El Cortez and Ellis Island Make It Easy to Turn Spare Change Into Real Money, Fee-Free

The need to turn in one’s spare change for “real money” might not come up too frequently, but when it does, it’s nice to know there are still Las Vegas casinos that make exchanging coins for paper money easy.

Downtown’s El Cortez is one of those Las Vegas casinos. This casino on Fremont East still has coin-operated slots, but the cage won’t accept pennies or dimes for paper currency.

The casino does, however, have a convenient way to turn your coins into spendable cash.

El Cortez coins change sorter

The change sorting machine at El Cortez symbolizes what humankind can achieve if we’re able to take our eyes off the Kardashians for a damn second.

The machine sits pretty close to the main casino cage, just outside the casino’s intimate high limit slots area.

The machine takes a variety of coins, sorting them at high speed. If you’re a nerd for mechanical devices, you’ll find this one mesmerizing.

Here’s a look at the change sorter in action.

Granted, it’s possible we have far too much free time.

Once the coins are sorted and counted, the machine spits out a slip that can be cashed at the casino cage.

The best part? There’s no fee or commission.

This is a great casino amenity at El Cortez, and little touches like this are a great perk to build and maintain customer loyalty. A change sorting machine turns pocket change into cash that a guest can gamble with, so it’s a win-win.

El Cortez

Yes, wet coins are a concern. It’s downtown.

We went in search of casinos that take coins after the disappointment of learning one of our regular haunts, Suncoast, discontinued offering the service. (After all, why would you want to give players another reason to visit?)

We’ve also learned Ellis Island, just off The Strip, exchanges coins without a fee.

Not only that, if you exchange your coins for casino play, they’ll give you 110% of the value of your coins. To take advantage of the 110% deal, you need to be a member of the Ellis Island player loyalty club. Learn more.

Ellis Island coin exchange promotion

Shout-out to our fellow OCD sufferers. Staring at the 110%. Temples throbbing. Hands shaking. Lower lip trembling. Just let it go.

If you know of other casinos that exchange coins without a fee, we’d love to hear about them.

6 thoughts on “El Cortez and Ellis Island Make It Easy to Turn Spare Change Into Real Money, Fee-Free

  1. Bouldersteve

    Seen similar machines in the supermarkets called Coin Star but they charge a fee. I think its about 10 percent.

    1. Alex

      Yup. Coin Star machines can be found in lots of grocery stores. They do charge a fee if you want cash. If you’re willing to accept a gift card, you can get the full value of your change. According to the Coin Star website, they offer free gift cards from 24 different companies, including Amazon, AMC, Hope Depot, Sephora, and Starbucks.

    1. Chelsie

      For foreign money you’ll need to visit a Currency Exchange center. American Casino’s typically only take American currency.

  2. Jex

    El Cortez charges a 5% fee for the amount your exchanging which is better than Coinstar’s 10% fee. Longhorn Casino used to exchange for free but eliminated this service altogether on 9/1/17. In Las Vegas of all places you have to pay to exchange your coins for currency-unbelievable!

  3. Rick

    Ellis Island no longer offers the 110% yet they do exchange at 100% if you’re a member of their players club.


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