If you’re looking for a Coinstar near me – avoid the fee by following these tips!
Most people have a lot of loose change lying around their house; the junk drawer in the kitchen, your car seats, and especially the couch cushions are a goldmine! Instead of letting that money go to waste, they can turn it into cash using a coin changer machine.
These machines are conveniently located across the United States. If you are looking for a quick way to make some extra money, then using a Coinstar near me is a great option to turn that loose change into usable cash!
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- If you’re looking for a Coinstar near me – avoid the fee by following these tips!
- What is a Coinstar kiosk?
- Coinstar Near me – location finder
- How does Coinstar work?
- What stores have Coinstar near me?
- How much does Coinstar charge?
- How to avoid the Coinstar fee
- How to use the Coinstar machine
- Getting crypto at Coinstar
- Is there an alternative to Coinstar?
- What banks will take your coins?
- Other ways to use spare change
- Coinstar machine pros & cons
- Coinstar near me FAQ
- At the end of the day
What is a Coinstar kiosk?
A Coinstar kiosk is a coin counting machine that counts your loose change and gives you cash or a gift card in return. These kiosks are typically found at grocery stores like Walmart or Kroger. All you do is dump your coins into the machine and cash out!
Coinstar Near me – location finder
Just click the button below and find your nearest Coinstar kiosk!
How does Coinstar work?
The first thing that you need to do is find a Coinstar machine near you. Once you have found a coin counter machine, all you need to do is pour your coins into the dump bin, and it will count them for you. It is important to note that Coinstar exchange machines have a fee, so be sure to consider that before using them.
I went to a Coinstar at Walmart and did a trial run with my coins, so I can show you everything step by step.
What stores have Coinstar near me?
There are a number of stores that have Coinstar machines near me (you). The most common places to find these machines are Walmart, Kroger, SuperTarget, and other smaller grocery stores. Usually, the coin machine is up at the front of the store by their customer service desk (as the machine prints a voucher that you redeem at their service desk if you’re getting instant cash).
How much does Coinstar charge?
Free coin counting is available at most locations in the United States if you cash in your coins for an eGift Card. They have more than 20 stores and restaurants to choose from. If you decide to turn your coins in for cash, there is an 11.9% coin processing fee.
For example, if you have…
- $10 in coins, you’ll pay $1.20 in fees
- $25 in coins, you’ll pay $3 in fees
- $100 in coins, you’ll pay $11.99 in fees
The location that I went to also charged a $.50 counting fee, which nowhere on their website mentions $.50 fee. But they do say, “fees vary by location.”
You’ll know that machine’s exact fees when you “accept” the user agreement before dumping your coins. (see pics below)
How to avoid the Coinstar fee
There are two ways to avoid the 11.99% Coinstar fee.
1 . Choose the eGift Card option to avoid the Coinstar fees
Choosing an eGift card is an easy way to get the full value of your coins. When I cashed my coins in, I could scroll through all the options before I chose either the cash or eGift Card option. Here’s what eGift cards were available to me.
- AMC Theaters
- Dominoes Pizza
- Outback Steakhouse
- Red Robin
- Texas Roadhouse
- Razer Gold
2. Donate your coins to charity to avoid the Coinstar fee
They are currently partnering with…
- The American Red Cross – helping neighbors in emergency crisis.’
- $3 provides one comfort kit containing hygiene items for a disaster client.
- $6 provides one blanket for a client.
- $10 provides one hot meal to a disaster client.
- $18 provides three blankets to clients.
- $20 provides two hot meals (lunch and dinner) to a disaster client.
- Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals – donations provide treatment for every imaginable disease and injury, from asthma and broken bones to cancer and heart defects.
- Feeding America – a nationwide network of food banks
- $1 helps provide 11 meals to people in need
- $5 helps provide 55 meals to neighbors that need help
- $10 helps provide 110 meals to kids struggling with food security
- Make a Wish – grant wishes to help critically ill children.
- NAACP – one of the largest civil rights organizations in the U.S., where all people have equal rights without racial discrimination
- The Humane Society – helping animals in need
- Unicef – delivers life necessities to impoverished children across the globe.
- United Way – fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community
- World Wildlife Fund – helps stop habitat destruction and ecosystem preservation and protect animals all across the globe.
How to use the Coinstar machine
Step One: Choose one of the four redemption options for your funds…
- Get cash, which has an 11.9% fee (fees may vary by location)
- Select an eGift Card (fee free)
- Donate to your favorite charity (fee free)
- Get crypto vis the Coinme app
To make sure everything runs smoothly, make sure you’re only dumping a little in at a time. Your coins should be clean and dry, and be sure you have removed all other objects that might jam the coin tray or interfere with the counting process. Think of things like buttons, paperclips, gum on coins, lint, etc.
