Office Depot discontinues $500 Visa/Amex cards


Reports have been pouring in from readers saying that their local Office Depot stores have discontinued selling Visa and American Express cards that were loadable up to $500.  Mommy Points reported the same, as did The Points Guy.  This is a big deal because the sale of $500 bank gift cards at an Office Supply store was a big deal.  By buying these cards with a credit card that offers bonus points at office supply stores, it was possible to buy these bank gift cards for a small 1% fee while earning points or cash back worth 5% or more.

Since I’m currently in Bangkok, I haven’t been able to fully research this situation.  At the time of this writing, I still don’t know for sure whether all Office Depot stores have stopped selling these bank cards, but I suspect so.

The loss of this “5X everywhere” technique essentially kills two of the 5 options I wrote about in the post “Multiple paths to 5X everywhere.”  Sadly, these were the two best options of the lot, in my opinion.

Neither Staples, nor OfficeMax ever carried these cards (to my knowledge), so I suspect that their inventory is the same as always.

Have you tried buying these cards at Office Depot in the past day or two?  If so, what was your experience?

UPDATE: Pizza In Motion reports the possibility that $500 loadable cards will still be carried at Office Depot, but with higher fees.  Read the details here.

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[…] 3rd 2013: I published “Office Depot discontinues $500 Visa/Amex cards.”  5X everywhere was effectively […]

[…] that Office Depot no longer sells $500 loadable Visa or Amex cards (at least, for now), a number of people have asked me about $200 Visa cards. All three of the big office supply stores […]

[…] When Office Depot recently stopped selling $500 Visa cards, the hunt was on to find the next big “5X everywhere” opportunity (see “In search of the next big thing“).  At first blush, the Home Improvement gift card looked like it might fit the bill. […]


CVS sells them. So do grocery stores. Sadly, no 5X UR with IB but 5X with Freedom this qtr. You can get bonus HH points at CVS (at least for a while). Various cards give bonus points at grocery stores.


Now that OD has stopped carrying variable $500 GCs, what other stores are selling those? Checked Bbuy and they do not carry these type of GCs in any denomination.


New Orleans OD. $500’s all gone.


Agreed with Rob that the new deal isn’t very good and probably too much hassle to do all that often. Here are a few comparisons noting that the old point cost was 0.2 cents while the new cost is .67 cents.

Cost of $1K in spend (~5000 points ignoring the fees) was previously $9.90 and now $34.75.

Cost of $50K in spend (~250K points ignoring the fees) was previously $495.00 and now $1,737.50.

Cost of a business class flight to Europe on UA (or any 100K flight) previously was $196.04 and now is $671.50.

Cost of a 25K point domestic flight on UA was previously $49.01 and now is $167.87.

Cost of a Hyatt Cat 6 stay (22K points) was previously $43.13 and is now $147.73.

All went up by nearly 250%. So while in all these cases you can still get great value, there are probably far easier ways to do this with far less hassle.


None in Cincinnati


Fees for these 200$ GCs are either ~3% or ~3.5% (5.95 or 6.95), not like ~1% of the previous variable cards.

Still this is less than the 5% you would get back in form of UR points.

The math before was 2525 points for 4.95 fee, (if you can liquidate these cards at costco or otherwise).

4.95/2525 = 20 cents per point.

Now it is 1035 points for 6.95 fee:
6.95/1035 = 67 cents per point.

More than 3 times the cost it was before.

If you can buy Vanilla Reloads at CVS using your Freedom card (without the Q1 bonus), it is 564 points (504 from Base purchase, 50 for 10% of each dollar spent, 10 points for the transaction) for a fee of 3.95:

3.95/564 = 70 cents per point.

So the Ink deal now is not even lukewarm, it is regular room temperature.. sadly.


Does anyone think it’s a good value to purchase $200 AX or VS GCs at OD with $5.95 or $6.95 fee? Even with an IB, $1000 in GCs yields 5000 UR = $65.50 at FT “fair trade price.” Cost would be $29.75 or $34.75 (depending on actual fee charged), plus the cost of the 2 VRs ($7.90), plus the value of points forgone by using IB instead of another points earning card (e.g. 1000 SPG points worth $19.50 at FT “fair trade price).” So the net gain would be $8.35 per $1000 of GCs (at $5.95 fee) or $3.35 per $1000 of GCs (at $6.95 fee). Not counting the value of your time or gas to visit two stores. If we charitably value UR at 2 CPP, the value proposition is slightly better. And if we value SPG at 2.5 or 3 CPP, the value proposition is slightly worse. Alternatives?


Just went to check office depot real quick in Kansas City. Same deal. All $500 cards pulled. Glad I already finished my Ink spending, and now to hunt for some AMEX cards to use at Costco.


No more in NJ/NY area. Really bummed – just got my ink card… 🙁


No more $500 visa gift cards in LA/OC


Checked my normal Office Depot source here in Portland, OR on Hayden Island and they had them still on the shelf but they wouldn’t sell them to me. Bummer. Hopefully another way to earn 5X all the time comes up soon!


@Yo…interested as to what you’re thinking as I thought of something too but not sure if it will work. Is your idea one to get you large amounts (ie on $500 purchases) or slower/smaller purchases.