I am no stranger to Coinstar. Those bright green kiosks standing at the entrance to many grocery stores look like nothing less than savings sentries—reminding me that even pennies can count. But what I didn't know until recently is that Coinstar itself has evolved far beyond the simple "cash for change" concept. Now you can get cash for change, (e)gift cards for cash, or cash for gift cards—or all of these!

Holiday shopping made easier with Coinstar

According to Consumer Affairs, gift cards and cash are the two most desired gifts of the holiday season. 60% of survey respondents hope to receive a gift card, and 80% of givers plan to purchase one for someone on their gift list. So whether you’re planning to give a gift card (or hoping to receive one) or you just need some extra holiday gift spending money, Coinstar can help!

Coinstar 

The original Coinstar, of course, is the classic.

What to do:

  • Locate a local Coinstar kiosk and bring in your jar of spare change.
  • Pour it in so the kiosk can count it.
  • Accept the service fee (10.9% of your cash in most kiosks) then be sure to take the cash voucher the kiosk produces.
  • Take the voucher to the store's service desk for redemption into bills.
  • Be sure to redeem the voucher at the same store on the same day!

Newer options:

  • Redeem your cash for a gift card or eCertificate (basically a paper receipt with a unique code on it) or deposit the funds into your PayPal account (only available at some kiosks).
  • Pay no fee and your card or certificate is ready to use the moment the kiosk finishes counting.

Coinstar exchange

Coinstar Exchange is a newer addition to the Coinstar family. With Coinstar Exchange, you can get cash for your unused gift cards.

What to do:

  • Locate a local Coinstar Exchange kiosk and bring in your unused gift cards.
  • Swipe each gift card ($20 minimum per card).
  • View the offer (typically 60-85% of the remaining face value of the card).
  • If you don't accept the offer, you can take your gift card back.
  • If you accept the offer, you will verify your identity (done with your driver's license and credit card) and then the kiosk will print out your voucher.
  • Take the voucher to the store's service desk for redemption into bills.
  • Be sure to redeem the voucher at the same store on the same day!

Turn Coinstar savings into holiday gift savings

Coinstar helps you turn coins and unused gift cards into ready cash or a card/certificate you can use like cash. You can use this cash (or PayPal cash) to shop for gifts. You can even use the cash to shop for discounted gift cards for people on your gift list! Or you can opt to donate your coins to charity right at the Coinstar kiosk—and then let your gift recipients know you made a charitable donation in their honor.

 

Coinstar & Coinstar Exchange: 2 Easy Ways to Score This Season's Most Coveted Gifts!