Posted by Chuck on November 19, 2017
Manufactured Spending

Published on November 19th, 2017 | by Chuck


[Expired] Office Depot/Max: $15 Instant Discount with $300 in Visa Gift Cards [11/19-11/25]

This deal has expired and is no longer valid. Click here to sign up for notifications to never miss another deal.

[11/19/17: Reposting since it’s now live.]

The Offer

Direct Link (weekly ad)

  • Get a $15 instant discount on the purchase of $300 in Visa gift cards at Office Depot/Max

The Fine Print

  • Limit one (1) offer per customer.
  • Discount applied at register.
  • Offer Valid 11/19/17 to 11/25/17.
  • Purchase fees apply.
  • Offer valid in store on Visa® Gift Cards only.
  • Subject to availability.
  • One offer per transaction.
  • The Visa Gift Card is issued by Metabank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Valid only in the U.S. and No Cash Access or Recurring payments.

Our Verdict

The fee for a $200 Visa gift card is $6.95. Buy two of them for a negative cost of $398.90 and rack up 2,000 Ultimate Rewards points on your Chase INK Cash/Plus. You also get 2% back in Office Depot/Max rewards if you’re enrolled, though rewards are capped at $200 in spend per quarter on gift cards ($4).

Recently, these ‘limit 1’ deals have actually been limited to one per transaction. Here’s wishing you a nice cashier and a lot of INK points! There’s also a rebate deal at Staples this week.

Hat tip to SD

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Vanilla, so no good at WM at least >$50?

should work on everywhere VGCs

Do you mean to stay yu have a datapoint where say, a Visa Dining Everywhere card will work on this? IF so this is great–they are a bit cheaper…

Look at the weekly ad itself and the fine print, it says for Metabank VGCs, not Bancorp. Not sure why the advertisement logo is for a Vanilla Visa

No these are Meta, work at WM

Thanks guys.

I don’t think OD/OM even sells any Vanilla ones. Really odd choice of picture; I think they might even get sued for it.

These are my fav deals. Thanks for the heads up!

The picture shows a Vanilla gift card, but OfficeMax is usually a source of reliable Visa Gift Cards that come with a default PIN. If this promotion is for *any* Visa cards, then there shouldn’t be a problem, and this will be superior to the Visa Five Back card promo from a couple of weeks ago.

Now that OF gives 2% back on all purchase, do you guys typically type in your phone number each time if you get a nice clerk? Or is that just asking for a future shut down…

It’s useless to add phone# each transaction as one transaction is enough to hit the 2% cap.

I’m pretty sure the 2% only works on gift cards for some really small limit- $750 per year or something? So I don’t bother. Maybe someone else can chime in with the exact limit but it’s something ridiculously small.

Rewards payouts on gift card purchases are effectively limited to $4 total per quarter.

“Members will receive 2% back in rewards on up to $200 dollars spent per quarter on 3rd party gift cards, on up to $50 spent per quarter on Office Depot® OfficeMax® gift cards and up to $75 dollars spent on U.S. postage stamps per quarter.”

Thanks for the advance heads-up on this Doc.

My nearest OD/OM for us is over an hour away, Richmond area, where there’s a bunch…. Spouse and I waited til week’s end…. and managed to snare eight of them. (different stores & Inks cards)

This time, we can plan in advance. 🙂

You could always make a mini vacation weekend out of it and get a hotel the Saturday and hit it hard the Sunday the offer comes out!

I really do need to get around to PCing my CIP to CIC.

I got really nice cashiers at mine. Was able to do about 24 all in all a few weeks ago

Very nice. Now hopefully the OM by me has a nice supply!

“rack up 2,000 Ultimate Rewards points on your INK” – Is this with the Ink Business Preferred? I don’t understand where the 2,000 UR points come in. Can anyone fill me in?

Chase Ink Cash or Ink Plus, I’ll make this clearer. CIP doesn’t earn 5x on office supply stores

When you say rack up 2K UR, you mean the old Ink Card which is no longer available?. I have the new CIP and obviously this doesn’t apply.

Chas Ink Cash, or CIC. It is still around. You can product change to it from the CIP.

Those are straight 5% CB and not UR , correct?.

