Moneymaking Office Depot/Officemax Visa Gift Card Deal – Everything You Need to Know (And A Possible Profitable Glitch)!

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office depot officemax visa gift card deal

Officemax/Office Depot Visa Gift Card Deal

This morning Frequent Miler was alerted to a Visa gift card deal via Twitter. At the time, not much was known other than Officemax was giving $10 off of the purchase of 2 Visa gift cards. Thankfully this afternoon I was able to head out into the “field” to learn everything about this deal. I even found an interesting tidbit that makes it a thousand times better. (Ok maybe not a thousand times!)

The Deal

Receive a $10 instant rebate with the purchase of 2 $50 Visa gift cards. Each card carries a $4.95 purchase fee, making the final tally $99.90 for $100 worth of cards. (Or is it? See below.)

While the original report on Twitter only mentioned Officemax, people commented on the Frequent Miler post about it being available at Office Depot as well. Thankfully this afternoon I was able to confirm the existence of the deal at both stores.

Since each of the stores handles the deal differently, I will give each one its own section.

Office Depot

office depot officemax visa gift card deal
The deal sign at Office Depot.
office depot officemax visa gift card deal
Office Depot fine print.

Office Depot sells Vanilla branded gift cards. These cards generally don’t work at Walmart to load Bluebird/Serve. To get the discount, simply bring the gift cards to the register and the system will automatically deduct $10.

The $50 Visa gift cards at Office Depot come in a red package as shown below. As you can see, the sign lists four eligible item numbers. I was not able to confirm what each of those item numbers is, but I only saw 1 SKU of $50 Visa gift cards on the shelf. (In fact my Office Depot only had 2 cards left.) This means that it is possible the deal may work with other denominations.

office depot officemax visa gift card deal
$50 Visa gift cards sold at Office Depot.

Officemax

office depot officemax visa gift card deal
The Officemax deal sign.
office depot officemax visa gift card deal
Officemax fine print.

Officemax has a completely different computer system than Office Depot so the deal works a little differently. When the cashier rings up the gift cards, they must also scan a barcode in their coupon book to get the discount. (Note: Some Officemax locations have been updated to the Office Depot POS system and thus the deal will work as mentioned above.)

As you can see from the Officemax sign, two SKUs are listed. Officemax sells Visa gift cards issued by Metabank which can be loaded to Bluebird or Serve. If you need the pin, it is automatically the last four digits of the card number, although some people have reported you don’t need to enter a pin on these low value cards.

office depot officemax visa gift card deal
$50 Visa gift cards sold at Officemax.

GLITCH: This afternoon when I visited Officemax, the system took off $10 per card when the cashier scanned the barcode. My purchase for two cards ended up being $89.90. This only works at Officemax where they must manually scan the coupon. At Office Depot, the correct $10 discount is given.

Maximizing the Deal

At both stores the deal is limited to 2 offers per household/customer. Since this is an instant rebate, if you are able to get the cashier to ring multiple transactions separately then you may be able to get the discount more than once.

Obviously it is best to go to Officemax as opposed to Office Depot. First off, the above glitch makes this deal much more profitable. Also, Vanilla cards can be a pain to liquidate, whereas Metabank cards are much easier.

The Math

To maximize this deal you will want to use a Chase Ink card which earns 5X at both Officemax and Office Depot. If you do, here is how the math works out with and without the glitch:

No glitch – $.10 profit plus 500 Ultimate Rewards Points

With glitch – $10.10 profit plus 450 Ultimate Rewards Points

This is a good deal for patient people who are looking to generate Ultimate Rewards points. The Officemax glitch makes the deal infinitely better if you can scale it. Since you are making a $5.05 profit on each card with the glitch, the opportunity exists to make a decent profit without having to spend astronomical amounts, but the cards can be a pain to liquidate.

Liquidating These Cards & Caution

office depot officemax visa gift card deal
Only cards purchased at Officemax will work at Walmart to load to Bluebird/Serve.

I have created an entire resource around liquidating Visa gift cards. As mentioned before, Vanilla branded cards purchased at Office Depot generally don’t work at Walmart. Also, keep in mind that small denomination cards like these are a pain to get rid of.

