[EXPIRED] $10 instant rebate on Mastercard Gift Cards at Office Depot / Office Max

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This week, Office Depot/Office Max is offering a $10 instant rebate on the purchase of $50 on select gift cards. Qualifying cards include American Eagle Outfitters, Groupon, Fandango, Catherine’s, or Mastercard. You can mix and match different denominations and types, but most readers will probably be interested in the Mastercard gift cards.

Staples_MasterCard_FrequentMiler.jpg

The Offer

  • $10 instant rebate on $50 worth of select gift cards
  • Qualifying gift cards include: American Eagle Outfitters, Groupon, Fandango, Catherine’s, or Mastercard

Key Details

  • Discount is automatic at the register
  • Limit of 2 rebates per household/business (cashier enforced)
  • Offer valid April 2nd through April 15, 2017

The Math

According to LaptopTravel, you can purchase a single $200 variable load Mastercard. Therefore the math will look like this:

$206.95 ($200 on variable load Mastercard + $6.95 activation fee)
   -20.00 (maximum rebates = 2 x $10)
$186.95

If you pay using a card that earns 5x like the Chase Ink Plus or Chase Ink Cash, you will earn 935 Ultimate Rewards points. Alternatively, an Amex Simply Cash Plus Business card would earn $9.35 cash back.

LaptopTravel also has another terrific write-up on stacking this offer for maximum return if your cashier will let you ring up a second transaction. Read about it here.

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33 Comments
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Madison

Not sure I can liquidate MCGCs at Walmart as others are having issues and I’ve tried in the past. Besides real spend any other options? Wait for next MCGC promotion (if soon) and use for that offer and stack savings? Suggestions would be appreciated. Thx

Ken

Deal appears to be dead. At 8:30 CDT I went to a OD in Texas and overheard the manager saying to staff the deal was being terminated early, and he promptly removed the poster from the display. I quickly grabbed 17_$100 mcgc’s and luckily paid for them individually through the cashier before the POS shut down. I drove 15 mins to another OD, and the deal was already dead at POS. Get this, I went to a third OD and, while the POS didn’t show the discount, the manager came over and helped me with 2 manual overrides on $200 mcgc purchases at $10 each – as I pointed to the poster!. Paid for all above with ink.
I’m feeling great. This deal, if u think about it (the stacking/ re-stacking/ wash and repeat multiple times) made it WILD if you had cooperative cashiers! The 2 weeks deal validity was also very new, as most are Sun-Sat only! RIP.

Thanks Laptop Travel/ FM / DOC and others…

Gabriel

DP for Colorado: worked at one store at 815am, drove 15 min to the next store and did not work there. Said deal was killed. That sucks. I’m debating if I want to try another near work…but I’m currently handicapped (stupid broken ankles) and getting in/out of my car is a PITA

Eli C

DP: worked for me yesterday here in South Florida. Not working anymore as of ten minutes ago.

DavidG

Deal is Dead (Virginia): Failed last night with cashier comment “Our system isn’t activating any cards right now”…followed by this morning (at a different store): Sign is removed, and store manager says “Deal was pulled by corporate last night.” Anyone still finding it active?

Barry

Looks like the deal is gone in Wisconsin too. The sign that advertised the deal was gone this morning, but was there yesterday.

Tim

I like the article but vehemently disagree with you buying the $200 card.

Buying the $100 gift cards is the MUCH MUCH better deal. As long as you spend the same amount of money, you’ll be earning the same amount of UR’s as you would by buying the $200 cards. And, you’ll be saving much, much more money by buying the $100 cards.

laptoptravel

At our local OD the managers know us pretty well (we do commercial business with them all) and the manager at one told us yesterday “I am happy if you want to buy multiples…after all corporate knew when they did this that there would be a rush on the stores and I have to trust they have figured out the math. Whether you buy 10 or ten people buy 1 each they’re basically gone…or going. The people coming in just to buy one and leave add nothing my operation here; but you are a regular customer, so I have no problem.”

On a side note we are getting people checking in with us from all over the country with their experience datapoints. Some are being told ‘cash only’ which is 100% totally WRONG! Others are being told a limit of one transaction, some two.

And then….we have reports of as many as 15 separate transactions in a single visit.

For us, we have 4 stores in market; and have been able to do a maximum of 10 separate transactions in a single store visit w/ $200 variable load MCGC’s

That math looks like this:

10 X $ 186.95 = $1,869.50
Face Value of Cards: $2,000
Ultimate Rewards: 9,348 (Value of $158.92)
Net Cash Profit: $130.50

Net Profit (Points + Cash) = $289.42

15.48% Return on $1,869.50

We have some crazy strategies to leverage (and perhaps need to liquidate through MO’s on our blog’s second -advanced post)

http://laptoptravel.blogspot.com/2017/04/crazy-methods-to-stack-hack-latest.html

stacker

I disagree with your local OD manager about people coming in just to buy one add nothing his operation and here’s why. A business needs repeat customers.

