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US mint direct ship FAQ (presidential and native american coins)

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Old Jul 21, 09, 9:38 am
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,605
US mint direct ship FAQ (presidential and native american coins)

where do i buy direct ship dollar coins without paying for shipping?
the $1 coins available for purchase at face value with free shipping are available here.

why aren't the most currently available coins listed?
some time, maybe a few months, after the coins are introduced, they usually become available for direct shipping.

what do i have to do to get free shipping?
free shipping is available on qualifying orders of coins listed on the direct ship page. you are allowed to order $5000 of native american coins, and $500 of each presidential issue. sometimes, the limit on n.a. coins is relaxed.

why does it show a $4.95 shipping fee?
keep going until you get to the final screen and place your order. if the order qualifies, shipping and handling should appear as $0. [nb: it has been reported once that the shipping charge might sometimes stay on if your shipping and billing addresses do not match]

what happens if i order more than $5000 n.a. coins or $500 per president?
if you have registered and logged in to your account, your order will probably be canceled automatically. if you have not registered or have not logged in, you may be able to receive repeat orders. some FTers have reported greater success by using different credit cards.

but the website says the limit is "per order" so why can't i just place another "order"?
yes, we know what the website says. in practice, the limits apply per issue, per household. [nb: i am not aware of any data points regarding using the same credit card but shipping to different addresses (i.e., home and office)]

will my coin purchase be counted as a cash advance (and charged a fee)? will i get any points?
no FTer has reported a cash advance fee for buying the coins. the purchases usually appear as "government services" on the credit card statement, and appear to be treated like any other purchase.

this is not the same as amex's recent change to their t&c's to exclude travelers checks and other "cash-equivalent" transactions from point-earning purchases. while it is true that you are buying cash directly from the mint, the mint also sells non-cash and collectibles, and amex has no way of knowing.

how long does it take for the mint to ship my order?
anywhere from 2 days to over a month. the variables are unknown. expect delays any time the mint changes its rules (like when it instituted user accounts) or makes a new line of coins available.

should i register an account with the mint?
the primary advantages of registering are (1) the ability to track your order and (2) your address and billing info are already filled in when you order. but while logged in you are limited to a maximum of $5000 n.a. coins and $500/president.

when i track my order, it says the order is "on hold," "in process," etc. what do these mean?
no one really knows. the only status messages that matter are the ones telling you your order has shipped or has been canceled. sometimes the reason for the cancellation can be inscrutable, such as "line canceled," which can imply that the mint ran out of direct ship rolls for that issue, or has ceased making that issue available for direct shipping.

are the coins circulating or uncirculating
the direct ship coins are circulating.

when i placed my order, the available credit on my card went down by $500/$5000, but i wasn't charged. what happened?
the mint puts an authorization hold on your account for the amount of your order. this is normal. sometimes the hold expires before the mint confirms the charge, which can happen if it takes a long time to ship.

i got my coins yesterday, but i was not charged! woo-hoo! did i just get a stimulus grant?
sometimes the charge gets processed and posted after you get the coins. no one has reported getting coins for free.

how are the coins shipped? what if i'm not home when they come?
according to the mint, all orders of merchandise in excess of $300 are upgraded to expedited shipping, which means they are shipped UPS next-day, signature required. if you order more than $2500, the shipment will come in two boxes (which do not always arrive together) and they are heavy!

are there any issues with depositing my coins at my bank?
some banks/branches allow you to drop off the rolls ($25 each) without breaking them. some even take the boxes unopened. at least one FTer has reported being required to put an account number on each roll. some banks require the rolls to be broken and either put into a coin counting machine or in coin bags.

the biggest problem is with the bags, which are measured by weight and not by the number of coins. worse, the bags are not opened in front of you, making it difficult to dispute a recount.

can my bank refuse to accept coins for deposit?
generally, banks cannot refuse deposits of legal currency absent a written policy. sometimes they claim there is insufficient space inside the vault.

can they make me fill out a report explaining where i got the coins or how much i am depositing? can the bank call the FBI on me?
banks are required to file a suspicious activity report (SAR) whenever a customer makes abnormally large cash deposits. the purpose of the SAR is to identify potential money laundering.

Last edited by aviators99; Jul 24, 09 at 10:17 am
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