Yes, but as long as you OR YOUR SPOUSE have another Chase card with an Annual Fee, personal or business- so, the Saphirre Reserve, Saphirre Preferred, Ink Plus, or Ink Preferred- then you can transfer the UR earned on the Ink Cash over to that card, and they function like regular UR in every way- can be transferred to partners, and can be used to book travel at a discount (1.5 cpp on the CSR, 1.25 cpp on the rest).

the one thing i have yet to figure out is the YMMV nature of chase shutdowns when it comes to INK abuse. I just dont get it. its general knowledge that chase hates perk abuse and every damn n00b after the CSR event abuses the INK with 100% obvious OD/DM purchases in the same denom on the same day but no global shutdowns. im surprised. in wonder what chase is waiting for. hm.

I got shut down 2 weeks ago. First CSR + Freedom in April. I speculate because of 5% category spend at Sam’s Club. My CSR spend was 100% organic spend, except for the sign up bonus.

I’ve had the Chase Ink for 2+ years and have always used it for MS spending on Staples and OD. Got shutdown recently (6 months) after my personal cards got shut down.

One more note. I noticed that for the shutdowns, if the card gets a fraud alert, it got shut down around 7-10 days after.

This happened to both my personal cards (Freedom, CSR) and my Chase Ink. Both had a fraud alert when I was purchasing GC during check out. Both fraud alerts I resolved via email/text and continued the purchase.

Thanks for sharing and the details. How much were you MSing on your INK card?

Between 2-5k per month for gift cards. purchases, these store offers from OD/OM/Staples, and getting gift card for Amazon/target/Whole Foods shopping etc.

Also organic spend via on paying cellphone/internet/streaming bills.

always appreciate DPs like yours. its a good warning to others, but your timeline is actually very interesting. wasnt the CSR and Freedom just part of the “normal” mass chase shutdowns earlier in the year when everyone got reinstated?

did you try CFPB or try to fight them in any way? Sounds like most people just kept calling and it worked. not sure what happened in your case. really sorry to hear. chase is a big hit. i expect many others to join you very soon.

what is also shocking is that your INK survived until recently. it should have been portfolio shut down. did you deposit MO in a checking account at chase? interesting it took 2 years. your CSR and freedom shutdown must have put eyes on your INK since they were new CC.

Yeah I’ve hit these bonuses since having Ink and have had the same concerns regarding having a ton of same store name, same amount repeat transactions. Even more so when I had to call Chase fraud to verify these transactions and the rep would mention the repeat transactions.

Some people get shut down and some don’t, there’s no clear pattern. Either Chase doesn’t have anything programmed to look out for repeat and/or large transactions regarding 5x abuse (like they have for fraud) or they do but the manual reviews are supposed to look for other factors/offenses when deciding to shut down accounts.

exactly. i thot it was well known and obvious that chase doesnt play games and burns your shit to hell, but i just dont get it with the INK abuse. its clear they know everything and have left many corpses in their path already. FT is full of them.

but INK office GC has been a YMMV unclear exception for some reason. maybe youre right about looking for a better slamdunk case aka checkfreepay, MO depo, huge spend spikes and other crazy crap.

be careful out there.

I agree that it is a matter of time before the sh** hits the fan and massive reviews/freezes/closures, etc……..

Many business do legitimately purchase tons of GC for marketing purposes and Ink is a business card. they will be walking a really fine line with tons of complaints to cfpb if they did mass shutdowns of non MSers. Just don’t deposit mo in chase acct and don’t do direct bill pays

And they also have hundreds of thousands dollars other real expenses. Easy to tell in the eyes of Chase

I’m sure this isn’t the reason. We scream 5x abuse and “business”. The vast majority of us only use Ink for these and similar gift card purchases.

exactly. its too damn obvious and chase knows everything. very concerned and curious as to the delay or YMMV nature of shutdowns. if Amex BB and RB can do it, chase can easily replicate.

I agree that it is indeed odd that Chase does not crack down on MS like US Bank or Amex.

As a precautionary measure, I used to add in misc. items to avoid repeat transactions with the same amount day after day. Since Chase does appear to flag repeat transaction amounts, now I do not add in misc. items.

I always call Chase to provide a spending notification to avoid fraud alerts. I only once did a Chase supervisor call me about large GC purchases which was triggered by a fraud alert.

hot damn. so glad these offers roll around after my AF hits on my INK+ — no worries of hitting the yearly limit when you’re starting from 0.

Isn’t there a 25K limit on Chase Ink? and 50K on AMEX Simply Cash? Do those capacities apply to a cumilative Office Supply spend?, and PPDG and Gyft and Cardcash parceled off as a different utility category with no cap?

Doc I love the posts, and hold nothing but the highest respect for you, but if someone did every single one of these PPDG deals and VGC/MGC deals…wouldnt they run out of 5X bandwith in like April?? I guess the options beyond that 25K/50K point are avenues I frankly don’t want to go down, ( the auth-user road, multiple users, signing up for 50 credit cards in 3 yrs, etc).. No hate, no judgement, towards anybody, in fact I love 5X as much as anyone, and I find it fascinating to hear about people who can pull off all of these high-wire acts. I’m just skeptical that people can continually get paid out 5X, on all of these offers without going too far into the “abyss”. Thanks!

50k for Chase Ink Plus, 25k for Chase Ink cash 50k for Amex simply cash. That’s $125,000. I don’t think most people are hitting that in April. Some people also have multiples of each card and family members etc.

Yea, now that PPDG is toast the capacities are less relevant. And ive never even had a Chase Business product, so I never got in on that 5X party anyways. I guess I was always curious if the PPDG 5X utility category thing was uncapped, because it seemed like it was.

Regardless, so long as OD pays out 5X on these deals I will try to do every one I can, within reason of course. I pay office rent, home rent, and employees/contractors through Plastiq with these, and being able to provide a physical check and float the payment 30-60 days all for an out-the-door fee of around 2% (+ 5X on the reverse velocity of course, resulting in a total profit). Super valuable for cashFlow, which is the lifeblood of every business.

Recently I used used AMEX Simply Cash at OM. The AmEx statement shows purchase of 5% cashback GC. It takes two months to post cashback so my cashback is not posted yet.
can anybody confirm if AMEX Simply Cash post 5% cashback.

Done this many times at OD and Staples (buying GCs) with Amex Simply Cash.

Yes, it works. Zero issues.

AMEX simply cash rebates takes at least 1-2 statements to post in my experience. I’ve had the card for a year and its been reliable, if slow, on the crediting of the rebate.
I can confrim 5X at my local office depot. Tho the Office Max 1 mile away, codes only 1X. And, Oddly, my Staples online purchase of headphones coded only 1X.

So as always Caveat Empetor my friend…

Good to see it come around again at OD. No Staples here in LA.

Lol no Staples?

Maybe he means Louisiana. It would be ridiculous if there were no Staples in Los Angeles.

especially because theres something called the STAPLES CENTER in Los Angeles…

Do they sell GCs at the concession stands!?

He means Louisiana. No B&M locations in the state since 2015, but they sure as hell keep charging sales tax for online purchases.

I don’t touch OD/OM. There are so many DPs out there with Chase shutting down due to abusing their bonus category here. Not to mention there are DPs out there saying OD/OM sending level 3 data. For $100 or $200 saving, it’s not worth losing valuable relationship with Chase and the future products that could be churnable.

These sales are nothing like they used to be, now have a lower discount, lower offers per customer and many have trouble liquidating these due to routes being shutdown. Many of the major ur shutdowns happened a while ago, the heyday is gone and many have left this hobby because it’s time consuming for little gain. There are pockets of areas which still have some ms’rs who are willing to spend the time, but nothing like it used to be. Many of us have turned back to reselling on ebay since the economy is starting to improve and we’re seeing people ready to start buying again. I’ve been busy with the new x phone. Still, nothing like years ago, takes longer to sell, but doable. Used to I couldn’t keep one listing on ebay longer than 24 hours, because demand was so huge, but that was before the recession and before ebay increased fees, changed rules and drove many of us away. I’m glad I got back into it recently, since ms has faded.

the resell on iphone x has been dissapointed.. i ended up returning a few and not wasted anymore time on it. I happen to live in an area where MS is friendly and able to do couple mils a year no problem. With that high volume, it makes these deal worth risking getting chase shutdown 🙂

Were you trying to resell on ebay, amazon or strictly local? Only true profitable place I see for these that’s worth my time is ebay for international sales. I can undercut what the European stores charge due to their high prices and exchange rate which still benefits Euro to USD transactions. But, I also know how to ship direct, take care of customs and so forth which ends up cheaper for my buyers. Although, I always insure shipments and require signature, otherwise I wouldn’t risk selling high priced items online. Worst fraud I’ve experienced in the past has been from buyers in the U.S.

Ed— excellent comment about shipping.

Shipping: The somewhat obscure though oh-so necessary, very much growing, and surprisingly profitable, industry. My myopic obsession with shipping was laughed at by all my wall street/MBA/silicon valley/financier friends when we all graduated college….all the “smart” guys lol, Ivy league schools, graduate degrees and all of it, guys who thought Management Consulting was the way to go … HAHAHA because how the hell could a “smart guy” be interested in mail and shipping?! HAHAHA

but believe you me, they are not laughing anymore.

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