A few weeks ago at Easter the E.B. ran out of candy for the eggs. Oops. We decided to raid the change jar and I was actually surprised at how much change we have. The children were very very happy with their surprise coin eggs and I got a surprise idea.
While waiting in line at customer service at Walmart one day I noticed on the Coinstar screen that you could get e-certificates for places like Starbucks, Toys “R” Us and even Amazon! The best part? No fee! So instead of paying the standard 10% of each dollar to coin star for sorting your money (no way) you get all of your change applied towards an e- certificate to a place you already use! This was my chance to give it a shot.
Monday morning, I grabbed our big mason jar of change, and headed out to my local Walmart. I was disappointed that they did not have the e-certificates available at their Coinstar but that’s fine… They’re everywhere, right? So I tried two more places and still no luck. I was pretty frustrated and also afraid I missed the promotion.
I decided to call the grocery store by my house and asked the manager. The manager was kind enough to go over to the coin star machine and check it for me. It was available, so I grabbed the mason jar again and headed out.
When I got to the Coinstar this was the screen that I saw. There were a lot more choices on my screen that day and I wish I had gotten as picture of that screen. Apparently, each Coinstar location has its own list of available the certificates which is subject to change.
There is a five dollar minimum, but I knew I would have no problem reaching that amount. In fact, I was trying to reach $49 so that I could get free shipping on the big Amazon order I was itching to make (I don’t have Amazon prime, I know I know I really need it).
After touching the start button it asked me if I wanted cash with a 10% fee, or an e-certificate. I looked through the e-certificates available and chose Amazon. Then I simply emptied my change into the counter and waited for the machine to count it. When I was done it printed this e-certificate .
Pretty easy, huh? I was excited. I raced home to get on my Amazon account to make my order. It was a little tricky finding all of the things that I wanted within the “free shipping on orders over $49” purchase shipping deal. I finally did and was ready to check out, but ran into another problem.
On the payment option page, I put in my code from Coinstar under gift cards and promotional codes. I had no problem there; the code applied immediately. It would not, however, allow me to continue to the end. I was hesitant to put in a credit card (because I wanted to do a post on using these e-certificates for kids that don’t have credit cards on their account). However it would not let me complete the purchase without it. I emailed customer service but they said a credit card is necessary, and gave me a list of reasons why it’s totally safe. Which I’m sure that it is; Amazon is one of the biggest retailers in the world, but for my purposes it was a bit of a snafu. After I entered my credit card I was able to finish my transaction with a few pennies left on my account as an account credit.
My fun purchases arrived in a few days and other than the credit card issue, I was fully satisfied with my first Coinstar e-certificate. I’m going to try an iTunes certificate next, so check back soon!