Where Can You Get Quarters?

It used to be that you needed coins all the time.

If you used a laundromat, you needed quarters to run the machine.

If you went on a toll road, you needed coins to pay the toll.

If you parked at a meter, you needed coins to pay the meter.

Nowadays, many of those places accept credit cards or you can pay with an app on your phone. You can buy a coke and pay with plastic or a tap of your wrist.

But sometimes it’s just faster to pay with some coins. So when we get coins, I throw them in a box in our junk drawer or a special container in our car.

We love going to this local dim sum place. We probably go about once a month. The only thing we dislike is that there’s on-site parking so we have to find street metered parking. Those meters are the ones where you have to text a phone number or pay with an app. It’s just faster to feed it coins. And it’s more fun for the kids.

But what if you don’t have quarters? Where’s the best place to get quarters? How do you get quarters?

Table of Contents
  1. A Bank
  2. Grocery Store
  3. Arcades
  4. Soda Machines
  5. Make a Small Purchase

A Bank

Going to a bank (preferably where you have an account) is the simplest way – just walk into your bank and get change.

If you have a bank account there, like a checking account, then they will always give you change. You can even withdraw money from your checking account and request that it be as coins.

Some banks will make change for anyone but usually as a one-time courtesy so you shouldn’t make yourself a regular. (if you know which branch you will head to, call and see if they’ll do it to save you some time)

If you need to get change, try to go during the day when foot traffic is the lightest. If a teller is going to balk at giving you coins, it’s usually going to be when their busy and to avoid having to get more coins later.

If it’s not your bank, only ask for what you need.

Otherwise, if you’re there to get more than a dollar’s worth of quarters, try to calculate how much you need in terms of coin rolls. Each quarter roll is $10. Avoid asking for like $5 in quarters, that’ll only be annoying.

Grocery Store

Head to the customer service desk of any major grocery store and they’ll likely be able to make some change for you.

Avoid going to a register because cashiers have a limited number of coins, it’ll be hard to do more than a dollar or so. If you tap them out of coins, they’ll need to get more and that may involve paperwork, delays, and everyone starts getting annoyed.


Head to an arcade, like a Fuddruckers or Dave & Busters, and you might have luck getting quarters using their change machines. Movie theaters that have arcades may also have coin change machines you can use, hopefully without buying a movie ticket!

If you are going to use one of the coin change machines, make sure it dispenses quarters and not some kind of token only usable in that arcade. That would not be useful. 🙂

Soda Machines

One trick that may work, especially in a pinch, is if you put a dollar into a soda machine and then immediately ask for your money back. The older machines can’t return the dollar and will instead just cough up four quarters.

Make a Small Purchase

Finally, if all else fails, head to a store and buy something small. When you make that purchase, ask if you can get change for a dollar.

When you need quarters, where do you go?

Are there any great places not on in this list?

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a forty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools,, everything I use) is Personal Capital, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

He is also diversifying his investment portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in a few commercial properties and farms in Illinois, Louisiana, and California through AcreTrader.

Recently, he's invested in a few pieces of art on Masterworks too.

>> Read more articles by Jim

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  1. Laura says

    Perhaps a coin-operated laundromat where they have machines that convert $5 and $10 bills into quarters.

    • Annon says

      I always go to the laundromat!!! And the one near me, actually have a dollar coin one (you can put in $20 and get 20 dollar coins back, and if you want quarters and have a bunch of dollar coins, they have a slot to put the dollar coins in to get back quarters!!)

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