The Next Big Travel Merger…Office Depot & OfficeMax?

by Adam

One of the best perks of the Chase Ink Bold and Ink Plus business cards is the 5 points per dollar awarded on the first $50k spent each year at office supply stores and on phone, internet, and cable TV charges. Now, two of the stores that qualify for the 5x points may become one. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the stores are in advanced talks to merge. What this means for “gift card collectors” is still to be determined, though I can’t imagine any significant changes. Both stores are rewarded handsomely on gift card sales and I’ve even been privy to see some of the more generous payouts received on certain cards. One unfortunate result may be that negative policy changes would now impact us at both stores…think limiting credit card purchases, removing certain gift cards from stores, etc. Currently there are always two other alternatives (depending on your location) when a certain store makes a negative change.

If you are unfamiliar with the 5x rewards, where have you been hiding? Joking…this is perk that many of us have been taking advantage of for the last few years by buying different gift cards at Office Depot, OfficeMax, and Staples. Unfortunately, Office Depot stores stopped selling the popular Vanilla Reload cards back in November, but there have been several alternatives allowing cardholders to continue to earn the 5x points. American Express, Visa, and MasterCard gift cards can still be purchased and then used to buy Vanilla Reloads at other locations, thereby still earning the 5x points.

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Marshall February 18, 2013 - 11:23 pm

OD pulled all of their large gift cards over $50 and all of their GCs that you can load varaible amounts. Staples is now about the only game in town and all it sells are $200 GC with a 6.95 purchase price. AMEX Hilton no longer pays 6X on drugstore charges, so even though can get VR at CVS, not worth what it use to be. So, where are u getting your VR OR 500 GC & which card are you using?

adam February 19, 2013 - 12:36 am

@Marshall – You can still find sporadic GCs well above $50 at the OD here, I’ve been able to on several trips. An OfficeMax about 30 minutes away also still stocks some. Even without these VR at CVS are of course still very valuable to readers who are looking to meet minimum spend on new cards from their latest churns.

Curtis February 20, 2013 - 9:58 am

Looks like you were right about merger! Could be interesting for sure.


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