The US Mint sells $1 coins on its website, doesn’t charge for shipping, and takes credit cards.

It’s an opportunity for free miles: buy coins, deposit those coins back into your back account, use the money to pay off the credit card. Net result = the miles for the charges on your card.

Here’s the Flyertalk discussion. Reports are consistent that these show up on your credit card statement as purchases rather than cash advances (fortunately!).

These are ‘Presidential Dollar Coins’ and there are only (6) different ones out so far. They’re adding another 2 per year, apparently. And unfortunately you’re limited to purchasing 500 of each. So right now you can buy 6 x 500 = $3000 and thus 3000 miles.

Not quite as lucrative as the days when you could buy savings bonds on your credit card, or prepaid gift cards that operated as debit cards and could be used to purchase money orders redepositable into your account ($3000 worth a month back around 2003-2004).

But it’s a little bit of effort and some free miles, so some will find the strategy useful.

  1. Bubba said,

    I only could get 500 of John Q. Adams, and it is backordered. I called them up and got a very incompetent rep who, after a long time of back-&-forth, finally told me only JQA is available.

    Any work arounds?

  2. rrgg said,

    Sold out today.

    Also, here are some T&C:

    * Orders are not valid until accepted by the United States Mint.
    * The United States Mint reserves the right to limit quantities and may discontinue accepting orders at any time.
    * The United States Mint reserves the right to accept or reject coin orders in any combination or option(s) it determines to be in its best interest.
    * In the event a particular coin option is sold out, the United States Mint reserves the right to either process partial orders and make refunds, or return orders in their entirety.

  3. ona milehigh said,

    ” prepaid gift cards that operated as debit cards and could be used to purchase money orders redepositable into your account ($3000 worth a month back around 2003-2004).”

    Some of us are still doing this. It is hit or miss, but still possible and still lucrative. I just racked up 100K in Thank You Points by doing this with one my Citi Cards (6pts per $ at a certain grocery store). I can’t decide what to earn next, SPG or HH points.

  4. Tips on Buying Presidential Coins from the US Mint for the Miles and Depositing them Back into Your Bank Account - View from the Wing said,

    [...] I first covered the opportunity in June 2008. [...]

  5. Matt said,

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the technical term for this practice is “rent seeking”…

  6. Gary said,

    @Matt rent seeking generally involves the manipulation of institutional rules for private economic game, e.g. lobbying for regulation which keeps out cometitors or for subsidies.

  7. Will Buying Miles from the Mint Save Us All? Obama’s Debt Ceiling Plan B Came From Frequent Flyers - View from the Wing said,

    [...] first wrote about buying coins from the U.S. Mint in June 2008. In the summer of 2009, the deal exploded as the Mint lifted the per-person cap on [...]

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