You absolutely don’t want to jam the coin machine, as many times the store employees can’t fix it. They have to call a Coinstar rep in to come and fix it. Who knows if you’ll get your money then and if it will be the right amount.
Special Note: their machines don’t take Eisenhower silver dollars, 1943 steel pennies, pure silver, commemorative or foreign coins.
Step Two: Add coins to the tray. Lift the handle, and guide your coins into the slot. Remember, don’t try and dump them all in at once; they’ll end up all over the floor. Do it slowly, little by little.
Step Three: Check the return tray for any rejected coins. When all your coins have been counted, you’ll receive a paper voucher for cash or an eGift Card with a unique code printed at the top. If you choose a charity, you’ll receive a receipt for your donation.
Step Four: Take your voucher to the store’s service desk if you chose cash. Please be sure to redeem your cash voucher the same day it was issued. Stores may reject your voucher if you try and cash it in later.
For an eGift Card, you use the unique code printed at the top of the voucher anytime to shop at the retail store, restaurant, or online. If you donated your coins, keep the receipt for your records, as this can be a tax deduction.
Getting crypto at Coinstar
You can turn your coins into crypto with Coinstar’s new partnership with Coinme.
When looking online for a Coinstar gift card exchange kiosk, make sure it lists “Coinstar bitcoin atm,” as not all Coinstar machines have this option. (When I searched my area, only three of the five machines were listed as a Coinstar bitcoin atm.
Next, go and create your free Coinme wallet, then dump your coins and get a crypto voucher, and then redeem it online and add it to your wallet.
Wait, what exactly is crypto? Cryptocurrency is a digital asset whose name derives from the complex encryption surrounding all transactions associated with it. Additionally, cryptocurrency is decentralized, unlike traditional currencies, which are managed by a central authority.
It’s still fairly new, with Bitcoin being the first on the market in 2009. Many people believe crypto is the next best thing, while others call it gambling. Whatever way you go is fine; just be sure you’re comfortable with it before changing your coins for crypto.
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- USD Coin (USDC)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Polygon (MATIC)
- Stellar (XLM)
There’s a transaction fee of 4%, and a cash exchange fee of up to 11% applies to each crypto purchase. This is the info on their website, and they do say “fees may vary.”
At the Walmart Coinstar near me, the screen said there was a 4% transaction fee and a 7% exchange rate fee, so cheaper than the website mentioned.
When you go online and search for a Coinstar kiosk, be sure to look for the ones that say “Bitcoin ATM,” as not all Coinstar’s have this option. (see pic below.)
When you’re at the machine, you will have to input your phone number, the one that’s associated with your Coinme account; and then follow the steps from there.
Is there an alternative to Coinstar?
Yes, there are a few alternatives to Coinstar. The first is to exchange your coins for cash at your bank.
They may have a free coin counting machine in the lobby.
However, for the most part, you can’t just go into any bank; you usually need to have an account there to do this service, or they may charge you a fee.
Some banks also have restrictions; that the coins need to be rolled. So that means you’d have to buy one of those coin roll machines, which is annoying and is another charge that eats into your money. Sometimes banks will give you the coin wrappers to hand roll them there.
What banks will take your coins?
- U.S. Bank will exchange their customer’s change for cash without any fees.
- Wells Fargo has been removing their coin-counting machines, but they still accept rolled coins from customers. But they won’t accept rolled coins from non-customers.
- Citibank requires coins to be rolled and may charge fees depending on which state you are in.
- Chase Bank will take coins from their customers without a fee, but for non-customers, they limit it to $200.
- Bank of America will gladly take both customers, and non-customers rolled coins without a fee.
- Credit Unions often provide coin-counting services, as they tend to be more customer service oriented.
Coin roll information
If you’re going to roll your own coins, here is how the amounts roll out (ha ha, get it)…
- 50 pennies in a roll = $.50
- 40 nickels in a roll = $2
- 50 dimes in a roll = $5
- 40 quarters in a roll = $10
- 20 half-dollar coins in a roll = $10
- 25 dollar coins in a roll = $25
Again, the bank will usually give you wrappers for free, but if you want to pre-roll everything, you can get some coin wrappers from Amazon.
Other ways to use spare change
Havings coins are great when you need to be the tooth fairy, but other than that, it can be inconvenient to spend them. Here are a few ideas on what to do with your loose change.
