The Best Place to Change Coins in Hong Kong
I live just above a bank, and every time I’d amass a large amount of loose change, I’d go down and change it into “dollar dollar bills, y’all” and one of the things that irked me so much was that I’d have to sit there and watch someone count the money I’d just counted. I was amazed that a bank didn’t have a coin counting machine.
I then read that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority had a coin circulation problem and were looking to increase circulation by encouraging coin collectors (like me) to change their coins for notes they would actually use. “Sign me up” I yelled.
The solution they put out is in the form of two “coin-carts” that gobble up your change in seconds and give you notes and octopus value in return. By “carts” they mean “trucks”. Armed with the knowledge of their existence, I set out to find one.
Where are these trucks?
The HKMA have a website that lists where these coin trucks will be each week. When you go hunting for one, they are pretty easy to spot and the website does an excellent job of listing exactly where they are going to be.
How Easy Are They to Use?
One of the cool things about going to these coin trucks is that you don’t have to separate your coins into different piles. You can keep them all in one pile and stuff them in a bag. When you get to the coin truck, One of the assistants asks you to pop all your coins into a basket and you’re ready to go.
The coin counting machine is crazy fast. After using it, there is no way I’ll be going to a bank to change my coins again!
To make your coin counting experience even smoother, they have a few rules that help speed things up. In my opinion, the main ones are as below:
If you don’t agree with the amount that the coin counting machine has calculated, they will return the coins to you, no problem.
Coins might get rejected for normal wear and tear, mould and dirt.
You can choose how you want to receive your cash. You have options like your Octopus card and e-wallets like AlipayHK, Octopus O! ePay, Tap&Go, TNG Wallet and probably the most popular, WeChat Pay.
When you keep putting coins in a jar, they add up quickly, and it’s a great way to put all that loose change to good use. I managed to collect over HK$ 1000 just from loose change. If you have some lying around, be sure to visit one of these coin trucks when they are in your area.
What Are The Alternatives?
The only other alternative I know of is Coin Dragon, but I would still recommend seeking out these coin trucks as they don’t charge a fee for their service whereas Coin Dragon has a 10% processing fee.
Even though I chose to trek out to Lam Tin to find this coin truck, I’m still glad I did. The service is great and I get to check out Lam Tin, which I’ve never had any reason to visit before. Some great views out there!
As always, folks, a big thank you for getting this far (if you did) and do chime in down in the comments section below. Please let me know what content you would like to see next. I’m off for summer, so I’m looking forward to writing more content for you guys. You can reach me directly at Jamie@navigatehk.com. See you soon!