$500 Visa gift cards return to Office Depot!

UPDATE: This was great while it lasted, but the opportunity closed quickly.  Please see: $500 Vanilla window slams shut at Office Depot.

In February I reported that Office Depot had stopped carrying $500 Visa or Amex gift cards (see “Office Depot discontinues $500 Visa/Amex cards“).  But tonight, Travel with Grant reports that “$500 Visa Gift Cards are Back at Office Depot!

Grant reports finding $500 Vanilla gift cards in Tustin, CA.  And, he was able to buy the gift card with his Chase Ink card!

I was in my local Office Depot yesterday and found the gift card rack practically bare.  I couldn’t even find $200 Visa cards, let alone $500 cards.  Hopefully, they’ll start to reappear soon across the country!

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Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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  1. I checked an Office Depot in Chicago and it was bare bones as well. Will check again later this week! Can’t wait! It’s on baby!

  2. @curtis, I hope you have better luck than I do with the stamps promo. I’m 0 for 2 at my local Office Depot stores. They wouldn’t let me buy gift cards and get the stamps for free.

  3. I saw these at my Office Depot about two months ago. When the manager found out she took them away and said they were not supposed to be on the shelf.

    • @Grant – Hmm, hope I have better luck too. Pretty awesome promo.
      @Scottrick – 2 months may make a difference. Hopefully we can hear of someone else finding and being able to purchase $500 ones in another city around the US (preferably DFW!) to confirm a change in their policy. Stay tuned!

  4. I hope Grant enjoys driving to Santa Ana or Huntington to load BB, the WM in Irvine won’t let me load anymore using GC.

  5. @Frindle, I could go to the WM by the Tustin District (across from the OD I got these at) but I despise WM. I’d rather go to Target, then CVS. My sanity is worth more than a few bucks.

  6. They turn me away now saying “No more Gift Cards.” Unless I just got a self-righteous employee, which is completely possible.

    And Target to CVS? Have you found VR somewhere that I haven’t?

  7. Let’s see how long this lasts before bloggers jump all over it and start begging for more Ink card sign ups. It was a great run the last time around until bloggers (eg, Frequent Miler) killed it. Thanks again!!!!

  8. bets on how long this will last?
    Or, the craziest stories from stores like angry managers, limits on cards, IDs needed, fraud alerts, etc?
    In the time of VRs, I had my brother in another state be the AU on my INK and call me with the codes. But with this I may have to pass seeing as how there aint no ODs near me at all and I aint driving min 1:45 to the only nearest one.
    Enjoy it all!

  9. Stopped by my local OD in DFW this morning and the racks were empty but the stock out/reorder card was still there for several of them. Clerk said they pulled these and didn’t expect them to come back.

  10. saw some yesterday in DFW location as well, but it would MOT ring up. Message came out to “press F7” and that was canceling order. manager was called up and said those shouldn’t be on there. Hopefully she was wrong and this location wasn’t set up right yet. Will check again today.

  11. No sign of these at the OD in Southfield, MI, although they always seem to have a limited selection of gc. About 2 weeks ago I found dozens of variable load 20-500 visas at the OD in Oak Park, they would not ring up at all and the clerk took the rest off the rack.

  12. In other news, Chase announced they’ll be adding Qantas and Emirates as UR transfer partners.

  13. It seems like some people are reporting that this card is intended for a cash-only sale/transaction. 🙁

  14. @Grant, why would we thank you until we see proof is in the pudding. Otherwise this looks like a simple missing inventory. And only 1 card, who does that? callin’ it…. baloney
    @frequent churner = same. double baloney sandwich today

  15. both grant and travel-summary got lucky at the OD in question. The mgr today said internal memo is for cash only and system will be hard coded soon to prompt cash payment. She said her employees put them out on display too soon

  16. There was a rack full at the OD in Portland area. Bought two of the OneVanilla visa cards, paid with CC no problem.

  17. Is everyone located in DFW or CA? wtf LOL

    I hate the Richardson,TX one. Used to be a PIA during the hay days too. Unfortunately it is the one closest to my residence.

  18. I can’t wait to……… be able to buy these…..
    Seen them on a few occasions at OD, but always told they discontinued them.

  19. I just checked at a DFW area store and they were almost completely sold out of all VISA products and did not see a pin labeling where variable cards would normally be displayed for purchase.

  20. back from lunch. Richardson only had 200GCs.
    Will try Marsh/Beltline after work.

    @DFW, you noticing all the CVS around 635/Toll are out of VR?

  21. I went to the office depot in tustin, CA and no variable cards were on the racks. I overheard the manager stating they pulled the variable cards and are going to make them cash only. Hopefully, this is not a corporate decision and just a store manager seeking relief from us 🙂 .

  22. Jason-

    Newport Blvd.

    Shoot. Hopefully this will get contained to a few stores. I will check out the one in Orange on Tustin Ave., but they always seems to have no giftcards.

  23. word is that possibly- and i say POSSIBLY- these might not get 5x. a little bird in the form of a manager friend told me that they were supposedly coded in register POS differently than before per chase request. i don’t want a stack of thousands of cards at 1x, so i for one will only try a few until i SEE that i receive 5x after statement generates. i cannot confirm any of this, so each person must make his own choice. but i wanted to give a heads up to everyone just in case. i mean it is rather odd that these would just ‘suddenly, magically’ re-appear out of the blue. it is definitely possible that chase has found a new way of doing things after the tsunami from before and studying the problem for several months. time will tell…

  24. ps when anyone gets a statement generated w/5x, please post. somebody must be lucky & have a statement cutting in a few days…confirmations needed

  25. Correct, when I saw nothing displayed I asked the girl if she had any in the back she went to check. When she came out she had a whole box full!

  26. If anyone in the So Cal OC area finds some, can you help a sister out? I have been looking and the racks are bare and had been for some time.

  27. ****Read this message for the most accurate info.****

    Upon seeing this posting this morning about $500 Visa gift cards possibly being on sale, I sent an e-mail to the Office Depo Executive Consumer Relations office. Here is what they said:

    “Here is what I know. We now have Visa and Amex Cards you can purchase in increments of $20 to $500. They are not re loadable. However there are re loadable cards Visa Vanilla and Amex. Again call your local store manager for further details.”

    That is the whole message. I have no further information to post. Nor do I know anything else about this.

    Now let me ask all of you a question. If the cards are not reloadable, how could I potentially buy several $500 cards to use to make a large payment (i.e., mortgage)?

    • You mean for writing to ask about the gcs or not knowing how they work?
      My question is: if i buy many of these should i cancel my july 15 trip to Israel?

  28. @Ryan, you can load up to $5,000 per month onto BB and you can make a big purchase with that. Better way is to pay with another credit card, then send a BB bill payment to pay off that credit card bill.

    • Why do people waste time loading gcs to bb? Why not just buy mos with them? Even if vrs are less available it seems easier to do than not. Is it fear of buying mos or am i missing something? You could also load your bb with st debit anyway!

    • Last month i loaded two bbs with $10k vr
      Then i did about $15-20k in mp
      And i did about $90k dl mos
      And about $40k gc
      At some point those bbs were long since shelved til this month and right now they are already 3/5 vrd as i type this. 4/5 by morning.
      So for me gcs are generally mos.

  29. I buy MOs as part of my weekly grocery trip, only costs 70 cents per $1k.

    @Marathon Man — are you really putting out ~$140k in MOs per month? That’s insane. I can’t even find time to generate $30-40k.

    • Large batches on fewer runs when ever posinle. When i have to do a “mileage run” it means something like, “yes honey ill go get those vacuum bags for you…at walmart” lol
      Did i happen to have planned it that way (and even hid the bags we had) and moved the equity line money into st? Yes sometimes.
      As for OD, if it were me and i had my ink and a OD anywhere nearby id buy every card in the store possible and then come back every other day for more. When it was vrs i used to have a brother living in a state with OD buy em for me on the “employee” au card and then just text me the pins. Gcs are different of course so i do hope others here step up and buy these until this gig dies, cuz it will so theres no excuse!

  30. What are you people doing with tens of thousands of dollars in money orders? You do realize that banks have reporting requirements for transactions above 10K, and don’t even think about structuring to avoid that. I know you’re doing nothing wrong, but still seems risky.

    • One can and should have many many banks in which to deposit the mos into, let them gestate even after they clear and say available, and then move them to other worlds. In this game we need to constantly improvise, adapt and overcome. Now who can name what movie that last bit is from?

