Office DeMax

Office supply stores and travel hacking are a strange combination, but in the past year or two they’ve been great together.  Thanks to credit card bonus categories, Easy Rebates, big portal promotions, Vanilla Reload cards, and more, office supply stores have been a fantastic source of free or cheap points.  While many of these deals have gone away, there are still some great opportunities.  For example, here are a couple:

  1. Take advantage of American Express’ OPEN Savings program (automatically part of most Amex business cards) at to get 10% back on orders of more than $250.  This way you can get credit card rewards from your purchase (as always), plus sizable savings.  And, recently began selling third party gift cards…
  2. Take advantage of credit cards that offer extra points at Office Supply stores (Chase Ink cards, for example), and go through an online portal to to make purchases. carries some third party gift cards, and their e-gift cards are fee-free.  I’ve successfully gone through TopCashBack to Staples to get 5.5% cash back plus I’ve earned 5 points per dollar using my Chase Ink card!

So, now that Office Depot and OfficeMax are merging, what’s next?  Here are my completely uninformed guesses of what will happen:

  • The new entity will be called Office Depot and will act like Office Depot in terms of what products are sold, the rewards program, etc.
  • Many stores will close, especially where Office Depot and OfficeMax are currently in close proximity.
  • We will lose the ability to save up to 10% via Amex OPEN Savings.  Of course it’s possible that Amex will negotiate a similar deal with the new entity, but my guess is that this benefit will go away entirely.
  • There will be short term deals as stores close and as stores formerly known as OfficeMax get rid of whatever inventory is not carried by Office Depot.
  • OfficeMax’s MaxPerks rewards program will be phased out.  I expect that they’ll give people time to spend their MaxPerks rewards, but will issue new rewards as Office Depot Worklife rewards.

So, yeah, I expect that most of this will be bad news to consumers and pointaholics.  For people who live in places with either OfficeMax or Office Depot, but not both, there may be some good news in that whatever deals are available should be available to them.  On the whole, though, its probably not a good thing.  On the optimistic front, maybe this bigger entity will work harder to compete with Staples and we’ll see some new, great opportunities.  We’ll see…

Hat tip to Tweeter named Mark for coming up with the name “Office DeMax”. I like it!

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    • Lively: These are all just guesses based on the news about the merger.
      Michelle: TopCashBack offers 5.5% back at Staples. ShopDiscover and uPromise offer 5%. I don’t think there are any good point offers right now.
      Matt: As I said in the post, these are all just my guesses. For all I know, OfficeMax rewards may continue.
      Amol: Yes, intended :)
      Jason: You’re probably right. As I said in the post, these were just my guesses based on no real info whatsoever :)

  1. @Lively, I saw this story on Google News and sent FM the link. I was never a fan of office max, so I’m kind of glad they are merging.

  2. @Lively: Come on! Do you ever use internet for other purposes such as browsing news websites etc… or you use internet only for reading FM Blog! In recent days, there are more comments which really make me doubt the posters are real or fake?! This news is all over internet, radio, TV etc…

  3. I think your assumption that this will essentially be an operating takeover of OMX by ODP might be a bit off (regardless of the financial structuring of the deal). While ODP is the larger company, OMX is only slightly smaller domestically and is generally further along on its turnaround of the last few years. Note details like the fact that the CEO choice (between either of the current leaders or in fact an outsider) is unclear. While store closing a are inevitable, it’s quite premature to speculate which policies and strategies will be adopted by the combined company. As a retail analyst, I’d expect to see some of each in the successor company.

  4. FM: Can you double dip the amex open by buying through a cashback or points portal at and still get the 10 percent off?

  5. OM is usually in smaller markets where OD didn’t want to go. Now those OM markets are bigger and there’s fewer places OD wants to be but isn’t.

    While I can see how banks would be concerned about 5X “abuse”, never understood OD bailing. They were making money hand over fist selling reloads.

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