In a NutshellYou can turn loose change into cash by taking your coins to the bank, rolling them yourself, using a coin counting machine, buying a coin separator or spending your coins to purchase items you need.
Unless you pay for everything with a debit or credit card, chances are you will gather loose change throughout your day — and while change is still money, it has its drawbacks. There are several ways to turn coins into cash, each with pros and cons.
- Take your coins to the bank
- Roll them yourself
- Use a coin-counting machine
- Buy a coin separator
- Use them to purchase items
Take your coins to the bank
You can swap your coins for cash by taking them to the bank. This may be a simple and convenient option if you already have a checking or savings account with your local bank. But the bank might charge a fee to change your coins if you don’t have an account.
- Can be convenient
- You can deposit change directly into your bank account if you hold one
- You may need to roll coins ahead of time, depending on the bank
- Some banks may charge a fee to exchange coins
Roll them yourself
You can manually roll the coins if your bank only accepts rolled coins. After rolling them, you can deposit the amount directly into your bank account if you’re an account holder, making it easy to build your emergency fund, checking or savings account.
Rolling your coins may be tedious, but it can also be a low-cost option. Here’s how to do it.
- Pick up coin wrappers in the denominations that you need (quarters, dimes, nickels or pennies) — you can get them from some banks for free or buy them online.
- Separate your coins according to the amount listed on the wrapper: $10 for quarters, $5 for dimes, $2 for nickels and 50 cents for pennies.
- Change to cash or deposit the amount into your bank account
- Low-cost since coin wrappers are often inexpensive
- You can deposit rolled change directly into your bank account if you hold one
- Can be tedious and time-consuming
Use a coin counting machine
Coinstar machines quickly count your coins and then provide a few options for using them. This might be the simplest and most accessible way to turn change into cash. Here’s how.
- If you’re not sure where there’s a coin exchange service near you, you can do a quick search on Coinstar.com to find a kiosk service in your area
- Drop your coins into the slot and wait for the machine to count the value
- Select a method to turn your change into cash.
- Get cash (a fee up to 12.5% + $0.50 may apply)
- Exchange coins for an eGift Card (no fee)
- Consider giving back by making a charitable donation (no fee)
Coinstar isn’t the only option when it comes to coin-counting machines. Publix stores also have machines to help you exchange your coins for cash. Depending on the location, you may have to pay a 10% fee. You can also check your local grocery store to see if they have coin-counting machines.
- The machine quickly counts your coins for you
- Provides multiple cash-out options
- A 12.5% + $0.50 fee may apply
Buy a coin separator
If you have a huge amount of coins or frequently collect and cash change, you may enjoy buying your own coin separator.
You can purchase something as simple as some sorting trays with holes correlated to different coin sizes or something as sophisticated as an automated counting machine that will roll your coins for you. After sorting your coins, you can take them to the bank.
- Save time with automated sorting
- Avoid fees from coin-counting machines
- Initial investment of purchasing the coin separator may not be worth it if you don’t cash in coins often
Use them to purchase items
Of course, you could always use coins to purchase needed items. Coins are also necessary in some situations — like using coin-operated laundry machines or car vacuum cleaners.
- Save time on rolling coins and the cost that may come with it
- Counting coins at the register may make checkout longer or less convenient