Coinstar is offering a $10 bonus for a coin deposit of $40 or more and the selected cash out option is eCert. I made a successful deposit that qualified for the bonus several days ago. Since I had more coins, I thought I would deposit more coins. I made two more deposits but they were not able to qualify for the $10 bonus.
On the second deposit, I brought a bag of 40 dollar coins, totaling $40, and tried to deposit them in a Coinstar Machine in Duane Reade. The machine stopped taking dollar coins after 34 coins. The total deposit was $34, only $6 short of $40 and therefore the total did not qualify me for the $10 bonus. The machine must have maxed out the slots for the dollar coins, because it returned all the dollar coins. I ended up with a $34 Amazon eCert. The lesson is that even though you may have $40 in dollar coins, the machine may not have space for all of the coins.
On the third deposit, I went to a different Coinstar location. I brought a bag of 40 dollar coins and a roll of quarters. Learning from the second deposit, I thought I would fill the machine with quarters when the dollar coin slots were maxed out. Unfortunately, only two dollar coins were accepted. The rest of the dollar coins were returned. I decided to abandon the deposit. The total balance of my deposit was $2, but because option for gift certificates required a $5 minimum deposit, the machine forced me to select cash payout, which comes with an 8.9% processing fee. I paid 18 cents in fees and ended up with a $1.82 in a cash payout. I took the cash receipt and bought items in the store. Had I known earlier, I could have use the quarters to bring the minimum to $5 balance before cashing out. The lesson is that you have to mind the Coinstar minimum requirement for the gift certificates.
Obviously, I did not anticipate that the Coinstar machines would max out on their coin slots. The shortcoming did not qualify my second and third Coinstar deposits for the bonus. Instead, I lost money on the third deposit. In any case, it was a fun experience. I’ll wait for the $10 bonus from my first deposit.