Where To Get Quarters: Uncovering 12 Paths to Change


You can get quarters from a financial institution, gas station, vending machine, or from family and friends. However, because of the pandemic and resulting coin shortage, many of these places may only provide a certain number of quarters.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to shortages in various goods across the U.S., including quarters. This coin shortage was caused by several factors, including the temporary closure or reduced hours of retail businesses, where coins typically circulate. However, there was also a decrease in coin production at the U.S. Mint due to social distancing measures.

While stores reopened, the demand for coins increased but the supply did not, making quarters a valuable commodity. As a result, many people have had difficulty finding places to obtain quarters for everyday use, such as bus fare or laundry. So what are some of the best places to get quarters? Keep reading to learn more about where you can find quarters for laundry, bus rides, and other activities.

1. Financial institutions

One option for obtaining a large number of quarters is by visiting a bank or credit union. Financial institutions typically offer $10 rolls of quarters, containing 40 quarters each, which can be sufficient for multiple loads of laundry.

To get quarters, you can visit a local bank or credit union and request a roll of quarters from the bank teller. This can be done by drawing the money from an account or by exchanging a $10 bill for coins. To make an easy transaction, it’s best to keep the requested amount in multiples of $10.

However, it’s important to note that not all institutions may provide this service to those without a bank account through them. As such, it may be necessary to call ahead to check the bank’s rules and limits on coin rolls.

Pro Tip

If you need more than a few quarters, you may have to visit multiple branches. This is because some institutions may limit the number of coin rolls you can get. If you need several rolls of quarters, call ahead to see how many quarters you can receive from one branch.

2. Convenience stores

Convenience stores may not be the ideal choice for purchasing food due to their limited selection and higher prices. However, when looking for quarters, they do have some advantages.

Convenience stores tend to handle a lot of cash transactions, making it more likely that they have change available. Additionally, they’re often open during times when other businesses are closed.

To get quarters from a convenience store, just approach the register and ask to exchange some dollars for quarters. Similar to grocery stores, a small purchase may be required in order to open the cash register.

IMPORTANT! Keep in mind that if it’s late at night, the cashier may not be able to provide much change as the amount in the cash drawer is limited.

3. Gas stations

Gas stations, which often have extended hours of operation, may be another way to get quarters. They often have cash registers with small change available, especially if they have a convenience store attached.

To get a few quarters, you can walk into the store and ask for change at the cash register or customer service counter. As with other options, you may need to make a small purchase first. You can pay with a larger bill and ask for quarters in change or pay with a debit card and request cash back in the form of quarters. Just remember that gas stations may not be able to provide the full change in quarters.

Pro Tip

If the station only has gas pumps and an attendant, you can try obtaining change by prepaying in cash for a tank of gas. You can do this by paying for more than you expect to use and then asking for the change. That said, this may not get you any quarters, as not all gas stations accept coins as payment.

4. Grocery stores

Obtaining quarters at a grocery store can be done through a couple of methods. The first option is visiting the customer service desk and requesting to exchange a $10 bill for a roll of quarters. However, you may have to purchase something first.

Another option is to go to the checkout, make a small purchase, and then ask the cashier if they can exchange a couple of bills for quarters while the cash register is open. If this request is also denied, you can pay for the purchase in cash using a debit card or bill larger than the purchase amount and request your change in quarters. But remember that grocery stores don’t keep that much change on hand, so you may still need to swing by a bank or credit union.

5. Fast food establishments

Fast food restaurants, which often handle cash transactions, may also be a source of getting quarters. While most fast food establishments do not have customer service desks, you can try asking for change at the checkout.

Since some fast food restaurants have a tip jar on the counter, you can also ask to exchange your dollars for quarters from the jar. Just make sure you ask the cashier for permission before doing so.

6. Laundromats

Laundromats, particularly older ones, often have coin-operated machines that require quarters to operate. Becuase of this, they usually have a change machine or a staff member on the premises who can give you quarters (though it’s usually limited to a few dollars’ worth).

Keep in mind that some laundromats’ machines do not dispense quarters but rather tokens that are only usable on their machines. Additionally, some laundromats may not give change unless a load of laundry is done first. To avoid inconvenience, it’s best to call or ask about the laundromat’s policies before using.

IMPORTANT! Not all laundromats are open 24/7, and the staff may not be able to make change at all hours. Even if they can, the register may be locked after a certain time.

7. Pharmacies

Pharmacies, such as CVS and Rite Aid, are another type of business that is open late and can provide quarters. They typically have coins in the register and are willing to exchange a few dollars for a customer. Additionally, the lines at these stores are often shorter than those at grocery stores.

However, similar to other stores, you may need to make a small purchase in order to exchange cash for quarters. You also shouldn’t expect to get more than a few dollars worth of quarters.

8. Vending machines

You can also get quarters from vending machines, as they typically accept dollar bills and provide change in coins. For example, by inserting two dollars and making a $1.50 purchase, you can get two quarters in change.

