I have never used one of these Coinstar machines. My thinking was always along the lines of "Really? You want me to pay you 9% to count my change? Am I really that lazy?" I may actually be that lazy in a lot of other ways, but not this one. I'll count/spend my change, thank you very much.
But a couple of weeks ago, a friend posted the new Coinstar Promo on his Facebook status. Here's how it works. You redeem $40 of change for a$40 gift card, and you get a free $10 gift card as a bonus. Sweet deal, right? I figured I would go to the bank and ask for $400 in quarters, and go claim my free $100 in gift cards. Gift cards include major retailers such as Amazon, iTunes, Starbucks and Old Navy. All merchants that I am likely patronize anyway.
So, how come I'm not participating?
Well, upon reading the complete rules, it just sounds like too much trouble for not enough return. For example, the rules state "Limit 1 per name, address, or household." There goes my idea of plunking down $400 in quarters. Okay, so I could use different addresses and variations on my name. I could use my work address, home, my parents' house, etc. But now we're walking down the path of "too much trouble."
Second, I can't redeem the $40 part for cash. I have to get a gift card. So, now I'm stuck with a bunch of gift cards. Am I going to use them in a timely enough fashion to be worthwhile? I don't know, I have a $25 Starbucks gift card sitting in my desk drawer. Been there for about two months. What if I do this, and am sitting on a couple hundred dollars of Starbucks, Amazon or Old Navy cards for the next year?
Third, you have to mail in the claim form that you receive from the machine for your $10 gift card. This means an extra 42 cents (or whatever postage is), the hassle of scanning my claim form (gotta have proof in case they lose it or something), and waiting 6-8 weeks for my $10 gift card.
Finally, I would rather buy gift cards at Costco. They sell a bunch of gift cards at a discount, including Starbucks and iTunes. In fact, the Starbucks gift cards that they sell are $100 in gift cards for $80. Gee, that sounds like the same discount ratio that I would get through the Coinstar promo. And I wouldn't have to go to the bank, haul a bunch of coins, and wait 6-8 weeks. Not to mention that I can get credit card points for my purchase at Costco (American Express, at least).
So, while I love a good deal, I'll take a pass on this one.