Super HOT!! – Officemax & Office Depot $20 off Instantly with $300 in Visa Gift Cards

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officemax visa gift card deal may 2015

Officemax/Office Depot Visa Gift Card Bonanza

I love any deal that involves office supply stores. I especially love a deal that involves office supply stores and Visa gift cards. But when a deal involves both of those things plus an instant discount, it is hard to contain my excitement.

Such a deal is about to start and it will be running for two whole weeks! From 5/3-5/16 Officemax and Office Depot are going to be offering $20 off the purchase of $300 or more in Visa gift cards. Unlike Staples, this discount is taken off instantly at the register.

Key terms from the weekly ad:

“Limit two (2) offers per customer. Cards may be used only at merchants in the U.S. and District of Columbia wherever Visa debit cards are accepted. The Visa Gift Card is issued by MetaBank®, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. MetaBank; Member FDIC. Offer valid in store only.”

officemax visa gift card deal may 2015

Analysis

One thing I find interesting is that the terms say these Visa cards are issued by Metabank. While Officemax has always carried Metabank Visas, Office Depot normally sells Vanilla Visas which are issued by Bancorp. Vanilla Visas are harder to liquidate, since they don’t work at Walmart in denominations of $50 or more.

See: How To Liquidate Prepaid Visa & Mastercard Gift Cards

How to Maximize

The best way to maximize this offer would be to purchase 4 of the $200 Visa gift cards using a Chase Ink card. (The Amex SimplyCash also earns 5% at office supply stores.)

Unfortunately $200 cards tend to run out very quickly, so lets look at a couple of different scenarios.

Here is the math if you buy 4 x $200 Visa gift cards at $206.95 each:

  • Cost of 4 x $200 cards: $827.80
  • Minus discount x2: -$40
  • Total cost: $787.80
  • Profit: $12.20
  • Points earned with Ink: 3,939

Note: You may also get the two discounts to trigger when buying 3 x $200 cards, but the promotions don’t always work this way so I am assuming the worst.

Now you can probably see why this deal is so exciting. You can earn almost 4,000 points in one shot and still make $12.20. Pretty good. Of course you may only be able to find $100 gift cards, so lets look at another way to go.

Here is the math if you buy 6 x $100 Visa gift cards at $105.95 each:

  • Cost of 6 x $100 cards: $635.70
  • Minus discount x2: -$40
  • Total cost: $595.70
  • Profit: $4.30
  • Points earned with Ink: 2,979

Even if you have to purchase $100 cards this deal is still very good. Of course, you still have to liquidate all of those cards, so factor your time into your own calculations to make sure it is still worth it for you.

officemax visa gift card deal may 2015
Metabank Visa cards. The yellow packages are $200 cards and the green packages are $100 cards.

More to Consider

These coupons rarely work correctly on day 1. Be prepared for cashiers who don’t know what they are doing and perhaps even some pushback. Unlike past deals, this one is in the weekly ad which should help when explaining the deal to a cashier.

I would favor Officemax over Office Depot. In my experience Officemax is more credit card friendly and I still believe Office Depot sells Vanilla cards despite the terms. (At least they did as of about a month ago.)

Finally, it doesn’t hurt to ask a cashier if you can do separate transactions. Some cashiers may allow you to exceed the limit of 2 per customer. Also, in the past I have had success going back to a store multiple times over the course of a promotion. Generally they enforce the limit on a per visit basis, although some stores have a stricter interpretation.

Conclusion

This is a killer deal and one that a lot of people are going to want to take advantage of. For me, the ability to earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points on the purchase of gift cards that I can later load to Bluebird/Serve to pay my bills is fantastic! See you at Officemax/Office Depot!

HT: Frequent Miler via Slickdeals

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39 COMMENTS

  1. I have been looking into this ServeRedcard thing with gift cards and i dont think i could really use it. My student loans do not move forward with a bill pay payment because i have autodraft to reduce my loans by .25%. Those and my mortgage are the only things i cant pay with a credit card. My mortgage people seemed a bit leary of taking money not debited from my loan checking out. Maybe it was just the clerk…

    Now that i’m thinking about maybe .25% is not really that much??

