What to do with foreign coins?

Foreign coins

If like me you have a predisposition to removing loose coins from your wallet, then after travelling overseas you will have accumulated a nice collection of coins that have no use within Australian. Foreign coins are notoriously hard to exchange with banks and Forex locations only accepting foreign notes, so the only options left available to you are to use on your next travels or alternatively donate.

Most Airlines will enable you to donate with in-flight envelopes or at collection bins in airports, with the most common charity I have come across on Australian flight legs being the Change for Good (UNICEF) programme. I believe the airlines servicing Australian legs currently aligned with this programme are Qantas, Cathay Pacific, American Airlines and JAL (Qantas has raised over $22 million for the programme since it started collecting in 1991).

Airport terminals in Australia that have Change for Good collection bins are:
• Adelaide
• Alice Springs
• Brisbane (and International)
• Cairns (and International)
• Canberra
• Coolangatta (Gold Coast)
• Darwin
• Hobart
• Melbourne (and International)
• Perth (and International)
• Sydney (and International)
• Townsville

Should your jetlag result in forgetting to stop by a collection bin on your way out of the terminal don’t despair, banks such as Commonwealth and ANZ will let you donate foreign coins at their branches.

I know Commonwealth has bins for UNICEF where the donations go to such activities as below:
• $3 immunises 20 children against polio, a vaccine-preventable disease.
• $6 can buy 500 water purification tablets, with each tablet treating 4-5 litres of water.
• $10 can give a school 50 boxes of 10 pencils, supporting childhood education.
• $20 provides 4 long-lasting insecticide mosquito nets, protecting families from malaria that claims an African child every 30 seconds.

I also believe ANZ supports UNICEF at certain metro branch locations.

If UNICEF doesn’t suit your charitable objectives there are other non-profits that run foreign coin donation programmes such as Cancer Council and Cerebral Palsy League to name a few.

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1 Comment

  1. I was in Australia, and noticed the donation boxes, ( for Rotary) at a lot of the airports.
    I belong to Rotary in Northland, NZ and would like information regarding where our club could obtain similar collection spheres?
    To be used for fundraising here.
    I cannot fine anything available on the internet.

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