Since When is Change Worth Less?

Since When is Change Worth Less?

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Jar of Loose ChangeNearly every time I’m at the grocery store, I see at least one person with a jar of pennies at the Coinstar machine. I’d say that it’s almost as popular as the adjacent RedBox machine.

More often than not, it’s just a kid with a look on their face as if they’re about to win some huge jackpot or something — it’s like they’re under the assumption that the change in the jar is worthless compared to the little receipt that the machine spits out after a minute or two of jingle-jangling.

I have a problem with that.

The change in their jar is NOT worthless.

In fact, it’s worth more than the little piece of paper that the CoinStar machine spits out.

Seems that few realize this.

CoinStar takes a cut.

It’s like trading in your money for less than face value…

Who would do that?

Further, who would stand in line to do that?

(I’m aware that you can get an Amazon gift card or whatever for full face value but, no matter what you say, that’s not cold hard cash.)

So here’s what I can’t understand… Why don’t banks have their own self-serve CoinStar type machines as a convenience for their customers?

You know, machines that DON’T take a percentage off the top…

Obviously the days of rolling coins are over — I remember walking up to tellers in the past with a bunch of rolled change and the look you’d receive, well, let’s just say they weren’t exactly happy to see me.

The last time I tried this (at, cough!, Bank of America, cough!), I was told that, though I was a “preferred” customer, there would be a fee involved — even though I’d sorted, counted, and rolled the coins myself.

Needless to say, I walked back out with all of my change.

Money is supposed to be money, right?

I mean, since when is there a US-to-US currency exchange rate?

So what’s the hold-up with the face-value machines?

Banks? Are you listening?

If CoinStar can base an entire company around this service, the banks can certainly offer it as well…as a convenience to gain new customers. The machines would pay for themselves, well, in a matter of minutes.

I’m sure there are banks out there that already offer this service but, really, it should be as standard as free checking…