Shrewd frequent fliers make miles on U.S. Mint's mistake

The allure of frequent flier miles, or perhaps just the game of chasing them, has resulted in many inspired schemes taking advantage of thoughtless merchants.

According to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), the latest deal comes courtesy of the U.S. Mint, and at a slight cost to the taxpayers.

A number of frequent flier fans took the Mint up on its offer of free shipping for bulk orders of coins. The fliers paid for their coins with charge cards that offered frequent flier mile rewards.

When the coins arrived, the fliers took them directly to the bank to pay off that credit card debt. The end cost to the fliers? A little time and a trip to the bank. The reward? For one of them, two million miles.