You have the choice on how you want your money back. You can trade in your coins for gift cards or e-certificates without any fees. If you want to trade in your coins for cash, there is a 9.8% fee. Many people feel this is quite high, and decide to peruse the other fee-free options (see below). CoinStar currently offers fee-free gift cards or e-certificates for Starbucks, Gap, Regal Cinemas, iTunes, Overstock.com, Amazon.com, and more. You can also purchase pre-paid cellular, long-distance, and cash cards. At most locations you can choose to Donate your money to worthy causes as well.
And of course if you're a charitable person, or were collecting money for a special purpose, CoinStar lets you donate the money to charity.
CoinStar machines are nearly always somewhere close to the store's entrance. In Davis, you can find them in:
- Save Mart The only machine in town that gives gift cards and e-certificates. You can also Donate money here as well.
- Westlake Market No gift cards at Westlake but you can get e-certificates to Amazon, iTunes, etc.
- Safeway added Coinstar machines in the summer of 2011. (at both locations) Safeway previously had CoinMaster machines that charged a fee and did not have gift card options. Those machines were cheap imitations of Coinstar. Safeway decided to switch to real Coinstar machines which offer more features. The Safeway Coinstar machines give out e-certificates to places such as iTunes or Amazon.com. Some Safeway Coinstar machines give out plastic Starbucks gift cards. Safeway Coinstar machines do not accept donations (boo).
You can find other Coinstar locations through their website's locater. There are quite a few nearby in Woodland and Sacramento. Not all Coinstar machines have the same features. Some do not have gift card options.
Other options include:
- Wrapping the coins and cashing them yourself. Most banks give coin wrapping rolls to their clients for free when asked.
- Spend your change! Just carry it with you and use it. Or save quarters for laundry, dimes and nickels for vending machines, and pennies for a piggy bank.
- Take it with you to a casino. You may get a few dirty looks, but you can exchange all the coins you want without a fee.
- Donate it to your favorite community website, or any local event and organization. They'll be thankful for the support.
- Golden 1 Credit Union members with over $500 in their combined accounts can use the no-fee machine in most branch offices.
2005-10-24 13:16:50 I recently ran $100 in pennies, nickels, and dimes, through one of these. If you take an Amazon gift card instead of cash you don't pay any fees. Made it a fairly easy choice for me, considering that I always need more books. —KennethWaters
2005-10-26 13:55:49 WOW! Sweet. Starbucks cards. <3 —MichaelGiardina
2007-08-01 00:47:01 The starbuck's card feature is really handy! —CarlosOverstreet
2009-05-11 21:34:00 I have an account at First Northern and they have been happy to exchange my coins for cash at their merchant window at no charge. —JimStewart
- I had an account at a Wells Fargo in a different state, and they would do the same — also free of charge. But when I asked them to do it here in Davis, they acted like it was a ridiculous request. Don't all these banks have coin shaker/counters? Why is it so hard for banks to offer this service? An alternative I've found is that Wells Fargo will give you the paper wrappers so you can roll up your own coins and turn them in to them. Every time I've done this, they have accepted them and given me the paper cash in exchange, without even weighing or counting what I gave them (and again, free of charge).
- Golden One also offers this service to their customers. They require a minimum balance of something like $300 in all accounts, but if you have that then your coin counting is free. I really don't understand why people like these coin star machines. They exist to make a profit. It makes more sense to me to just put my change in my pocket and buy things, paying with correct change and keep ALL my money. —MasonMurray