What you can do with foreign currency coins

falling from a plane

If you've travelled overseas, chances are, it's happened to you.

During your trip, your wallets and pockets become filled with foreign currency coins. Coins that, when you look at them, you have no idea if it's worth 5 cents or 5 dollars. Then when you get back home, they get piled in with all the other coins from other trips or worse - they end up in the bin.

Unfortunately, Australian money changers will rarely exchange these left over foreign coins but they aren't worthless.

Here are a few alternatives to throwing them out.

Donate to a good cause

Your leftover coins may seem worthless, particularly if you can't change them back into Australian dollars. They can make a difference to others though. There are a number of places you can donate your foreign currency coins to charity in Australia. Here are just a couple:

  • Head down to any Commonwealth Bank or Bankwest branch. According to the UNICEF Coins for Kids program, your donation will "support a number of initiatives providing disadvantaged children with the proper education, nutrition and immunization they require"
  • Travel Money Oz also accept foreign coins that are donated to UNICEF. Click here to find your nearest Travel Money Oz store.

Give it to someone heading overseas

man on plane

This is one of the best uses for unwanted currency coins.

If you know anybody returning to the country you've just come from, it can be a great gift. It will allow them to have some local money when they get off the plane.

Even if they are not going to the same country as your leftover coins, they may be able to change it overseas, particularly if they are travelling through a major airport in Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok or Dubai.

Recycle it

Most coins are made from a mixture of metals. As a general rule of thumb, foreign coins are mostly composed out of copper. This means that they can be recycled along with other metal products.

Even if you can't donate or give away your coins, make sure they don't end up in the bin. At the very least, make sure they go into the recycling bin so that they can be used

Conclusion

So what ever you do,  don't throw away your left over foreign coins.

They can make a difference when given to charity, make someones holiday even better or at the very least, get a new life as a recycled product.

You can also keep them if you plan on going back to the same country you visited for another holiday.