So you pulled the trigger. You spoke with Chase about your booming business, even if it’s just hawking items on Ebay. And what do you know, they’ve approved you for a Chase Ink, our favorite credit card for small businesses (including this lovely blog). You’re now working on hitting your minimum spend to get those bonus 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points, and if you’re smart, you’ve increased your shopping at office supply stores like Staples or Office Depot. Why? The Chase Ink provides a whopping 5 points per dollar not only on your cell phone, land line, internet and cable TV bills, but also on any purchases made in office supply stores. And here’s a crazy little secret: There’s way more that can be bought in office supply stores than you EVER imagined…

We’re going to put our bottom line up front here: Gift cards are the grand jackpot. If you read nothing else, get to that category. But we also want to highlight other items that we now buy in our local office supply stores.

Kitchen supplies

Have a keurig? You could buy your K Cups in your local grocery store, or you could pick them up at any Staples or Office Depot. This along with basic kitchen cleaning supplies.

Gifts and greeting cards

It’s not just for the people in your life who love gadgets, though this is great for them too. We’ve found little gifts here and there while wandering the aisles of our local office supply store. What’s more, we’ve found greeting cards in our local Staples and so everything from baptism cards to birthday cards we’re buying at our local Staples.

School supplies

Sending the little ones back to school recently, I probably don’t need to tell you how expensive it can be. And throughout the year, more purchases will be made. Skip your local drugstore and instead head over to your office supply store.

Want to really maximize your money back?

Office Depot has a rewards program that gets you money back on certain purchases. You can also get 5% back on other purchases, but not until you’ve spent enough to achieve a certain status. Staples has a great rewards program, giving you anywhere from 2% to 5% back on all purchases in store and online along with free shipping for online purchases. And straight TV infomercial style, “Wait, there’s more!” Both programs also allows you to buy online, pick up on store. But why should this matter so much?

Stack a shopping portal bonus

By now, you better be tired of hearing us preach on and on about shopping portals. If I were you, I’d just start using one because, well, that’s a lot of free miles most shoppers leave on the sidelines. With Staples and Office Depot, Laura and I have our choice of shopping portals to receive a bonus percent off (5% off on Upromise), or miles (2 extra miles per dollar at AAdvantage eShopping or 4 extra points per dollar through Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall).

So what are the best Gift cards to buy with your Ink?

1. The are the no brainers: Starbucks, Amazon, and iTunes

I drink a lot of coffee. Blame grad school for introducing that bad habit to my life. So I get Starbucks gift cards. A LOT. I also buy a lot of stuff on Amazon, damn you Amazon Prime. So I buy Amazon Gift Cards. And I’m the guy who buys his music rather than obtain it through other means (being polite you little thieves). So I also buy iTunes gift cards.

2. But really, what should matter most to you, is who sells which cards. Here are a list of a few of our favorites that we have found in the following stores.

Office Max:
-Amazon
-AMC Theaters
-Babies R Us/Toys R Us
-Bed Bath & Beyond/Buy Buy Baby
-Cheesecake Factory
-Home Depot
-iTunes
-JCPenney
-Kohl’s
-Lowe’s
-Macy’s
-Nordstrom
-Regal Cinemas
-Sephora
-Southwest
-SpaFinder
-Starbucks
-TJMaxx

Staples:
-Amazon
-AMC Theaters
-Babies R Us/Toys R Us
-Bath & Body Works
-Bed Bath & Beyond/Buy Buy Baby
-Cheesecake Factory

-Gamestop
-Gap Inc (Gap, Banana, Old Navy, Athleta, Piperlime)
-Groupon
-Home Depot
-Hulu Plus
-iTunes
-JCPenney
-Jiffy Lube
-Kohl’s

-L.L. Bean

-Lowe’s
-Macy’s
-Nordstrom
-Regal Cinemas
-Petco
-Sephora
-Shell Gas
-Southwest
-SpaFinder
-Starbucks

-Stubhub

-Sur La Table
-Whole Foods

Office Depot:
-AMC Theaters
-Bath & Body Works
-Bed Bath & Beyond/Buy Buy Baby
-Bloomingdale’s
-Express
-Exxon/Mobil
-Game Stop
-Gap Inc (Gap, Banana, Old Navy, Athleta, Piperlime)
-iTunes
-Macy’s
-Marshalls
-Sephora
-Shell Gas
-Starbucks
-TJMaxx
-Whole Foods

The list is much bigger, but this gives you a glimpse into it all. Don’t believe us? Just take a peak at the thousands of gift cards on the Staples website.

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