Gift card savings at OfficeMax

If you are signed up with OfficeMax’s MaxPerks program, you probably received an email titled “➡ Open Me for a $30 Coupon + Ink Deal.”  If you view the email, you’ll see an offer for $30 off your next purchase of $175 at officemax.com:

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A reader named Dave let me know that this offer works with gift cards purchased online at OfficeMax.  He wrote:

Semi-targeted deal at officemax.com, but I believe any MaxPerks member got a $30 off 175 coupon, since I got one.

I was able to use it on giftcards…I got $300 of Nordstrom gcs for $271.98. Plus, I used my AX SimplyCash card and did a UR Mall click-through.

One great thing about this offer is that it coincides with an OfficeMax promo for discount iTunes gift cards.  See “OfficeMax offering $50 iTunes gift cards for $40.”

Maximizing Savings

The ShopDiscover portal currently offers 5% cash back when shopping at officemax.com, but past research has shown that points and cash back are not awarded at OfficeMax for gift card purchases.  Still, it can’t hurt to try.

The big question is which credit card to use and how much to spend.  If you pay with a Chase Ink card you’ll automatically earn 5 points per dollar since OfficeMax is an office supply store.  Alternatively, you can use an Amex business card with OPEN savings and get 5% cash back as a statement credit for purchases up to $250, or 10% cash back for larger purchases.  Best bet is to use the Amex SimplyCash card that offers 5% cash back for office supplies plus OPEN Savings for a potential total of 15% cash back.

With a deal offering $30 off $175, you can generally maximize savings (as a % of total) by spending as close to $175 as possible without going under.  With Amex OPEN Savings, though, you can generally maximize savings by spending as close to $250.01 as possible without going under.  Since both savings apply here, though, the best option isn’t evident.  I modeled both options in Excel and found that spending $175 with an Amex OPEN card gives you 21.3% savings, whereas spending $250.01 gives you 20.8% savings.  In other words, you get about 21% savings regardless of which approach you take.  Savings increase to 25.4% and 25.2%, respectively, if you use a SimplyCash card.

If you use any card that does not have OPEN Savings, you can maximize savings by simply trying to spend as close as possible to $175 without going under.

Buying gift cards

OfficeMax offers a selection of gift cards online, which can be found here.  They offer gift cards for Home Depot, Nordstrom, Kohls, Lands’ End, and more.  All cards other than OfficeMax’s own gift cards include a 99 cent fee.  So, you can reduce the fee as a percent of total by selecting the highest value cards available (i.e. get a $100 gift card rather than a $25 gift card).

At the time of this writing, OfficeMax is offering $50 iTunes gift cards for $40 and without the 99 cent fee.  If it is still available when you read this, you should be able to find the offer here.

My purchase

I decided to keep my purchase to as close to $175 as I could get while still getting gift cards that I could use.  I bought one $100 OfficeMax gift card and two $50 iTunes gift cards.  The total, before $30 savings, came to $180:

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I then clicked “check out” and entered my promo code.  $30 was then deducted from my total:

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I plan to use the iTunes gift cards as gifts.  With the OfficeMax gift card, I’ll go to my local OfficeMax store and use it to buy gift cards I really want.  Note that I’ve never had any problem doing this, but many readers have reported that their local OfficeMax stores don’t allow buying gift cards with gift cards.  So tread carefully.

By maximizing the use of my $30 off coupon and by taking advantage of an iTunes gift card promotion, I bought $200 worth of gift cards for $150.  That’s a 25% savings before accounting for credit card rewards or cash back.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

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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Comments

  1. I couldn’t replicate it. I got an error: “Your order currently does not meet the promotion requirement. Please add the required items to your order to take advantage of the promotional savings. Please note that certain items such as Gift Cards and Waste Management fees are not eligible when qualifying for a promotion.”

  2. I’ve tried using an OfficeMax gc to buy a visa or mastercard gift card and NOT been allowed to do it. I don’t know if you could buy other store cards, but my impression was no (at my location, at least). However, if you aren’t sure, and get stuck with OfficeMax gc’s because your local won’t take them, just use them for free after MaxPerks items. You can them roll those MaxPerks rewards onto other fa-maxperks items perpetually. You can’t combine more than one gift card and/or maxperks reward online, but you can call and do it. I’ve only done this once, but I filled my cart online to make sure I got the total right, and then read the items off to the rep on the phone. I even got whatever silly “spend $150 get something cheap and almost useless” deal they had going on, but I did need to give the rep the code.

  3. Thanks for the head’s up! I just received some coupons from Office Max and hadn’t paid attention. Sure enough, there was one in there – take $30 off an online or phone purchase of $150 or greater. Your tips helped me save money, while ordering some items I needed.

  4. @Mike. That’s the same error I got. How did you get it working Miler? Do you actually have to login first before checking out?

  5. @Miler. Turns out I only signed up for MaxPerks and not an actual OfficeMax account. Once I signed up for a real account and tried to apply the code, it now says “Coupon has no promotions” even though the same email address is used for both MaxPerks and regular account. Sucks for me but maybe someone else can have some better luck.

  6. It worked for me. Bought $177.97, bed bath beyond gift cards.
    Had to login to the account and use the code, only then it would show the promotional discount.
    Thnaks!!! 😉

  7. Looks like signing up for an OfficeMax account & MaxPerks NOW doesn’t get you the offer as far as I can tell. Anybody else have better luck? At least I’ll be signed up for next time.

  8. According to a phone rep, the coupon offer has been pulled due to the “error” in the email promotion which allowed the $30 off coupon to be used on gift card purchases. Congrats to those who didnt tarry and took advantage.

  9. Anyone know if OM has done this before? I was just getting ready to buy 19 Nordstrom GC’s through the UR portal rather than in store 🙁

  10. It must have been a temporary glitch. I see gift cards at OfficeMax.com now.
    .
    My gift cards arrived yesterday and I upgraded my OfficeMax gift card to an Amazon gift card today in-store.

  11. OM has officially killed the use of coupons on GCs. I had a mailed coupon applied to GCs last week, but didn’t actually make the purchase. Today, the same coupon would not work on those same GCs.

  12. Sorry, just realized my post was unclear. Last week, I had GCs in my shopping cart online, and the coupon (which I received by mail) did apply to deduct $30, but I did not actually complete the purchase. Today, the coupon would not work on those same GCs (or any others), but it did of course work on normal supplies.

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