Coinstar Near Me: Quick Hacks to Turn Your Change Into Cash

There is just something about Chik-Fil-A that keeps me coming back.

I recently opened up my Chik-Fil-A app and noticed I had a free “Smokehouse BBQ Bacon Chicken Sandwich” that was set to expire in less than eight days.

Call it extremely efficient marketing, I knew that once I got to Chik-Fil-A I was going to be tempted by the aroma of their waffle fries dipped in their Chik-Fil-A sauce.

Knowing that I would want to purchase their fries, coupled with being on a budget, I decided to cash in my jar of pennies that I had been actually been meaning to exchange for some time.

I was determined to get my waffle fries! However, I wasn’t going to count 500 pennies, roll them and then take them to the bank to do get my fix, so I simply searched for a Coinstar near me.

In about .06 seconds I had the locations of five Coinstars near me and it was go time!

How to quickly find a Coinstar near you:

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The quickest way to find a “Coinstar near me” is to simply type it on a Google search bar.

However, while Google does a great job maintaining listings, some Coinstar kiosks may no longer exist at a specific location so using the Coinstar kiosk finder tool is your best option.

Simply follow these steps:

  1. Use this Coinstar Kiosk Finder Link
  2. Type in your city, address, or zip code
  3. Select the closest Coinstar near you
  4. Drive there and exchange your coins for cash or gift cards

Typically, aside from searching for Coinstar kiosk locations near you, these stores often have Coinstar kiosks inside: 

  1. Walmart
  2. Kroger
  3. Safeway
  4. Harris Teeter
  5. Food Lion
  6. Giant
  7. CVS
  8. H.E.B.

Once you find a Coinstar near you, the next step is to exchange your spare change for cash! Here is how the simple process works:

 

What is Coinstar?

Now if you’re someone who is currently asking yourself “What is Coinstar?” I will give you some grace for living under a rock for the last twenty years.

Like the lottery scratch-off and Redbox kiosks at the grocery stores you might frequent, Coinstar is a coin-counting kiosk service that allows you to exchange your spare change for cash, gift cards, or even donate the money!

Instead of counting coins, putting them rollers, driving to your bank and exchanging them for cash (Just typing that was a bit tedious), you instead empty your jar into Coinstar kiosk tray and let Coinstar count your coins for you.

Here is how it works:

  1. Using the touch screen you can redeem your coins for cash at a register, a gift card (FREE) or donate the money to cause.
  2. Simply empty all of your coins into the tray and lift it to feed the coin counter
  3. Watch your money add up and think of all the time you saved!
coinstar near me

Like any services rendered at a kiosk, Coinstar does charge a fee for their services (But there are ways around that I share below!).

Side Note: Coinstar cannot accept Eisenhower silver dollars, 1943 steel pennies, pure silver, commemorative or foreign coinage… so don’t try it! 

How much does it cost to use Coinstar?

Coinstar charges a flat fee of 11.9% for using their change counting services.

It has been years since I used a Coinstar kiosk but like most services, their fees have increased over time, however, in this case, you’re paying for convenience (I recently rolled coins and exchanged them at my bank and the entire process took over an hour after commuting to the bank).

So hypothetically, if you had $10 worth of coins, about $1.20 of it would go to Coinstar, and you would walk away with $8.80 

If you had $100 worth of change saved up, you would exchange $11.90 of it in order to get your cash. Anything over a $100 might not be worth exchanging with Coinstar because $12 and up is a big chunk of your money unless you’re in a pinch for time!

For example, if you happen to be someone who saved enough coins to fill an entire 5-gallon water dispenser (Like $1,000+ worth), you might want to consider doing the following instead of shelling out $120 in service fees:

  1. Go to Amazon and buy a coin counter
  2. Visit your bank and get some free coin rolls, or buy them at the store
  3. Spend a Friday night binge-watching a Netflix series and roll your coins
  4. Exchange your coins in at your bank and avoid a service charge

Maybe this isn’t your idea of Friday night fun, but if you happen to have what you think is hundreds of dollars in coins, you might want to consider counting them yourself.

