Where & How to Get Quarters in 2022 (5 Tips)

These days, most of us go around using plastic for just about everything: bills, dining, shopping, etc. And coins are becoming more and more obsolete for things like parking meters and even vending machines. Nevertheless, in many places around the country you still might need to pull out some quarters for various needs.

In this article, I’ll show you different ways that you can get quarters (including rolls of quarters) in this day and age and give you some tips so you don’t end up wasting time and in some cases money. 

Getting quarters from the bank

The first place you might think of when you need to exchange dollar bills for quarters is the bank and you’re mostly correct that it’s a good place to check out. Banks will have “quarter rolls” which are rolls full of 40 quarters that comes out to $10.

Thus, if you want to exchange cash for an entire quarter roll, you’ll need $10 in cash. Of course, you can ask for less than that, it just makes thing easier when your request is in $10 increments. 

Here’s the thing about heading to banks to get your quarters: they won’t always do it for you.

If you are a customer of that bank (meaning you have something like a checking account or savings account) they should honor your request. In that case, you could also make a withdrawal specifically for quarters or simply tell the teller that you’re in need of quarters. 

If you are not a customer, you might be met with some resistance for your request. For example, some banks might be hesitant to honor your request and say something like “we don’t exchange money here” (because what kind of financial institution would do something of the sort, right?).

Sometimes you can simply ask them to make a one-time exception and they might do it. Your odds of them saying yes to your request are better with smaller amounts. For example, you will usually be more successful asking for one roll of quarters versus three. 

Other banks like Wells Fargo might be more accepting and will honor your request even if you are not a customer but many times it just comes down to your specific location and what kind of day the teller has had. 

If you know you will be needing quarters on a regular basis over the span of several months or years, you probably should have a bank account with a local bank where you can always go in and get quarters without issues.

Just watch out for the bank fees which could end up costing you something like $10 or $15 a month and thus not be worth it in many cases. Also be on the lookout for ways to get free money when opening up an account.

If you’re worried about a bank refusing your request then simply call around your town to inquire about whether or not they will honor your request.

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

Head to a grocery store or corner store

Many stores, such as grocery stores, gas stations, and some pharmacies, will exchange your dollar bills for quarters but you’ll typically need to make a purchase. For a grocery store, you can simply purchase something like a piece of candy or bottle of water and then ask for change in quarters.

You might have better odds if you approach the customer service desk at many places, too. At these desks, you may not have to make a purchase at all and they may be more willing to give up rolls of quarters. This would be my recommenced approach.    

Depending on how they are stocked in their register, stores may have to limit your quarter request to a certain amount. Often you may be limited to only $5 or $10 worth of quarters but this type of thing will just depend on the place. Once you start asking for over $10 worth of quarters, that’s when things really start to get difficult. 

(This is when being extra polite can go a long way.)  

If you need a lot of quarters then simply rinse and repeat this process at different stores and eventually you’ll have all the quarters you need. This approach is good for Sundays especially when banks are typically closed but note that the customer service desks might be closed during very early or late hours. 

Vending machines 

You could also insert a larger bill into a vending machine to get quarters. For example, you could insert a $5 to pay for a $1 snack and get 16 quarters back. Or some machines allowed you to hit the “change” button right after you insert your bills and you wouldn’t actually have to purchase anything.  

The only risk with this is that if the machine is low on quarters, it’s possible that it could spit you out dimes. Also, these typically only work on more “old-school” vending machines.  

This same type of trick could be applied to other machines where quarters are often used like car washes, arcades, etc. Car washes can be good places if you need change late at night when other places are closed. Just make sure the machine is dispensing quarters and not tokens for the car wash.

Laundromats

If you need quarters for laundry, many laundromats should have change machines located inside and many are also open late at night or even open 24/7. Back when I lived in Berkeley, California, I don’t recall a laundry mat ever NOT having a change machine on the inside but I know many others are not so lucky. 

The only problem was that occasionally that machine would run out of change or it would not be functioning so be prepared with a back up plan. 

Also, there may be some ethical issues with utilizing quarter machines at places like laundromats. Your use takes a toll on the machine and could cost the business owner maintenance costs and inconvenience their paying customers.

Street performers 

Street performers often have a lot of change, such as quarters. You might be able to approach them (when they are not performing) and ask if they are willing to exchange. Having a large bill on display could help their odds of getting bigger tips but they might also ask for more value in the exchange so you might have to trade $5 in cash for $4 in quarters, etc.

Pre-1965 quarters are worth more $

If you’re dealing with quarters a lot there’s something you should know. Before 1965, all quarters were made of 90% real silver. This means that the silver in those quarters makes the quarter worth much more than 25 cents.

Of course, you can’t use the quarter for more than 25 cents at a store but you could hold on to that quarter and potentially sale or trade it.

The value will depend on the silver spot at the time but the quarter could be worth around $3.50. Check here for the latest estimated amount in value for pre-1965 quarters. 

So this is just something to keep in mind. 

old silver quarters

Tip: The best back-up plan is to have a stash of quarters. Whenever you pull out quarter rolls or you get quarters you should always try to pick up an amount that is 2X or 3X the amount you’ll need at that time. This will help remove a lot of the headache when dealing with quarters. 

