2013 update: TD now has >300 locations with coin counters. BMO will charge you 8% of the entire amount if you put in over $250, if you're a non-customer. TD charges 8% for all non-customers, 3% for business customers, but nothing for customers (and you can open a free savings account).
Useful Coin Counting in Canada Links
- The TD locations list is here.
- The BMO coin-counting location list is here.
- My TD coin counting experience in 2008.
Both banks let non-customers use the machines, so that's a non-issue.
The BMO machines are hands-down faster, and quieter. It's like BMO learned from some of TD's mistakes. Having said that, the noise would be a problem for other people in the branch, not me with the coins and in-ear headphones, and they're both impressively fast when compared to counting by hand.
If the TD machine is closer to you, go there, even if you are a BMO customer. Actually, I'd go to the closest location that has good parking! Coins are heavy.
Both machines accept US coins at par because it can't differentiate them, which isn't that big of a concern these days.
I do recall the TD machine rejecting some silver coins, which was nice to build my collection. The BMO machine did not, but it's possible that there simply weren't any in the set. I'll let someone else take that risk and comment here with their results. Maybe the BMO machines do less verification on the coins or has higher tolerances, which is also why they're faster?
TD usually has way better hours of operation.
I've no idea whether one is more accurate than the other, and even then, telling so would take a number of tests. Doing just one test isn't enough, since it may sometimes overcount and sometimes undercount, which really isn't a problem since it should average out over time. In other words, imprecision is okay (for me anyway), inaccuracy is a problem. They're probably not 100%, they tend to accept most coins I throw back in from the reject pile, but my time is valuable and I'm likely losing less than the 10% I might be losing at a for-profit coin counting machine. If the machine is favouring the bank by 5% (AT MOST!!!), I'm cool with that.
Hats-off to both of these banks, think of how many thousands of hours of coin-counting monotony is saved by each one of these machines per year. The Mint should pay the banks to roll out these machines rather than fiatize our coins more than they are. Here's the wiki article about fiat currencies (aka: currency that isn't really worth the paper it's printed on)