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What to Do With Leftover Currency: 7 Things

A Quick Guide on handling Your Leftover Currency

If you love traveling, you probably have plenty of different coins and banknotes in drawers and backpack pockets. But leftover currency can start to pile up if you don’t do anything with it. What can you do with it? Let’s take a look at some clever options.

Look, you shouldn’t just throw your leftover currency out. Although you can’t use the money in your home country, it still has value. With some creativity, you can find many ways to utilize the coins and bills. Let’s take a look at some of the best options. Ready?

Save the Money for Future Casino Visits 

If you’re a fan of online games like Wolf Spiele, then visiting a real casino should be a real treat in your travel locations. And the good news is that most casinos accept foreign currencies as payment. That’s right. Depending on the casino, they might even buy the currency from other countries. Plus, they’ll offer you market rates for your change. So the next time you plan a trip, bring all your extra money with you for a fun night at a gambling house.

Find a Charity and Donate the Money

Check out if your home airport or airline can help you donate the extra currency. Many of them have donating boxes set up in terminals. And some airlines collect coin donations on the plane. Obviously, not all airlines do that. So before taking all your coins to the plane, call them to confirm if they collect money for any charity. Also, if you live in the US, you can donate your foreign currency to UNICEF. They use the money to help children all over the world. 

Use the Currency up for Small Expenses

There are numerous little expenses on your trip you can cover with the excess currency. In your hotel, for example, you can give out generous tips to the housekeeping staff. And when you check out, ask the hotel if they accept the payment partly in cash. Most hotels don’t mind splitting the bill between cash and credit card payments.

Here’s another idea on how to spend the excess money: pay it at the taxi to the airport. Even if you use a mobile app like Uber for your taxi service, you can still set the payment option to cash. And if you’ve got too much currency left for a regular taxi ride, you can always upgrade and get a fancier car. It’ll be a pleasant and fun ending to your trip. 

Shop at the Airport

kiwihug Qrk03uqLuME unsplashAny airport’s duty-free shopping areas are the perfect places to spend your leftover currency. You can buy various treats, cosmetics, and even sunglasses to bring home. It’s a convenient way to spend the tedious time before departing. Especially if you’re flying during any holiday season: you can get plenty of presents for friends and family at low prices. 

A little warning when buying electronics from foreign countries: the power sockets may not comply with the ones in your home. That can happen when you buy items from Europe and take them to the USA. So double-check all the outlets before making the purchase. Plus, be aware of the fact that if the product should be faulty, you can’t exchange it in your home country. Most warranties are effective only in the countries where they are issued. 

Load up Your Starbucks Card

Did you know that the Republic of Ireland, Mexico, Australia, Canada, the USA, and the UK have the Starbucks card program? So you can take your Starbucks card to any of their coffee shops at the airport. They’ll top it up with your leftover currency before you board the plane. You can later use your card at a local Starbucks for a morning coffee or snack.

Sell the Currency on the Internet 

Go online and look for businesses that handle buying and selling leftover currencies. You probably won’t get the best rates for your money, but it’s still better than nothing. All you have to do is to pack the banknotes and coins up and send them off. You can do it at the local post office. They’ll help you get everything right, as sending snail mail is not as common as it used to be.

Keep the Bills and Coins as Souvenirs

Once you’ve found something to do with your excess foreign money, don’t give all of it away. Interesting-looking currencies can bring back colorful memories from the trip. They make excellent souvenirs and you could even start putting together a coin collection.

You can also make some art with the coins and banknotes. Glue them on a piece of paper or carton and frame the picture. You can then hang the artwork on the wall to inspire future travels.


So these were our top ideas on what to do with all the banknotes and coins from your trips. Although you can’t use the foreign money in the shop like you use a local currency, you can do plenty of useful things with the extra money. Try any of our tips from this article, and you never have to worry about foreign currencies piling up in your drawer. 

What do you do with your leftover currency? Leave your best advice in the comments section. 

Authors bio:

Thomas Glare is an aspiring creative Content Writer. In his limited spare time, he is building an online magazine, and most of all, he enjoys quality time with his family. 


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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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