December 13, 2011 Earlier this year we reported on the pileup of more than a billion unwanted $1 coins in government vaults. It was the result of a law passed a few years back that ordered the mint to create coins honoring each U.S. president.Today, the White House said it will end the program.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/143668605/143673296" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
December 13, 2011 Saying it can save taxpayers $50 million a year, the Treasury Department announced today that it is suspending almost all production of presidential dollar coins.
July 26, 2011 A bill has been introduced in Congress to kill the troubled dollar coin program. Unwanted dollar coins are piling up in Federal Reserve vaults around the country, costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. The program was designed to whet the public's appetite for dollar coins. But it's been a flop.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/138696328/138696385" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Teacher Rebecca Kayes shows off the dollar coins she uses in Quito, Ecuador.
July 22, 2011 We talk to travelers who use frequent-flier-mile credit cards to buy dollar coins and pile up miles. And we hear how the U.S. Mint is cracking down.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/138616763/138616782" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
July 22, 2011 The U.S Mint said today it will no longer accept credit-card payments for dollar coins purchased from its Web site. Too many people were using the program just to get frequent-flier miles.
Dollar coins gathering dust in the Fed's Baltimore brach.
John W. Poole/NPR
July 14, 2011 Planet Money recently reported on the mountain of dollar coins piling up in Federal Reserve vaults. Now a Democratic Congresswoman wants to halt the program.
Jane Liaw Liaw orders coins from the U.S. Mint to earn frequent-flier miles.
July 13, 2011 Travel enthusiasts buy thousands of coins with credit cards that award frequent-flier miles for purchases. The government picks up the tab for shipping.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/137795995/137811915" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
June 28, 2011 A billion dollars in dollar coins are stacked up in Federal Reserve vaults around the country because Americans don't want them. The dollar coin program has become a waste of money and space. Congress initiated the effort to promote presidential history and to build up interest in dollar coins as substitutes for bills. But the government wildly misjudged demand. And political sensitivities keep the program alive — even though some of its congressional sponsors acknowledge it has been a flop. Melissa Block talks to Planet Money's David Kestenbaum for more.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/137480126/137482578" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Millions of dollars worth of $1 coins languish in a vault at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's Baltimore branch.
John W. Poole/NPR
June 28, 2011 A joint inquiry by NPR's Planet Money and Investigations teams found that more than $1 billion of unused dollar coins are the wasteful byproducts of another failed congressional effort to replace the dollar bill in everyday commerce.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/137394348/137466593" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor