Since the news broke of Office Depot bringing back $500 Visa gift cards, there have been reports from people stating their local store didn’t stock them or required cash only. If this has been your experience, read on…
Yesterday I took a 20 minute drive to wine country, which has the closest Office Depot location in my area. I had called ahead to confirm that they carried $500 Visa gift cards and was told, “Yes, but you have to present your ID.” When I asked if I could use a credit card to purchase them, the rep confirmed that I could. I’ve long learned not to ask permission – it gives people a chance to shut you down. So I refrained from asking about purchase limits.
Off I drove, with visions of Ultimate Rewards points dancing around in my head.
When I got to the store, they only carried smaller denominations on the rack. I asked the cashier, who called a colleague. She walked over, confirmed I had spoken to her over the phone, then called her manager.
The manager arrived shortly and headed to a back area behind the register. She came out seconds later – with 1 gift card! I told her I needed 6, at which point she informed me there was a limit “because of all the fraud we’ve had going on.” What is this limit? She offered up 2 and I asked for 4 (always negotiate – have I taught you nothing?). She caved and came out with 4 gift cards, which the cashier loaded up with $500 a piece. Before doing so, the woman I’d talked to on the phone said something peculiar – “Taking a trip?” It was clear she knew what was going on.
The register did ask for cash, but the manager allowed an over-ride. Again, strange.
The whole situation was a bit bizarre and left me thinking Office Depot knows exactly what it’s doing. Why are they keeping these cards in the back room? I understand the fraud aspect, but I got the feeling they knew who would be asking for the cards and were almost catering to that crowd exclusively. Maybe I’m over analyzing.
Either way, I intend to make one more trip this month to Office Depot to round out my under-$5k goal. Then I’m going to sit back and be pleased with the 25k points I racked up, along with my continued membership in the Chase Ink club.
If you drop by your local store and find no $500 Visa gift cards on the rack, ask an associate. They may be hiding them in a back room, like my store was.
What has your experience been with Visa gift cards at Office Depot?