Like it or not, I still need to use cash in this society. Because of this this, I also have to deal with coins and I don't think people really realize how unfair the system is in this respect. Coins are like the unwanted guest in the legal tender family and this is my rant on the subject.
Let me just frame this post by saying that over the past 4 years, I have tossed all my spare change into a bucket. Eventually I accumulated over 300.00 in various coins. If you ever find yourself in this boat, you have a few options, none of which are very attractive. The most attractive resolution to this predicament is being able to walk into a bank and just hand them these unrolled coins as a deposit into savings or checking. That is not going to happen and that is what sucks. It is money folks, just like anything else, please treat it as such.
OK, back to options.
Option 1. Roll the coins yourself.
What a hassle. Really? Even if you are gadget man like me and you purchased a coin rolling machine, you have to make sure you have the right assortment of roll wrappers (quarters, nickels, pennies, dimes). Running out of wrappers means you are back in the car going to the store to get more. Rolling this many coins would have taken a few hours. This should not be my problem at all. The bottom line here is that banks require pre-rolled coins if you take it in for a deposit. Their policy is that they will them take your money in coins but only if you spend the time rolling it. Weak!
Option 2. Coinstar for cash
Coinstar has machines in grocery stores. If you want to cash out your coins with Coinstar, they will charge you 9.8%. The process is completely automated and gives them almost 10% of _my_ money. This just seems unfair when you consider fees for things like check cashing. It even seems extortionate when you consider places that do cash advances.
Option 3. Coinstar ‘no fee’ gift cards
Certain ecommerce vendors have a deal with Coinstar that will allow you to get a gift certificate with these coins. If you choose this option you don’t have to pay the Coinstar fee. I guess this is fine, but I go from being liquid with my cash to having to spend all these funds with a particular vendor.
In the end, I would like banks to treat all cash the same. They should not put any burden on me when I try to put my own cash back into my account, no matter what form that cash may take. Banks listen up: invest in a Coinstar-like machine and just let me come in and use it. Don't make coins our problem!