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 email@example.com 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…
- Testing the commemorative coin/frequent flyer miles tactic
- Starwood 30,000 point sign up bonus available through August 22nd
- International travelers: are you getting ripped off by your credit card company?
- AmEx Plat cardholders now have free access to US Airways lounges…
- Mileage Manager: a great tool for managing flyer & award programs
- Hacking Italy: One week in Sorrento – How low can we go?