Good evening everyone, happy Friday! Last weekend, I visited my grandfather down in Southern California and he gave me a bag of change. He likes to keep his change and give it to me whenever I visit him. This is how I got into coin collecting (numismatics) when I was younger, but that’s a story for another day. Anyway, whenever I have a bag of change, I take it to my local grocery store and put it in the Coinstar kiosk and select an egift card (there are no fee for egift cards). During my recent Coinstar visit, I was surprised to see that Amazon was not listed as an egift card option. After doing some digging, I learned that not all Coinstar kiosks offer Amazon egift cards and some stores offer very few egift card options. Here is what I learned…
I took some photos of the Coinstar kiosk to explain the process. Once you tap the screen, you will see the home screen. Click the green Coin Services box and then click the orange eGift Cards box.
Depending on your kiosk, you will see different egift card options. Here are the first 2 pages of egift cards. Click the left and right arrows to view more egift card options.
This is the last page and there was no Amazon egift card to be found. Once you click on a logo, it will tell you the minimum and maximum amount of change you can redeem to receive an egift card. Some egift card brands have a $5 minimum and others have a $10 minimum. If you do not meet the minimum amount, your only option is to be paid by cash voucher, which incurs “a service fee up to 12.5% + $0.50 transaction fee may apply” and “fees may vary by location.” Since there was no Amazon egift card available, I chose a Lowe’s egift card. Click the green Continue button and then dump your change in the kiosk. Pro tip: dump your change directly into the small coin slit versus dumping it into the tray and then tipping the tray toward the small coin slit. It will make the process much faster and a little quieter. Also, double check the coin return opening for any coins that did not get read properly, such as foreign coins.
When I returned home, I played around with the Coinstar Find A Kiosk page and looked at different kiosk locations in various cities. The Vons in Costa Mesa (close to my grandfather’s house) has 22 egift card options, including Amazon. I should have taken my coins here and not brought them back to the San Francisco Bay Area.
Interestingly, the Walmart in Irvine (close to where I used to live) only has 12 egift Card options, with the notable exclusions of Amazon, Apple, Lowe’s, Nike, and The Home Depot.
Closer to home, the Safeway in San Francisco has 21 egift Card option, with the only exclusion being Amazon.
Back on the Find a Kiosk page, you can click the eGift Cards drop down arrow and select a specific store, but you will notice that Amazon is missing. Therefore, there are no Coinstar kiosks in San Francisco that offer Amazon egift cards. That’s absurd!
Meanwhile, if I search for Amazon egift cards in Los Angeles, I have 30 locations available.
Based on my “extensive research,” it seems like certain regions or certain grocery store chains can select which egift cards that they offer. I’m sure Amazon would want to be available on all Coinstar kiosks, so the exclusion might be due to a certain region or grocery store chain. I am not 100% sure. I welcome any other ideas / theories / information. If you have any other questions about Coinstar kiosks, please leave a comment below. Have a great weekend everyone!