(EXPIRED) Easy 5x: $15 off $300 in Mastercard Gift Cards at Office Max / Office Depot [12/8-12/14/19]

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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.

Mastercard Gift Card

The Deal

  • Instant $15 off on $300+ in Mastercard Gift Cards at Office Max / Office Depot from 12/8/19 to 12/14/19)

Key Details

  • In-store only
  • Limit of one per household/business

Quick Thoughts

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

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Mike

Office Depot and Max has a $13 off if you buy $300 or more in mastercard gcs this week.

Anthony

The best bet is to not drain them all the way. Leave a few cents on each.

HHmke

@Anthony. What purpose is served by not completely draining a non-reloadable card?

Rob

“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.”

Is this still true now that most (all?) MC sold at ODOM/Staples are from MetaBank?

02nz

I had a problem the one time (2017) I bought a U.S. Bank MC gift card. Drained and U.S. Bank was a total pain to deal with. No issues with the dozen or so MetaBank MC GC’s I’ve bought in the past year.

Ed. C

OM/OD / Staples have had so many of these sales this year that I’ve hit my 5X limit already and I’m only 6 months into my account anniversary year!

Steve

Curiously how did you liquidate so many in half year?

Trell

Ditto

Ed. C

Easy. Money orders and GoBank loads.

It helped that up until October, my Staples was allowing 5 VGC’s per day. There were many times my wife would stop by on her way home from work and pick up 5, in addition to the 5 I was buying. I limited my OD purchases to $400 per day. I did this every day of the sales.

Wasn’t hard at all to hit the $25,000 5X limit considering I also take advantage of the other 5X categories.

thnok

Isn’t money orders usually debit card only? Also what is the GoBank load?

Ed. C

Just like VGCs, they are pin enabled debit cards. Never tell a cashier or let them see you are using a GIFT card. FWIW, buying money orders with Mastercard gift cards is easier at MY local grocery chain that sells MOs than at WMT.

GoBank? Google is your friend.