The end of using credit cards at the Mint

Posted on: July 22nd, 2011 by: Jason

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

Someone finally takes dollar coins

Posted on: July 11th, 2011 by: Jason

20110711-153715.jpg

Priority Club launches the “Win it in a Minute” contest

Posted on: January 24th, 2011 by: Jason

I must say that Priority Club does some very interesting promotions.

Their latest one is called “Win it in a Minute” where you have to answer five questions in less than 12 seconds each. The 50 people with the fastest times each day will win 5,000 Priority Club points. The top 100 cumulative scores each week will win 15,000 Priority Club points.

This is another brilliant marketing program by Priority Club in the same vein as “Crack the Case”. “Luckiest Loser”, and “Priority Club Challenge”.

thanks to Loyalty Traveler

Delta Airlines Diamond Status for you and a guest for $27,500

Posted on: December 14th, 2010 by: Jason

Delta is offering Delta Diamond Status, a Delta SkyClub membership for you and a guest, and two complimentary Premium Class Delta tickets for purchasing a 5 hour fleet membership card with Delta Private Jets for only $27,500.

I love the marketing text.

This holiday season, treat family, friends and yourself to the ultimate gift of luxury and flexibility – private jet travel.

Anyone out there want to treat me to the ultimate gift of luxury and flexibility?

Discount code for Continental

Posted on: June 13th, 2010 by: Jason

Save 5% on international travel or up to 25% on domestic travel with coupon code ZGGMBYERCJ.

It’s unclear if using the coupon code with eliminate your earning of miles so be sure and check before booking.

Flights Ineligible for Mileage Credit

OnePass mileage may not be earned on certain Continental Airlines and other OnePass airline partner tickets. These include, but are not limited to:

Continental tickets purchased and used in violation of Continental’s Contract of Carriage, fare tariffs and OnePass Program.
All free travel, including OnePass reward travel.
Unpublished charter flights.
Industry-free or industry-reduced rate tickets.
Promotional certificates.
Unpublished fares, such as priceline.com and Hotwire.
Tickets, products or services purchased and used in violation of the terms and conditions applicable to Continental’s OnePass partners.
Continental Airlines reserves the right to exclude certain fares, programs and routes from earning OnePass credit.

500 Priority Club points for installing a browser toolbar

Posted on: April 16th, 2010 by: Jason

Link.

Easy 500 Priority Club points. Just download the browser toolbar and you’re done! Earn 1000 points additional by booking a room with the toolbar.

Details:

Priority Club – More than 4,300 hotels, At one click of a button.
Download the toolbar

Our exclusive Priority Club toolbar button is another one of our great Travel Tools that make your travel experience more rewarding. By downloading the button, you’ll be earning yourself 500 bonus points and for a limited time only* every time you use it to make a reservation, we’ll give you another 1000 points. How’s that for more rewarding?

China Airlines deals to Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Taiwan

Posted on: January 27th, 2010 by: Jason

China Airlines is having a fare sale from both New York City and Los Angeles.

From Los Angeles
Taiwan/Hong Kong/Bangkok book by 1/28/10 and fly between period 1 (1/9/10-2/3/10) or period 2 (2/12/10-4/11/10). Fares starting at $720.

From New York
Taiwan ($780) and HK ($740) book by 2/5/10 fly between 2/12/10-4/11/10

Last March, my wife and I flew first class from Salt Lake City to Bangkok, Thailand on China Airlines using our frequent flier miles. It was an absolute dream vacation.

International Trip Day 3

Posted on: October 24th, 2009 by: Jason

We arrived in Almaty at 7 am in the morning. A quick trip through the grumpy customs officials and I was off to the hotel. The taxi driver said that it would cost 5000 tenge to get to the($30) airport. This seemed a fair price.

Once we arrived at the hotel, the taxi driver said it would be 21,500 tenge ($125). Yeah right. Apparently, the taxi driver had said 500 tenge per kilometer at the airport. Perhaps it was the jet lag or perhaps he was trying to take advantage of some poor American soul. Whatever the case, there was no way I was paying $125.

I told him that in Moscow where it takes two hours to get to the hotel, I only pay $50. There was no way he was getting $125. He kept trying to convince me, but saw I was going to budge. He started to come down on price and we finally agreed to 7000 tenge ($40).

I went in and checked in at the Intercontinental Hotel and slept for 5 hours. I was picked up at the hotel and whisked off for some meetings in regards to our proposed operations there. An hour and a half later, we had agreed in principle.

It was time for my hosts to show me Almaty. We went to a traditional Kazakh restaurant. My host ordered at least 5 entrees off the menu (at least as far as I could tell since I don’t speak Russian). The first two dishes came and my plate was piled high by my hosts. The food was very tasty, seasoned well. The next two entrees came and my plate was piled high again. I could tell my hosts were very keen on knowing how I liked Kazakh food. It actually tasted quite good.

Finally there was one more round of entrees, but I couldn’t hardly eat anymore. I made sure and give lots of compliments through the translator to my hosts.

As were were taking the taxi back to the hotel, I asked the translator what exactly we had had for lunch. Her reply was “Pony, pork, and horse”. Lovely.

They picked me up again at 8 pm for another round. They tried to go to a couple of clubs that were full, we ended up at a nice restaurant. The drinking and eating continued until about 11 PM. At this point, I told them I would have to heard back to the hotel as my flight was leaving at 3 AM.

My hosts were very gracious the whole time and Almaty was suprisingly a very good city, that felt a lot like Kiev rather than Moscow.

International Trip Day 2

Posted on: October 24th, 2009 by: Jason

The second day in Russia was one of lots of meetings. After our meetings, we decided to meet up for lunch in downtown Moscow. 3 hours later, we had made it through the stand still traffic.

When it was time to go the airport, I noticed that there is a new express train to the airport from the Belarusskaya subway station. I’m all about the trains as you get to avoid the gnarly traffic jams.

I left the hotel at 6:45 PM to take the express train. The signs to the train weren’t exactly clear, but I was able to make the 7:20 train. I got off the train, only to realize that I would have to take a bus to terminal C. I navigated my way down to the bus and took it to terminal C. I ended up arriving at 9:30 PM for my 11:30 PM flight. So much for added speed from the express train.

There was absolutely nothing to do in the airport terminal. There was two restaurants and no plugs anywhere to charge my laptop. I ate a “burrito” and got on the plane at 11:30 PM. 8 hours later I was in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Get 1000 Continental OnePass miles for email sign up

Posted on: January 17th, 2009 by: Jason

From the January 2009 Continental magazine:

Sign in at Continental.com, go to “My Account”, and select “Email subscriptions” on the manage profile page.

Offer valid for new subscribers who are residents of the 50 United States. Must subscribe by 01/31/09 and remain subscribed for 60 days to receive bonus miles.

I didn’t even have a Continental OnePass number as I always credit everything to Delta, but for 1000 miles I’ll go ahead and sign up and get their emails.

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