Many retailers sell gift cards online and outsource the processing to Giftcardmall including Staples, Office Depot, and Kroger. In the case of Staples, gift cards are sold within the regular Staples website; only fulfillment is done by Giftcardmall. These orders earn 5x with INK Plus/Cash and work to trigger Amex Offer deals. However, in the case of Kroger and Office Depot, there are dedicated gift card subdomains for gift cards at and

A reader reached out a couple of months ago asking if the Office Depot purchases code at 5x with INK Plus/Cash. Would be great to earn 5x on these $500 Visa gift cards. I decided to test it out with a small $25 purchase.

Result: nope, it doesn’t earn 5x. It codes as BHN*GIFTCARDS (BHN refers to Blackhawk Network) and comes up as a Miscellaneous purchase which earns just 1x.

In a similar vein, readers have noted that OfficeDepot/Giftcardmall does NOT work to trigger an Amex Offer deal at Office Depot. Again, though the website is Office Depot’s own it won’t work since the charge routes directly through Blackhawk. This is different than gift card orders from Staples which are completed using Staples system and thus work for Amex Offer deals and can earn 5x.

Along the way I learned the good news that my Giftcardmall/OfficeDepot orders will actually get fulfilled. You see, Giftcardmall really doesn’t like me. It’s not just that they cancel my orders, worse, they won’t even let me get to the order submission page. This is despite trying multiple cards, new billing addresses, new phone and email, new IP, etc. I literally have no idea.

Anyway, these orders have been going through and getting fulfilled just fine, despite the charge going through the directly with Giftcardmall. I’ve since had the same experience with Kroger/Giftcardmall which also come up as BHN*GIFTCARDS, yet the orders still go through just fine. It doesn’t have the same who-knows-what security as the Giftcardmall websites since it’s not their domain.

So in the end, those blocked from Giftcardmall can easily place orders on the Office Depot or Kroger sites instead of directly on Giftcardmall. Whether it’s as a gift you want to buy or to rack up spend with $500 Visa gift cards, it should work fine on these sites. The big loss is that the Giftcardmall portals won’t work since this is not the website. On the positive side, the Kroger site gives fuel points for online purchases; I assume it gets 2x fuel points like Kroger store purchases (with an occasional bump to 4x on some gift cards – current such example).