Converting Coins to Cash – Is there a Free and Easy Way

How do you go about converting coins to cash? 

We have coin jar at home. Anytime we get lose change, we toss it in the coin jar.

The jar was pretty full. In fact, the jar made it along with us from NJ to TX this past summer.

It has been in accumulation mode for the past ~2 years.

Now, I wanted to cash in, however, I detested the very idea of counting the coins.

I started to explore…


Converting Coins to Cash at Local Bank

Every bank does things slightly different. Some may have a coin machine locally in their branch (very rare these days), some accept only rolls of coins, and so on.

I had reasons to visit my local brick and mortar bank. When I was there, I had a chat with the teller. Here is my recollection of the conversation:

Michael: I have a jar full of coins. How do I go about converting the coins to cash?

Teller: We don’t have a coin machine in our branch. You can bring the coins in, we will put in a plastic bag with documentation, weigh it in front of you, then send it off to the main branch vault. It would get counted there. You should see the money post in your account within ~5 days as counter credit.

Michael: Do you charge any fee for this service?

Teller: Since you have account with us, we don’t charge you, the service is free.

Michael: Do you offer this service for people who don’t have an account?

Teller: No, we don’t.

Michael: Does it really take 5 days?

Teller: No, it does not. Typically, you should see the counter credit post to your account in 1-2 days.

Michael: Thank you very much! You made my day, I am glad I don’t need to count the coins.

A few days later, I emptied my coin jar into a plastic bag and took to my bank. Everything happened as explained by the teller. I received a receipt for the transaction. About 2 days later, a counter credit for the amount of $157.87 posted to my account.

That was pretty cool. I wanted this effort to be purposeful. As soon as I saw the money post on the account, I transferred the $157.87 to my daughter’s 529 college savings plan.

Those coins add up over time. I had no idea that my coins would add up to $150+.


Coin Roll Wrappers

If your bank does not have the service that I mentioned above, they might accept coin rolls.

If your bank accepts coin rolls, then might provide you coin roll wrappers for free if you ask them for it.

If they don’t provide you coin roll wrappers, you could buy a bag of coin wrappers at a store like Walmart or on Amazon.


Honestly, I would expect the bank to either cash the coins or provide the coin roll wrappers for free. I don’t like the idea of having to purchase coin roll wrappers. I listed it as an option.

If you have decided to manually fill the coins into the coin roll wrapper, you might have this question…

How many coins in a Coin Roll Wrapper?

Penny (1 cent)- 50 coins per roll – Total Value – $0.50

Nickel (5 cents) – 40 coins per roll – Total Value – $2.00

Dime (10 cents) – 50 coins per roll – Total Value – $5.00

Quarter (25 cents) – 40 coins per roll – Total Value – $10.00

If you don’t like the idea of manually counting the coins and wrapping them, you might consider a coin machine.


Coin Machine

There are a lot choices. I wanted to point to something that was reasonably priced, didn’t need a battery, and something that is small and portable.

After looking at several alternatives, here is what I liked – Royal Sovereign Manual Coin Sorters and Counters

It sorts quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies, and deposits them into coin roll wrappers as you crank the handle without using any batteries.

Once your rolls are full, you could cash in at your bank.

It costs less than $25 and is an Amazon Best Seller in the category and has pretty good reviews.

It would be a nice gift for kids and encourage them to save money.

Converting Coins to Cash at Coinstar

I personally don’t like it…however, it is an option.

Most grocery stores have a Coinstar coin machine. You put your coins in, it does the sorting and counting.

Coinstar charges a huge fee – 10.9% fees – as listed at at the time of this writing. They also have a disclaimer that fees may vary by location.

So, if you put in $100 worth of coins, you only get ~$89 cash back. That sounds like a lemon to me 🙁

Coinstar does have a “NO FEE” option. You could get a store eGift card for the full amount of the coins you put in.

When I put in coins, I expect cash in return, I am not interested in an eGift card.

But that is just me. If you like the eGift card option, you might like Coinstar.

However, it makes absolutely no sense to use their coins to cash service when you have to pay ~11% in fees.


Do you have a coin jar? How do you about cashing your coins? Do you have any other ideas of converting coins to cash? If you enjoyed reading this post, please share it on social media.



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18 thoughts on “Converting Coins to Cash – Is there a Free and Easy Way”

  1. Over $150 in coins is great – and I love that you sent it right off to the 529!

    We have a coin jar – almost full now! Last I checked, our local bank still has a coin machine and doesn’t charge. I’m not surprised that some banks have gotten rid of them though.

    1. Thank you, Amanda! Looks like you need to make a trip to bank – and then just send the money over to 529 🙂

  2. We keep 2 knee high piggy banks that yield us close to $1,000 when we cash them in. Our NY bank had a machine called “Penny Arcade” that was totally free. Here in NC we use Coinstar and begrudgingly pay the fee. The machines are in the supermarket and you can choose a store credit instead, in which case they do not deduct the fees. Very cool of your bank to do the counting for you. We’re with Bank of America and they’d probably laugh at us if we asked.

    1. Wow Mrs. Groovy, looks like you have the bank vault at home 🙂

      I may have a surprise for you…I bank at Bank of America as well. I didn’t have any expectations when I went and asked. I was pleasantly surprised that they had this service. The Bank of America teller told me that converting coins to cash is free nationwide. So, next time you stop by the bank, you might just want to confirm.


        1. Thank you, Mrs. Groovy. Please let me know how it goes. It would benefit the readers.


  3. Our credit union has a coin machine for deposits. We take our change once a year or so and deposit it into our daughter’s bank account (She contributes change weekly to the jar from her allowance.)

    It’s one of the many reasons we belong to our credit union.

    1. Credit unions are good in this regard. Nice to see that you have set up a bank account for your daughter.


    1. Very cool, Laurie! Thank you and wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year too!


  4. Thank you, Michael. This post is a godsend to Mrs. G and I. We’re ready to convert a huge jar, and I would rather make that conversion for free. Best of luck in 2017, my friend.

    1. You are very welcome, Mr. Groovy! Thank you and wish you a very happy and prosperous happy new year.

      Hope all goes well with converting your coins to cash. Please let me know how it goes with BoA, it would benefit the readers.


  5. I like Coinstar because it’s most convenient and I use it to get a gift card to the grocery store where it’s located. Then I use the card to buy groceries and transfer the money from my checking to savings to achieve the same effect!

    1. Welcome back, Kelley!

      That’s a very practical way to leverage Coinstar. Glad to see that you are meticulous about making sure you transfer money from checking to savings for the amount you receive as a gift card.


  6. I also use my credit union to deposit coins straight in my son’s savings account. We save coins all year and deposit them at the end of the year. The first 2 years we started, we saved $50 each year. This year we saved $99! My son was so excited. Now when he sees a coin on the floor, he deposit it in the coin bank.

    1. Hi Angie,

      Welcome to Stretch A Dime! Wow, that’s awesome. You are an awesome mom, you are being a positive influence and teaching your son to save money at a young age. Hope to see you more here.


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