Quick Tip: Variable Load Visa/MC Gift Cards are now Cash Only at Officemax


officemax variable gift cards cash only

A few weeks ago Officemax once again began carrying variable load Visa & Mastercard gift cards. Better yet, they were allowing these cards to be purchased with credit cards. Since cards like the Chase Ink and Amex SimplyCash earn 5X at office supply stores, buying these cards was an easy way to generate a lot of rewards.

A System Update & Numerous Data Points

I had heard rumblings the past couple of days of Officemax implementing a new cash only policy, but it seemed to vary from store to store. Unfortunately, it now seems that Officemax is rolling out a system update to restrict variable load cards to cash only across all stores. Here are a couple of reader reports from the past few days:

  • Just went to an OM in Kirkland, they told me that there s a new policy starting today (Nov 1) that over $200 in gift card purchases needs to be cash only… (((
  • No luck at two different OM stores in Michigan today. Register gives message that these are cash only. Both managers were surprised and said that they have not heard anything about a change in policy with Visa/MC gift cards. Looks like this was pretty short lived.
  • I was able to purchase 4 $500 gift cards with CC Tuesday night. But this morning, the cashsier showed me the “Cash Only for variable load GCs” message on screen while helping to check out. The Cash Only policy is effective 11/1/15 and the system is hardcoded either yesterday or early this morning. Another dream deal is gone.

Hardcoded System Message

When these cards are scanned, a message now pops up on the screen informing the cashier that they are cash only. The system will not allow credit cards to be used to purchase them even if the cashier will allow you to try. It remains to be seen if this rollout has happened at all Officemax locations, but my guess is that it will be nationwide soon if it isn’t already.

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