Where to Get Quarters: The 15 Fastest Ways

How to get quarters
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Nowadays, many people don’t bother to carry cash anymore, and it’s also becoming less common to carry change. As a result, getting coins is increasingly becoming a hassle, which can be inconvenient if your apartment has coin-operated washers and dryers. Even if this isn’t the case, you may need coins to go to a community laundromat or a car wash, often coin-operated. So, where can you get quarters?

1. Banks

The most obvious and most straightforward place to get quarters (as well as pennies, dimes, and nickels) is the bank. If you live near a bank branch, it may be worth stopping by and inquiring if you can exchange some cash for quarters. 

Banks typically have quarter rolls made up of 40 quarters that come out to $10. Therefore, if you want to exchange cash for an entire quarter roll, you’ll want to bring with you $10 in cash. Of course, you have the option to ask for less than that, but it just makes things less inconvenient for the bank teller when your request is in $10 increments. 

If you’re a customer of your chosen bank (meaning you have something like a savings account or checking account), they should be happy to honor your request. All you have to do is let the teller know that you need quarters or make a withdrawal specifically for quarters.

The thing about heading to your nearest local bank to get your quarters is that they won’t always do it for you, especially if you’re not a customer. If you don’t have an account at the bank, you might be met with some hesitance upon requesting quarters. You can ask the teller if they would exchange the cash you have in hand for quarters.

If they are hesitant, ask them to make a one-time exception for you. It’s also worth noting that the odds of them saying yes to your request are higher with smaller amounts. For example, you’re more likely to be successful asking for one roll of quarters versus three. 

All that considered, it’s always a good idea to call ahead to check if your chosen bank offers change to people who aren’t customers. If you’re going to the bank searching for change, try to do it when there aren’t too many people waiting in line.

Suppose you’re going to be needing quarters regularly over several months or years. In that case, you should probably consider setting up a bank account with a local bank where you can always pop in and get quarters without issues.

2. A local convenience store 

If you cannot get quarters from a bank, try your luck at local convenience stores around you, such as CVS, Rite Aid, 7-Eleven, and Walgreens. In many cases, if you need a change, you can get it from cashiers in exchange for bills, but it is not their standard practice. You may find that you need to make a small purchase to get coins. That said, it is likely that you can exchange a small amount like a $1 or $5 bill for a couple of quarters simply by asking the cashier at your local convenience store.

3. Grocery stores

where to get quarters
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A nearby grocery store is another good option. Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Target, or similar grocery stores, likely have coins in the cash register. It’s worth noting that the coins they have on hand may be limited, so sometimes, you might not be able to get the change you need. Some stores even limit quarter requests to a certain amount to curb shortages.

In addition, if there is a long queue behind you, you may be holding it up. If you want to get some guilt-free change, consider making a small purchase (a pack of gum, a can of soda, or a piece of fruit should do). For example, you can buy an item for twenty-five cents, pay with a dollar bill, and ask the cashier to give you three quarters in return.

You might have better luck if you approach the customer service desk at the grocery store. Getting quarters from a grocery store is an excellent option if you need to exchange a small amount. However, if you need more than $10, then you’re better off exchanging it at the nearest bank.

4. Fast food establishments

Your local fast food joint could be another place to get some quarters potentially. Since many fast food establishments are set up pretty much like grocery stores in the sense that they collect money into the cash register, they often provide coins.

Keep in mind that fast food joints don’t have a customer service desk, so your best bet is to ask at the register. You’re unlikely to get more than a few dollars in change, so don’t expect too much. As with a grocery store, you may need to purchase to get change, so consider getting the cheapest item on the menu. To maximize efficiency, consider going at a time when the fast-food joint isn’t too busy.

5. Laundromats

Laundromats are one of the most convenient places to get quarters since most of them are usually open 24/7. This means that you can get coins no matter the time of day. Many laundromats require quarters or tokens to operate, so they provide change machines that customers can use to change bills into quarters. So you can feed in the bills you want and get as many quarters as you need.