For example, a store has a total of 20 to sell and can choose whether or not to enforce the limit of 2. If 1 customer buys all 20 then you will have 1 happy customer and 9 disappointed customers that will likely shop somewhere else in the future. If the store enforces the limit of 2, then 10 customers can buy them and you will have 10 possible repeat customers.

My store enforces the limit of 2 per day and I’m glad they do because many times I don’t have time to drive there right away. It keeps someone else from buying them all, leaving me with none.

Dan

When they say limit 2, would there be any issue going to different stores and still using my ink cash? Or going to the same store and using a non-ink card? I’d like to load up as many as possible but don’t want to get flagged or anything.

DavidG

Word to the wise: Tried without success to use the US Bank Mastercards to purchase a Money Order at WalMart… the screen came up as a Credit Card and was unable to proceed.

ryan

You might want to try your local grocery stores.

Kyle

Same thing last week for me, apparently you need to have the CS rep enter the amount after the swipe or you need to hit cancel immediately after swiping, otherwise it reads as credit and you get the little “no tender” printout. I didn’t bother though and just used it to pay my bills.

DavidG

I can barely get my CSR to run a MO, much less deviate from routine. For me, the lack of a fast liquidation route meant forgoing the UR points on $200 cards and just forward-spend liquidating the $100 cards.

A

If you have no problem liquidating the mastercard, would it be more profitable to ignore step 2 and keep purchasing as many $200 gift cards as possible?

ryan

Nick,

I see your point now with the Chase Reserve 1.5 point back on travel.
I forgot about that. You are correct!

ryan

NIck, I have the INK business cash card that has 5x UR points at office supply stores. The problem is that when I goto redeem it, the points do not earn 1.5 on travel. I have the Reserve card too. Can I transfer the UR points from my INK business to Reserve and get 1.5 more for travel in my Reserve account?

Barry

The Ultimate Rewards can be combined from different accounts. Log into your Chase Ink cash account and go to the Ultimate Rewards portal. There is an option to combine points if you put your cursor over your total number of points. It should be pretty easy to figure out after that. If you combine points from multiple cards into one account, the system has some bugs. You’ll need to unlink the first card and wait several hours before you link the second card.

ryan

Best is to buy single $100 Master card gift card right?

laptoptravel

We like buying the $200 card just for the additional ultimate reward points. Buy that abd you’ll get an additional 500 ultimate reward points for an additional cost of only $1 on the purchase fee.

ryan

Here’s how i figure it.
$105.95 – $20 = $85.95 = $14.05 profit + 5X card($85.95)= $18.35

$206.95 – $20= $186.95= $13.05 profit + 5x card($186.95)=$22.40

Buying 2 ($100) would net $36.70($18.35×2) vs 1 ($200)= $22.40.

Am I missing something? Would the $200 trigger $40 off since $10 off $50 Master card?

thanks

ryan

UR points is worth about 5% in value of the total amount.
When you’re buying 2 ($100) you would get more profit. Isn’t this correct?

katie

@laptoptravel, for $100 MasterCard purchase, you only earn 430 UR points ($100 + $5.95 fee – $20 instance rebate = $85.95 x 5 UR).

laptoptravel

@Katie –
Correct, as reflected in the site’s update

Thank you!

Deb

I don’t understand why the URs earned in scenario, 1 highlighted in green, is different than the URs earned in scenario 2, highlighted in yellow, when both are only using the chase cc for the purchase of the first mastercard? Can someone explain please?

Glenn

Also these mastercards aren’t usable immediately. You have to wait up to an hour in some cases. So the transactions he’s talking about would have to be done with mastercards from previous stores or something.

laptoptravel

Glenn;

You are correct….different stores; one after another

Rxdoc18

I can confirm that this worked for me within minutes of purchasing the first MC.

Ryan Thompson

From Laptop Travel “Now, your $100 Mastercard, which cost you $76.94 can buy a $113.95 Mastercard. Your final cost is really $56.94 for a $113.05 Mastercard; two fees ($6.95 & $5.95) less $40 in rebates at the register and earning $9.01 in Ultimate Reward points (on the first card’s purchase).”

I’m not following that math at all. Your out of pocket cost should remain the same in the second step. What is changing is your $100 MCGC is now worth $113.05. He seems confused.

laptoptravel

So my math is as follows;

If you (at a later time, or another store) use your now $100 face value Mastercard which cost you only $76.94 (after rebate & credit card points value) go and purchase another Mastercard valued at $100 or more you will trigger the $20 rebate AGAIN.

Therefore, your NEW $100 Mastercard cost you only $56.94 (Your $76.94 first card, less a NEW $20 Register Rebate)

I have a few scenarios outlined on my post…