I Can Confirm that $500 Visa GCs Have Returned to Office Depot

EDIT: Reports are that the store I went to has now pulled these particular gift cards off the shelf. Stay tuned.

I was in line for dinner earlier tonight and decided to read Twitter while waiting. I immediately saw this post from Frequent Miler, noting how one of his readers named Grant (of Travel with Grant) mentioned he bought a $500 Visa Gift Card from Office Depot. He even posted a copy of the receipt as proof. I was very, very intrigued. So much so that I literally left my dinner half eaten and took a toll road to get to my local Office Depot. And it was worth it.

If you don’t know why, read my Bluebird/Chase Ink Award Cost Charts post, and scroll to the “just for fun” section. That section was written to explain how great things used to be…when $500 Vanilla Reload were available at Office Depot. The VRs aren’t back, but now it looks like the Visa ones are back!

Huge stacks available at my local OD!

Huge stacks available at my local OD!

 

If you’re late to the game, this is awesome because the Chase Ink Bold/Plus cards earn 5x points on all office supply store purchases. These gift cards can be loaded to the Bluebird Prepaid card, which you can use to pay off your credit card directly. Sound confusing? Read my Bluebird/Chase Ink post first, but let me simplify for you with an example: I just bought 4 of these gift cards and spent $2,019.80 on them, and I will earn 10,099 points for that purchase. I can almost immediately pay off $2,000 on my credit card with the gift cards I just bought, plus I’ll need to add $19.80 of my own money. That means I almost bought a one-way domestic economy ticket (which costs 12,500 points) for a paltry $19.80. GOOD DEAL!

 

4 of a kind ;)

4 of a kind ;)

 

Warnings

I know everyone will immediately bombard their local Office Depots now. As I walked in to mine, another guy was walking out with one in his hand. My cashier even remarked “looks like it’s gift card night tonight.” Remember that if you go too hard on these, you risk your account getting shut down. That means losing all your points, so be careful. It might be a good idea to transfer out points you already have in your Ink accounts before you start buying a ton more of these.

The second thing is I just wrote about devaluations that have been happening, and noted that Ultimate Rewards might be affected by these in the future. You’ll still be buying points at a steal even if a devaluation does happen, but just know that it’s a possibility.

Happy shopping!

Comments

  1. Abhishek says:

    Just getting into the points game…got approved for the chase ink 60K offer. Looking forward to trying this out…what is the likelihood of being allowed to buy these with CC, is it just trial and error? I am on the east coast tri state area.

  2. Glad I could give you something to do tonight. Are you in SoCal too?

  3. Haha, not sure how that would work, but it might be a first.

  4. Finally some good news! Nice disclosure at the end. Hopefully we’ll keep the feeding frenzy at bay this time and this thing won’t get shut down immediately.

    • IRS Guy says:

      Really @Ariana? How do you suppose we do that? Bloggers will ruin this again. Damn you bloggers!!!!

      • Travel Summary says:

        Quite frankly, I’m of the opinion that you should get yours while you can…because others WILL ruin it for the rest of us. Might as well get in on the action first.

  5. Travel Summary and Grant….you guys are hilarious.

  6. Stoopid ?, but do have to use the gift card at OD or can the card be used anywhere as a visa?

    • Travel Summary says:

      The card can be used anywhere as a visa or anywhere that accepts debit (PIN-enabled) cards.

  7. Abhishek says:

    I believe that these deals go down more because of fraud than anything else. A very easy way to convert a stolen credit card to cash and get rid of it, instead of buying merchandise and trying to offload that.

  8. Let the games begin! (again)

  9. denied at the one you went to. cash only per the mgr. it will be coded into system soon. you guys got lucky last night

  10. I commute from OC to LA, I’ll try to check out every store if they have $500 Visa gift card and report it back here.

    • Travel Summary says:

      Awesome! Thanks Brian!

      • I went back to the scene of the crime and the manager said “your friend last night came in and bought 4 cards” and “I had a few people in this morning trying to buy them as well, saying “my friend was here last night and bought some”. I’m working on an updated post soon.

        • I checked 6 stores in my area.

          Checked the one in The District, Tustin Old Town, Santa Ana(right next to South Coast Plaza), Orange, Fullerton, and Buena Park.

          All stores had no $500 Visa Gift Cards BUT Fullerton one.

          They have about 6 gift cards left and when I asked clerk if you have more she said these are the last one.

          But there were limits on purchase, I could only get $200 max on gift card if I pay with my CC.

          Means, no matter how many gift cards you buy, the total amount can not exceed $200.

          So, I just bought one with $200…..

          • Travel Summary says:

            Thanks for the update Brian! Even if you can only put $200 on those variable load cards, it’s a much better deal than we had even a few days ago. The fee of $4.95 vs. the $6.95 on the standard $200 ones makes a huge difference on a cents-per-point basis.

        • Travel Summary says:

          Clearly I have more friends than I know about…

  11. Rookiemiles says:

    Just found your great advice here. Do you know if Office Depot still selling $500 Visa GCs and accepting CC (Chase Ink) as payment? I want to load the Visa GCs I got from Office Depot to Bluebird. Do you know I need to setup PIN before I can load to Bluebird?

    Thanks.

    • Travel Summary says:

      Unfortunately you can no longer buy $500 gift cards from Office Depot using a credit card. You can only buy the $200 ones for a $7 fee.

      These Vanilla Visa cards have a feature that lets you set the PIN on the first transaction, so you don’t need to set it before loading it at walmart. Just type in any 4 digits on the load.

      • Rookiemiles says:

        Thanks for your update.

        I am totally new to these GC and point things. Before I read your article, I learned that I could buy the Vanilla reload card ($3.95 fee) at CVS with CC as payment and just load it onto Bluebird online.
        Could you tell me the Vanilla Visa cards you are referring to is different than Vanilla reload ($3.95 fee)? if they are different. Can I get either one at office depot (Better get it in Office depot for 5x bonus) Are they load differently? Or I can just buy the Vanilla Visa cards ($500 value each) to load onto Bluebird online by myself?

        • Travel Summary says:

          It sounds to me like your best option will be Vanilla Reloads from CVS. These can be purchased with a cc as you noted and loaded directly to Bluebird online. This is by far the easiest method, although it only generates 1x points in most cases.

          Vanilla Visa cards are different from Vanilla Reload cards. Vanilla Visa cards are actual gift cards that can be used anywhere visa is accepted, whereas Vanilla Reload cards are only a code that can be used to reload another prepaid card. It is much easier to load VRs than VVs.

          You can’t buy either Vanilla Visa gift cards or Vanilla Reload cards at Office Depot anymore unfortunately. They sell Vanilla Visa gift cards at grocery stores and at CVS, but loading them to Bluebird requires the extra step of going to walmart. It sounds like you’re a beginner and may not be familiar with this process (it’s not as straightforward), so I suggest just buying Vanilla Reloads from CVS.

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  1. [...] is finally some good news in the points and miles world: According to Travel Summary, Office Depot is now carrying $500 Visa [...]

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  3. [...] And, my post: $500 Visa gift cards return to Office Depot!  Then, Travel Summary’s post: I Can Confirm that $500 Visa GCs Have Returned to Office Depot.  Readers reported mixed results as to whether they found the cards or not at their local [...]

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