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Buy Presidential Dollar Coins with CC @ Face Value, Free Shipping

Buy Presidential Dollar Coins with CC @ Face Value, Free Shipping

Old Jul 13, 11, 6:39 am
  #15706  
 
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That stupid #%* Caitlin didn't even get credit for the story. Keep fishing Caitlin. After ruining enough deals you'll hit the big time.
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Old Jul 13, 11, 6:50 am
  #15707  
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Originally Posted by Jedibarnes View Post
Nice story on NPR this morning about using the mint for FF miles. Even mentioned flyertalk. Not good
Have to love how NPR is making the taxpayers look like victims when NPR is one of the biggest wastes of my tax dollars.
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Old Jul 13, 11, 6:54 am
  #15708  
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Originally Posted by dergon darkhelm View Post
I have some trouble with the NPR article and I think it was written by a very biased reporting team.

You know the type--they may even live or work among you... The ones who think everything we do involving our miles schemes are wrong or illegal acts just cuz.

I believe this because of several bits of the article, starting with a rather powerful word used in its title:

exploit (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/exploit)
n [ˈɛksplɔɪt]
a notable deed or feat, esp one that is noble or heroic
vb [ɪkˈsplɔɪt] (tr)
1. to take advantage of (a person, situation, etc.), esp unethically or unjustly for one's own ends
2. to make the best use of to exploit natural resources
[from Old French: accomplishment, from Latin explicitum (something) unfolded, from explicāre to explicate]
exploitable adj
exploitation n
exploitive , exploitative adj


While the reporter could argue that they meant definition A, I think we all know they meant B1. And in our minds, we are doing B2.

Later in the article it was mentioned that the Mint ships these for free, which we do utilize as the reasoning for ordering them in the first place. It does seem to me, however, that those reading this (including the reporters) would now be predisposed to think we exploited something that was offered for free so that makes us real bad cats.

But I have seen it written in here several times that the shipping cost of the dollar coin was built into its overall manufacturing costs, which I think are about 27 cents to make $1. So it's not 'free' at all. The government, in its right, is making a ton of money off everyone that BUYS these things! Methinks if they added shipping to the ~20LB boxes of $1,000 coins, everyone including your city's transit system would stop ordering them or curb the activity downward with near instant results.

As well, that term, 'circulation' comes up again...

I have wondered what this means as I hand say, $60/week in coins to pay my personal trainer at the gym (he takes checks or cash only). I have now technically circulated but then he instantly takes them to the bank and just deposits them. So what's the difference if I had just done that and handed him 3 $20s? instead?

cir·cu·la·tion (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/circulation)
n.
1. Movement in a circle or circuit, especially the movement of blood through bodily vessels as a result of the heart's pumping action.
2.
a. Movement or passage through a system of vessels, as of water through pipes; flow.
b. Free movement or passage.
3. The passing of something, such as money or news, from place to place or person to person.
4.
a. The condition of being passed about and widely known; distribution.

b. Dissemination of printed material, especially copies of newspapers or magazines, among readers.
c. The number of copies of a publication sold or distributed.


I would say we fall into 2b, 3 and 4a

We have often argued in this long thread about the meaning of INTENT when it comes to what people wish to do with their coins. I still have a huge problem with that to be honest. If you are saying I CANT use my own money the way I want to, then that's a bit one sided and totalitarian in my book. I INTEND to do X... and that might include spending it all on balloons at the next kids fair so I can build a house like in the Disney movie, UP. But then I changed my mind and deposited the money into my banks. We could go on and on about that one but the point is, my INTENT is to do what this country was founded on: To spend money to make money and for profit. In this case, yes, miles are the profit.

Then there's the part about how the spokesperson at the Mint felt abused:

"Do we feel a little bit violated? Yes, and that's why we aggressively sought measures to eliminate what we called an abuse," says Jurkowsky.


Ok so this is about INTENT and FEELING ABUSED?

Sounds like peoples' personal feelings are getting mixed up with business. Strange.

Finally, there's this bit about credit cards:

As long as the dollar coin scheme is viable – without a crackdown by credit card issuers, for example – there will be enthusiasts like Ben Schlappig, who writes the travel hacker blog One Mile At A Time.