Before you go for this option, make sure to check that the machine in the laundromat offers quarters rather than tokens that might be used specifically for doing laundry. Also, keep in mind that some laundromats may require that you’re a paying customer to use their change machine. Therefore, it may be a good idea to bring with you a load of clothes that could use a wash.

6. Arcades

Arcades are not as common as they used to be back in the day in the United States, but many cinemas still have them, and you’ll still find Dave & Busters in a lot of locations. One of the best things about these nostalgic establishments is that they have change machines that offer plenty of coins for those in need of quarters. 

Now, it’s of utmost importance to check if these change machines are running low or if they even dispense quarters in the first place, but in most cases, they’ll suit your needs just fine.

7. Car washes

Like laundromats, many car wash establishments rely on quarters to operate and have a change machine nearby as a result. Again, make sure you confirm the details to know whether you’re required to use the car wash to get the change. Of course, if it’s a car wash that you want to get the quarters for, you don’t have to worry about this.

8. Gas station

where to get quarters
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If you are on the road and all you can see are gas stations, then you might be in luck. Gas stations usually have cash registers that often contain small coins such as quarters. Many gas stations are willing to give you a change from the register if you ask politely or if there aren’t too many customers waiting in line. Again, consider only asking for smaller denominations.

If it’s a locally owned gas station, the business owner may have no qualms about giving you the change without you having to make a purchase. Otherwise, like with grocery and convenience stores, you may need to buy something first. Get a small item like candy for a dime, and then pay with a dollar bill and ask for a couple of 25-cent coins when getting your change back. An alternative to this is to ask for a change to pay for airing your tires – although some gas stations offer air tires free of charge, some have machines that require a couple of quarters for the service.

9. Pharmacies

Some local pharmacies will give out quarters to customers who ask for them. This is because most of them often have plenty of coins in the cash register. Just remember to ask politely and keep in mind that you may be required to purchase to get your quarters. It’s also a good idea to ask for a smaller change than you would at larger establishments like banks. 

10. Libraries

Some libraries have change machines in place, so if you’re lucky to have one near you, then you may be able to get some quarters.

11. Vending machines

Another option to try is vending machines. To get quarters, insert a larger bill into the machine. For example, you could insert $5 to pay for a $1 snack, which means you’ll get 16 quarters back. 

A common trick that many people swear by for getting quarters from a vending machine involves inserting a dollar into the machine, but instead of buying anything, hit the “change return” button. This works because some vending machines, particularly the older models, can’t dispense notes, which means you’ll get your money back in four quarters. This is an effective way to get quarters as long as the vending machine issues refunds in coin form. Another risk to be aware of with this option is that if the machine is low on quarters, it’s likely that it could spit out dimes. 

12. Bowling alley

Like at arcades, most bowling alleys also provide change machines where you can get quarters. Alternatively, you can ask for change if you buy any drinks or food at the bowling alley. 

13. Hotel and motel check-in desks

where to get quarters
Sourced from: Twenty20

If you’re staying at a hotel or motel, you may be able to get change at the check-in desk. If you live near a hotel, it could be worth checking if they’re willing to offer change. If you’re a guest, it’ll even be easier to get quarters in exchange for bills.

14. Big box stores

If you want a more considerable amount of change than you would get at, say, a fast-food place or convenience store, then you might want to pop into your local big box store. Consider checking out sites like Home Depot, Best Buy, Costco, Lowe’s, and Target if you want quarters. Such stores will likely have plenty of coins in the register and will happily offer them if you buy something.

15. Make a purchase

If you need quarters for your apartment building’s coin-operated washer and dryer, you can get in the habit of using cash to buy different items from stores every once in a while. Even if credit and debit cards are becoming the most relied-on means of buying things, most stores have no issues accepting cash. Making a little purchase means you will get change back, and you can ask to get it in quarters if possible. 

Final thoughts

Hopefully, you have a better idea of where to find quarters when you need them with the list above. Sure, you may have to buy something or call ahead first with some options, but it’s generally pretty straightforward to get quarters.

Melanie Asiba

Melanie is an author, and she enjoys traveling, reading, and trying out new things. In addition to writing for Apartment ABC.

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