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February 06, 2009


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I save change. I like building up that change and cashing it in later. At one point, I saved up over $700 in change, but I would NEVER use one of those CoinStar machines. I take it to my credit union who counts it and put it in my account.

I don't trust automated coin counters, so I hand count all of my change prior to taking it in.

Also, when I see change on the ground, whether it is a penny, dime, or quarter I always pick it up. I've probably saved $100 in change over the course of my life just by bending over to pick up a coin.

I have been doing this for years. Every 2-3 months I take a can of change ($50.00-$60.00) and put it on a Starbucks card. That gives me about 6 weeks of free coffee.

I have to agree with rdub98. Much better to take your change to a bank that will count it for free (most credit unions will) and deposit it into your account than turn it into a giftcard you don't need.

Not all Coinstar machines offer gift cards and for those that do the options they have may be limited. The Coinstar machine near me only offers one ecertificate option for something I don't want. Some other machines in town at other locations offer gift cards but only for Old Navy, Starbucks & Barnes & Noble.

Going to a bank or credit union that counts for free is the better option.

One minor benefit to Coinstar is you usually don't have to wait in a line or make an extra trip. I rarely if ever go to the bank and when I do there is a big long line.

Thanks for posting this tip! As a representative of Coinstar I wanted to let you know that you can actually receive FREE coin counting anytime you turn a min. of $5 of coins into a gift card or eCertificate at Coinstar. You don't have to cash in over $40 as it states above.

Good Luck with your cash-in!

This is great news! I like Coinstar because it's very convienient to just dump all your change in and let it do the work. I'll be on the lookout for one that does the gift cards.

100 dollars in change is a shit load. i had a 5 coffee mugs full of coins and it only added up to 60 dollars.

comments for the comments
1. if it's your change, then it's not "free" coffee
2. What makes you think the credit union will do a better job of counting than a machine? Error can occur anytime.
3. you can look up the locations and what payouts they offer.
4. you can also donate your change. Coinstar has a handful of nonprofits.
5. I've used a coin machine once in my life, and I loved it. I just don't have change.

I tried but the machines in my area are not "internet-connected" and didn't support the gift-card functionality...

I've used it to donate money. It is a great end of the year way to reduce your tax liability (a bit) and give something to a worthwhile organizations. Research your options before you go.

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