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Knowing the best places to get quarters is important, especially when paying for parking meters, a bus ticket, or a luggage cart.
However, with the recent coin shortage, only a few people carry change these days.
So, where are the best places to get quarters if you need them?
In this post, I share the 27 best places for where to get quarters.
By the end, you will have several choices to get your hands on quarters or other spare change when needed.
Where To Get Quarters: 27 Best Places To Try
One of the best places to get quarters is your nearest bank.
You don’t need to be a bank account holder, either.
Just walk up to the bank teller and ask them to exchange your money for quarters.
Banks and credit unions often have several rolls of quarters that they can exchange for cash.
Quarter rolls typically come in denominations of $10, or 40 quarters.
To keep the transaction quick and simple, try to exchange an even $10 or denominations of $10.
If you anticipate needing an excessive amount of coin rolls, call the bank branch
beforehand to ask if they can exchange the amount you’re looking for.
Some banks may only be willing to exchange one or two rolls of coins, and if you need
more, you’ll likely have to stop at several banks.
As a reminder, you can’t obtain quarters from ATMs, as they only dispense paper cash.
You’ll need to speak with a teller directly to request quarters for your cash.
Most laundromats, especially older ones, have coin-operated laundry machines.
For this reason, laundromats also have quarter machines on-site that enable customers to exchange their cash for quarters before doing a load of laundry.
Therefore, the laundromat is one of the best places to get quarters fast.
If the laundromat doesn’t have an automated machine that will give you quarters, you can ask an employee if they can exchange your cash manually.
The only downside to this is if you are trying to get quarters outside of normal hours.
Since laundromats tend to stay open 24 hours a day, you can go in the middle of the night.
The downside is there might not be an employee on duty, or they might not have access to the cash register for security reasons.
Finally, obtaining quarters from the laundromat is practical if you only need a couple of dollars’ worth of quarters.
If you need to exchange more, stop by the bank instead.
#3. Local Car Wash
Car washes are another notorious establishment known for only accepting quarters to operate their systems.
Like laundromats, many car washes have automated machines near the office or entrance where you can exchange cash for quarters.
You can ask a staff member to exchange the cash if no automated machine is available.
#4. Local Grocery Store
A Grocery store is a good place for getting some quarters, if the previously-mentioned options aren’t available.
Grocery stores will conveniently have a customer service counter to exchange cash for a roll of quarters.
You can also wait until you get through the checkout line and ask the cashier to exchange your dollar bills.
If you do this, it’s usually best to request a smaller number of quarters since the registers will only have a limited amount.
For a lot of quarters, head to the customer service desk.
If purchasing something from the store, you can also ask the cashier to give you back your change in quarters.
This is especially true if you aren’t after a specific number of quarters but like to keep some on hand.
Similarly, if you have no cash to exchange but still need quarters, you can request ‘cash back’ when paying for an item on your debit card.
This will allow the cashier to open the register for the requested amount, and you can then ask to have it returned in smaller change, such as quarters.
For those that venture out on long road trips or encounter toll roads, having a supply of quarters ready can help you get through those tolls quicker without digging for smaller change or waiting in line to get your cash exchanged by a toll agent.
Just like the grocery store, gas stations can also provide you with quarters in exchange for cash, and they can be more convenient when you’re in an unfamiliar location.
When purchasing something, a gas station may be more willing to exchange your cash for quarters.
So, fill up your tank, grab a soda, and pay with a larger bill, asking for your change back in quarters.
Getting quarters from a vending machine is slightly less conventional, but it does the job.
Vending machines are designed to dispense leftover change in coins, and most will use quarters.
Be warned that if a machine is running low on quarters, it may dispense dimes or nickels instead.
Assuming a machine will likely disburse quarters, you can quickly put a dollar into the bill slot, push the button for return change, and receive back four quarters.
If successful, you can repeat this process for as many quarters as you need or until the machine runs low.
This method may only get you a few dollars worth of coins. So, for anything more, you’re probably better off exchanging your cash at the bank or a grocery store.
Although they aren’t as popular as they once were, arcades are still a great place to pick up some quarters if you manage to find one nearby.
The only catch is that some arcades are moving away from quarters and towards tokens.
As a result, it is best to check what the arcade games use so you don’t waste your time putting a dollar into the coin machine and getting back tokens instead of quarters.
Restaurants and cafes can also be reliable locations to get a roll of quarters.
There are a few ways that you can ask to exchange cash for quarters at a restaurant:
- If you are a paying customer, ask for your change back in quarters. Most registers will open automatically when making a purchase and paying with cash, so it’s easier to request your change back in quarters.
- If you aren’t making a purchase, ask a manager to exchange your cash. Since the register will likely need to be opened manually, you’ll have to wait for a manager or supervisor to get the key and unlock it.
- Ask to exchange your cash for change in a tip jar. Independent eateries or cafes may have tip jars near the register. Customers frequently leave behind tips in small change, and these coins can be annoying for employees to divide up later. Some establishments may be willing to exchange your cash for quarters from the tip jar, but speaking with a manager first is vital, as not all places will be open to this.
You may also have a better chance of getting quarters at fast-food restaurants rather than casual or fine-dining establishments.
Customers are more likely to pay with cash at fast food joints, so fast food establishments will usually have enough change.
A bar is another good option as they always have a good amount of cash on hand.
Of course, if you are looking for many quarters, your best bet is to return to your local bank.
But you can’t go wrong by visiting a bar if you only need one dollar or so worth of quarters.
#10. Retail Stores
All retail stores and big box stores will be able to make change for you.
The easiest way is to visit any cash register, ask the employee for change, and then specify how you want the change.
In some rare cases, they may require you to buy something first.
