Did you read the Dec. 7 account in the Wall Street Journal about the Mint’s dollar coin direct ship program being used to rack up airline miles?
What has puzzled me for the last week is why the Mint should decide it has to be the policeman of the airline frequent flyer programs.
The Mint wants coins to go out into circulation. The direct ship program was designed to do this. Clever users of credit cards charged the coins and deposited them in their banks, gaining frequent flyer miles in the process at a negligible net cost.
There does seem to be a problem here – for the airlines.
But the Mint jumped into action instead. It has a Web site message saying, “the immediate bank deposit of $1 Coins ordered through this Program does not result in their introduction into circulation and, therefore, does not comply with the intended purpose of the Program.”
So OK, the Mint wants dollar coins to go out into public hands. But certain uses are not acceptable.
Sure I know there is some bank inconvenience involved as well, but shouldn’t that be a matter between the bank and the account holder that is trying to deposit large numbers of dollar coins?
And if dollar coins are problems for banks in this small way, isn’t that rather an admission that dollar coins are simply a problem?
Next we will discover that the Mint will only allow grandmothers to buy dollars coins and only on condition that they be placed in the piggy banks of grandchildren because we don’t want to cause problems for the airlines, the banks and any other private entity that might somehow have to use or process dollar coins.
That pretty well spells out dollar coin failure, doesn’t it?