  31. @chris, I went back to the store this afternoon, but the manager told me she pulled all the cards before they opened this morning. I posted my findings on my site if you want to read them. Did you try to buy the cards at your OD?

  32. I might be too cautious about Chase closing accounts because of buying too much from office supply stores.

    I just got my Ink Plus card last week, and I mixed purchases like buying a furniture for new home, lunch, dinner, coffee, and groceries but still 80% of the purchases are made from office supply stores.

    I have 5K limit on credit card which is pretty low, but I want to maximize the benefits of having this card so I pay them off right away when I see the balance.

    Anyone had their account closed due to buying too much stuff from office supply stores?

    If so or not, how much did you purchase the gift cards per week or month?

    • Hmmm with respect to the use of ones business chase ink at an office store…What is “too much” and according to what standards?
      I aint never seen no chase cc shut no one down fer using it. Maybe transferring ur to someone or being accused of sellin em but never just for buyin stuff
      Amex gives fr for what it may think is way beyond ones standard spend patterns but even they dont actually care what you bought and once its over and youve passed the fr you can keep on buyin it. I know this.

  33. Was able to purchase 2 $500 cards last night (Wed) at a Seattle area store. Tried a different location today but the racks were empty. Will try again tomorrow at another location. Was able to load to BB via the WM kiosk today with no issues.

  34. Also, regarding rumors that these might not count as 5x…I found some data that unfortunately supports this claim. I’m not sure if this existed a couple of months ago, but if you look up the merchant category codes for Office Depot at Visa’s merchant category database, you’ll notice that each Office Depot has TWO categories it reports at. One is office supplies (5943) as well as “General Merchandise” (5965). The Gen Merch category also reports L III Summary L III Line Item detail as well, which means Chase will know that you bought a gift card and not actual office supplies. Perhaps this is why OD is now coming back with the $500 cards…they may have actually figured out a way to prevent us from earning 5x (and thus paying a higher % of transaction fees towards chase).

  35. I applaud Marathon Man’s ambition. Just so that everyone understands, the banks are not your friends. They have pilfered the taxpayers. That’s you and me. Consider the trillions of dollars the country lost due to Chase and its friends’ subprime mortgages. Law enforcement can’t even go after the banks because the president (current and former) won’t allow it. There’s a reason why our secretaries of treasury come from the big banks.

    So everyone should abuse the perks because Chase has abused the taxpayers for decades.

    • …or, better yet: just work within the very laws or tcs that each bank and cc has and pound the #%%^}* out of em with heavy use but being fully prepaired, willing and able to take them to task if they try to stop you or shut you down. Youll win most if not all cases. And in some instances you wont even get shut down to begin with!

  36. Found a rack with Vanilla silver, Vanilla Gold and My Vanilla Debit. Tried to buy one but the cash register literally said “Declined” when the item was scanned. Even before I could try to swipe my card. Same for all three flavors.

    VERY frustrating to be able to see and touch the delicious sweet sweet ice cream but be unable to taste it.

    Location: North Charleston, SC

  37. check your account go to blueprint ,check your spending make sure its showing up under office supplies , i ordered from od a couple weeks ago cleaning and breakroom stuff was 167.00 but its listed on my spending under Department and Clothing Stores/Catalogs, not office supplies ,

  38. I went to my OD here in Atlanta today and the cashier told me the giftcards are now cash/debit only. I bought some on 6/29 no problem so I guess the rule changed within the last week.

  39. OD here in Boise, ID had a rack of onevanilla and vanilla gift cards. I purchased a random office supply ($6.99)and two $500 cards with ink bold and everything went fine. I will report back as to how it was classified when it post to chase.com

  40. Update: My purchase was categorized as “work related”, just like my purchases from office max, when they had their gift card sale. Hopefully this means it will trigger the 5X bonus like the previous cards did.

  41. Tried multiple OD in SF bay area. There is a hard-stop in the system that prevents them from taking anything but cash payment for an of these reloadable gift cards. A message actually appears, and they cannot choose any tender type but cash

  42. Don’t know how my first purchase got through last week, but Jason is correct. Yesterday, I watched the screen when they rang up the gift card along with my other items, and as soon as the card was scanned, it stated you can only pay with cash. RIP 5x bonus points and BB reloading. Bummer

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