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Dollar Coin Conundrum
July 24, 2008 4:18 PM   Subscribe

Convenient way to get dollar coins outside of a bank?

So I used to have this habit of buying stamp booklets from the vending machine at the post office, and keeping the dollar coins you'd get in change. (Most of the dollar coins went into the change cubby in the car to pay parking meters and automated ramp kiosks.)

Now I'm out again. I go to the post office to find out all the post office vending machines around here have been replaced with cashless ones that only accept credit/debit cards. Other than standing in line at a bank teller window that may or may not have dollar coins, is there any way for me to get dollar coins relatively conveniently in my daily routine?

(Twin Cities, MN, if you have local recommendations.)
posted by gimonca to Shopping (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
The vending machines at my office give dollar coins as change if you put in a $5 or $10 bill. At least one of them will change your bills even if you don't buy anything from the machine. (It says so on the machine, and I've used it.) So, have you checked any vending machines that you encounter regularly?
posted by Airhen at 4:44 PM on July 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


No. I asked my bank about this. If you call them in advance and tell them how many you want they can get them for you. I like carrying them around to leave as tips for waiters. And I like the idea of carrying around a bag of gold coins.
posted by jeffamaphone at 4:45 PM on July 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Public transit machines in St. Louis (and probably other cities) give these out as change, but probably your best bet is call your bank and order them.
posted by rabbitsnake at 4:50 PM on July 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, in theory, the Mint sells dollars for circulation at face value, in $250 boxes. Unfortunately, some people realized they could buy them with a credit card and get the rewards and the cash. That went around all the deal sites and killed it. So that's not currently an option, but it will probably be in the future.

(They also sell collectible ones, but at a 25% markup, so that would be a rip-off.)
posted by smackfu at 5:00 PM on July 24, 2008


Public transit change machines++.

Also, an approach I've taken when looking for specific kinds of coins (for magic tricks) is to just ask everybody with whom I do a cash transaction. Every time I buy gum, cigarettes, soda, video games, handguns, I just ask the teller if they have any of whatever I'm looking for. Most cashiers just toss them in an unused change-slot, since it slows down their change-making to remember that there's one Susan B. Anthony sitting there. They accumulate; especially in smallish shops where owners (and other people who's drawer doesn't get counted) seem to just leave them in the till even at day's end.

I have really good luck with this method... a day's errands tend to get me at least two or three of whatever it is, regardless of how few should actually be in circulation.
posted by Netzapper at 5:02 PM on July 24, 2008


You can get them direct from the US Mint but you just missed their latest offer. Their last offer was for free shipping and I bought $500 to get 1% back on my credit card.
Here's the link
posted by rholly at 5:43 PM on July 24, 2008


Oops. I missed Smackfu's response. I'm actually using mine unlike the others who just deposited them in the bank.
posted by rholly at 5:46 PM on July 24, 2008


gimonca, I work in the Cities and our office change machines give out dollar coins, to my astonishment this week. I didn't even know Jefferson's on them. I'd love to get you back for my jellybaby question but its a definite no-no to take pictures there :-P.
posted by adamwolf at 5:49 PM on July 24, 2008


Both Boston and SF give out dollar coins as transit change too. That's how I always end up with them (and then they weigh alot in my wallet for a while until I get them to go away..)
posted by nat at 7:33 PM on July 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


i think in LA you can put a $20 in the machine at the metro then cancel it, getting gold coins back.
posted by alitorbati at 7:33 PM on July 24, 2008


My post office vending machine gives dollar coins as change.
posted by maloon at 7:38 PM on July 24, 2008


Well, in theory, the Mint sells dollars for circulation at face value, in $250 boxes. Unfortunately, some people realized they could buy them with a credit card and get the rewards and the cash. That went around all the deal sites and killed it. So that's not currently an option, but it will probably be in the future.

I think they went through and picked out the people who were ordering under multiple names and having them sent to the same place, because after most of the bargain-hunting sites reported it unavailable, I was able to order, and ten rolls of John Quincy Adams' perturbed face arrived today. Whether I'll be able to get them into circulation before Jackson is available, I don't know.
posted by oaf at 8:19 PM on July 24, 2008


This thread leads me to believe that the dollar coins no longer feature Zombie Washington? I went through a couple rolls when they first came out, but he was decidedly creepy.
posted by odinsdream at 8:54 PM on July 24, 2008


They're all creepy so far.
posted by oaf at 9:06 PM on July 24, 2008


Airhen: I'll check again, but a couple of recent attempts at changing a big bill at regular vending machines left me with a massive hill of quarters instead of $1 coins.

I'll check the Hiawatha rail fare machines. The parking ramps I tend to frequent accept dollar coins, but don't seem to stock them or give them back: using a $20 for a $3 parking fee means the machine goes fwipfwipfwip and spits out $17 in paper $1 bills in the little drawer.
posted by gimonca at 5:03 AM on July 25, 2008


The mint is selling the dollar coins again for direct ship.
Link
posted by rholly at 5:53 PM on August 11, 2008


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