May 4, 2012
One of my favorite tricks for saving money while increasing credit card spend is to buy gift cards at OfficeMax using one of my American Express business cards. Amex business cards come with a perk called OPEN Savings. With this program, you automatically receive rebates in the form of statement credits when using your card at certain merchants. With OfficeMax, you currently get back 5% of any purchases of $100 or more (see image).
I regularly stop by my local OfficeMax to buy gift cards totaling $100 or more. If you can find gift cards you can really use, this can be a big win. Even $200 Visa gift cards with $6.95 fees are a decent deal: After 5% cash back, you end up with 1.7% in savings.
Sadly, though, this deal is coming to an end. A friend who goes by the handle greek2me sent me this notice that he received in the mail with his SPG card bill:
Starting June 15th, in store purchases won’t count! Since OfficeMax doesn’t sell gift cards online (other than their own), this will effectively kill the gift card gravy train.
On the other hand, they will start giving 10% back for purchases greater than $250 made online. This could be quite lucrative if/when OfficeMax carries Free After Rebate products, especially if we stack this discount with points or cash back from a shopping portal. Also, OfficeMax frequently sells items with 100% back in rewards. Any time they have enough of these to total $250, I’ll let you know!
I also wonder what would happen if we bought OfficeMax gift cards online and then used them in store. Would they allow purchase of other gift cards using their gift card? It’s unlikely, but you never know. I guess it’s time to add new experiments to the Frequent Miler Laboratory to-do list!
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