  2. You just made my day. Here’s to hoping for multiple txns/visit and multiple visits. Part of me wonders if this would be “price matched” at Staples. Would certainly be convenient to try once as they’re usually near each other, but certainly won’t push luck on that front.

    Thanks for the great coverage!

      • Thanks for the link, Shawn. I don’t know if NY is problematic, but Target cashiers were giving me issues the several times I tried loading gift cards to Redbird, saying that only cards that have my name on the card can be loaded.

          • In my experience, it varies by Target store. One of my local stores stopped taking gift cards, even if they were pin-enabled and said Debit. The other store stopped taking credit cards and ONLY takes gift cards. Guess I’m lucky to have both options 🙂

  3. A question about the way you presented the transaction.

    You’re saying if I purchase 6 $100 VGC all in one transaction, I should expect to look at my receipt and find 2 discounts?

    Seems safer to me, to do 2 separate transactions.

    Thanks!

    • During past deals it has worked both ways which is why I didn’t write the math up with it. If you can get it to work like that then it becomes a $19.15 profit!

  4. So how do they limit the two transactions per customer of the customer goes to different stores on different days?

    • They don’t have a real system. Some cashiers will allow multiple transactions and some stores will deny you if they recognize you from earlier in the promotion. It really is varies.

  5. Too bad the closest location is 30-40 min away. Good deal its its nearby or fits your normal shopping route.

  6. I went to 2 Office Depot stores today and checked if the $200 VISA GC is available. There were none on the GC rack. So I asked and was told that it was purposely removed from the GC Rack. I have a feeling this promotion is not going to be a walk in the park.

    • Indeed…in my neck of the woods. A few of the stores had $100s only so I got all I could, the rest of the stores were $50s or less. Even most Depot stores were out of $100+ vanillas. On top of that, the new system requires manager override, and they were all very hostile at any mention of buying over $600 for more discounts. Sounds like they had a talking to from higher up before the promo.

      Maybe next time I see $200s at one of these stores, I’ll stash them around in various places in anticipation of future intentional removal for these promos.

    • That simply isn’t true. Some stores only accept cash but the vast majority will allow credit cards. Also some employees mistake the policy since One Vanilla variable load cards are cash only at all stores, but fixed value cards can be purchased with a credit card.

  7. My brother just went to an Office Depot to buy the 2 $200 GCs and the manager wouldn’t allow him to use a cc. Only cash she said!

  8. My brother just went to Office Depot to buy 2 $200 VGCs and the mgr wouldn’t allow credit cards. She said Cash Only is the policy for VGCs!

    • Some store are like that. Some cashiers also don’t know the policy and get confused since One Vanilla variable load cards are cash only. Sorry your brother had an issue. It most definitely is not a corporate policy, so he may want to try again at a different store.

  9. Shawn, I purchased Metabank Visas at Office Max and then went to Walmart to buy a $100 money order using
    one of the $100 Visas. I used the last 4 digits of the card as a pin and kept getting a response that the pin was incorrect. I told the person that was helping me that it was a debit card. As a follow up, I used the same card to make a purchase at another store so it wasn’t an issue with the amount on the card. Thanks!

    • Try setting your own pin. I’ve had issues in the past when using thy default pin for Kate loads. Tried setting a pin and it worked. Then again I’ve had experiences with no issues as well. These days I prefer to oprn my gowallet app and just load the card and set the new pin.

    • There are fixed value $25, $50, $100 & $200 Vanilla cards. These can all be purchased with credit cards in most locations. Then there is the variable load One Vanilla card that can be loaded up to $500. It is hard coded as cash only in the computers unfortunately.

  10. I am curious. I missed the deal but am still trying to learn. I purchased $200 in visa gc at office max. I went to office max because I thought I could get 5x points. It seems Chase sapphire does not do 5x? So then I’ll hopefully just get 200 points but even that could be voided? What about business Ink

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