When did it get so difficult to exchange coins for adult-like bills? I, like a lot of people, keep my change in a coin jar; thinking it’s a good way to accumulate money very painlessly. I was in for a surprise when I took my copious jar of change to Chase Bank and wanted to get bills. I just assumed that the bank would have a coin counter, and they would simply exchange it for respectable bills. No, not so fast! Most banks no longer have coin counters; and some banks won’t even accept rolled coins as real money. It turns out that banks find coins to be a heavy and hard to handle; and coin counting machines are error prone and expensive.
So, what are your choices if you have a jar full of coins? After an extensive research; you have two viable options. First choice, you can roll the coins in wrappers; and keep your fingers crossed that your bank will take them. (You are in luck with you bank with Chase, PNC or TD Bank. They will even provide free wrappers!). Second choice, you can take it to a CoinStar machine; and it will give you dollar bills. The only catch is that coinStar takes a 12% cut. This means that if you had $100 in coins, you will get $88. Of course, you can opt to get a gift card rather than cash. If you go that route, you will get even money. The best gift card would be an Amazon gift card. You have about 20 different cards to choose from ( Itunes, Starbucks, Gap, Appelebees, Amazon). There is a third option, not as practical as the first two. You could of course spend it. But, it would be best to do that when the store is not very busy if you want to avoid the ire of the person behind you.
While I understand that coin counting machines are not profitable for banks; and less and less people are visiting branch offices; I hope that we can reach a middle ground with coins. I think having a piggy bank teaches little kids how to save money; and coin jars are a painless way to accumulate a little fun money for adults. I have heard that some credit unions still have coin counting machines. Perhaps I will contact a local credit union and suggest public coin counting day as a marketing tool. If I get one to bite, I will update this post. By the way, I think you can guess what I decided to do with my coins!