$500 Visa Gift Cards at Officemax: What Does it Mean & Math

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officemax 500 visa gift cards

$500 Visas Arrive at Officemax!!

Yesterday the news broke that Officemax has started carrying $500 variable load Visa gift cards with a $5.95 fee. @Konorth (Karen) first shared the news on Twitter and then it spread through the Chicago Seminars. I eventually heard it from Greg the Frequent Miler.

While I wasn’t personally able to go to an Officemax to confirm the deal, several people have been able to. Additionally I held one of these beauties in my hand yesterday as one other attendee who had made an Officemax run shared. Let’s break down what we know and the details.

$500 Visa Gift Cards

  • Issued by Metabank.
  • Pin is the last four digits of the card number.
  • These cards should work to load Bluebird/Serve at Walmart.
  • Maximum of $2K (4 cards) per transaction.
  • Some stores may allow multiple transactions.
  • Credit cards seem to work.
  • The fee is supposed to be $5.95 but the cards are ringing up at $3.95.

$500 Mastercard Gift Cards

Update: Mastercard gift cards are now working correctly. More info here.

They are also now carrying $500 Mastercard gift cards issued by U.S. Bank, but as of yesterday these were not ringing up correctly. U.S. Bank Mastercards should have the pin number in the package and work fine at a Walmart kiosk, however you need to quickly hit “change payment type” when swiping at a Walmart register.

The Math

Obviously the best card to use with this deal is a Chase Ink card which earns 5X Ultimate Rewards. The Amex SimplyCash should also earn 5% back as well. With the Chase Ink, here is how the math works.

  • $500 Visa Cost: $505.95
  • Points earned at 5X: $2,530
  • Cost per point: .0024

Less than a quarter of a cent per point? Wow! But it actually gets better. Currently the cards are only ringing up at $3.95, so here is the current math until they fix that discrepancy.

  • $500 Visa Cost: $503.95
  • Points earned at 5X: 2,520
  • Cost per point: .0016

As you can see, this is almost a flashback to the old days of Vanilla Reloads at Office Depot.

Conclusion

This deal is incredibly good. So good in fact, that I am sad that I will be out of town until Tuesday. If you are interested in these cards, then I suggest heading out to your local store sooner rather than later. If you are in Vegas, please be kind and leave my local Officemax alone!!! 😉


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22 COMMENTS

    • Ok, but I used a credit card to buy them this morning and others have as well. Does that make your comment a fail? Go out and try. Officemax has never had variable load cards. I am not talking about Office Depot. Have a great day!

      • Most have gone out and failed to find any. This appears right now to predominantly be a local and/or West coast phenomenon.

        • Its not a west coast thing. Im in southern california and the officemax and depot do not let you buy with a credit card.

  1. No variable Visa or MasterCard giftcards yet at 3 OfficeMax stores in NE Ohio – disappointing, but not entirely unexpected. I’m hoping they’ll have them eventually. Thanks for the post, Shawn!

  2. Was able to buy $5000 worth of visa at 3.95 each on Sat. This is all my store had received. Plenty of the new variable mc but they were ringing at $0.02 with no option for cashier to put in the amount. Was told Corp was notified and working on a fix.

  3. PHX – Went 3 for 5 today. All five OM stores had a placeholder for the variable load Visa cards, but were empty. The three successful locations had the cards behind the hidden door and two of those only had one new pack of ten cards. Able to confirm a limit of four $500 cards per transaction, $3.95 fee per card AND multiple transactions (YMMV). No issues whatsoever paying with Chase Ink. Suggest calling Chase to preauthorize in case your transaction gets denied, rendering the four cards useless (since supply seems very limited). Good luck!

  4. here in vegas I found one store that had it in stock but the limit was 1000 dollars, the other store was out of stock, but now I know where to go, shawn ill probably have bought up all of vegas before you return home

  5. Just an update – went back to a new OM and they had a package of 10 VGC in the back in a box they had received by mail and stated “Holiday Display” in bold letters all over it. The manager was kind enough to sell them all to me as he had seen me buy before when OM ran the discounted gc promos. He had no idea about the MCs. Mentioned that they were waiting for the new vendor’s credit card rep to reorganize the giftcard display as they were told by corporate that they were switching to a different vendor. Drove back to the store I was on Saturday and the manager I knew told me that he called tech support at corp on MCs not ringing up correctly and was told that they were not even supposed to have received them but now that they are in stores they are working on a fix to get rid of them. Don’t blame me but this is what I was told. Hopefully tech support was wrong…Visas still rang at $3.95.

  6. Good news! Visited one of the two OM stores where I had no luck Sunday and noticed them putting up a Holiday Gift Card Display in the main aisle. Circled the display (still in set up mode) and found an unopened pack of variable load Visa gift cards. Inquired if I could purchase some and was asked if I wouldn’t mind waiting so the employee could verify the quantity on the packing slip. While waiting, I happened to see the memo accompanying the shipment. From what I read, each store received a similar box with stock quantities of different gift cards. So If you haven’t seen these in your part of the country, chances are you will. BTW, still ringing up at $3.95. Happy hunting!

  7. More good news! I went to another OM today and found the variable Visas when I asked the clerk to look behind the magic door. It’s amazing what a rush I got buying those cards!

  8. Seattle area – I am quite familiar with the local OM cashiers. I was happy to see they had a new supply of the variable MC giftcards. I grabbed 4 (previous store limit was $2000) but unfortunately today my favorite cashier said that effective November 1st, only $200 could be purchased via credit card. Anything higher was cash only. He went on to state that OD coded their registers differently and was quite shocked to see thousands in recent gift card purchases and requested them to limit the purchases.

  9. I was able to purchase 4 $500 gift cards with CC Tuesday night. But this morning, the cashsier showed me the “Cash Only for variable load GCs” message on screen while helping to check out. The Cash Only policy is effective 11/1/15 and the system is hardcoded either yesterday or early this morning. Another dream deal is gone.

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