If this post is successful, it will probably turn into an ongoing series detailing all the zany ways I've upped my balances. But for now, I will hit on the greatest one of all, the Presidential $1 coin shuffle!
Back in 2009, the U.S. Mint started a program intended to circulate $1 coins throughout communities across the country. Individuals were encouraged to purchase the $1 coins at face value and then spend them at places like dry cleaners, farmer's markets, local restaurants, and any other places where using a credit card was not available or frowned upon.
|Free Miles From The Government?
Very quickly, folks in the frequent flyer community figured out how to "game" the system. People used their travel credit cards to purchase sets of $1 coins (sold in heavy boxes of $500). When the shipped coins arrived on their doorstep, they immediately deposited them in their bank and used the money to pay off their credit card statement (now showing a $500 charge for the coins). The effect? Unlimited frequent flyer miles!
There were of course drawbacks to this "scheme." Holding onto that many coins was risky, especially if UPS misplaced a shipment or two. They were also INCREDIBLY heavy. I remember nearly passing out trying to lug $2,000 to a bank in the middle of summer. Some more, ahem, zealous frequent flyers were depositing upwards of $20,000 every week! Don't believe me? Check out the screen shot below from a frequent flyer named "Mr. Pickles."
I certainly got strange looks explaining this method to friends and family, but it was a great way to supplement my mileage accounts. What do you guys think? Should I have been locked up for such as a crazy scheme? Would you like this to become an ongoing series? Drop me an email or leave a comment.
Until tomorrow, everyone!
-Charm City Traveler