Travel Related

$500 MasterCard gift cards working just fine & a great day for a Michigan fall drive!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


quick drive up to pick up gift cards for points renes points blog

Since I was the first to test and blog about the amazing news that OfficeMax is now selling loadable gift cards up to $500 each I thought I would post some updates about some changes.

officeMax michigan store for gift card run renes points blog

If you missed it the first time I, and a few other points enthusiasts, purchased them was this past Saturday while we were visiting the Chicago Seminars. It appears that day was the first one they were on the gift card racks at OfficeMax and only the Visa ones would ring up correctly.

my recipt for gift cards for free travel points renes points blog

Since that time they seem to have fixed that issue with the Mastercards, but have also fixed the fee issue. Saturday with the Visa cards they were only charging us $3.95 each but this time they correctly billed at $5.95 each.

michagan fall colors on office max travel point drive renes points blog (2)
Click photo for full size

I visited two stores in Michigan and picked up a total of 12 cards. The first store had no problem with me purchasing on two transactions with two INK cards. They asked for my ID and I used a chip card for purchase one and a non-chip INK card for purchase two.

The second store required the check out rep call and verify the card and the purchase and would not allow a second purchase but did not seem to have had an issue had I wanted to buy more than 4x$500 cards in one transaction. So, the reports from some that 2k per order may either be incorrect or specific to some stores. Loading over to BlueBird is no issue other than you have to select change payment and select debit to finish the load when using the Mastercard cards.

michagan fall colors on office max travel point drive renes points blog (1)
Click photo for full size

Either way it was a nice little drive to enjoy the fall foliage and score an amazing deal. Ultimate Rewards points, if I spend them say on an Alaska cruise next year (my plan) are worth 1.25 cents each. So, I picked up 30,000 points worth $375. My costs were 5 gallons of gas and 12x$5.95 in fees so all in $82.35. That is some simple point math and a nice drive in the country! – René

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my loads to BB from the MC OF gifts

Update: If you are having any issues loading the MC to BB do the following steps!

1) Call and set pin BEFORE you went to wallyworld
2) Go to CS clerk
3) Hand CS  BB card and ask them to load funds
4) You are asked to confirm amount of load.
5) Screen will blink 2-3x times then you swip GC
6) Immediately you then look for and select “change payment”
7) You then selected Debit
8) Selected NO cash back
9) Entered PIN and done!

I drained all my cards today OCT 23rd no problem at all. Confirmed. Tested. Working 100%. Do not mention loading from GC just from debit card. Make this simple for them and they will make it simple for you. 😉

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

21 Comments

  1. Rene, I don’t get it. You said

    Ultimate Rewards points, if I spend them say on an Alaska cruise next year (my plan) are worth 1.25 cents each. So, I picked up 30,000 points worth $375. My costs were 5 gallons of gas and 12x$5.95 in fees so all in $82.35. That is some simple point math and a nice drive in the country!

    Can you break this down? First, what are “Ultimate Rewards” points? Are they associated with the credit card you used to buy the Mastercard gift card? Is the amazing part of this that you get points for buying a gift card, or something else? I feel I’m missing some thing or things. Thanks.

    • @Mark – Chase INK pays 5x points at office supply stores and earns you Ultimate Rewards points that can be spent at 1.25 cents each thus the math.
      @FNT – No. I pay my mortgage and other bills like BB is intended to be used then take the rest out 😉
      @William – MQD spend is not for folks like us!

  2. FNT Delta Diamond Reply

    And you withdrew the money from the cards right away?

  3. No way I’m hitting 6K MQDs next year to keep Gold, so MS, here I come!

  4. Rene, I’ve been away from this topic for a while. I take it the “loadable” gift cards can be loaded into BB. I assume that is Bluebird. I still have a Bluebird account from the old Vanilla card days. Can I load these gift cards there and send checks like I used to? Thanks.

  5. Hatstrings Reply

    I was unable to load the master card to bluebird from Walmart. I used debit but it rejected the type of payment. Any suggestions?

    • @Hatstrings – did you:
      1) Set pin BEFORE you went to wallyworld
      2) Went to CS clerk
      3) Handed BB card and asked to load funds
      4) You are asked to confirm amt.
      5) Screen will blink 2-3x times then you swiped card
      6) Immediately you then looked for and selected “change payment”
      7) You then selected Debit?
      8) Selected NO cash back
      9) Entered PIN
      Then the clerk will do their thing and you are fine. Unless you did the above you did it wrong 🙂

  6. Poor Old Dave Reply

    so how many points for the cruise? I have mucho … perhaps I can tag along and share your suite?

    • @Poor Old Dave – Mrs Poor Old Dave will be happy to learn about all your points and the suite you will be booking for her 🙂

  7. Rene,

    I have unloaded dozens of MC @ W before using the sequence you describe above. However, this week I have been unable to unload some MC cards I picked up at the last sale a few weeks ago. I’ve tried 3 different W locations and I’ve tried smaller amounts than the $200 face value, nothing works…

    • @Michael – I have more to load today. Will report back if there are any issues for me. If they have run some sort of update will have to resort to MO’s (hate that choice).
      .
      UPDATE: 11:AM today loaded just as described above no issues what so ever! Did you perhaps skip ANY of the steps described including calling to set a PIN before you go?

  8. Ed Jenkins Reply

    Rene, are the Visa GC working to load the BB normally as they have in the past… or do you need to set pin before going to W

    • @Ed – I always set pin before I go. 2x reasons. One to confirm amount on card has loaded correctly and two I know the pin is set. Makes my time at W much faster.

  9. MSPDeltaDude Reply

    Confused about PIN. Cards I bought came with PIN. Still need to call and change it?! Thanks!

    • @MSPDeltaDude – Again, Visa come with stock pin but I like to call or go online anyway. As mentioned, it makes life simpler. “One to confirm amount on card has loaded correctly and two I know the pin is set. Makes my time at W much faster.”

  10. Will this work at Staples with the:
    Buy $300 worth of Visa Gift Cards get $20 Visa Rebate Card AR (limit 1) (In-store only)
    Terms: Limit 1 per household.
    Valid 10/25/15-10/31/15. Subject to availability. See gift cards for details, terms, conditions and (if applicable) fees. Limit 1 per household. All trademarks are property of their respective owners. Product may not be available in all states. The gift cards featured are not sponsors or otherwise affiliated with this company. The Visa® Gift Card is issued by MetaBank®, member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.

    • @Kathie – Yep they should as they have in the past. I plan to pick one up.

  11. Rene,

    It turns out someone stole the money on 3 of my $200 MC. Now I have to file a claim. Hopefully I get my money back…

    • @Michael – Ouch. Let me know how that process works. I empty my cards the same or next day to avoid any risk. Confused about $200 cards? Why $200’s?

  12. At my WM you need to hit Red Cancel button right after you swipe your grocery bought MC debit card. Then you get the debit option on the touchscreen. hit it and proceed from there.

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