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 OfficeMax.com 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, OfficeMax.com 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 Staples.com to make purchases.  Staples.com 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!

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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19 Comments on "Office DeMax"

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The Weekly Flyer
Guest

Will keep an eye out for discounted deals, but it’s hard to beat Staples free points and free stuff deals.

Delta Points
Guest

So much for $1500 a year in free stuff from OfficeMax via never ending MaxPerks! Grrr. Ah well, at least I have a 100 year supply of paper now 🙂

Lively
Guest

Kinda, sorta like the UA and AA merger. FM: how do find out this stuff?!

Grant
Guest

@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.

newbiee008
Guest

@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…

Michelle
Guest

Do you know the best portal for staples? Ultimate rewards or something else?

Matt
Guest

Bummer…I just discovered OfficeMax rewards program and began accumulating points. Have been impressed with their sales and shipping speed.

Amol (@PointsToPointB)
Guest

This reads a lot like an AA/US merger post! :p

Jason
Guest

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.

Larry
Guest

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

Chris M.
Guest

This makes me sad. OfficeMax has been very good to me. Verrrrry good. 🙂

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[…] credited points for Hyatt properties that have gone down in value since you booked your award stayOffice Max & Office Depot are merging.Trick to earn 15 points per dollar on Sears purchases.Several ways to maximize earning bonuses for […]

tassojunior
Guest

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.

Andyandy (ThePointsNinja)
Guest

@Larry: Not in my limited experience. Most portals have “no points for gift cards” in their T&Cs for OfficeMax. Purchase through UR mall did not credit for me.

Andyandy (ThePointsNinja)
Guest

@FM’er:

Amex has recently changed the T&Cs of the OPEN Savings program. I posted the new T&Cs for OfficeMax here: http://thepointsninja.blogspot.com/2013/03/amex-business-open-savings-change-to-t.html
Amex is now offering 4 bonus MR per dollar as an alternative to the rebate. You can still choose the 10%, but I haven’t figured out how yet.

Andyandy (ThePointsNinja)
Guest

@FM’er: Yeah, 2.5cpm is, as I understand it, the price at which Amex will sell you MR points to top off an award. So I’m having a hard time thinking of an instance in which the points would be preferable.

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[…] my old post about the Office Depot / OfficeMax merger I guessed that the Open Savings benefit would go away.  Specifically, I wrote this […]