My Coinstar Experience

By | December 6, 2008

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.

4 thoughts on “My Coinstar Experience

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  3. Tom

    I used to use these coin-counting services but instead, I recently purchased a electric coin-sorter.
    Whenever I have change, I simply pop it into the sorter which keeps my money organized at all times.

  4. Anonymous

    I used a Coinstar machine within a local grocery store to redeem $175 worth of coins to a eCertificate. The gift code that was printed on the receipt did not work on After numerous phone calls to both Coinstar and customer service help lines, it was determined that the gift card code was printed correctly and valid, but expired due from long disuse in the machine.

    Unfortunately, neither company will claim responsibility for this problem.

    Although, in my opinion, my change is still in the Coinstar machine at the end of the day and they need to issue me a valid gift card code.

    At the end of the day, customer service treated me like a fellow human being, with courtesy and respect. The Coinstar customer service was rude, unkind, and unsympathetic to my problem.

    I will choose not to use Coinstar again, but may continue to use in the future.


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