Staples Visa Gift Card Issues
One of the great deals that comes along from time to time is buying Visa/MC gift cards at Staples. While most of the best deals for these gift cards are in-store, Staples does occasionally run specials online as well.
For example, back in December Staples ran a $10 instant discount on the purchase of a $100 Visa gift card. This resulted in a profit of $3.05 plus 480 Ultimate Rewards points when using the Chase Ink card.
Who Actually Sells These Cards
Visa gift card purchases made on Staples.com are processed through Gift Card Mall and usually take a few days to ship. The card is supposed to be shipped in one envelope with an activation code coming in a second envelope, usually a day apart. (See: How to Activate & Register Visa Gift Cards Purchased at Staples.)
Recently there has been some sort of issue with this process & the activation codes have not been getting sent. I have personally had over 20 orders over the past couple of months come without activation codes. Many other people have reported the same thing happening. I did ask Gift Card Mall why this is happening and the phone agent had no clue.
How to Activate Without the Codes
If you don’t receive the code, the only way to activate the cards is to call Gift Card Mall at 1-877-426-2551. They will verify your name and billing address and then activate the cards within a few hours. Having to call in is a pain, especially if you have a lot of orders.
Calling In to Activate
Some people use the names and addresses of family members in order to take advantage of a discount more than one time. Since “technically” the person calling in must be the person who purchased the cards, this can create a few problems.
Fortunately I can report that I called in to activate about 20 cards recently, some of which were in my wife’s name. When asked, I gave the person on the phone only my name and the order numbers (the address was the same). Thankfully, she didn’t mention (or notice) that some of the orders were in my wife’s name and all of the cards activated properly.
I am not a huge fan of the security procedure Gift Card Mall has in place for these cards. The only required pieces of information to activate via telephone are the name and billing address, both of which are in the envelope with the actual gift cards. I haven’t heard of anyone getting ripped off yet, but it wouldn’t be difficult.
In the end, I am not generally a huge fan of waiting for expensive gift cards to come via mail. Additionally, with Gift Card Mall not sending out activation codes, the fact that Staples stopped paying through portals and the overall lax security, I think I will hold off buying these cards online unless another killer deal comes along.
Have you recently ordered Visa gift card from Staples.com? If so, have the activation codes comes in the mail or did you have to activate via telephone? Let me know in the comments!