Dig out your loose change to turn it into cash money – and here’s how to earn an extra $5

THE coronavirus pandemic isn’t just hurting the pockets of average Americans but that of the US Mint as well – who are now asking for help to solve the nationwide coin shortage.

The lingering coronavirus has caused a shortage of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, which has led the Federal Reserve to start rationing coins in June.

On the other hand, banks have been asking their customers to break open their piggy banks and pump more coins into circulation.

Because of the coin shortage most retailers and restaurants are urging consumers to pay with credit cards or exact change – with some temporarily not giving change or instead are offering the difference on loyalty cards.

Now, the Mint, who manufactures the nation’s coin supply, is encouraging Americans to “start spending their coins, depositing them, or exchanging them for currency at financial institutions or taking them to coin kiosk.”

If you have a piggy bank or a massive jar filled with coins head over to your nearest kiosk.

There a more than 17,000 of them available across the US and according to Coinstar about 95 percent of the population lives within five miles of a machine.

Kiosks are often found in grocery stores and allows you to dump your stash straight in in return for cash.

The machine sorts out the coins and determines the amount a customer has. Once the machine is done Coinstar charges you a service fee of 11.9 percent at most locations and the kiosk spits out a receipt.

The customer then has to bring their receipt over to the customer service area in exchange for some money.

The fee amounts to $4 if you were hoarding the average Coinstar cash-in amount of $47.

However, Coinstar will waive the service fee if you opt for a gift card to a large retailer like Amazon, Lowe’s or Krispy Kreme.

If you choose to opt for an Amazon gift card all you have to do is open up the Amazon app with your receipt in hand, enter the code on your receipt in the “Redeem a gift card” slot and save it to your account.

Now for the first-time ever customers can cash in at least $30 worth of coins from now until November 30 and opt for an Amazon gift card, you'll receive a $5 bonus.

The promotional credit expires December 31, 2020, but the rest of the gift card balance will not expire. You can also choose a no-fee tax-deductible donation to charity.

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