credit union sign

Banks or Credit Unions: Which is Better For Coin Roll Hunting?

A coin roll hunter is someone who goes to a bank to get rolls- or even boxes -of coins to search through in hopes of finding rare and valuable coins. Is a coin roll hunter more likely to find valuable coins at a bank or a credit union?

First, let’s look into the differences between the two types of banking systems. A bank is a business like Wells Fargo or Chase which has customers and is owned by its shareholders. A credit union on the other hand, is owned by the “customers” who are referred to as members.

Credit unions are usually smaller than banks, but are also insured (by the NCUA instead of the FDIC). Credit unions, as smaller institutions, can have more flexibility in their rates and promotional offerings, although large banks may be more willing to take steep losses.

Whether or not you bank with a bank or a credit union, which is better for coin roll hunting?

The benefit of a regular bank is that they likely get a lot more traffic. A bank probably has more members coming in each day to deposit and take out coins. This can be good for a coin collector because they can be reasonably sure they are going through different coins.

The negative of more traffic is that it increases the likelihood another customer also collects coins. Plus, a larger and busier bank will have more employees (and bank tellers are notorious for buying the good coins out of the till.)

Bank Imagery



A smaller credit union will have less coins coming in and out each day. This would make a credit union a bad place to check regularly, as many coins would be the same. A smaller bank will also have less coins on hand if you want to search through boxes

The benefit of a small bank or credit union is that it can be easier to develop a relationship with the tellers and managers. It’s great to build up a relationship so the employees can let you know if any interesting coins or old bills come in.

The Winner?

If you can pick only one, I would say a bigger and busier bank is the way to go. This way you can get a wider variety of coins each time you go in. Of course, there is no reason you can’t have more than one bank account.

One thing to consider is that credit unions often offer free savings or checking accounts. You could always open an account and keep a few dollars in there to buy coins every couple of weeks. Coming in regularly for coins is a good way to build rapport with the employees and hopefully they can let you know if any interesting coins come in.


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