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Office Max / Office Depot is this week offering $15 off on $300+ in Mastercard gift cards. This makes for an easy opportunity to pick up 5x points — but note the cautions below regarding Mastercard gift cards.
- Instant $15 off on $300+ in Mastercard Gift Cards at Office Max / Office Depot from 12/8/19 to 12/14/19)
- In-store only
- Limit of one per household/business
This deal makes the Mastercard gift cards slightly profitable on top of picking up a nice haul of rewards if you’re using a credit card with one of the best category bonuses at office supply stores. This is how the math works out on that:
- Buy two $200 gift cards with $6.95 activation fees on each for $413.90
- Get a $15 instant discount to pay a total of $398.90.
- Earn 1,994.5 Ultimate Rewards points if using the Chase Ink Cash card
That’s obviously a good deal on the surface and a way to pick up some easy Ultimate Rewards points. The official limit is one discount per household or business, but YMMV. Some stores will allow multiple transactions.
On the other hand, it’s worth noting that Mastercard gift cards have been more susceptible to fraud over the past couple of years than Visa Gift Cards. For that reason, I only recommend buying Mastercards if you have immediate plans for liquidation.
Furthermore, there have been recent issues with some Mastercard gift cards — see that post for full info, but the short story is that purchases at some stores have drained the cards while displaying a “not authorized” message. A couple of readers have been successful in getting their money back on that, but it has been a major hassle without resolution for many. If you do buy Mastercard gift cards, it seems like the best practice would be not to drain them entirely (i.e. put a charge on it for $199.99 rather than the full $200). Note that this may not be necessary — I’ve drained Mastercard gift cards recently at grocery stores without issue, but many haven’t been so lucky, so it would be wise to approach liquidation with some caution.
We’ve added this to our list of current visa and mastercard gift card deals.
H/T: Doctor of Credit