Manufactured Spending

OfficeMax Hard-Codes Registers to Reject Credit Cards for Visa Gift Card Purchases

A couple of weeks ago I shared the great news that OfficeMax was once again carrying $500 Visa gift cards and accepting credit cards for the purchase. What made buying these gift cards so lucrative was that you could earn 5 points per $1 through your Chase Ink Plus card and the cards only cost $3.95 per $500 despite being labeled $5.95 each. Unfortunately, it appears the gravy train is now over as Shawn from Miles to Memories reports that OfficeMax has hard-coded their registers to accept cash only for gift card purchases. This is pretty disappointing for most of you – myself included. I didn’t even get to take advantage of this deal. I lost my Ink Plus card and when it arrived a week later, I couldn’t get to an OfficeMax in time.

$500 Visa gift cards are back at OfficeMax!
$500 Visa gift cards are back at OfficeMax!

Anyway, if this teaches you anything it’s not to hesitate when a great offer comes around. I’m not saying to abuse it. But do take a joyride like Shawn did and see if you can get some easy points out of it. Of course, this has happened before when Office Depot pulled Visa and Amex gift cards from their line-up altogether. So you never know – Staples might throw us a bone and start selling $500 Visa gift cards again. It’s also nice that we continue to have access to lots of other Visa gift card sources. So while this news is disappointing, it doesn’t leave us completely out of options. 

What are your thoughts on this news? Did you get to buy any Visa gift cards at OfficeMax before the offer was pulled? Also, if you’ve managed to buy Visa gift cards at OfficeMax today, let me know in the comment section. It may still be alive in some areas, though I’d totally understand if you don’t want to get specific about where you’ve had success buying them today.

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  1. Bummed if true…I will have to try tomorrow. I purchased four $500 MasterCard gift cards since my OM did not have Visa.

  2. I live in SoCal and office depot/Max have always carried $500 gc, but they also have always been cash only.

  3. Mine carried Mcgc too. Very hard to liquidate mcgc.

  4. Only managed to snag $1000 VGCs at the discount price – they were hard to come by thereafter.

    Between this and the demise of RB, all I can say is: thank goodness for Safeway!

  5. hollyatclubthrifty

    None of the Office Maxes near me had cards over $100. Boo!

  6. I managed to do 20k in the short window it was open. Wish I would have hit it even harder. There were some days we didn’t go 🙁

    Doing 2k per day per person (myself and my wife each have ink plus cards)

  7. I bought 2 of these cards in the last 2 weeks. I wanted to take it slow so as to not raise any fraud issues with Chase. I went today and got the message on the cashier’s screen that it was now cash only. They told me this would only apply for the variable load cards but that I could still buy a $200 card with a cc. I didn’t bother.

  8. I guess I should say I was buying the Mastercards. It was very easy to liquidate these at the Walmart kiosk. Even though the message at OM said it was cash only for Visa and Amex, it seems to apply for Mastercard as well.

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