Consumers can purchase large quantities (a minimum of $250) of gold dollar coins from the U.S. Mint online. The key to this scheme is that these boxes ship for free. The coins are purchased using a credit card with some kind of reward (preferably instant cash rewards) and then immediately deposited in the bank when they show up. As MainStreet explains:
Net result? If you bought $1,000 in coins on your card and then immediately paid it all off, assuming you have 2% cash back, this means you just made $20 or more for only a few minutes of effort. In addition to that, you might also have accrued 1,000 points or air miles. The Mint gets its new coins in circulation, and you get a sweet reward — everyone wins, except the credit card company (that’s a change, isn’t it).
We’d argue that the U.S. Mint doesn’t really win in this situation, since getting the $1 coins into a bank’s vault is not the same as getting them into circulation. This particular scheme depends on a few factors—the safe travels of the coins, and the timing of one’s credit card deadlines.
Does this sound like a sound financial plan to you, or a scheme bordering on legal money laundering? To us, it sounds like a lot of work for at most $20, but lifting $1000 worth of dollar coins does have residual fitness benefits.