EDIT: Reports are that the store I went to has now pulled these particular gift cards off the shelf. Stay tuned.
I was in line for dinner earlier tonight and decided to read Twitter while waiting. I immediately saw this post from Frequent Miler, noting how one of his readers named Grant (of Travel with Grant) mentioned he bought a $500 Visa Gift Card from Office Depot. He even posted a copy of the receipt as proof. I was very, very intrigued. So much so that I literally left my dinner half eaten and took a toll road to get to my local Office Depot. And it was worth it.
If you don’t know why, read my Bluebird/Chase Ink Award Cost Charts post, and scroll to the “just for fun” section. That section was written to explain how great things used to be…when $500 Vanilla Reload were available at Office Depot. The VRs aren’t back, but now it looks like the Visa ones are back!
If you’re late to the game, this is awesome because the Chase Ink Bold/Plus cards earn 5x points on all office supply store purchases. These gift cards can be loaded to the Bluebird Prepaid card, which you can use to pay off your credit card directly. Sound confusing? Read my Bluebird/Chase Ink post first, but let me simplify for you with an example: I just bought 4 of these gift cards and spent $2,019.80 on them, and I will earn 10,099 points for that purchase. I can almost immediately pay off $2,000 on my credit card with the gift cards I just bought, plus I’ll need to add $19.80 of my own money. That means I almost bought a one-way domestic economy ticket (which costs 12,500 points) for a paltry $19.80. GOOD DEAL!
I know everyone will immediately bombard their local Office Depots now. As I walked in to mine, another guy was walking out with one in his hand. My cashier even remarked “looks like it’s gift card night tonight.” Remember that if you go too hard on these, you risk your account getting shut down. That means losing all your points, so be careful. It might be a good idea to transfer out points you already have in your Ink accounts before you start buying a ton more of these.
The second thing is I just wrote about devaluations that have been happening, and noted that Ultimate Rewards might be affected by these in the future. You’ll still be buying points at a steal even if a devaluation does happen, but just know that it’s a possibility.