Sometime during my college years I began saving my coins in an old spaghetti sauce bottle. Ever since I graduated college, I began using rewards credit cards for almost every purchase. For the infrequent times I am forced to pay with cash, I still toss my coins into an old glass bottle of some sort. I have well over $100 in change. I keep telling myself that I will ask if my bank accepts glass bottles of coins as deposits, but I keep forgetting. The only other option that I was aware of for getting rid of my coins was Coinstar, which is a coin sorter that changes your coins into cash. When Coinstar first broke onto the scene, from what I can remember, they only offered cash as a payment, however, they took a portion of you money as a fee. A new holiday promotion has put Coinstar back on my radar as there are options that involve paying no fees.
How Coinstar Works
Coin counting coinstar machines are located in most Jewels and Walmarts. Coinstar machines are capable of accurately counting up to 600 coins per minute. They allow a few different payment options for you money. If you elect to take cash as your payment, Coinstar takes 8.9 cents for every dollar as a fee.
Coinstars coin counting service is free if you redeem your cash as an e-certificate or gift card to one of the following places: Starbucks, Amazon.com, Circuit City, JCPenney, iTunes, Borders, Pier1, Eddie Bauer, Cabela’s, DisneyShopping.com, Old Navy, AMC or Lowes.
Coinstar allows you to donate your spare change to a charity. The Coinstar machine even prints out a receipt to use for tax deduction purposes. The available charities are different at every machine.
Direct deposit is the last option when using a Coinstar machine. Some financial institutions allow for direct deposits straight from the Coinstar machine into your primary account.
Coinstar Holiday Promotion
Coinstar is offering a free $10 gift card or e-certificate when you use the free coin counting service with $40 worth of coins and redeem them for a gift card or e-certificate. The following is straight from the coinstar website:
The $10 holiday bonus offer ends 12/07/08. Offer valid at participating Coinstar Centers in the U.S. only and excludes Puerto Rico. Consumer will receive a $10 gift card or eCertificate for the same brand that was originally cashed in for. Please expect 6-8 weeks for delivery. Offer good on qualified transactions made between November 7, 2008 and December 7, 2008. Transactions occurring before of after these dates are not eligible for this offer. Offer is only valid on coin transactions. Limit one per name or household. Void where prohibited. Not valid with any other offer. No cash substitutions. Failure to follow the above rules may result in disqualification. See offer details and full rules at www.coinstar.com.
To sum it up, take at least $40 worth of coins to a Coinstar machine and redeem the coins for a gift card or e-certificate. An official claim form will print out on your receipt. Complete the claim form and postmark it by 1/7/2009 to the following address: Coinstar Holiday Bonus Offer, PO Box 6112, Douglas, AZ 85655-6112. You will receive your $10 gift card or e-certificate in 6-8 weeks.
I’ve been looking for a way to get equivalent value out of my glass bottles of change without doing too much work. On my next trip to Jewel I will be taking my glass bottles with and exchanging them for e-certificates to Amazon.com. The holiday bonus offer is exactly that, a bonus.