UPDATE: As of March 2015, TD Bank’s fee for non-customers using their Penny Arcade coin-counting machine is 8 percent.
Coined as “America’s Most Convenient Bank,” TD Bank started charging non-customers back in November to use their “Penny Arcade” coin counting machine. An interesting decision by TD, as the service drove over 6 million non-customers a year to TD branches.
If you are like us, you know counting change can be annoying. This is why TD Banks decision to begin charging non-customers is kind of a bummer. The service, which was free-for-all, now charges those who don’t have an account a 6 percent fee.
While this move to charge will no doubt upset the millions of non-customers who use the service every year, TD Bank feels is was the best decision for their current customers.
When asked why the change was made, a spokesperson for the bank indicated that a number of customers and employees were complaining that non-customers who use the machine were negatively impacting the service (Source. American Banker).
Should you continue to TD Bank’s coin counting service?
So for all the non-customers out there looking to easily count their change, is it worth paying the 6 percent fee? We compared TD Bank’s new fee to one of the largest coin counting service in the United States, Coinstar (coinstar.com) and found the TD Bank fee may still be the best option.
To date, Coinstar currently changes 9.8 cents per dollar counted or 9.8 percent. (Update: As of March 2015, Coinstar charges 11 percent.)
If the average U.S. household has about $90 of spare change laying around, it would cost you the following in fees to convert it to cash:
Using % $
TD Bank 6% $5.40
Coin Star 9.8% $8.82
Rolling the coins yourself 0% $0
The last option is one that we may see many consumers go back to. Consumer Reports Money Blog, who first reported on this change saw their readers offer mix responses, but mostly positive.
Once comment read: “I am a customer of TD and it never made sense to me that non customers received the same convenience at no cost to them. If they want the service for free then they should bank with them. I am sure their bank doesn’t provide free coin counting. TD is a fantastic bank and not a non-profit and the bottom line is coin-counting machines and the processing of the coin is expensive! All you have to do is be a customer!”
In 2008 Canadian financial institution, TD Bank acquired Commerce Bank and since than has kept most perks, such as being open 7 days a week, allowing dogs and offering dog treats.
While their consumers love these perks, some changes have not received as much love. A number of the reviews on TD Bank have been around customer service, pointing out how the attitude at the bank has changed since the acquisition.
How do you feel about the move to start charging consumers to use the Penny Arcade coin counting machine?