It seems that the two office supply retailers have gotten themselves into a battle for your Visa gift card dollar. Both Staples and OfficeMax/Office Depot have sales this week on gift cards, which is a rarity. Hopefully, you will see which is the better deal for you.
The Staples Offer
The offer at Staples is their standard deal: No purchase fee on a $200 Visa gift card. Pretty straightforward. Instead of paying the $6.95 purchase fee, it’s waived at the register. While this is not a money-maker, you can rack up the rewards when you use a credit card that earns at office supply stores.
The OfficeMax Offer
If the Staples deal is standard for them, this is the enhanced version of the deal for OfficeMax/Office Depot: Spend $300 on Visa gift cards and get $15 off. Sometimes their offer is for $10 off, so this is obviously the better of the two offers, and a moneymaker unlike the Staples offer. Two $200 cards cost $6.95 each, so you can make $1.10. If you buy one $100 and a $200 card, your math would be different, but I always try to max out the deal in order to rack up my Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Earn Ultimate Rewards for Travel
I use my Chase Ink Business Plus to get 5x Chase Ultimate Rewards at office supply stores. While Chase no longer offers this card, you could use my referral to get the Business Preferred (which does not get 5x at office supply stores), and then downgrade to the no annual fee Business Cash (which does get 5x at office supply stores), as long as you have another premium Chase card, like Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve to use your Ultimate Rewards for travel. You can transfer your points to partners like Hyatt and Southwest (my favorites) or book travel directly and use your points to pay. One $200 gift card will earn you 1,000 Ultimate Rewards. Click here to read my article about utilizing Chase Ultimate Rewards to create a strategic spending plan.
Get 5x Spending EVERYWHERE
The great thing about these fee-free (or money-making) Visa gift cards is that after buying them with my Chase Ink Business Plus (or Business Cash), I know that when I use them, I’m essentially getting 5x on all of my purchases. This is how I maximize my spending! 5x at the auto mechanic, 5x at the movie theater, 5x at the discount store, 5x on my kids’ school activities and church pledge. That’s right! By using these Visa gift cards to get a money order at Walmart, I can earn 5x on any spending that requires a check or cash! This is where the beauty of the fee-free (or money-making) Visa gift card really comes shines in your strategic spending plan.
The terms of the Staples offer state that you can get one $200 gift card per customer, but users have reported being able to get as many as 10, since the store’s limit is $2000. Your miles may vary, but if I want to buy more than one, I’ll either go to more than one store or stop by the same store on another day. Be sure you have the cash to be able to pay your credit card balance when it comes due. Otherwise the interest will negate your rewards many times over.
Which Deal Is Better?
While the OfficeMax deal will make you a little money, you do have to buy two cards. This may be better than the Staples offer if you want to buy more anyway. However, in my neighborhood, Staples is much more conveniently located than OfficeMax, and convenience may factor largely into my decision on which store to patronize this week.