In today’s age of contactless payments, Apple Pay, and online shopping, you may not face a lot of situations where you might need quarters. Still, from buying quarters for laundry to saving money for a rainy day, there are some occasions when you might need some spare change.
What’s more, you never know when the next shortage of coins might hit. For instance, during the pandemic, the US Mint reduced the product of coins due to slower circulation, causing quarters to become a valued commodity.
Read on to find out the most convenient ways to get small change as well as how to easily buy quarters in bulk so that you will always have some when you need them.
Where to Buy Quarters: The 8 Best Places to Find Quarters
Whether you are feeding the meter or using a coin-operated car wash, here is where you can easily find quarters.
Banks keep quarters in $10 rolls (each containing 40 quarters), so they are your best option if you are buying rolls of quarters.
How to get quarters from the bank?
Just follow these steps:
- Head to your local bank
- Fill out a withdrawal slip and take out money
- Tell the teller you want the money in coins when they ask
Alternatively, you could take paper money to the bank and ask the teller to exchange them for quarters.
There are a few things to keep in mind, though.
- The majority (if not all) of banks will only exchange coins for existing customers, so you can’t go to just any bank. Although most branch offices will make change for non-customers out of courtesy once or twice, they might refuse your request if you do it at the same bank frequently.
- Know how many rolls of quarters you need to get—a single roll of coins is $10, so exchanges in multiples of 10.
- Some institutions might limit the number of coin rolls you can get, so you may have to go to several banks if you need more than $10 worth of quarters.
- Each bank has its own internal policy on whether or not it will exchange unrolled coins for currency or vice versa. If your bank’s policies prevent you from exchanging bills for quarters, you might want to think about switching banks.
It’s best to call ahead and ask about the bank’s rules regarding accepting and exchanging bills for coins.
2. Change machines
Change machines are a great way to get quarters, especially if you are in a pinch.
These machines are designed to exchange bills for coins. Most of them accept $1 or $5, although some like the VN-1 by Hamilton Manufacturing or the MC200 by Standard Change-Makers can exchange $10 and $20 in quarters. Others like the AC201 by American Changer can be set to dispense two types of coins and work with a variety of currencies.
You can usually find change machines in game arcades, public transit stations, laundromats, and car washes. To find the one closest to you, simply do a ‘near me’ search on Google. This will provide you with a list of nearby locations with quarter machines, including their addresses and hours of operation.
3. Vending machines
Are you looking to stock up on coins? The next time you use a vending machine, you can try paying with two dollar bills for a $1.50 purchase and get two quarters in return. This is a bit of a risk, though, as vending machines do not always pay change in quarters, so you might end up with a bunch of dimes and nickels instead.
Another trick you can try is to choose an item, put in a dollar and then press the return button. Older vending machines do not dispense bills, giving you four quarters instead. However, this only works on older machines.
4. Gas stations
If you need to make change late at night or on weekends, gas stations are your best bet. They are open 24/7 and they usually have plenty of quarters in the cash register. All you need to do is ask to exchange your bill for quarters.
Remember that you are relying on the cashier’s goodwill, so be polite. If so, the cashier is likely to give you as many quarters as the register can spare.
5. Grocery stores & major retailers
Major grocery stores and most retailers will exchange bills for quarters, usually up to $10 worth.
If you’re opting to get quarters from big retailers like Target or Walmarts, you should go to the service desk instead of the checkout line. The checkout cashier will only have a certain amount of change in the register which might not be sufficient to exchange your bill. Also, if you head for the checkout you will probably need to buy something and then ask for change.
The same goes for pharmacies, like CVS and Rite Aid, as well as most convenience and grocery stores, like 7-Eleven. Once again, make sure you ask for change nicely as none of these establishments are obligated to exchange a dollar bill for quarters for you.
6. Street performers
This might seem like an unusual choice but street performers always have spare change on hand. In fact, they tend to use Coinstar and similar machines that turn coins into cash or gift cards. Since Coinstar is a bit expensive to use, street performers might be willing to exchange their metal coins for bills (provided you ask nicely)
7. Borrow from friends and family
If you are in a hurry, ask coworkers, friends, or family for some small change. Most people would be happy to get rid of some loose change and replace it with paper money.
8. Buy something
If all else fails, you can always go to the nearest grocery store, retailer, drugstore, or another establishment, make a purchase with a larger bill, and get change in quarters. This is the surest way to get quarters as all retailers will pay you back in coins when you make a cash purchase.
Quarters are not as essential as they once were. Today, most laundromats, parking meters, and vending machines accept payments with credit and debit cards. On top of that, 60% of consumers prefer using plastic to cash.
That said, it is still useful to keep a supply of quarters. You might come across an older laundromat or vending machine which runs on coins, or you might need to provide change in a cash transaction.
So, keep quarters handy by asking cashiers or bank tellers for small change the next time you are at the supermarket or the bank. Then save the coins in a jar so you will always have some extra.
You will get 40 quarters when you exchange $10. Banks usually keep quarters in rolls of 40, so one roll is $10, two rolls of 80 coins are $20, and so on. Knowing how many quarters are in a roll can make it easier to exchange money for coins at the bank.
Banks are closed on Sundays, so quarter machines or gas stations are your best option to make change. You can also try a grocery store, pharmacy, or any retailer for that matter—if they do not exchange your money for coins, make a small purchase and ask for change in quarters.
No, most ATMs cannot dispense quarters; ATMs only dispense bills.