Publish date:

Coin shortage: Minnesotans asked to use exact change or deposit coins at a bank

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a "critical slowdown" of coins nationwide.

Minnesotans who have spare change lying around are being asked to spend it or deposit it at a bank.

That's because shutdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic have created a "critical slowdown" of coins nationwide, the Minnesota Bankers Association said in a news release this week. 

When restrictions went into place this spring, places where coins often enter society, like retail stores, bank branches and laundromats, closed down or shoppers switched to shopping online or using debit and credit cards to avoid physical contact, which significantly slowed the normal rate of coin circulation. 

“In the beginning of 2020, more than 4 billion coins were deposited, or recirculated, each month,” Joe Witt, the president/CEO of the Minnesota Bankers Association said in the release. “Those numbers dropped to less than 2 billion beginning in April.” 

Now that businesses are reopening as restrictions are being eased, merchants are finding they need to have more coins on hand, but a large number of coins still remain with the consumer. This is becoming a problem, the association says, because recirculated coins make up about 80 percent of the nation's coin supply.

“There is adequate coin in the economy, however the slowed pace of circulation means that a sufficient amount of coins may not be readily available where needed,” Witt said. 

As of April 2020, the U.S. Treasury estimates that the total value of coins in circulation is $47.8 billion, up from $47.4 billion as of April 2019, the association states. The Federal Reserve projects the gap between supply and demand is between 2.3 to 3.5 billion coins each month through the end of 2020.

To help get coins back into circulation, people can bring their coins to their local bank, which often have coin-counting machines or may accept rolled coins. People can also use exact change when out shopping, which will help put more coins into circulation. 

The Minnesota Bankers Association is a trade association that represents commercial banks in Minnesota.

Next Up

midwest rail

Twin Cities plays key role in new Midwest rail plan

The 40-year plan would mean 24 trips daily between the Twin Cities and Chicago.

bemidji minnesota

Would you move to Bemidji for $2,500? More than 20 have so far.

The city is running a program that will pay people $2,500 to relocate there.

minnesota zoo gladys owl 2 CROP

Escaped owl Gladys dies after being found injured

The Eurasian eagle-owl flew off from Minnesota Zoo staffers on Oct. 1.

Best Buy - jjbers, Flickr

Best Buy brings back early Black Friday deals

A 4-day sale featuring "hundreds" of Black Friday offers starts next week.

Gary Paulsen - YouTube screengrab

'Hatchet' author, Minnesota native Gary Paulsen dies

His final novel will be published early next year.

UnitedHealth Group

UnitedHealth Group posts quarterly profits of $4.1 billion

The Minnetonka-based health insurance giant is Minnesota's most valuable company.

Minnesota DNR via the Science Museum of Minnesota

Invasive algae called 'rock-snot' discovered in several NE Minnesota streams

Scientists are investigating the impact the algae may have on the waterways.

Dalvin Cook

Matthew Coller: Vikings feel really close and really far away

Matthew Coller's work can be found daily at Purple Insider.

Driving car wheel

More than 1,800 seat belt violations in 2 week crackdown 'baffles' police

The campaign ran from Sep. 19 to Sep. 30 and resulted in 1,805 seat belt citations.

target lego

Target teams up with LEGO on new collection of clothes, home goods

The LEGO Collection x Target is described as the retailer's "most inclusive partnership to date."


trump women's tour photo

Minnesota DFL slams GOP for COVID-19 safety risks at campaign events

The party suggests Republicans are spreading COVID-19.

suit shopping

Men's Wearhouse, Jos. A. Bank owner files for bankruptcy

Suit sales have dropped as more people work from home during the pandemic.

coronavirus, pandemic, masks

Map shows where Minnesotans are wearing masks, everywhere they're not

In most of Minnesota, people are not wearing face masks in public despite the fact it can help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

big thrill factory

Big Thrill Factory closes 1 Minnesota location

The company's business model doesn't work for the COVID-19 era.


Delta posts massive $5.7 billion loss, makes significant cuts to its workforce

The airline has taken a massive hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Baggage airport

As airlines slash flights, MSP Airport delays vote on $15 minimum wage

The COVID-19 outbreak has created huge uncertainty in the airline industry.