Thanks to reader Rdover1 for pointing this out to me. He clued me in to a promotion at Office Depot this week where you can get American Express gift cards with no fees. I was interested in this for the potential leverage opportunities at Costco so I went to do a bit of research.
The path here would be to use a credit card that awards bonus points for office supply purchases (like Chase Ink Plus, with Ultimate Rewards). You purchase the gift cards at Office Depot and use them to pay for purchases at Costco that you’d normally use an American Express card for.
Most people don’t end up flying a couple hundred thousand miles a year like me, so maximizing bonus categories and extra opportunities is the best way to increase your balance for the average points hoarder.
I stopped by a local Office Depot during my travels and actually found a second offer that’s worth noting, along with the fee-free American Express cards, available through Saturday, November 21, 2015:
Technically, a 25% discount on the second card is roughly equivalent to some of the 10-15% iTunes offers I’ve seen at Costco and other places. Again, though, when leveraging credit card bonus categories it could make this offer more lucrative.