That said, this method isn’t guaranteed to work since the vending machine may be out of quarters and provide dimes or nickels instead.

Pro Tip

You may be able to hack a vending machine by putting in a dollar and immediately hitting the “return change” button, but it is not guaranteed that the machine will provide quarters. It may spit out the dollar back, or you may end up with a bunch of nickels and dimes instead.

9. Coin-operated car washes

Coin-operated car washes also rely on quarters, and they often have change machines located in the office or near the entrance, and for those that don’t have change machines, the staff can make change at the customer service desk.

Just remember that some car washes, like laundromats, don’t use quarters. Instead, they have their own tokens that only work in their machines. So, it’s best to check with the staff before getting change to ensure that you will receive legal tender.

10. Retail chains

You can go to the customer service desk or checkout at any major retail store such as Walmart or Target and ask for change. However, like other stores, they may not give you change if you haven’t made a purchase.

11. Arcades

While video game arcades aren’t as prevalent as they used to be, they can be great places to get quarters. Old-school video games require quarters, so most arcades have a change machine or cashier with plenty of quarters.

IMPORTANT! As with laundromats and car washes, check the machine carefully before inserting a dollar, as many arcades use tokens in place of quarters.

12. Friends and family

If you need quarters quickly, try asking your friends, family, or coworkers if they have any loose change you can use. However, during a coin shortage, they may not be willing to give them up, so be understanding if they decline your request. If they do give you some quarters, be ready to return the favor when they need change in the future.


Does CVS give quarters?

CVS, as a retail store, may not have a dedicated service for giving quarters, but it may have a Coinstar machine that allows customers to convert their change into cash or gift cards. Alternatively, some CVS stores have self-checkout registers that give change in coins, including quarters.

Some CVS stores might also have a cashier that can provide you with quarters if you pay them with exact change or with a bill and get some change back. However, it’s worth noting that during a coin shortage, CVS stores may not have enough quarters to give out.

What is the most wanted quarter?

The most wanted quarter can vary depending on the coin collector or numismatist. Some quarters may be considered highly valuable due to their rarity, historical significance, or condition.

For example, the 1804 Draped Bust quarter is considered one of the most valuable and rare quarters, with only 15 known to exist. The 1913 Barber quarter is also considered rare and valuable. Additionally, quarters from the Statehood quarter series (1999-2008) that have errors or misprints are also highly sought after by collectors. Also, keep an eye out for any quarters minted before 1965 as these are made of 90% silver, which are highly valued by collectors.

What year is the rarest quarter?

The rarest quarter can vary depending on the collector’s perspective, but generally speaking, the 1804 Draped Bust quarter is considered one of the rarest and most valuable quarters. Only 15 known examples of this quarter exist, making it extremely rare and highly sought after by collectors.

Additionally, the 1913 Barber quarter is also considered a rare and valuable coin, as only a few examples are known to exist. The 1823 Capped Bust quarter is also considered quite rare.

What state quarter is hardest to find?

The state quarter that is hardest to find can vary depending on the specific coin and the year it was minted. However, some of the state quarters that are considered to be more difficult to find include:

  • The 2000-P South Carolina state quarter. There were reports of a mintage error resulting in fewer of these quarters being produced.
  • The 2008-P Oklahoma state quarter. Again, a mintage error resulted in fewer quarters produced around this time.
  • The 2008-P Arizona state quarter. Also reported to have a mintage error resulting in fewer of these quarters being produced.
  • The 2004-D Wisconsin state quarter. Some collectors have reported difficulty finding this quarter in circulation, possibly due to a lower mintage.

It’s worth noting that the above-mentioned state quarters aren’t extremely rare, and you can still find them in circulation. They’re considered scarce or hard to find because they were minted in lower numbers compared to other state quarters.

Key Takeaways

  • The 2020 pandemic led to a coin shortage that left quarters hard to find. This was both because retail businesses closed and because the U.S. Mint produced fewer quarters.
  • You can get quarters from grocery stores, laundromats, a bank or credit union, or even an arcade.
  • While you can get quarters from several locations, you may have to purchase something first.
  • If you’re trying to get quarters from a laundromat, coin-operated car wash, or arcade, make sure you can get quarters back instead of tokens.
View Article Sources
  1. Quarter — U.S. Mint
  2. Redesigning Circulating Quarters, Half Dollars, and Dollar Coins: Current and Future Designs — Congressional Research Service
  3. How Many Quarters Are In A Roll? — SuperMoney
  4. How Much Does a Dime Weigh? The Weight of U.S. Coins — SuperMoney
  5. Depression vs. Recession: Here Are The Differences — SuperMoney
  6. How Much Does It Cost To Make A Penny vs. A Bitcoin Penny? — SuperMoney
  7. 1943 Steel Penny Value vs. World’s Most Expensive Coins — SuperMoney