TD Bank killed my favorite freebie

tdbank_penny_arcade.top.jpgTD Bank now charges non-customers like me 6% to cash in their change. By Lex Haris, managing editor


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- TD Bank won't count my change for free anymore. And I am super bummed.

The bank quietly phased out my favorite perk last November, but I just found out this week when my wife went down to cash in our stash.

For years, I've loved collecting my change in jars throughout the house, knowing after a few months I'd get some "found money." I've gotten a new tie out of it. Today, it's getting our windows cleaned.

TD still allows its customers to use the machines -- called Penny Arcade -- for free, but I'm not a customer. So, how can I complain?

"Why should we have to wait in line behind non-customers?" asked TD representative Rebecca Acevedo when I spoke to her this week.

I had to grudgingly admit she had a point. Plus, I can still use the service for a 6% fee.

Our latest haul was $76, so we're talking $4.50 for TD. I say it's worth it, if it means I don't have to roll the coins myself.

Still, my wife isn't buying TD's justification. "That's horsesh*t," she said. "I've never seen anyone on line there."

"Clearly it's about TD making more money," she said.

And I've learned that Mrs. Haris is almost always right. Although, it is hard to imagine greedy TD bankers -- who rang up $20 billion in revenue last year -- rubbing their hands together over a bunch of pennies.

Still, it isn't chump change. TD says it processed 31 billion coins in 2009. That means a potential $100 million business if TD charged everyone, and all those pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters averaged out to five cents.

For now, though, TD says it is only trying to lure former coin-redemption fans into becoming customers. "The benefit has been with opening accounts -- we've seen a good increase," said Acevedo.

Mrs. Haris says there's no way we're opening an account there now. But for what it's worth, lollipops and dog biscuits are still free for all.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.95%3.94%
15 yr fixed3.05%3.02%
5/1 ARM3.34%3.48%
30 yr refi4.02%4.01%
15 yr refi3.13%3.10%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,135.72 38.82 0.21%
Nasdaq 4,982.81 15.67 0.32%
S&P 500 2,101.04 2.51 0.12%
Treasuries 2.11 -0.01 -0.52%
Data as of 11:18pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.00 0.16 1.01%
Apple Inc 126.41 -2.13 -1.66%
AbbVie Inc 56.86 -3.41 -5.66%
Avon Products Inc 9.05 -0.05 -0.55%
General Electric Co 25.82 0.16 0.62%
Data as of 4:02pm ET

Sections

The company Allstar allegedly lured customers in with misleading TV commercials and then overcharged them. More

Wage growth has become the central focus of the economy's health. It will impact workers and investors. More

Frank & Oak, Airbnb, and Net-a-Porter are just a couple of companies investing in the antiquated medium. More

Lawmakers and consumer advocates are speaking out against the special treatment given to debt collectors hired by government agencies across the country. More