FAQ

How many quarters are in a roll?

A full quarter roll contains 40 quarters.

How many quarters are in 10 dollars?

40 quarters comes out to $10.

How many quarters are in 5 dollars?

20 quarters comes out to $5.

How much is 100 quarters worth?

100 quarters comes out to $25.

Do vending machines take $20 bills?

Many vending machines do not take 20s unless they have the ability to give change in dollar bills. Therefore, it’s very rare to receive quarters as change when paying at a vending machine with a $20 bill.

What quarters are worth more?

Pre-1965 quarters were made of 90% real silver and are worth much more than 25 cents. The exact value will depend on the silver spot at the time but the quarter could be worth around $3.50.

Final word 

As we move more into the future, I’m sure coins will eventually be completely obsolete. But for now, many people still need to use quarters for various purposes and some even depend on them for daily tasks like laundry or even parking. I’d recommend getting set up with a bank for quarter needs but if they are closed then head to to a customer service desk at a grocery store.    

10 comments

  1. I’ve found that credit unions are usually pretty lenient in this regard (coin rolls, strapped currency, etc) — more so than banks — and especially when it comes to non-customers/non-members. But then again they tend to have a slightly different focus.

    You can actually get a lot of “gratis” service from CUs when traveling, especially if you are a member of a CU back home (and can prove it with a debit card etc). Shared branches (and shared branch networks) are also under-utilized (and most people are unaware of the option), although with digital age its becoming less and less of a need.

  2. We can’t find any stores that will trade cash for quarters. They say they are hard to get and can’t spare any. My daughter and I are both disabled and get SSI. Our monthly payment comes on a card. I guess we will have to try to get a small savings account then we can get quarters.

  3. Right now I can’t even get quarters at my bank. And my local laundry has no quarter machine. I’m having to do laundry by hand and hang dry. Ridiculous.

  4. Many of these places no longer give out rolls of quarters, especially here in Florida where a lot of seasonal vacationers use community washers and dryers. You pretty much have to collect them over time.

    1. Hi Daniel,
      As a car wash owner/operator, I can definitely NOT RECOMMEND that your readers go to their local car wash to get quarters.

      Your readers should know that some car washes often use Golden Dollars as well as no-cash-value tokens in their change machines to prevent their changer from running out from this type of misuse. We in the car wash industry have a big problem with this and we don’t encourage it.

      I totally agree with the commenter above that said laundry facilities should have their own changer if they accept quarters! Many laundromats accept credit cards now. Getting a prepaid Visa could be a solution for those without a credit card who need to do laundry. Just make sure to create an account and register it as some card readers will not accept unregistered prepaid cards.

      Most car wash operators today have credit card readers on all equipment – we do! However, half of our business is cash due to customer preference. If I don’t have quarters, I potentially lose half my business. Our actual customers who use the quarters in our equipment help replenish the supply of coins because we pull them from the vaults, wash them, then refill the changer with the clean quarters

      When the general public uses a car wash changer and doesn’t make a purchase, in all actuality it is a theft of services. Often, non-customers will bring several $10 or $20 bills to get quarters, then leave without patronizing the business. They may not realize that they are increasing the wear and tear on the changer, which can get very costly to repair.
      In addition, they do it several times a week – especially when it rains or we’re slow- and the vaults don’t contain enough quarters to refill the changer to the daily threshold we maintain to prevent from running out.

      Sure, we could take extra time from our day (I have a job and my husband spends several hours a day at the wash- in addition to managing rentals) to travel to the bank to replenish our quarters that were completely wiped out the day after we just pulled the vaults. But that of course costs us even more and why should we bear the responsibility for providing quarters to those who should just plan ahead and go to the bank themselves? The credit union is great. Ours has a $5 minimum to open an account and doesn’t charge a monthly fee. Our local banks also have plenty of quarters – Some require an account to purchase quarters while others charge a nominal fee if you don’t have an account.

      Our next step is to spend several thousand on retrofitting the coin acceptors on our equipment and upgrading our changer to dispense US Golden Dollars or custom alloy tokens. This is a very large expense for our very small business but unfortunately it is necessary now.

      I appreciate your time in reading my comment and I hope it helps clear the air about this issue.

  5. I’m not sure where you live but in the last three big towns where I’ve lived (New Orleans, San Francisco, Memphis) as well as the smaller town where I live now (Lawrence KS) banks provide quarters ONLY if you currently have an account and grocery stores do not provide them at all.

  6. Hi Donita, Well said! Not all people are jerks though, some just do not think about the consequences of their actions. Some don’t realize how businesses work, so they just think it is a service you provide to the public. Some rationalize their actions with twisted logic, like: If I throw my trash out the window, I am providing work for sanitation employees to earn a living. Okay, some are jerks 🙂
    I read this post because I am in search of quarters to find the West Point mint mark issued to reinvigorate the coin collecting community, but they didn’t tell us how to get coin!

  7. Not only does Bank of America make you wait in huge lines, they only give 1 roll of quarters at a time due to this shortage. This has been going on all of 2021, and now well into 2022 with no end in site. I’m not sure if that’s the case at other banks.

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