Sure, after you check for silver quarters, you could roll up the coins in that jar you’ve got on the counter and deposit them in the bank. You could take them to a coin-counting machine at the bank and deposit them in your savings account. You could even dump them in a fountain, making hundreds of wishes in the process. But the folks behind Coinstar’s ubiquitous machines hope that you’ll take your spare change–and maybe a few bills–and deposit it in your PayPal account.
Since many online merchants now take PayPal, this is a way to shop online without credit cards with without risking your debit card number online, if that’s what you’re into. You can even send the money directly to another e-mail address, if you want. Dumping those pennies will cost you a 9.8% fee, though: yet another crappy way that it’s more expensive to not just use the regular banking system.
It’s a wonderful feat of technology that you can pop a $20 bill into a vending machine and instantly beam it anywhere in the world using an e-mail address minus the 1-2% cut that the service takes out for paper money, of course.
What’s odd, though, is that this new and exciting product has been around at least since 2012 (perhaps in test markets) but Coinstar just felt the need to send us a press release about it now.
If you really want to convert your change to merchandise for free, but don’t feel like rolling coins, most machines let you cash in your change for a voucher to a single retailer, for a fee of exactly 0%. Just remember to use the virtual gift card.
Coinstar PayPal [Official Site]