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Fantastic OfficeMax Deal
Earlier this week I broke the story that OfficeMax had a pretty good unadvertised gift card deal. They were offering a $15 instant coupon on the purchase of $300 in Visa gift cards. (You still have a couple of hours before the deal ends!) I broke down the math in my original post, but basically you could make money purchasing $200 cards or spend very little if purchasing $100 cards.
The main reason to buy these gift cards was to earn points/cash back with a card that pays 5% at office supply stores. If you are like so many that I know and went over the top with this deal, perhaps you are trying to figure out how to get rid of them
Ways To Dispose Of These Gift Cards
Pay Your Bills
Perhaps the most obvious way to dispose of the cards is by using them to pay your bills. Companies like Evolve Money allow you to pay certain bills including many mortgages with debit cards. Since these cards which are issued by Metabank are pin enabled, you can definitely do that. Frequent Miler has a great post which fully explains Evolve Money.
Additionally, you could pay normal bills or do your local shopping with these cards. Of course many of you probably want to earn additional miles for your shopping and other expenses, so we must then move on to other ways.
Amazon payments allows you to send up to $1000 per month without a fee. All you need to do is add the numbers and expiration from the gift cards to your Amazon Payments account. When you initially enter the card info, it is a good idea to enter the wrong expiration date.
Amazon puts a $1 hold on the card, so if you enter the correct expiration date, that money won’t be available right away. In fact, I have seen it take 2-3 weeks for that $1 hold to come off in the past. All you need to do to avoid the hold is put the wrong date in, save the card and then go right back in and correct the expiration date. It takes a few extra clicks, but I think it is worth it.
I wrote all about Amazon Payments and how to send money a few months ago if you are new and not sure how exactly to use the service. Sending money isn’t very difficult and this may be a way to liquidate at least a part of your gift card avalanche.
Another option is to load the money from these gift cards on to your Bluebird/Serve/GoBank cards at Walmart. If you aren’t familiar with Serve or GoBank, they are just alternative prepaid cards that are loaded the exact same way as Bluebird.
These gift cards can be loaded either at the kiosk or at any register. Make sure to tell the cashier you are using a debit card if paying at the register. The pin number will be the last four digits of the card number.
Warning: This last one is something that I don’t recommend for everyone. If you deposit too many money orders at your local bank then they may become suspicious of you. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying money orders, this kind of behavior can seem similar to what criminals do so be careful.
Additionally, I don’t recommend depositing these into your normal bank account. If you ever decide to get a big loan like a mortgage, they will want to see where all of the deposits came from and you will need to explain everything. The loan underwriter may not like your explanation.
With that said, You can use these gift cards to purchase money orders at Walmart and various grocery stores. These money orders can then be deposited in your account so that you can use the money to pay bills or use it for whatever purpose you see fit.
You may be wondering which stores will sell money orders and which banks let you deposit them at the ATM or with their app? The answer to those questions has everything to do with geography, so I won’t be spouting out a list.
The best way to find out who sells them is to head on over to your local grocery store and see if they allow the purchase of money orders with debit cards. If they say no then move on to the next store/chain. As far as banks go, you can do the same trial and error, or befriend other hobbyists who may let you in on what they know. I highly suggest not doing this at a bank with which you have credit card accounts.
There are many other ways to liquidate gift cards, although I don’t use them often and thus haven’t included them here. Hopefully this small list of ways to liquidate these gift cards has helped you with the stress of realizing that you bought way too many.
In the end, I have found that buying gift cards to pay my bills is not only a good way to take advantage of deals like this recent OfficeMax promotion, but it is also a great way to earn points in order to travel for pennies on the dollar! It is way easier than it seems.
Looking for the 5th way? Well that is to give them away of course! In case you haven’t heard, that is exactly what I am doing. Remember you have until 6/30/14 at 11:59PDT to enter to win a $100 Visa card!
Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.