Should I give give exact change at a store?

At stores I usually pay in exact change when possible. I figure that puts off (minutely) the time until the cashier has to refill the trays and decreases the number of trips the merchant has to make to the bank for coins and small bills.

I realize, though, that the cashier can give me change faster than it takes for me to dig out my own change and so I’m slowing down the transaction. Would it actually be more to the merchant’s benefit for me to just hand over a $20 and move along?

If there are people waiting, and it will take you time to muck about with your coin purse, then, no. Otherwise, sure. It can simplify the clerk’s job; he or she might not have to send for a refresh on their coins.

Like any etiquette issue, it depends. (This is probably a “My Humble Opinion” answer rather than a “General Questions” answer…)

No you should NOT give exact change.

While you’re digging through your coin purse and conversing with the checker about how you’re sure you have a nickel in there somewhere, the people standing in line behind you are staring daggers into the back of your head.

Use you check card.

I rarely carry cash … and even more rarely coin.

If the clerk is being timed, it can slow them down. I worked at Safeway and time is recorded and marked against you. So yes, the darling little old person picking through their coin purse for exact change really pissed me off. With a kind smile of course, but underneath seething just a bit.

Since this is mainly an etiquette question, it’s probably best suited to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

My 88 yr. old mother insists on doing this. People behind us sigh and mumble. I wouldn’t

This would be my non-answer as well. If you can provide exact change without affecting other people in line too adversely, then yes, by all means. If the cashier has to hold up the till to replenish change, it would take longer just counting out your change for a purchase.

Do people really get upset because they have to wait a whole 5 extra seconds because the guy in front of them wants to give exact change? :dubious:

Yes. Yes, they do. Me, I’m usually on my way home stopping at the store, so it’s not like I’m late for anything. I don’t much care, but I’ve certainly run across those who do.

The trick is to already have a bunch of change in your damn hand before the transaction is rung up. You don’t go digging for it after the clerk gives your total.

I need quarters for the laundry, so if it’s $11.36, I’m going to give the cashier a ten, two ones, and eleven cents. Sometimes I get blank stares, but if you just enter 12.11, the register says .75 back in change. Simple.

I like to pay with cash and I love to pay with exact change. Of course, I also take my wallet and change out of my pockets while the cashier is scanning my purchases so when the time comes to pay the $11.36 I instantly know whether I have 36 cents in change and a ten plus a one in my wallet, or if I should just go ahead and take out the credit card.

Odd. I always know in advance if I’m going to pay with cash or a card. And since the card and the cash and the change are all in the same little wallet, there’s not all this fumbling around. You might want to consider a more efficient system of management.

If the people in line behind you have to wait, you’re doing it wrong, or at least not as well as you could. While I’m being rung out I take out my pocket full of change. It only takes a quick glance to know if I have exact or a bit more than exact change to hand over. Some places I go to I already know the total – like a dozen bagels from Bruegers on Sunday morning. I have my 99 cents all ready for them by raiding my change jar at home before I go.

I keep change handy so I can pull it out quick. Sometimes I give exact change. Other times I’ll give a few cents so it comes out to a bigger coin. Like 8.79. I’ll give 9 bucks and 4 cents so that I get a quarter back.

If it’s a small store, with just one register, then they appreciate exact change, since they don’t want to run out of one dollar bills or quarters. Most of the time they have the right amount of bills/coins in reserve, but on any given day there’s a chance of run on their change.

If it’s a big store, just give them the big bills.

But is there actually any benefit to giving exact change? Cashiers: Is running out of change in your drawer a big concern - or a non-issue?

A question for the exact changers and cash carriers …

Why don’t you use a bank card?

I can’t remember the last store that didn’t accept one.

You can go online and see a record or every transaction.

What’s the allure of cash these days?

Identity theft. Fraud. Gas Station pumps are notorious for getting debit card info.
4 Risky Places to Swipe Debit Card

I haven’t carried cash since the 90’s. But back in those days, some of the cashiers I was familiar with were always offering to buy up whatever change I had in my pocket. (I was known to some of them for always carrying around a large some of change. Basically because I never paid with exact change. I always paid in bills. Leaving me with jeans that were about five pounds heavier than they should be.)

You are not liable for fraudulent purchases made on your cards.