Ever been craving something from a vending machine or been wanting to hit up the arcades, only to find that your coin stash is looking pretty depleted? Or perhaps you’re always looking for the opportunity to add a little into your savings jar. It sounds like you need to know where to get quarters!
Nowadays, you can pretty much use a piece of plastic in most cases where you used to bring out the quarters. They’re even at toll roads and laundromats!
However, sometimes you can still get caught off guard when you’re asked to cough up a few quarters. Or perhaps you simply want to be a little more old-school and pay with coins instead of always having to rely on plastic.
Paying with coins can be faster, it can be more convenient, and it can be safer. You don’t want to go flashing your cards everywhere or a few dollars, after all. For that reason, let’s look at a few places where you can get quarters when you need them.
Continue reading to answer the real question: Where Can I get Quarters?
The 8 Best Places to Get Quarters
Below, we’re going to look at some of the most reliable places to still get quarters. Although coins may not be as frequently used as they were in the past, that need for quarters can still come up from time to time.
So, if there’s ever a time you’re stuck for quarters, whether you need to use the laundromat or are desperate for a bottle of cola from the vending machine, here are eight places you can still reliably get the change that you need. Keep this list in mind and you’ll rarely if ever, get in a bind.
If there’s a bank near you, then it’s undoubtedly the most convenient option. In most cases, you can just take a small bill or two in to a bank teller and ask for change.
It’s worth noting that that bank does not necessarily have to agree to make change for people who are not customers. If you continuously do it at the same bank without having an account there, they may end up turning you away, but they will probably do it once or twice as a courtesy.
However, if you have a bank account there, then you can make change whenever you want and even ask to change money as you’re withdrawing it.
If you’re going into a bank for change, try to do it when it’s not so busy, when possible. Otherwise, you’re giving a teller a lengthy chore that’s keeping other customers held back in line.
If you’re asking for a lot of quarters (maybe you plan on spending all day at the arcade), then try to figure out how many coin rolls it is. For instance, a single quarter roll is $10, so asking for a tiny bit less or more than that unnecessarily complicates things.
Grocery Stores or Convenience Stores
Most grocery stores, such as Walmarts, Trader Joe’s, and the like are going to have plenty of coins in the cash registers, as well as at the customer service desk. Similarly, convenience stores such as 7-Elevens, BP, and the like are going to have coins back there, too
The coins they have on hand are limited, so sometimes you might end up unlucky and not be able to get the change you need. Be aware that if there’s a long queue, you may be holding it up. If you want some guilt-free change, you may as well buy something. Some stores require you to buy if you want change, anyway.
Note that if you try to get $10 or more in change, you might get turned away. Grocery and convenience stores are best if you just need to change a dollar or two.
Fast Food Establishment
Fast food branches will work pretty much just like a grocery store or convenience store. They don’t have a customer service desk, but you can always ask as the cash register, instead.
As with a grocery store or convenience store, you might be asked to buy something to get change, so consider getting the cheapest option on the menu. Don’t try getting more than a couple of dollars either, as their coinage is going to be limited.
Arcades have become slightly rarer in America, but most cinemas still have them and there are Dave & Busters in a lot of locations still. One of the best things about arcades is that they have change machines that can offer a lot of coins.
Sometimes, these change machines may be running low, or may not dispense quarters, but in most cases, they’ll suit your purposes just fine.
Gas Stations and Pharmacies
Especially useful for when you’re on a road trip, you’re not as likely to stop at an arcade, but you will see gas stations and pharmacies on your way. Even way out in the boonies, these places are likely to have cash registers with some coins.
In most cases, you’re relying on the kindness of a small business owner, so be courteous when asking for change and don’t ask for more than a couple of dollars’ worth.
Car Washes & Laundromats
Out of all of the above examples, these two are where you’re most likely to still see people predominantly paying with quarters. Furthermore, many are open all day, every day of the week. And most of them are going to have change machines available. With these machines, you can simply feed in the bills you want, and get as many quarters as you want.
Just check in advance that the machine offers quarters, rather than tokens that might be used specifically in the carwash or laundromat. Also, do be aware that some laundromats may require that you’re a paying customer before you’re able to make use of their change machine. So, it’s good to bring a load of clothes that could use a wash with you as well.
If you see an older soda vending machine, then give it a dollar. Instead of buying a drink, however, simply press the change return button. A lot of older machines aren’t able to dispense notes and will, instead, give you your four quarters.
Make a Small Purchase
Even if credit cards are becoming the most widely used means of purchasing things, the vast majority of stores will accept cash. Making a little purchase will offer you change, and you can ask to receive it in quarters if possible.
Nowadays, there are few things you can buy that cost less than fifty cents, so if you’re breaking a single dollar, you might not get more than two quarters in return.
Now You’ll Always Know Where to Get Quarters
Even if it does seem like, nowadays, we’re relying more and more on plastic, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t prudent to keep a few coins on your person. If you’re heading out for a long drive and anticipate some toll roads, or you’re going to the cinema or arcade and want some spending money, or even if you plan on picking up a drink or snack while out of the house, having a few quarters in your pocket is always going to be useful.
Hopefully, with the list above, it’s a lot easier to keep in mind where you can find the quarters you need. From topping up your piggy bank to freeing up a little change when you need it, the eight examples above are, for now, still reliable places to get the quarters you need. Who knows when they might end up going plastic, so take advantage while you still can.
Have you ever wondered where to get quarters? Which of these options was easiest for you? Let us know in the comments!
Samantha uses her BS in Finance and MBA to help others control their finances through budgeting, saving, investing, side hustles, and travel hacking. Due to following the FIRE Movement’s principles, she was able to quit her high-stress job in the financial services industry in July 2019 to pursue her side hustles. She is now a full-time entrepreneur, freelancing coach, and blogger.