Executive Summary: TD Bank lets customers deposit coins for free using their Penny Arcade machine, and charges 6% to non-customers. Chase accepts coin deposits from customers without a fee, and will take them in any container. Coinstar machines charge a 9.8% fee to turn your coins into bills, but no fee if you turn them into gift cards including those good at Amazon or the grocery store you’re in.
One of the parts of my fulfilling my July goal of doing a debt sprint is cleaning out the piggy banks. This will mostly involve cleaning house of all cash-like items including gift cards and the adorable teal and purple notes that I picked up last year when I briefly visited that one country where they filmed Canadian Bacon.
However, I wanted to get started in the more literal sense first, and so with my work piggy bank — I also keep a couple at home — in hand, set off during my lunch break when the thought finally hit me: my primary bank is USAA and they only have a branch in San Antonio and I live in New York — a distance of 1,800 miles.
Anyhow, I started calling around and asking what my options were for depositing coins. I also started looking on the internet.
That’s correct, we only have a coin-counting machine in San Antonio.
I can add a request to add this capability if you like…
I told him I’d figure something out.
Bank of America
Yes sir, we have canvas bags and wrappers available
[Why is she telling me this?]
Deposits are free if you wrap them, or we charge a $10 fee if you drop them off in canvas bags, with a minimum deposit of $50.
TD Bank famously let anyone use their Penny Arcade coin counting machines for free until 2011 when they started charging 6% for the service for non-customers. The customer service rep confirmed as much on the phone.
If you’re already a TD Bank customer and want to use this feature — or you’re a non-customer who doesn’t mind the fee — you can find a location with a Penny Arcade at this link and clicking the check box that says, “Penny Arcade” before searching. Once there, you drop your coins into the Penny Arcade, which will generate a receipt, which you then take to a teller who will either let you deposit the amount into your account or give you cash.
While not a bank, I see these in the local grocery stores all the time. Their website let me know that they charge a 9.8% fee, but they wouldn’t deduct a fee if I turned it into a gift card. An imperfect solution, but not terrible and one I might consider in a pinch, particularly because Amazon is an option, and credit there is almost as good as cash to me.
I already have an account with Chase, so this would make it easy, as long as they didn’t charge a fee or make me wrap like Bank of America.
Yes, we’d be happy to take your coins without a fee
Right, but would I need to do anything with them?
Nope. Just bring them in whatever you have — a box, bag, a…
Oh I have mine in…
…or even in piggy banks.
Anyway, that’s a long way to say that I’m going to be doing my local banking with Chase now. How do you turn your coins into deposits? Or do you keep them around the house hoping the metal appreciates to more than the face value?