Well, thanks Ben. I met you at the FTU in NYC in the spring. I didn't think you were all about trying to HELP SHUT DOWN ways to earn miles.

The mere mention of the credit cards cracking down may result in just that, and surely, some exec from AMEX was listening to the radio or reading this very same article.

I have been of the firm belief that the Mint and possibly CCs have been letting this go on because it's also working for them in ways we here at FT cannot yet fully understand nor do not need to. But once the public, the news or some other faction of officials gets on it, the whole hush hush methodology will come crashing down.

Exemptions for mock companies that can order say $50k coins a week are there because, like the $1k/10 days, the mint knows that some of the coins we get and then bank ARE in fact trickling into the ways and means of daily commerce. Something along the lines of: if we give this guy $1000 coins (by enticing with free shipping) and he spends say $200 on baby sitters and farmers markets and baseball game hotdogs, that's better than if we don't let him get the coins at all. And if this other guy applies for exemption and orders 50 times as much, that also only helps us trickle more into the system.

I have thought that the best way to make the coin stay 'out there' is to take away the dollar bill and better promote the coin as a currency (like big billboards or TV ads).

After all, until I see otherwise, I will still only believe that 'circulation' really only means that the government knows people will lose some here, put some in piggy banks there; collect a few here, give some to really old people there, because they tend to always keep them because that's what they do.

In the meantime, the article/NPR seems to be promoting a notion that people like us who go for 'free' travel are not likeable types. We scam systems.

(the other thing that gets me is how so many non savvy people out there think this is FREE. It may not cost say $800 for an INt'l ticket to Europe but it does COST. There's time, lugging, explaining, storing, risk, paying CCs, security issues, etc and our knowledge, which takes effort to gain. People who think it's free are the ones who should be shunned, not us. I would like to 'coin' them and let them try to use these things--or bank them and send me a check)

MM
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Old Jul 13, 11, 6:58 am
  #15709  
 
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Dollar coins been bery bery good for me. I use them everywhere.
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Old Jul 13, 11, 7:04 am
  #15710  
 
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This thread was featured on an article in NPR

There was an article a little while ago on National Public Radio about some 1.2billion dollar coins in the mint that are shipped free and how some folks are using (they said abusing) this gap to make purchases with their credit cards to earn frequent flyer miles. Some were to the tune of 300k. They did mention FlyerTalk and how there were some 1600 plus posts on this article. To our credit they did suggest that not all orders made are for this purpose but a huge chunk
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Old Jul 13, 11, 7:10 am
  #15711  
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Originally Posted by Marathon Man View Post
(the other thing that gets me is how so many non savvy people out there think this is FREE. It may not cost say $800 for an INt'l ticket to Europe but it does COST. There's time, lugging, explaining, storing, risk, paying CCs, security issues, etc and our knowledge, which takes effort to gain. People who think it's free are the ones who should be shunned, not us. I would like to 'coin' them and let them try to use these things--or bank them and send me a check)

MM
Very good point. The people saying this is a "scam" and we are taking advantage of "free miles", etc. are obvious not frequent travellers.

NPR needs to do a story on how much they "exploit" from the taxpayers with their funding
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Old Jul 13, 11, 7:12 am
  #15712  
 
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
Have to love how NPR is making the taxpayers look like victims when NPR is one of the biggest wastes of my tax dollars.
I beg to differ!
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Old Jul 13, 11, 7:31 am
  #15713  
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Speaking of Ben again...

He is a mileage runner with vast experience on how to book tickets and save on overall costs. He also knows a lot about being bumped and how to recoup vouchers for this so much of his travel and miles comes from actual in seat trips, not nec. from things like coins, promos, etc. Although he may do them, methinks he may have offered up his opinion because he knows his earning of 40k FF miles from coins is nothing compared to what he can do otherwise and so he has nothing to lose by helping to risk the shut down of the mint coin program as we know it, while STILL getting HIS blog name mentioned on the air! So if anything he could have agreed to be in this story to EXPLOIT US and help HIS cause and efforts to make profit where he may with his blog.

If I am correct then I am disappointed.

