Most of us have the same ritual when we get home. We empty out our pockets and put our stuff away. Cell phone on the charger, keys and wallet on the night stand and change into a jar or a bucket or a piggy bank. Eventually you reach a critical mass of coins and you have to take action.
When I was kid we had a big brown bunny bank. He was about 2 feet tall and when he filled with coins has was pretty darn heavy. My mother would go to our bank and grab some money rolls. We would count out the various denominations of coins into piles, she would double check us, and into the rolls they went. I was long and tedious and in made your hands super dirty.
I worked at a bank for a summer and I can tell you that banks hate getting rolled coins from their customer. Why you ask? Errors. Banks hate inaccuracy and customers who miscount their coins either accidentally or on purpose mess up draw counts. To safe guard against this we had customers write their account numbers on the roll, but you still had to count out the entire roll before you could use it.
Flash forward a few years and we now have coin counting machines that can do what used to take hours and reduce it down to mere seconds. You walk up, pour in your bucket of coins, and bing out comes a receipt for your total. Huzzah! Machines like this can often be found at your local super market, but its all not sunshine and rainbows. Often times these machines take a fee. This fee can be as high as 9 percent! That’s just too much for my taste. I pour 200 hundred dollars of coins in and you take 18 of them, no thanks.
I decided to search around and I discovered that my local credit union offers the use of its coin counting machines for FREE. I tried it last month and it couldn’t be easier. Many banks offer this perk and I would certainly encourage you to ask yours. I also found a site that helps locate free and cheap (under 5%) coin counting machines. (please click the link to access the site). This website has listings in all 50 states.
So there you are, easy, quick, and free coin conversion. Saving 9 percent is great, but why stop there?
I have found a pre-paid amex card promo that is rather intriguing. With this deal you set up and load the card with 50 dollars and you are give a complimentary gift card valued at 10 dollars. Not bad. So you can cash in your coins and put 50 dollars on a pre-paid amex. You can use it as you would any American Express card and you are rewarded with a 10 dollar gift card. Now that’s building.