Money for Nothing and Chicks for Free

For whatever bizarre reason I thought of that old Dire Straits song “Money for Nothing” when I heard about Coinstar’s latest offering. For those of you who aren’t aware of this brilliant business, Coinstar puts machines in grocery stores (and in other locations I assume) where you can dump your spare coin change and get a voucher you redeem at the checkout stand for cash minus a 8.9% fee to Coinstar.

I’ve never actually used these machines because I’m a cheap bastard and I’d rather let my spare change rot away (due to inflation) on my dresser than give anyone 9 cents on the dollar to make it paper money. Shrewd huh? At any rate, in spite of my objection to the fee, I admire their business greatly.

I recently learned that you could use some advanced Coinstar machines to convert your spare change into gift cards for Apple iTunes Music Store, Starbucks, Amazon, and other retailers and not pay any Coinstar free. In other words, you take a bucket of change to a Coinstar machine and get a iTunes gift card straight up even. Awesome.

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7 thoughts on Money for Nothing and Chicks for Free

  1. Pingback Zoli's Blog
  2. yes, it’s a brilliant business. I feel guilty every time I use it….but i want pennies out of circulation!

  3. I’m cheap too, but broke down when we moved and used coinstar to cash out on my “dime collection” I had since I was 12. My dad bought me an old samurai motif whiskey bottle and for some reason I started putting dimes in it. My haul for 20+ years of “dime collecting”? About 225 bucks.

  4. That’s not bad, now if you had put that dime collection in the bank with interest you might have Max’s college fund covered by now 🙂

  5. A good Idea indeed. However, I have to say as a sometimes jaded consumer (when not running my biz) I hate giving money to charity THROUGH companies. I would never want my money to somehow be counted as part of credit a company takes for $$ contributed to charity.

  6. Virgin Atlantic for a long time has walked around on its flights and asked for donations of loose foreign coins….now that is change I would happily pay Coinstar even 15% for….

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