Neil, one of my friends who’s also a regular reader of the blog, has just recently gotten hooked on buying gift cards at Staples with his Chase Ink Bold card. He wrote me an e-mail last night letting me know he had an interesting experience at Staples yesterday.
He picked up a gift card for a retail store to go along with the printer he was buying and headed to the register. The clerk told him that he couldn’t pay for the gift card with a credit card. When Neil pushed a bit further, the manager came out to address the issue.
According to the manager, the employee was wrong, but there was a new policy they had recently been informed of. Only Visa and Mastercard branded gift cards had new restrictions. Staples was no longer accepting credit cards for the purchases of these gift cards.
Cards for various retail stores, like Home Depot, Amazon and restaurants like Red Lobster and Outback are still eligible to be purchased with a credit card.
It’s worth noting that it’s not really a good value to buy Visa and Mastercard gift cards with a credit card at office supply stores. The fee charged to purchase them usually mitigates the value of the miles. And, Office Depot already practices a similar policy.
I’ll head out to a few local Staples stores today to see if I can find whether this is a systemwide change or not.