One of the reasons I didn’t buy more cards today is that I am still a little burned out from liquidating all of the $100 cards I ended up purchasing during the “Officemax Christmas miracle“. While I still made out nicely profit wise, it pushed my patience to the limit.

Unknowns

As I sit here, there are still a few unknowns that I know a lot of people are questioning. I have yet to hear reports, but I will update you if I hear anything different.

  • Will this discount work with other denominations? I am not sure, but there are multiple SKUs listed on the signs. In both stores I had strict cashiers, so I wasn’t able to stray from the deal.
  • Will the Officemax glitch take $10 off every card on the same transaction? I know similar glitches in the past have worked both ways. If it does, you may want to get out and try it. People tend to stay quiet about these things.
  • How long will the glitch last? In the past they have fixed these types of errors within a day or two. They could fix it at any time.

Conclusion

This is a good deal for patient people who are looking to generate Ultimate Rewards points. The Officemax glitch makes the deal infinitely better if you can scale it. Please feel free to share your own experiences in the comments. Do you feel this deal is more trouble than it is worth?


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27 COMMENTS

  1. Good thing you walked everyone through this, I am sure no one could have figured this out on their own, without it being publicized to the world.

  2. I personally don’t find this particular offer worth my time. Even with the glitch it’s $15. This also assumes you’re able to MS them at Wal-Mart which is a PITA lately (if you’re even able to do it).

    The only time I take advantage of these deals is when I see something like a $20 Staples easy rebate offer and do it x 3 (use my mother and mother in laws addresses too). In that instance it’s $60+ value.

    As far as Chase points are concerned, I personally believe they’re a rip off unless you’re using them for flights, which I rarely do. I usually cash them in so there’s no extra value for earning them vs cash.

  3. Officemax is right down the street. For $10.10, why not swing by? It fits into the routine and is easy enough to dump onto Redbird.

    Thanks for the tip!

    Pay no mind to the haters.

  4. Shawn,

    I’m at officemax now and the cashier said the register has been updated with new register so they don’t have any coupon book to scan for discount anymore and I told him to just try it anyway and he did but thereal is still no discount applied automatically when he rang up 2 $50 gc for me….is the deal dead?

    • That is strange. All I can suggest is showing them my photos of the sign. Perhaps there is a promotion number they can research or look up. There have been a lot of these deals in the past that the employees aren’t aware of. Usually they are able to look them up though.

  5. Shawn – Thanks a lot! I stopped by OfficeMax on the way home last night, and it worked out just the way you spelled it out in your post. Keep up the great work! 🙂

  6. I’m new to this manufactured spending thing. Well I by chance went into Office Depot last week and lo and behold they offered the $10 rebate on 2 x $50 VGC. So I bought 12 of them. You can only buy 4 at a time per the offer but I went through the register multiple times. I then drove immediately to Publix to purchase a $400 money order and when I scanned the card, the transaction got declined with “NOT AUTHORIZED”. I panicked. I’m not near a Walmart and the Target Red Card isn’t available in Florida. Well I went to another Publix on Saturday (by then I had already used 7 of the cards) and was able to purchase 5 MO for $49 at a cost of 89 cents each. I’m not sure if it varies by store or if the money order value cannot exceed the gift card denomination. Also, I used the Debit with a PIN option because I thought you cannot use a Credit transaction to purchase a money order. All in all it cost me $4.45 (5 x 89 cents) to purchase $245 worth of money orders in order to get 1250 points (5 x 250). Assuming I have no issues when I try to deposit these MO at the bank (BofA mobile phone app does NOT allow depositing money orders), the 1250 miles cost me $4.45 or .356 cents a mile. Is that considered a deal? Not sure yet if this is worth the aggravation, but it has been a learning experience. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • It is a good deal considering the points are worth more than your cost, however you must always factor in your time. I personally wait until there are deals on higher denomination gift cards since those are more lucrative. In my opinion whatever gets you where you want to go is fine.

      You may want to consider asking them if you can use multiple “debit” cards in one transaction. For example, if they will allow you to use 4 debit cards, you could buy a ~$200 money order and liquidate 4 cards while only having to pay the fee once.

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