N01_popupHave a frequent flyer miles or other type of award points credit card?  Interested in getting extra miles or points at no cost and with little effort? Read on…

There’s a lengthy (it goes back to June of 2008) thread at FlyerTalk devoted to this subject.  Briefly, here’s how it works:

  • Buy $1 Native American or U.S. President coins from the U.S. Mint at face value with your credit card; shipping is free
  • When the coins arrive, deposit them in your bank
  • Pay your credit off when the bill arrives


At present you can order up to $5000 worth of Native American coins and up to $500 worth of each commemorative U.S. President coin (5 such coins are currently available).

You can see the coins which are available at the U.S. Mint website.

A complete FAQ on the program was created by FT member crabbing; check it out by clicking here:  Dollar Coin Direct Ship FAQ

Many, many FlyerTalk members have utilized the program; check out the first link above to learn of their experiences.  Although opinions vary about this approach, it clearly works.  If you’ve just gotten a new card which grants you extra miles if you purchase $1500 (or a similar amount) during the first 90 days you have the card, this might be a great way for you to get there.

If any of you have tried this, please comment and let us know how it works.  Purely in the interest of the blog and my readers, I’ll order some coins this weekend.

Many thanks to View From the Wing for first posting about the FT thread!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Ultimately, this strategy received too much press.  As of mid December, 2009, credit card purchases of coins from the mint are not generating miles credits. It was good while it lasted; some FT members got hundreds of thousands of miles using this technique.  An article in the Wall Street Journal probably sounded the death knell – the Mint (and credit card companies, I imagine) clamped down.

This message now appears on the U.S. Mint website:

The intended purpose of the Circulating $1 Coin Direct Ship Program is to make $1 Coins readily available to the public, at no additional cost, so they can be easily introduced into circulation—particularly by using them for retail transactions, vending, and mass transit. Increased circulation of $1 Coins saves the Nation money. The immediate bank deposit of $1 Coins ordered through this Program does not result in their introduction into circulation and, therefore, does not comply with the intended purpose of the Program.

Through December 31, 2009 there is a 20-box household limit on Native American $1 Coins. If you need quantities greater than this, please send an e-mail at the time of your order to directship@usmint.treas.gov to explain why your order should be exempted from the limit.

By clicking “Add to Cart” I agree that I understand, and will comply with, the intended purpose of the Program.

Credit card purchases on the U.S. Mint site are now treated as cash advances.  The party’s over.  Here’s an article on the end of the program:  US Mint blocks frequent flyers…

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5 Comments on Rack up flyer miles or award points on your credit card at no cost!

  1. L. says:

    Aren’t we as taxpayers getting ripped off by this because we subsidize the free shipping?


  2. D. says:



    ….but only about as much as the taxpayers are getting ripped off by subsidizing the airlines….

    …and the amount mugged from consumers overall and on every level by the credit-card companies…


  3. Bequals Dee says:

    You’re both missing the point



  4. D. says:

    Didn’t Miss The Point….Made One From A Differing Point Of View….I completely understand that frequent flyer miles have benefits to consumers….but really wanted to point out as well…that the cost of simply processing credit card sales by a merchant adds unneeded cost directly to me…to you….to all consumers….

    Prices are inflated from 3 to 15 percent by merchants for the credit card simplicity we have grown to enjoy….

    But To Claim These Frequent Flyer Miles As “Free” Seems To Me…To Be Incorrect….

    Nothing Is Free….The Freebies You All Are Enjoying Get Paid For By Someone….

    …the rest of us….

    Enjoy Your Seat Upgrade…



    Kevin Reply:

    For the record: banks charge merchants 1 to 3% plus a per transaction fee ranging from $ .05 to $ .50 for credit card transactions. Most merchants regard this as a marketing expense. In return they enjoy a form of payment which is more secure than others, as the bank commits to pay the merchant regardless of whether the consumer defaults on the payment.

    I’d like to see what proof you have that retail prices are inflated by up to 15% as the result of merchants accepting credit cards as a form of payment.

    The reference to “free” simply relates to the fact that you can purchase a $1 coin from the U.S. mint for $1, pay no shipping fee, get 1 frequent flyer mile in exchange, and then pay off the card in full. I’m not sure how this transaction is increasing credit card costs or item pricing for anyone.

    If you can provide a compelling explanation, I’d love to hear it; thanks for the comment.


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