Two to Travel (And Tango)

Travel Tips and Inspiration From Millennials, For Millennials

Office Depot Not Accepting My Chase Ink for Gift Card Purchases

I need a new pair of shorts and flip flops for my trip to Belize. Rough life, I know.

San Pedro Beach in Belize. Photo by Adam Reed

I pulled up to Old Navy and low and behold, right across the street was an Office Depot. This is a big deal, and here’s why…

I love our Chase Ink Bold. We got it when we started the webpage, and it’s a very valuable card. Among other benefits, the one that stands out most so far is the ability to earn 5 points per mile at office supply stores. And in said office supply stores, they sell gift cards, lots of them including, you guessed it… Old Navy.

The mathematically inclined are doing the math with me. If I’m going to spend $25 in Old Navy- what’s better:

1. Earn 25 points by using my credit card in Old Navy.

2. Earn 250 points by walking across the street, getting an Old Navy gift card with my Chase Ink, and then getting my shorts with that!

A few weeks ago, I tried to pick up an Amazon gift card for a birthday gift at my local Office Depot in Los Angeles along with a few other items. He scanned the gift card, ran my Chase Ink, and was told it wouldn’t process. “We’ve been having a problem with Chase Ink cards here when people try and buy gift cards” he told me. None of the transactions were being accepted and he advised me to try back later or use a different credit card. So I bought the other items I came to get, left the gift card to the side and left. Strange but lucky for me, there’s  a Staples a block away. I walked into Staples and five minutes later walked out, new Amazon gift card in hand having purchased it with my Chase Ink.

I had forgotten about that incident a couple weeks ago as I entered this new Office Depot in Manhattan Beach. I grabbed the card and some Twizzlers, went to the register, and as I pulled out my Chase Ink was asked “is that a Chase Ink?” Yes, yes it is. He took one look at the label and then told me “Yeah, Chase has a new policy that doesn’t allow us to sell gift cards to people with the Ink cards anymore. Apparently a bunch of people were buying gift cards to earn a bunch of miles, so Chase shut it down. But you can use a debit card if you want.”

I was surprised. He didn’t even try and run my card, he just flat out said I couldn’t get my $25 Old Navy gift card with a Chase Ink. I left the store and quickly searched on Google for threads of similar experiences but there was nothing. I called Chase customer service and was told that sometimes the Bold is treated as a cash advance, and so a store won’t let an individual buy a gift card. Strange, since I haven’t once had this problem at other stores, including Staples. And so I made sure to ask the clarifying question: Does Chase have a policy preventing me from using this card in the store? According to the customer service agent, not that he’s aware of.

So for now, it looks like my gift card purchases in office supply stores will be done at Staples. It’s wedding season, birthday season, baby making season, all types of seasons and so we’re buying A LOT of gift cards!

Update: Chase emailed me back and I found this line most interesting: Further, you have the option to use your card for gift  card purchases. Chase has not placed any restriction on purchase of gift cards. You may contact the merchant to verify if they are processing it as a cash advance or purchase.

I don’t know how many readers have any Chase Ink business card but if you’ve got one I’m curious: Has anything like this happened to you? One store is one thing, but two stores? Something is not right.

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1 Comment

  1. Dude I had the same thing happen. I was wondering if it was just me. I also called Chase and they said the same thing to me they said to you, and said next time it happens, to call from within the store and they’d have a specialist take care of it for me.

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