If this happens, don’t rush to grab the first thing you see, like a candy bar or a pack of gum.
Many of the items around the checkout line are not worth the money.
Take your time and find something you will actually use that doesn’t cost a lot of money.
Another option is to skip the cash register and head right to the customer service desk, as they will also be willing to make change for you.
#11. Post Office
The Post Office is a place you think to get money orders, but not when looking for loose change, but it is an option.
The postal employees will have a limited amount of cash, so you can only exchange a small amount of money.
In fact, this option would be one of the last places I would suggest trying on this list.
That is unless, of course, there is one very close to where you are.
#12. Convenience Store
Your local convenience store is a simple and fast place to make change.
A lot of people live near a 7-11 or other type of corner market, so you can quickly exchange a few dollars for quarters.
The catch is going late at night when most convenience stores have a very limited amount of cash on them.
During these times, even if you make a small purchase, the employee might hesitate to give you the type of change you desire because they don’t have access to more cash until the next day.
#13. Movie Theaters
Movie theaters are overlooked since most people only think about the concessions.
While you could go to this area and ask them to break a dollar for you, you can do so much faster by looking for an arcade.
Many movie theaters have an arcade, with change machines for you to use.
#14. Soda Machines
If you know of a place that has a soda machine, you know of a great way to get quarters.
Insert your bill and then push the button to get your money back.
In most cases, you will get change instead of your bill back.
The downside is that if the machine is running low on quarters, you could get dimes and nickels back.
If you are in a pinch and there happens to be a hotel nearby, you can try to get quarters there.
While the front desk won’t have a large supply of change, they will be able to give a few dollars worth of quarters.
The mall is an option because they tend to have large play areas for small kids.
In the past, the mall wouldn’t have even made this list.
But since they are struggling, they are doing everything possible to attract shoppers.
One way is by having an indoor playground for kids.
While most of the equipment is free, some require you to pay.
As a result, a change machine will be on hand.
#17. Bowling Alley
In addition to bowling, most bowling alleys have arcades, so you have something to do before or after you bowl, even if you are waiting for a lane to open.
These arcades will have a coin machine for which you can change out dollars.
At the very least, even if they don’t have a coin machine, they will have a vending machine or a soda machine, both of which can give you coins.
Another great option, if you are in a bind, is a library.
Again, you aren’t going to be able to change $20 worth of cash into quarters, but you will be able to cash a few bucks.
You might even get lucky and find a soda machine you can use too.
#19. College Campus
Most college campuses have washing machines and dryers that operate on quarters, so it’s a safe bet that there will be a coin machine somewhere on campus.
The only downside is the machines might be in the dorms, and unless you are a student, you won’t have access to them.
The solution could be to befriend a student, see if they will do it for you, and bring you back the quarters.
#20. High School Football And Basketball Games
If you have ever been to a high school football or basketball game, there is a concession stand selling drinks and food.
You can ask the workers there to change a few dollars for you.
The downside to this option is that the football games are usually only on Friday nights or
Saturday afternoons, so you are out of luck the rest of the time.
While basketball games are played more frequently, it’s a shot in the dark unless you know the team’s schedule.
If you’ve tried every place in town and still need help getting enough quarters, your last stop can be at your local pharmacy, like Rite Aid or CVS.
An advantage of getting quarters at a pharmacy is that many locations are open 24/7, so
you can get quarters at any time, usually without waiting in long lines.
Like many other establishments, a pharmacy will probably only exchange a few dollars for quarters.
However, getting a few dollars in quarters shouldn’t be too much of an issue, especially if you also make a purchase and ask nicely!
#22. Toll Booths
This one is hit or miss; you must drive on a toll road to make it work.
And the toll road still needs to have toll booth attendants working and not have it all be electronic.
If you meet these requirements, this is a great place to get a small number of quarters.
#23. Little Kids
Do you have small kids or know of small kids in the neighborhood?
Chances are they have a piggy bank filled with quarters and loose change.
You can ask them to give you four quarters for a dollar.
Most will be happy too.
But some will see giving up four things for one thing as a bad deal as they don’t understand the concept of money.
#24. Ask Others
Don’t have little kids around?
Another option is to simply ask others.
Ask neighbors, family members, or co-workers to see if they have any spare change on them.
Your co-worker might be a long shot, but a neighbor might be an option since they could have a change jar in their house.
And often, they will be happy to get rid of many coins for paper money.
#25. Around Your House
Chances are you have some quarters lying around your house.
There may be a change jar you or someone puts loose coins into.
Check pockets of clothing, junk drawers, and your dryer.
You could also check between couch cushions as sometimes coins fall there.
While you aren’t likely to find many coins, you might get lucky if you only need a couple of quarters.
#26. Street Performers
Another long shot is to approach street performers.
Most passersby will toss them loose change as they perform.
You can ask if they would be willing to exchange the loose change for bills.
If they are unsure, sell them on the fact that if people see bills and not coins, another passerby might be willing to toss a bill or two instead of change.
#27. Social Media
I’ll admit, this one is a long shot.
But if you’ve come this far, my guess is you are willing to try anything to get some quarters.
You can post on local groups you belong to on social media to see if anyone might be willing to exchange cash for coins for you.
Doing this increases your circle from the previous point about asking people you know.
These are 27 of the best places for where to get quarters.
While you won’t need to use all of these options, knowing all the many places you can get quarters when you need them is key.
You never know when or where you will be when you suddenly need a handful of quarters.
Having a solid list of options takes away the most challenging and most time-consuming part of the process.
All you have to do is make the exchange and be on your way.
I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
Visit my About Me page to learn more about me and why I am your trusted personal finance expert.