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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.

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Exchanging foreign coins

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

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