DEAD: Office Depot Pulls Its Very Lucrative Mastercard Promo Early

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Office Depot Mastercard Deal Ending Early

All good things must come to an end and sometimes that end comes early. According to reports from a few readers (on Twitter and the MtM Travel Hacking Facebook group), the Office Depot/Officemax Mastercard gift card deal I wrote about the other day has ended early. Office Depot has threatened to do this before with past deals, however this time they actually seem to have pulled the offer.

Several people are reporting that the discount on Mastercard gift cards and various merchant gift cards is no longer working as of some time this morning. There were rumblings from some stores yesterday that this would happen, but I was skeptical since I have been told in the past that similar deals would be ending early when they never did.

Some Games They Have Played

As I mentioned, this type of reactive behavior is not new from the company, but I have not seen them pull a deal nationally before. I have been taking advantage of these deals for many years and have run into all kinds of games.

In the past I have:

  • Been told by a manager that it was a “new corporate policy” to not sell gift cards with a credit card. Of course as soon as the deal ended, they once again accepted credit cards and the store down the street never stopped.
  • Seen a store manager physically pull all of the cards off of the shelf and hide them in the back so no one could buy any.
  • Had a manager tell me that I could buy up to $250 in gift cards with a credit card. The rebate offer was triggered at $300.
  • Had store employees communicate via their intercom to stop my wife and I from buying one set of cards each since they claimed the limit was per household despite the terms also saying per business. (We won that argument ultimately.)

Considering they tend to have amnesia and keep coming back with these deals only to play games later, lets hope Office Depot will forget about this in a couple of months and have another promo.

Why End the Deal

Deals like this are tricky for companies since there is a lot of fraud in the gift card arena. I know all of my local stores triple check ID, however perhaps some stores are more lax. I also think a company like Office Depot might get a bit nervous when they see one person buying a lot of cards. Even if that person is legitimate, the company has a lot of exposure.

Hopefully many of you were able to pickup a nice chunk of cash/points. Feel free to share your experiences with this deal in the comments.


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19 COMMENTS

  1. I got there 3 times, $600 in Mastercards, then took them to Fred Meyer (Kroger) and bought some ($400 worth) Amazon gift cards with them, my wife needed school books. Freddy has a 4X fuel points promo going on this week.

  2. I was just going to get a couple of gift cards today at my local OD/OM. You saved me a trip, so thanks. But OD/OM are really customer-unfriendly. Why post signage that a sale runs through April 15 and then kill it without any notice. Sad!

  3. Thanks for the heads-up, Shawn, you saved me the trip today! Maybe I’m a little relieved, as I was tiring of all the trips to OfficeMax – bought over $4000 worth, in about 11 separate trips. I did make some good money, though!

    • LOL! I exactly had the same feeling and quite relieved after knowing the deal ended. early. I am torn to a deal whenever I am experiencing fatigue in MS. Time for a break. And I noticed that this time OD/OM is very strict about their one transaction per customer per day policy.

  4. I got MGC with $20 off today (04/06) morning at 9:00am at local Office Max store.
    Another reader has reported that deal will end tonight.
    Try your luck as YMMV

  5. I was able to buy at 2 separate stores this morning at 10 am est. I went to a third store at 12:00 pm est and the gc rang up normal price.

  6. It’s probably GiftCardMall (Blackhawk) that ended it. Blackhawk is funding the promo, so OD would benefit from selling as much as they can. OD isn’t liable for the fraud. This one was structured poorly ($20 off $100) instead of the more typical $20 off $300 and just was not sustainable.

  7. I purchased around $2,000 in the last 3 days, today I showed up at the store around noon, the deal is gone. Well it was good while it lasted.

  8. I went to a San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles area) OD around 10:30 AM. I didn’t get the rebate on a $100 MCDGC and asked the cashier why it didn’t trigger. He growled back, “Because there’s no rebates on gift cards!” I found that interesting, seeing as how he sold the exact same thing to me two days ago. I pointed to the display — which had the sale sign still perched atop the spinner — and he said, “Oh, yeah. That’s because you have to buy two $50 gift cards for it to work. You only bought a $100 card.” I figured something was awry and left — only to learn the deal was dead. (It seems this guy fits perfectly into Sean’s list of OD shena :-))

  9. there was also a fraud issue — but on behalf of the issuer.

    I had several cards that were locked down when they were activated as they were coded as being hacked since the cards were showing an attempted use before activation.

    the issuer said that they were reaching out to the retailers and asking them to pull all the cards stating this was the first time this has happened on such a massively large scale and they don’t know why but the lady I spoke with said they will just reissue me new cards. Obviously, some sort of data breach.

    When I tried to check the balance on the hacked cards and change the pin, these hacked cards would not let me do anything other than talk with a customer service rep. It took me directly to the CSR as soon as I punched in the relevant card and security number. I tried other cards that were not hacked and I got to change my pin and such but these hacked cards were already being monitored in the system.

    so, that is a possible data point for ending the deal early on the MC…but does not explain the retailer gift cards.

    I guess I will get my new cards in about a week. Play this game long enough and you see all sorts of things happening.

    • Just a heads-up – I bought 6 MasterCard gift cards at Staples during their March 19 promo, and found 4 of them had been used fraudulently. Now I’ve got endless paperwork to get new cards.

      I’ve checked a few of the MC’s bought during the OfficeMax promo last week, and so far they look ok. The fraud, however, didn’t start with the other cards until about 10 days after purchase.

  10. I was able to buy a few thousand dollars in cards at the several stores near us on my chase Ink care in the first few days…we’d buy five cards, one at a time, each of us at a few stores. Worked out really well for us.

  11. I got in on the promo not as much as I’d have liked, it was ended before I could buy more. I took pictures of the signage before they took it down. The store manager at OM said he couldn’t discount the giftcard but would offer me a $10 discount on merchandise with the giftcard purchase.

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