But as for coins and miles...
I don't think we exploit in the negative sense of the word, nor do I think it's unethical. And if it were, I do not have a problem with what we do either.
  • The product is for sale for X price. if X price is $0 or $1000 or $10000 then that's what the price is.
  • We buy it--and possibly JUST to get miles.
  • So be it, why would that ever be wrong so long as we provide a legitimate form of payment such as our CC and we pay that CC back too.
  • And so as long as that CC allows this to get processed as a purchase that thus earns miles, there is and should be no issue -end of story.
If the mint wants to curb this or curb its feeling of abuse, they ought to add a shipping cost. If they still do not add one because they really actually NEED us and hope we don't go away, then why would it ever be my fault or your fault for simply buying what they or any organization sells online?

And if I turn out to earn something from buying it (ie, miles/points) then why is it suddenly deemed as wrong?

I could buy cat litter and not even have a cat, but find out it's great for soaking up water in a basement leak! Have I broken some rule of intent there as well? If I get a ton of the stuff and sell some to make a profit to other basement dwellers, and even earn FF miles in my purchases of it, then am I suddenly exploiting cats? Is this cruelty to animals now? (or 'aminals' as my 3 year old might say)
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Old Jul 13, 11, 7:52 am
  #15714  
 
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Call it what you want, exploiting, scamming or taking advantage of. We all know what is going on and to pretend to make it something it is not just makes that person look silly.
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Old Jul 13, 11, 8:13 am
  #15715  
 
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Baloney - QL_714! Nobody has to agree with the Mint's intent - as many of you are aware. Those of us buying coins do nothing unethical, illegal or immoral. This is America and America runs on capitalism. Capitalism is all about exploiting opportunities. God Bless America and those of us who exploit all opportunities to help circulate money in the economy and save jobs.



Originally Posted by QL_714 View Post
Call it what you want, exploiting, scamming or taking advantage of. We all know what is going on and to pretend to make it something it is not just makes that person look silly.
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Old Jul 13, 11, 8:15 am
  #15716  
 
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great, more back orders.
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Old Jul 13, 11, 8:21 am
  #15717  
 
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Originally Posted by AlohaDaveKennedy View Post
Baloney - QL_714! Nobody has to agree with the Mint's intent - as many of you are aware. Those of us buying coins do nothing unethical, illegal or immoral. This is America and America runs on capitalism. Capitalism is all about exploiting opportunities. God Bless America and those of us who exploit all opportunities to help circulate money in the economy and save jobs.
If that makes you feel better so be it. I could care less what the Mints intent is. It seems you agree this is “exploiting” so I fail to see your point.
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Old Jul 13, 11, 8:26 am
  #15718  
 
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Originally Posted by JCary View Post
I beg to differ!
+1
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Old Jul 13, 11, 8:51 am
  #15719  
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Originally Posted by AlohaDaveKennedy View Post
Baloney - QL_714! Nobody has to agree with the Mint's intent - as many of you are aware. Those of us buying coins do nothing unethical, illegal or immoral. This is America and America runs on capitalism. Capitalism is all about exploiting opportunities. God Bless America and those of us who exploit all opportunities to help circulate money in the economy and save jobs.
GREAT post. Providing we are using our own credit cards and not stolen ones, nothing illegal or unethical is being done here.

The mint choses to provide free shipping on coins for sale, we chose to buy them. On my flight out to Vegas Friday, my upgrade to first cleared on a "U" fare on Delta. Am I exploiting Delta by flying in First class when I bought the second to the chepest airfare out there? In Vegas, I like to stay to stay at the LV Hilton because it ends up basically being a free stay with the perks they give their elite members. Am I exploiting Hilton by taking a free breakfast and free wifi? Am I exploiting Am Ex by accepting Delta Miles and Hilton points?

Is the writer from NPR exploiting the US government when he deducts the mortgage interest he pays along with the other deductions on his schedule A?
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Old Jul 13, 11, 8:58 am
  #15720  
 
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
Is the writer from NPR exploiting the US government when he deducts the mortgage interest he pays along with the other deductions on his schedule A?
I doubt it. He's probably living in federally subsidized housing, whether it be public housing or Section 8.
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