Throwback Thursday: Using the Royal Mint to Meet Minimum Spend

Prior to joining the Boaringarea/Prior2Boarding team, I had over 100 posts, many of which became quite popular. Throwback Thursday will bring back some of those old gems, with some updated information.


Some credit cards have a “minimum spend,” that is, to get the sign-up bonus, or to reach a bonus tier, you have to spend X amount of $ in Y time to get the bonus. For example, to get the 60,000 MR points offered with the AMEX Platinum card (this is a referral), you have to spend $1000 in 3 months. Business cards typically have much higher minimum spends, and occasionally, we have seen minimum spends reaching $10,000 (was an offer from the RBC Avion Visa).

The Canadian Royal Mint offers a number of coins that sell for their face value: 20/20, 50/50, and 100/100. As these are legitimate coins, they can be deposited at a bank* for face value (though the teller will give you a hard time). Back in the heyday, I was able to march into the Royal Mint store in Ottawa and buy them out of these face-value coins using any credit card. With 2 points per dollar spent, this was extremely lucrative. Sadly, I suspect in response to me going in daily, the Royal Mint store has imposed purchasing limits in store and online. Nonetheless, buying these coins, in-person or online, is an excellent way of very quickly meeting a minimum spend on a credit card.

For example, you can currently buy $375 of face-value coins (max of 3 of 25/50/50) on the mint.ca store, which is currently offering free shipping. Wait a week, get the coins, deposit them at your bank, and pay off your card. Voila! You have reached minimum spend very quickly and for free. If you’re close to a Royal Mint store, you can buy these coins, again at a 3 per-person limit, however, each person in attendance will get that limit, which can all go on one card. Further, you can go in-person as many times as you want, each visit qualifying for a 3 coin (of each type) limit.

I have received reports of banks denying these coins. I have deposited these coins countless time. I have contacted the banks for an official response. I will post those responses as I get them.


Royal Bank of Canada (RBC):

Face Value

When numismatic coins are presented for redemption the Sales Unit must redeem them at the face value shown on the coin.

Numismatic coins are legal tender and a service fee is not to be charged.

Note: The coins may have more than face value if negotiated through a coin dealer.

Laurentian Bank:

We inform you that it is not possible to deposit Royal Mint coins in our branch’s.

We regret that we cannot be of further assistance to you in this matter.

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    • Refer them to the policy. I just did this at my local RBC branch, and although it took awhile, they figured it out and future deposits have been easy.

  1. There is a Royal mint below my office so I have been going religiously everyday, twice a day with a coworker which allows me to purchase $5000 a day which is a free North America flight every work week. Unfortunately, yesterday I was informed that the mint will stop releasing Numismatic coins to combat the rise in buying to gain points. Get to the mint while you still can!

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