Nothing Gets Me More Excited Than a New Gift Card at an Office Supply Store!

Stopping by Staples to pick up Amazon and Starbucks gift cards (because I prefer to earn 5 points per dollar for my purchases rather than just 1 point), I noticed a store card I hadn’t seen before.

I’m used to seeing Southwest Airlines, Marriott, various gas stations, iTunes, and cards for a bunch of restaurants I wouldn’t want to eat at.

This was the first time I saw gift cards for Whole Foods:

I went to a talk by John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods, earlier in the year at the National Press Club. His interlocutor asked about Whole Foods prices, repeating the mockin name “Whole Paycheck” to which Mackey replied “I’ve never heard that one before.” And in fact there are some items that are much more expensive there, in some cases reflecting higher quality, and also some items you’ll find less expensively.

But earning 5 points per dollar on my whole paycheck has a certain appeal to it, actually!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Saturday’s NY Times had an interesting price comparison — Thanksgiving dinner ingredients purchased at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Fairways. Somewhat counter-intuitively, Whole Foods was “mid-priced”!

  2. @kathleen there are cards that offer 5 points per dollar at office supply stores, such as Chase Ink Plus and Ink Bold 🙂

  3. At the Office Max by where I work I’ve noticed a place holder for Whole Foods gift cards for about month. It’s always been empty and when I asked they were pretty clueless about it.

  4. Hardly believe there is something there that isn’t cheaper somewhere else. Have to think the allure of 5x here plummets rather quickly, if not immediately.

  5. @ Peter D. Lederer
    => Interesting article, not sure why he mentions Fresh Direct as a viable option then excludes them from the comparison set. Manhattan does have some “reasonable” (it’s all relative) grocery stores such as Morton Williams or Key Foods that shows that Whole Foods is pricy, but with groceries in Manhattan, location is huge (hence Fresh Direct).

    @ Lantean
    => +1 (Agreed, Whole Foods is typically more reasonable than Food Emporium – which is part of A&P)

  6. Awesome, thanks for the heads up! I’ll be hitting Staples soon to buy more sodastream refills, and I’ll be sure to get some WH gift cards while I’m there.

  7. Spotted variable load ($20-$500) Whole Foods cards at Office Depot yesterday. Very nice not to have to juggle a bunch of smaller denomination cards!

  8. Wish the Amazon gift card was available at

    Thanks for the tip, I do shop there occassionally.

  9. Might be off topic but anyone having problems using a staples gift card to purchase starbucks gift cards? I took advantage of the Staples rewards 100% back on cases of paper a month ago and used the rewards earned to buy a staples gift card on their website. This afternoon, I tried purchasing a Starbucks card with my staples gift card and was turned down. Never had a problem in the past.

    Also, officemax doesn’t charge an extra fee for their gift cards. I took advantage of the Ultimate Rewards portal and my Ink card for 8x points from them. Will plan to use the gift card at their store for gas cards.

    You can do the same thing for Staples but its 7x points total and will have an extra fee so it’s not worth it.

  10. Can a starbucks gift card be used to top off a starbucks account?

    In other words, I pay for my coffee using the app on my phone, with autoreload. Can I buy a card at 5x, then use it to reload the sbux card that the app uses?

  11. This is excellent. Staples is the only office supply store in my area (Portland, ME) and I do our weekly shopping at WF. It’s a little more, but not ridiculously so if you stick to the perimeter, and definitely worth the ~10% more I spend there vs Shaws/Hannaford for the quality. The bigger problem is I tend to buy more, but thats my fault!

    Will be nice to get 5X on my groceries.

  12. I just saw the WF sales flyer and they are offering an extra 10% gift card for $500 in GC purchases. So you could get an extra $50. It’s going on for the month of December.

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