I have saved a full piggy bank of coins and I never bothered to count them. I understand that there are money counting machines that usually charges about 10% of the value to convert them into paper money, but I do not want to lose 10% of the value in my piggy bank. So what are some recommended ways to spend the coins there? For example, is it proper to use the coins to:

  1. pay tips?
  2. make a contribution to a local church on Sundays?
  3. pay for small item at convenience stores?
  4. give to homeless people who asks for money?

Will a bank (in the US) usually count the coins and add value to my bank account without a fee?

I am confident that most vending machines will take the coins, but I do not buy products from vending machines often as they are usually dearer than the products in supermarkets.

  • 2
    You would prefer to give the money away than pay 10% to make it more useful to you?
    – quid
    Jul 28 '19 at 16:53
  • 2
    Put a few coins in your pocket, and give the exact change when you go to the supermarket. Repeat as needed until all the change is gone.
    – jamesqf
    Jul 28 '19 at 17:31
  • How big is your piggy bank? I think you are vastly overestimating the effort of counting and rolling the coins yourself.
    – chepner
    Jul 28 '19 at 20:58
  • There is a coin counting machine in my supermarket which does not charge any fee provided you donate the coins to charity.
    – ab2
    Jul 29 '19 at 0:35

Coins, of course, are legal tender, and can be used for any of the purposes on your list.

For depositing into your bank account or converting to paper money, it used to be that all banks would gladly accept them and had a counting machine at each location, but in recent years this has changed. Some banks still do this for free, but some banks now charge you to count them or even refuse to count coins for you. You’ll need to ask your bank what they will do. If you don’t like their answer, you can call other banks and ask their policies.

  • 1
    Nitpick: Being legal tender does not obligate stores (OP's #3) to accept coins, or cash at all. Only if a debt has already been incurred before payment (e.g., for a haircut or a restaurant meal) does legal tender apply.
    – nanoman
    Jul 29 '19 at 0:46
  • 1
    @nanoman I agree, but my point is that, because coins are legal tender, they are accepted almost everywhere (even if they are not legally obligated to do so). Jul 29 '19 at 1:10

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