What If It Was Free To Buy Visa/MC Gift Cards At Staples?

A couple of quick updates on my post about the possible restriction of Visa and MasterCard branded gift card sales at Staples:

Some Different Math on Gift Cards:

I’m not a fan of buying Visa and MasterCard gift cards from office supply stores. I used to be before the fees went up.

But, Shawn from Miles to Memories decided to lay out the math for a way to buy gift cards “for free”.

How does he do it? This only works with a card that earns flexible currency like Chase Ultimate Rewards. He suggests using some of the Ultimate Rewards points as a statement credit to offset the fee charged to buy the gift cards.

It’s a novel idea, and for folks who don’t have a lot of options to generate points it’s worth considering if you have free time. I’m currently in a situation where I would buy a 25th hour in every day if someone would let me, but the idea has merit.

General Update On Visa/MC Gift Card Purchases At Staples:

Pretty much everyone who commented on my earlier post stated they had no issues buying Visa/MC gift cards at Staples recently.

I was able to buy both Visa and M/C gift cards yesterday at my local Staples. I did ask one of the managers and they noted while there has been discussions about further limiting the amount of cards someone can purchase in one visit ($2,000 and above usually triggers additional paperwork), there has been no official communication from corporate.

This is oddly reminiscent of how Vanilla Reloads died at CVS.


  1. Yeah I saw Miles to Memories’ post and that intrigued me too (though I doubt I’ll ever do it). One other thought I had is that you could probably get a bit better return buying $500 cards for $5.95 at grocery stores with something like the American Express Every Day Preferred card which gives 3x (possibly up to 4.5x) at grocery stores

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