Thursday, April 25, 2013

Feeding your Bluebird with Office Depot Bancorp Bank Vanilla Visa gift cards

As I’ve shared before you can now enable PIN code access with certain Visa and Mastercard gift cards. 
While getting groceries today, I stopped by the local Office Depot to see what kind of gift card I could purchase with my Chase Ink Business card. 

I went straight for the gift card rack and noticed the highest Visa gift card they sell is $200.  
A few months ago, Office Depot stopped selling the higher valued gift cards due to concerns of fraud. 

The $200 Vanilla Visa gift card I bought looked like this and were issued by Bancorp Bank.
This card has a whopping $6.95 fee
How does buying this card seem worth it?  Well, all the Chase Ink business credit cards offer 5x points on purchases at office supply stores (including Office Depot and Staples), cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable tv services. 

$206.95 x 5 = 1,035 Ultimate Rewards points.  If we use the points for a purely cashback 1 cent = 1 point, then buying a $200 Vanilla Visa gift card at Office Depot will give me $10.35 - $6.95 = $3.40.  Can you imagine getting PAID $3.40 just to buy something?  Interesting eh?

To test out whether these cards would load into my Bluebird account, I bought two $200 cards.  When I called the 800 number on the back of the card, I found out that these cards get a PIN code determined after your first debit purchase.

This means that when you use your Vanilla Visa gift card as a “debit” purchase the first time, any 4 digits you enter will be your PIN code for future purchases.

Lucky for me, our local Walmart is on the way home.  Once inside Walmart, I walked right up to the customer service department, handed the cashier my Bluebird card and told her I wanted to load it with $200.  

Then I swiped my Vanilla Visa gift card and entered 4 random digits for the PIN.  Within seconds, my transaction was approved and my Bluebird account was loaded with $200.  I kindly asked the Walmart associate if I could load another $200 into my Bluebird account and that transaction also went through without issue.

I logged into my Bluebird account and saw these postings:
This little experiment went through nicely!  This is yet another way of loading your Bluebird with a credit card to snag some extra points.  This will come in handy next time I want to book a free award flight but I am a few thousand points short.  

Note, the Chase Ink Cash and Ink Classic cards only allow a maximum of $25,000 spent annually at office supply stores at a 5x points earning rate.  The Chase Ink Plus and Chase Ink Bold premium business credit cards allow a maximum of $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores at a 5x points earning rate.  See more information about the Chase Ink Business line of credit cards here at the Chase website. 

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