I also recall that he had a poster of the various sizes one could earn with their travel. He, of course, had ones larger than mine, and I could only dream that any of us could ever receive the largest shown at the top of the picture.
Imagine this in the current age of mileage programs. At first blush, most would pshaw receiving gew-gaws instead of accrued credit toward an airline ticket. But now consider that those ingots are plain gold and easily sold for their weight.
Which would you prefer for your loyalty program - mileage accrual or a cash rebate?