Manufactured Spending

Staples Pulls $200 Visa Gift Cards and Limits Purchases

Update: Turns out this move was temporary. The $200 Visa gift cards are back at!

It was only two days ago that I stocked up on $200 Visa gift cards from At the time, there was a limit of 9 per order and that’s how much I purchased. For those unfamiliar with these gift cards, they carry a fee of $6.95 and since the Chase Ink Plus card pays out 5 points per $1 at Office Supply stores, this was a fairly cheap way to generate Ultimate Rewards points. Today reader Roy left a comment on a post, stating that Staples had pulled these gift cards from their website. I went online and sure enough, the $200 Visa gift cards are gone. They still sell them in increments f $25, $50, and $100 but they’re now limiting these to three per purchase. It also doesn’t help that the fees on these cards make them a less than ideal way to manufacture spend. 

Staples $200 Visa gift card

If you’re trying to meet spending requirements and have no other options, buying the $100 cards for $6.95 means you’re paying a whopping 6% fee – that’s double what you’d pay through Google Wallet or Paypal. There’s no word yet on whether these cards are still available in store, but I recommend you rush to your local Staples and see if there’s any leftover stock you can pick up. If they’re pulling $200 Visa gift cards from the website, I’m sure they won’t be re-ordering them in their stores. 

This is sad news for those of you who relied on $200 Visa gift cards for some easy manufactured spending. I personally liked that I didn’t have to scour various Staples stores fore them and deal with overzealous cashiers who wanted to know why I was spending $1,800 at a time on gift cards. I was just getting back into this method when it was discontinued! There are still other options out there (for now), so keep trying your local grocery stores and be on the lookout for creative ways to generate points for less than 1% in fees. There’s always something new right around the corner.

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  1. They are probably just out of stock. They had an instant rebate offer last week which made the transaction profitable instantly. They went out of stock that day. I see no reason why they wouldn’t continue selling them.

  2. They are marked as discontinued.

  3. thomas mccall

    I hope this isn’t the case but I have been getting 500.00 gifts cards at safe way for a few years. this week I realized they are not putting them on the rack anymore. I hope its just a case of out of stock and not a strategic move to eliminate them all together.

  4. Rather curious move, esp. given that they have yet another ez rebate promo for buying gift cards — this time from Mastercard. ($300 gets you $15 back). Wonder if maybe this is just a web site move, and doesn’t apply to stocks in stores… will check tomorrow.

  5. I’ve had no problem buying $200 VGC in Staples stores. I just bought some yesterday.

  6. If the store pulls $200 visa gift cards then I will buy $200 Mastercard gift cards. They are almost as easy to liquidate as visa.

  7. The previous gray packaged $200 Visa gift cards are discontinued. They’re blue now! One of the Staples stores near me had no $200, then I went to another local store and I was looking around for the gray package for a minute, only to discover that they’re metallic blue now. Chances are, they need to update their system with the specs of the blue packaged card.

    • I like the optimism with your theory on updating their system with the new cards, but the limit of (3) $100 cards makes me think that gone may be the days of grabbing 9 of the $200’s at a time.

  8. I don’t see how this is profitable at all unless you have a Chase Ink. And even then…..??? $6.95 for only a $200 card? I can buy a $500 one at Walmart for only $4.94. Maybe I’m missing something.

    I did buy a couple $200 ones at Staples a few weeks ago when they had the rebate. But I don’t see it as something I would do regularly.

    • 5x on Chase Ink

    • If you aren’t using a card with a bonus on office supply stores, then they definitely are not profitable, unless you are getting a rebate (which Staples has quite often).

    • Buying $200 gift cards from Staples with Ink costs $6.95 and earns you 1,000 points. At Walmart, you’re paying $4.94 and earning just 500 miles.

      • ^ That’s true. Maybe I need to reapply for a Chase Ink. I was denied a couple years ago. But I have an EIN now. Maybe that will make a difference.

        But for people like me without a Chase Ink, buying 2 GC at Walmart for just under $3 more and getting 1,000 miles is what we have to do. And if you are buying them with the AMEX GC that you earned cashback from, then definitely better.

  9. They are back!!!

  10. Just bought 9 $200 VGCs online. Temporary issue it seems.

  11. Sorry for the panic guys, I was able to buy the new blue ones last week. I guess the gravy train is still going. 🙂

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