide array of banking and investment products and services to customers around the globe. Citigroup owns Citibank, one of the leading consumer banks in the United States.
They offer coin exchange services, but they only do so for their customers. So if you’re not a CitiBank customer, you will need to find a branch to sign up for membership.
Once you do, you will save the 11.9% that Coinstar charges as CitiBank only charges a small fee for the transaction.
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If you have a Community Savings Bank account, you can use their coin-counting machines for free. There is no limit to the amount of money you can deposit, and all of the coins are counted for you.
The machine does not sort the coins, so you will have to do that yourself.
Since it is a regional bank, it would require that you be a member of their Savings Bank branch to use this service.
Some branches charge a fee to cash your coin, while some do not, but even the ones that do are still way less expensive than Coinstar.
Another good thing about Community Savings Bank is that they will take any type of coin, including foreign coins.
If you want to schedule ahead of time, you can also do that.
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Western Credit Union is one of the best Coinstar alternatives. They offer a wide variety of services, although their focus is on their members’ financial stability. They provide outstanding customer service, have low fees, and offer many ways to save money.
Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their members. They offer many of the same services as banks but don’t have shareholders.
This means they can return profits to their members in the form of lower fees, higher interest rates, and more personalized service.
One thing they also offer is a coin cashing service.
If you are a member, you can cash in your coins for free. Plus you will be eligible for other benefits that they provide.
Unlike Coinstar, they will not charge you for using their service.
You can put your money towards savings, loans, or other financial products that will help you reach your goals.
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First County Bank allows you to exchange your coins for cash at all of its full-service branches. The amount of cash you’ll receive is based on the value of the coins you have, minus a small fee that varies but will be nowhere near the 11.9% that Coinstar charges.
They only attend to account holders, so you’ll need to open an account with them before cashing in your coins. Fortunately, their process is pretty straightforward:
To redeem your coins, simply take them to any First County Bank location and present them to a teller along with your ID. They will weigh the coins and determine their value based on the day’s coin redemption rate.
Once they have counted the coins, you will be able to receive cash or have the amount deposited into your account.
Depending on the branch that you visit to count your coins, you may be required to roll them first before exchanging them, so it is better to call ahead to find out.
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Most local banks and credit unions offer coin-counting services, and a lot of them don’t charge a fee which makes them more appealing than Coinstar.
You might have to become a member of the financial institution to use the service, but that usually just involves opening a checking or savings account.
Some of them may require that you roll your coins before you bring them in, so you should call ahead to find out what their requirements are.
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Cashing in your coins at Coinstar comes with a fee, but there are plenty of free alternatives if you don’t want to pay.
Local banks, credit unions, and some grocery stores offer coin-counting services. You can also roll your own coins or exchange them for cash or gift cards through QuikTrip.
In the end, the best way to cash in your coins depends on how much you have and what’s most convenient for you.
If you have a large number of coins, it may be worth rolling them yourself or taking them to a local bank or credit union. For smaller amounts, QuikTrip is the way to go.
Scott L. Macarthur is a marketing consultant and an online author. He is mostly engaged in providing his expertise to startups and SMBs. He is also an author on TheNextWeb.