The end of using credit cards at the Mint

Just got this email in the mail – it’s a sad day but one that was expected given all the recent publicity from NPR, Newsweek, and the Wall Street Journal previously. Sad, sad, day.

Dear United States Mint Direct Ship Customer:

The United States Mint has eliminated the credit and debit card purchase of $1 Coins through its Direct Ship Program effective July 20, 2011. Customers who wish to purchase $1 coins through the Direct Ship Program can still do so by using a wire transfer, money order or check. Customers who wish to purchase the coins by wire transfer may fax their order to (202)756-6585. Customers interested in purchasing by money order or check may do so by submitting your request in writing to the following address:

United States Mint
PO Box 71192
Philadelphia, PA 19176-6192
Please download the order form which includes wire transfer information and follow the instructions provided on the form. http://www.usmint.gov/downloads/directShip/orderform.pdf

If you currently have an open $1 coin Direct Ship order placed with the United States Mint, that order will be cancelled. Please resubmit your order by wire transfer, check or money order using the order form. The Mint has determined that this policy change is prudent due to ongoing activity by individuals purchasing $1 coins with credit cards, accumulating frequent flyer miles, and then returning coins to local banks. Local banks, in turn, return coins to the Federal Reserve. While not illegal, this activity is a clear abuse and misuse of the program which was intended to facilitate the use of $1 coins in cash transactions.
The Mint has undertaken several aggressive internal and external actions to mitigate this issue, including restricting chronic and repeated use of credit cards, contacting customers who frequently placed large numbers of orders to ensure they were using the coins for legitimate business purchases, and other measures. While these efforts eliminated a significant amount of misuse in the program, we believe some abuse still exists. Eliminating the credit and debit card purchase of the $1 coin is the next step in our efforts to root out abuse in this program and ensure it is better targeted toward fulfilling its intended purpose – which is to get the $1 coin into greater circulation.

Thank you for your understanding and your continued support of the $1 Coin Program.
The United States Mint

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Comments

  1. Is this a seriously important post? With apologies if due, I think this is space-holding junk and of zero value to readers. C.

  2. @cedarglen – yes it is important as it directly applies to ways to reach spending limits on mileage earning credit cards which in the context of a blog about travel seems to be pretty on point.

  3. Instead of NOT accepting credit card, the Mint can easily work w/ credit card companies to mark the transaction as cash withdraw, which is exactly what that’s doing… and in doing so, no reward is accrued. This still allow people to order the coins for legitimate purposes.

    Really, who uses checks and money order anymore.

  4. This is why government does not work. If they want to stop us from doing this just charge S&H. Most of us would not buy coins if there were a S&H fee.

  5. @deltagoldflyer – The purpose of the program is to encourage people to “exchange” paper bills for coins. If you charge S&H, it defeats that purpose–why would I pay to get my dollars changed into a different medium?

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