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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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
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