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Credit Cards Not Only Source of Holiday Spending Power As Record Number of Americans Turn Change Into Cash.

BELLEVUE, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 23, 1998--

-- Use of Coin Counting Machines Increases

In Weeks Before Christmas 1998 --

As Americans scramble to buy last minute Christmas presents, racking up millions of dollars in credit card charges, Bellevue based, Coinstar, Inc. (Nasdaq:CSTR) is noticing a growing trend: record volumes of Americans are turning their change into cash at its self-service coin counting machines.

Volumes are up in the first few weeks of December, as more and more consumers turn their change into cash. So far this month, Coinstar has processed more than 1.2 billion coins, surpassing the 1997 record for the same period last year by more than 424 million coins.

Coinstar, Inc. is also seeing an increase in the number of Americans who use the machines with more than 1.5 million transactions so far this month. That compares with less than one million transactions for the same period last year and less than 4,000 transactions five years ago.

"More and more people are realizing how easy it is to turn their change into much needed cash," said Coinstar CEO Jens Molbak. "We're finding people value our service even more during the holiday season when both time and money are in short supply."

Coinstar, Inc. develops, owns and operates a network of more than 4,700 self-service, coin counting machines. The machines, which provide consumers with a convenient means of converting loose change into cash, are located in leading supermarket chains. Coinstar machines are currently installed in 35 states and 59 metropolitan areas throughout the United States. Consumers can call 1-800-928-CASH, or visit http://www.coinstar.com for the location of the nearest Coinstar machine.

NOTE: Color photos are available on Coinstar's Website at http://www.coinstar.com/news/photorel.html
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 23, 1998
Words:294
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