- Your best bet is to use them at the store. But I know it can be awkward when you plunk down a sack on the counter and the cashier rolls their eyes. Don’t worry; just use your coins at the self-checkout lanes, and there’s not an eye roll in sight!
- Use it for tips at coffee shops; even if you still pay with a card, you can tip with change!
- You can use it at the laundromat, or if you’re feeling really desperate to get rid of coins, you can go down there and sit by the change machine and offer up people you change for their bills (usually quarters).
- You can also buy snacks at the vending machines with it. While you might pay more, it could be worthwhile to empty the dead weight from your purse!
- You can do double time, go to your bank, and open a savings account with it. It’s legal tender, so you can still open an account with it even if they won’t accept rolled coins for cash.
- I use all my change as chore money for my kiddo. Yes, I’ll still have to deal with it later, but teaching her about money and earning money is an important life skill. So she earns coins, and then she usually gets a toy at Target. Cashiers seem to be more accepting when it’s a little kiddo using their piggy bank money.
Coinstar machine pros & cons
Coinstar kiosk pros:
- Convenient – there are kiosks located in tons of stores in your area. Just use the locator to find the Coinstar nearest me.
- Fast – it took me two minutes to use the machine from start to finish. I cashed in about $12 worth of coins, but obviously, more coins will take longer.
- Easy to get gift cards – Again, it was very easy and fast to look at all the gift card options. There’s a wide variety, so there is something for everyone.
Cons of using a coin kiosk
- Takes a percentage for cash redemption – you’ll pay 11.99% to get cash bills. It’s not a huge amount, but it’s big enough.
- Limited free options – paying a fee can be hard to swallow, so donating or getting an eGift Card is your next best option. While they have a decent selection of gift cards, it’s not huge. Your best option for eGift cards is for Amazon or for a restaurant (as everyone needs to eat).
- They no longer offer gift card exchanges – This is hard, as this was the main reason many used the Coinstar kiosks. I guess it just wasn’t profitable enough for them.
- It can be in sketchy stores – while this isn’t Coinstar’s fault, it can be uncomfortable to go into stores where their kiosks are located. Your best bet is to take a friend who can stand at your back while you use the kiosk.
Coinstar near me FAQ
What else can I do at a Coinstar near me?
Everyone used to direct you to Coinstar kiosks to exchange gift cards, but sadly they no longer offer this service.
By choosing an Amazon gift card, you can use Coinstar to add cash to your Amazon balance. This is one of the best eGift Card options, as you can buy literally anything on Amazon!
It’s important to note that you cannot use an Amazon gift card to buy another retailer’s gift card. Bummer.
At the Walmart Coinstar location I was at, they had the option to buy a lotto ticket (or so it seemed). I was a little unclear if you could trade coins for it. They had a Q.R. code to scan for Lottery.com, so I did it, but it was a dead link.
The kiosk promo pic did say, “scan to get started… your first ticket is free.” This makes me think it might have just been an affiliate link and not a way to use your coins. Either way, it didn’t work.
Can you exchange gift cards for cash at Coinstar?
Nope, not anymore.
Where can I find a gift card exchange kiosk?
Since Coinstar doesn’t do gift card exchanges, your best bet is to find a Gift Card Bin kiosk or sell your gift card online. We walk you through all your options for selling and trading a gift card online.
Are Coinstar machines accurate?
After you lug that heavy change into the store, you don’t want to be shortchanged by a crappy coin counter machine. In 2016, The Today Show partnered with The Rossen Reports to see how accurate these coin machines are.
It surprised them that many bank machines were inaccurate. Yikes! The Coinstar machines correctly counted the $300 worth of coins that the reporters had.
In fact, due to this reporting, T.D. Bank pulled their penny arcade machines due to discrepancies found in this investigation.
How much does Coinstar charge for $10?
Coinstar kiosks charge an 11.99% fee for processing your coins when redeeming them for cash. So for $10 in coins, that’s $1.20 that you’ll pay in fees. It’s like flipping money; you have to spend a little to earn even more.
How do I check my Coinstar eGift card balance?
For balance inquiries or customer service, call 1-888-532-6092.
At the end of the day
If you have a bunch of coins and don’t want to go through the hassle of rolling them, then a Coinstar kiosk is a great option. While there is a fee for cashing out your coins for cash, it’s still a convenient option. You can also choose to donate your coins or get an eGift card. These can be used as gifts for birthdays and even Christmas presents.
So don’t wait; lug that 10lb container (before it gets any heavier) to your closest Coinstar kiosk and cash out today!