Article | 2:00 min read

What is a Coin Shortage?


Spend your coins – they’re bored!

Jar of coins

The United States is facing a disruption in coin circulation, and many businesses only accept contactless payments or exact change for transactions. A coin shortage affects the businesses and banks you use in your day-to-day life.
Coins that were being used at retailers and vending machines are now sitting in piggy banks and change jars. Learn how you can help get those pennies and dimes back into circulation!

What is a coin shortage?

A coin shortage means the demand for coins exceeds the available supply. Places like restaurants, laundromats, grocery stores, gas stations, and even banks, do not have enough coins for customers. This can make it difficult for businesses to give change to customers who pay in cash, those who rely heavily on coins. Businesses are asking customers to pay with contactless payments, such as debit or credit cards, or pay with exact change.

Why is there a shortage?

There are many reasons as to why we’re experiencing a shortage of coins. The COVID-19 pandemic caused many businesses to close their doors – meaning customers did not have the opportunity to pay with cash or coins for a long period of time.

How does this affect me?

The coin shortage hurts people whose only option is to pay using physical cash, as well as businesses who might lose customers that are not able to pay in exact change.
Now, because of the shortage, small transactions might be difficult to make. Most people do not pay with exact change, and unfortunately, businesses don’t have the change to give you.

What can I do to help?

  1. Exchange Your Coins for Cash
    Want to receive some extra money? Get your coins moving and bring them into a Central Bank location to exchange for cash.
    Find a Coin Counter
  2. Pay with Coins
    Crack open that piggy bank! Spend coins at local businesses to add them back in circulation.
  3. Deposit Coins into Kiosks
    Now is a good time to search for loose change around your house – couch cushions, old coat pockets, the washer or dryer, in your vehicle – and trade in coins for dollars. Find a nearby coin kiosk or coin-counting machine. These machines are often available at banks, grocery stores, or retail locations.
  4. Educate Children
    Looking for a way to educate your kids about money? Use this guide from the Get Coin Moving Campaign to talk to them about recent news reports of coin scarcity.

The information provided in these articles is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as the opinion of Central Bancompany, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and does not imply endorsement or support of any of the mentioned information, products, services, or providers. All information presented is without any representation, guaranty, or warranty regarding the accuracy, relevance, or completeness of the information.