On the other hand, the point of Coinstar is convenience and while there are fees associated with their services, in the grand scheme of things if you’re in a hurry it’s probably worth finding a Coinstar near you!

 


How to avoid Coinstar Fees

Perhaps you were disappointed when you found that Coinstar charges an 11.9% (Call it 12%) service fee for leveraging their coin exchange services. That is the same as shelling out $500 for a used iPhone that happens to only be worth $440.

But, at the end of the day, just like Redbox charges for their DVD rentals, Coinstar makes money counting coins. Coinstar even offers some alternatives to avoiding their fees such as using your change to redeem gift cards or donating to charity.

Coinstar Gift Cards

If you don’t want to shell out 12% of your coins in fees, you can redeem your spare change for the following gift cards all of which have NO FEES:

ECommerce:

Name: Minimum Amount: Maximum Amount:
Amazon $5.00 $1,000.00
Cabelas $5.00 $500.00
GameStop $5.00 $500.00
Gap $10.00 $500.00
Lowes $5.00 $1,000.00
Nike $5.00 $500.00
Sephora $10.00 $500.00
Steam $10.00 $100.00
The Home Depot $5.00 $2,000.00
iTunes $5.00 $500.00

Entertainment: 

Name: Minimum Amount: Maximum Amount:
AMC $10.00 $100.00
Regal $5.00 $100.00
Showtime $25.00 $200.00

Food & Drink:

Name: Minimum Amount: Maximum Amount:
Applebees $5.00 $500.00
Chilis $5.00 $100.00
Dominoes $10.00 $100.00
IHop $5.00 $200.00
Starbucks $5.00 $500.00

Travel:

Name: Minimum Amount: Maximum Amount:
Hotels.com $10.00 $500.00
Southwest $25.00 $500.00-

Coinstar most likely has some sort of partnership with these vendors who offer gift cards in return for your spare change. So if you want to avoid the 12% fee, redeeming your coins for an electronic gift card is a great idea.

You can go shopping, eat out, or even travel with your spare change (I wish Chik-Fil-A was on the list!)

 


Coinstar Donations

Another option to avoid Coinstar fees is to simply exchange your coins in and donate the money collected!

coinstar finder

This is a great way to give back each year if you’re someone who likes to give annually and all Coinstars near you offer several options when donating that include:

  1. American Red Cross
  2. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
  3. Feeding America
  4. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  5. The Humane Society of the United States
  6. UNICEF
  7. United Way
  8. World Wildlife Fund

You can visit the charity partner page on Coinstar’s website to read about each specific charity. For example, if you decided to donate your change to Feeding America, every dollar you donated would help provide 11 meals in the United States.

That means if you donated $100 you would help provide 1,100 meals!!!

Keep in mind, with any donation you make you’re able to deduct them from your taxes. Be sure to keep your Coinstar receipt as this is the documentation of your charitable contribution!

Some people will donate their coins every year around Christmas that they accumulated throughout the year. Donating your spare change is a passive way to donate to great causes!

 


Alternatives to Coinstar

Roll Your Coins

Most banks will still accept your rolled coins, for how much longer, that is to be determined as some of stopped with the decline in consumers using cash.

However, if you want to avoid the Coinstar fee of 11.9% than you can simply go old school and count your coins, just be sure to sort your coins into the following: 

  • Pennies = 50 cents or 50 pennies
  • Nickles =$2 worth or 40 nickles
  • Dimes = $5 worth or 50 dimes
  • Quarters = $10 worth or 40 quarters

A simple solution to avoid the painstaking labor of counting and rolling coins would be to splurge on a $26 coin counter and roller. Now depending on your level of frugality, you can either head the 11.9% service fee or buy a coin counter and have it for life.

Sometimes sitting at the kitchen table and sorting coins and then manually rolling them can be nostalgic! The other option is to take my go-to advice and back up a few drive-through lines.