Manufactured Spending

Can’t Find $500 Visa Gift Cards at Office Depot? Try This

Note: $500 Visa gift cards are no longer available at office supply stores.

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.

$500 Visa Gift Card at Office Depot

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?

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  1. My CVS now keeps Vanilla cards up front by the register, rather than on the rack.

    • PointChaser

      Same here, though Office Depot is taking it a bit far. The fraud must have been pretty extensive, and I’d like to think it wasn’t related to the travel hacking community.

  2. Old Flyer

    The fraud issue is SOP that corporate is telling the stores including the managers. It gives them what they feel is a legitimate reason for declining. I have experienced it with some Office Depot and Staples stores, but not all. You have to hunt and be persistent like Point Chaser.

    • PointChaser

      Makes sense. Still a strange experience, though I suspect my next visit will require less tooth-pulling.

  3. guys a newbie here… go easy on me!
    So, you got the $500 gift cards, what do you do, spend the Visa Gift cards on non bonus categories where one would’ve made 1 point/$, is that the only draw here?

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