Free money from OfficeMax


UPDATE: DEAL IS DEAD. Sort of.  Between 10:30 and 10:50 am EST today (Jan 17), OfficeMax updated their registers to correctly apply only one $10 discount to each purchase of two cards.  Now, the purchase of two $50 MasterCard gift cards costs $99.90 instead of $89.90.  This isn’t a terrible deal, but it’s not the great deal it was before.

Until Saturday, January 19th, OfficeMax is offering $10 off each $50 MasterCard when you buy two.

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Based on the in-store ad (shown above), it seems that you should get $10 off when you buy two $50 MasterCard gift cards.  In fact, though, you get $10 off each MasterCard for a total of $20 off.  Since each card comes with a $4.95 activation fee, the total cost to buy two cards comes to $89.90.  In other words, you get a 10% discount when buying money!


My experience

Multiple readers reported this deal to me, so I visited OfficeMax yesterday to check it out.  The gift card rack had oodles of $50 cards available (yes, “oodles”, I counted).  Initially I bought two cards and, as readers had told me, the total automatically came to $89.90.  No coupon or pleading was necessary. I paid with my Ink Bold card in order to get 5 points per dollar from the purchase.

After a visit to Target, I returned to OfficeMax to conduct a couple of experiments.  I wanted to see 1) could I pay with the same MasterCard gift cards I had just bought? And, 2) could I buy more than 2 at a time?

I brought four cards to the counter and asked the teller to ring them up in two separate transactions.  She was more than happy to do so.  With the first transaction, I swiped one of my $50 gift cards to pay, and the register automatically drained that card of its $50 and then asked me for the final $39.90 which I paid with my Ink Bold.  Even though I could have used my other previously bought gift card for the rest of the first transaction or for part of the second transaction, I just went ahead and paid the rest with my Ink Bold.

My experiments proved a couple of things.  First, if you have a lot of patience, it is possible to harvest gift cards by buying them with gift cards in order to make your total gift card balance grow.  Second, you can buy more than two at a time by asking the cashier to split the purchases into multiple transactions.

Another Trick

One reader reported being able to use an OfficeMax gift card to buy these MasterCard gift cards.  They suggested buying an OfficeMax gift card at 10% off (via this trick) and then using it to buy the MasterCard gift cards.  Unfortunately, not all OfficeMax stores allow buying gift cards with OfficeMax gift cards.  Also, I doubt there is time to get the OfficeMax gift card through the mail before this deal ends.

Liquidating Gift Cards

DansDeals writes about this OfficeMax deal and suggests liquidating the cards through Amazon Payments.  Other options include loading them into your Serve account, loading your Target Amex, using them to buy reload cards, etc.  Unfortunately, all of those approaches can be pretty tedious if you buy many of these cards.

Personally, I may use them to actually buy stuff as needed.  In general, I would only use one when a purchase comes to $50 or more.  This way, whenever I use a card, I’ll drain it completely and throw it away, and I never have to wonder how much is left on each card.  Most cash registers know how to handle these cards automatically and will drain the card completely before asking for a second form of payment.  Exceptions include gas stations, restaurants, and hotels.  In those cases, you should ask a person to specifically charge exactly $50 to your gift card.

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Chris M.

I am sad the extra $10 off ended. I was planning to quit my job, and just buy 100 of these every day instead.


Oh, one more thing: receipt offered $5 off future purchases of $25 or more for completing a survey which I did. Coupon is only good for 30 days and not valid for gift cards or prepaid cards in case anyone was hoping (like me).


I had the same experience this a.m. in terms of $10 off two ($99.90) but since I’m trying to meet minimum spend on the Ink Bold and i netted 4500 ult. Rewards points, i am happy. I can report that when I got to the check-out With a stack of them, I asked if I could do a bunch of separate transactions to take advantage of the discount and she had to ask the Manager. He came over, was very cheerful and said no problem up to $900. She said, oh yeah, I couldn’t remember if the limit was $800 or $900. It seemed as if this might be the limit for all these types of cards but who knows? Can report lots of stock at the Bellingham, WA location. They also had Southwest Airlines gift cads if anyone is looking for 5X points with them (double dip potential?). Thanks FM!


Beware, this seems to be dead. I went yesterday and got 2 for $89 today they ring up at $99 they said it was a glitch and they got an email form “corporate” regarding this. So beware before you spend too much time searching these out.


PH says: @Piecerate: I just picked up an AMEX for Target. When you’re loading, are you picking a large reload (e.g., $500) and then running 10 $50 gift cards, and only paying a single $3 fee?

Yes. I loaded 14 $50 cards, one at a time, yesterday in one 700$ transaction. It took a while and there a was line so it was a bit awkward but the cashier took it in stride. I paid the $3 load fee in cash. I’m headed back to Target today to move another stack of 50s to my 2nd Target Am Ex card.


Another data point. Bought lots yesterday at 89.90 for 2, today they cost 99.90 for 2. Oh well, on to the next deal.

[…] personally do not have the time or an Office Max even close by to think about doing this. Thanks to The Frequent Miler for sharing […]

Chris S.

Can these be used to manually load Bluebird at Walmart?


I bought 5 sets and I’m happy. Liquidated $300 at CVS for VRs. FYI, CVS’ system only lets you swipe 7 times to pay. So, I could only use 6 $50 MC GCs and then 1 credit card for the balance. Pretty tedious, but worth it for $50 profit and 5X points.


It seems no need to go after work today… There were plenty in stock but only bought three sets yesterday evening…Should have bought more…


Correction: my transaction went through at 8:29MST not 8:45. Oh well, it was good while it lasted. 🙁


I just purchased 2 sets of 2 and the register only gave $10 off for the two. Bummer… I forgot my CIB at home yesterday so I missed the deal 🙁


Tried this morning about 10.30am CT and the registers are “fixed” so you pay $99.90. Yesterday afternoon it was only $89.90. Party’s over.


Wow, so I BARELY got in on this deal one last time….amazing.


Just bought 2 cards (limit 2) and paid 99.90….. Oh well, I still made 10cents…lol..