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How to Exchange Foreign Coins

Updated February 21, 2017

Throughout a trip to another country, a visitor collects foreign coins after paying for items and getting change. Sometimes a traveller is unable to unload all the foreign coins before going home. It's possible to exchange coins at the airport before returning home, but if a traveller waits until getting home, the cost for exchange rises. Some visitors choose to keep foreign coins as a memento of an international trip because mailing in the coins to exchange services costs too much.

Exchanging foreign coins

Take the coins to the foreign exchange counter at major international airports, where the coins can be exchanged before you fly home.

Call a local travel agency to inquire about coin exchange. Some travel agencies exchange coins as a courtesy to customers, but might charge a fee if you didn't exchange the coins at the airport.

Find a mail-in exchange service. These services exchange coins for a fee, but it's often expensive. Sometimes the company accepts only higher-value coins and not coins worth only a penny or a few pennies.

Mail the foreign coins and wait for the service to count the coins and mail a cheque

Mail the coins to UNICEF's Change for Good program (see Resources). UNICEF is an international charity that collects foreign coins. The donation might be tax deductible.

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About the Author

Kristine Brite worked as a community journalist and public relations specialist before moving onto freelance writing. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Indiana University and has six years of professional writing experience.