We all remember that dreaded day, when Office Depot stopped carrying Vanilla Reload cards. Shortly after, they threw salt on our wounds by taking the Amex Prepaid cards off the shelves.
There is finally some good news in the points and miles world: According to Travel Summary, Office Depot is now carrying $500 Visa giftcards!
Why is this great news? For those with an Ink Bold card, that means 5 points per $1 on Visa giftcards, which you can use to 1.) Load your Bluebird card, then 2.) use the funds to pay off your credit card. If you spend $20k per year on these cards, you’ll earn 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points at a total cost of $198 ($3.95 x 40). Transferred to United, that gives you enough miles for a roundtrip business class flight to Europe!
It is unbelievable that Office Depot is bringing it back, and I suspect some folks will empty out the racks and get the deal shut down eventually. Don’t do that. We’re extremely lucky that this opportunity has presented itself again, so keep the spend at a reasonable amount (I’m keeping mine under $5k per month) and not only will this thing keep going longer, but you won’t get shut down by Chase.
Last year there was all kinds of speculation about why Vanilla Reloads were shut down: People abused the deal; the bloggers killed it by feeding it to the masses and getting the attention of Chase; Office Depot shut it down after being pressured by Chase; or organized crime rings were using the cards for money laundering purposes and Office Depot stepped in to fight crime. Who knows. I suspect it was a mixture of all four.
What I find interesting is that Office Depot must know by now why Vanilla Reloads and Amex Prepaid cards were so popular. Are they now looking to capitalize on the gift card game with a new vendor, or are they under the impression that these cards are exempt from these types of games?
Please share your thoughts in the comment section.
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