Looking Back: Using the Post Office As An ATM

I used to do a lot of bulk mailings. One of the things that always drove me nuts was the payment processing part of the equation. They would not take the business checks sometimes (depended on the agent) because the check did not have my driver’s license number printed on the check itself. It didn’t matter if I wrote it in – it had to be printed on there.

So, that meant running around to the other side of the building to go stand in line to pay with cash, get the receipt, and then go back to the Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU) to process the mail. The online method never worked for me, so this is just how it went.

Churning the Post Office?

One time, I asked one of the agents that knew me well why they do not take credit cards. He told me something that instantly had my mind churning the numbers. He said that people used to use their credit cards to fund their accounts “for miles and points and stuff like that” and then withdraw it all as cash/check. He said there were people doing it in the thousands of dollars each month, some in the tens of thousands! Because it was an account that could be drawn on at anytime (and still can if you have cash in it and want it back), this was going on for a while and costing the post office a lot of money in transaction fees and the hassle of giving it out again.

Talk about manufactured spending – that meant that some people were earning hundreds of thousands of miles each year at no expense (except the gas) at all! It’s no wonder the PO is in debt! I’m just wondering who was it that used to churn the Post Office – time to fess up! 🙂 Let me make this clear – I never did this and did not know about it until after the Post Office stopped accepting credit cards! In other words, don’t blame me for killing this deal. 🙂

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.