How to Exchange Loose Change for Dollar Bills

Banks can exchange pennies for dollar bills.

Banks can exchange pennies for dollar bills.

Paying day-to-day expenses in cash can help you avoid impulsive spending, but you may also accumulate coins. Carrying a few coins can be convenient for paying tolls and making exact change, but it can be difficult to get rid of mountains of loose change. Exchanging coins for paper bills can make it easier to carry your money. Financial institutions such as banks and credit unions can help customers swap loose change for dollar bills.

Call a local bank or credit union and ask about its coin exchanging policies. Banks vary in terms of the exchange services they offer and the fees required for exchanging coins. Some have counting machines, while others require customers to exchange rolls of coins. Ask if you have to roll your coins and if you have to pay a fee for the exchange. If the institution you call charges fees or requires rolled coins, consider calling a different bank to see if it has more favorable policies.

Roll your coins if necessary. Banks typically sell coin roll wrappers, and you can also buy them at general merchandise stores.

Take your coins to the bank or credit union and ask a teller to exchange them for bills. If you bring loose change, the teller may sort the coins for you or may have to use a self-service coin-sorting machine. This typically involves pouring coins into a bucket or tray to exchange them for paper money; instructions should appear on labels on the machine or on a screen. Ask the teller for assistance if you need help.

Items you will need

  • Coin roll wrappers


  • Local businesses may give you paper money for rolled coins if they are short on change.
  • Some convenience stores, grocery stores and general merchandiser have coin-counting machines. The New York Times reports that such machines may charge a commission of nearly 10 percent. However, you may be able to exchange coins for gift cards to popular businesses at no extra charge.

About the Author

Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming.

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