Staples Delivers Free Points Again!

This deal is good until March 31.

A few days ago I posted “Sorry, an error has occurred“. In that post I explained my disappointment that the Staples site only allowed one copy of Trend Micro Antivirus to be purchased even though the rebate terms allowed 10 per household. It turns out that they’ve now opened it up and allow multiple copies in the cart at once. If you buy all 10, you’ll get a nice haul of points:

The idea here is to go through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to Staples.com. Once there, buy 10 copies of this “Free After Rebate” downloadable software product for $35 each. You will get 4 points per dollar from the Ultimate Rewards Mall and another 5 points per dollar if you pay with your Chase Ink card or another 1 point per dollar if you pay with a standard point earning credit card. This means that you will earn 3,150 Free Ultimate Rewards points with your Ink card or 1,750 points with another card. See Preparing for Miles for more info about the Ink and other cards.

Staples has an amazingly easy “Easy Rebate” system. Once you purchase the software, they send you a rebate link via email. You click the link, fill out a little bit of info and you’re done. Note that you will have to wait a while, though. It may take as much as 6 to 8 weeks to receive your check.

Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Go to Staples via the Ultimate Rewards Mall:


Step 2: Add up to ten copies of “Trend Micro Titanium Antivirus + 2012 (1-User)” for Windows or Mac to your cart:

TIP: Search for item 368658


IF YOU BOUGHT ONE COPY EARLIER IN THE WEEK, THEN ONLY BUY 9 NOW!!!

Step 3: Check out

TIP 1: If you have a Chase Ink card that gives 5X for office supplies, use it!

TIP 2: Your state may charge sales tax. If you know someone in a state that doesn’t charge sales tax for downloadable internet orders (CA, NH, etc.), then set their address as the delivery address and no tax will be charged. This is a download only purchase anyway, so nothing will really be delivered. I picked “deliver to store” and picked a store in New Hampshire. Of course, there won’t really be anything to pick up.


Step 4: Submit Easy Rebates

You will receive an email from Staples with a link in it for submitting the rebate form. It’s easy!

TIP 1: Even though you bought 10 copies, you only have to fill out one rebate form. Note that it can take 6 to 8 weeks (or longer) to get your rebate.

TIP 2: The software rebate can be changed from a Visa gift card to a check! See screen shots (taken from a prior order):



Q&A:

Per Household Limit

  • Q: How do you know that we can buy 10? I don’t see that restriction anywhere
  • A: See “Can I really buy 10” for a walkthrough of how to find that information.

Per Household Limit, Question 2

  • Q: Can I buy 10 copies for every friend I know?
  • A: I don’t recommend it. I know at least one person who tried to buy two sets of 10 that way, but Staples did not approve the second set of rebates. I don’t know how they figured it out.

Status = Researching

  • Q: The status of my order says “researching”. What’s up with that?
  • A: Staples needs to verify your order. Sometimes this happens if you have the wrong email address or phone number on file. Simply give them a call or do an online chat with them to verify the information they need. Once that is done, they’ll confirm the order.

Promotional Items

  • Q: The Staples’ Terms and Conditions in the Ultimate Rewards Mall says that promotional items are excluded. Aren’t these free after rebate items “promotional”?
  • A: I’ve done this many times now, and my Ultimate Rewards points posted quickly each time.  So, either these items are not considered promotional, or Staples doesn’t enforce that restriction.

Number of Rebate Forms

  • Q: I bought 10 copies of the software. Does that mean I have to fill out the rebate form 10 times.
  • A: Nope. If you buy multiple copies of a single item in one transaction, you only need to fill out the rebate form once.  Really.  I promise.

Rebate Time

  • Q: How long will it take for my rebate to arrive?
  • A: The Staples web site says to expect 6 to 8 weeks.  My first rebates arrived after about 5 weeks so it looks like Staples’ estimate is fairly accurate.

Number of Checks

  • Q: I bought 10 copies of the software.  Will I receive 10 small checks or one big check?
  • A: One big check.

Download

  • Q: Do I have to download this software so that I can qualify for the rebate?
  • A: No!  I didn’t download any of the software I bought, but the first rebates processed successfully. 

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Comments

  1. Did anyone else receive their check in the form of a postcard? the mailman could see how much the check was worth, etc…security issue?

    • Hao: Yes, that’s the form it comes in unfortunately.

      harvson3: Good question. The rebate form always said “limit 10”, but the website only allowed 1. The speculation on SlickDeals was that the limit of 1 was left over from a prior deal and that Staples would hopefully fix the website. Since they did fix the website, I now believe that the SlickDeals folks were right and the guy I talked to had it backwards.

      matt w: If you know a charity that could actually make use of these or sell them, that would be great (as in, a good thing to do to help out a charity). As to tax deductions, there is an interesting thread on FlyerTalk were people have argued that you shouldn’t take a tax deduction because your cost basis is zero. I’m not an accountant — I’m just passing along that info.

      Dan: That’s right. Thanks

      frequentflyercollector: All of my Staples purchases have been with Amex cards that I’m trying to pump up spending on (and since I still have the Ink Old). Except for the purchases I have made in the last 2 days, all posted UR points as expected. I did read something at some point about Apple excluding iPad3 sales from affiliate payments, but I thought that had been lifted. Maybe you got caught in the in-between?

      David: Yes you can use your Citi card if you have a Chase card that will allow you to log into the UR Mall and you will most likely get 4X. The only problem is that if the points don’t post, it is difficult to get Chase to help you.

      caveman: Yes, if you previously bought 1, you can buy 9 now. That’s what I did today.

      THEsocalledfan: Thanks!

      doug: The email should arrive immediately. Otherwise your order may be in “researching” status.

      bushoi: Yes, I switched to NH because of reports that CA wasn’t working anymore for this. One person wrote in on another post that CA was fixed, but I don’t see any reason to risk it.

  2. And you can save a few extra $ by order the boxed version (not download) and delivering them to a charity in Delaware (no sales tax). You can them claim them as a donation at tax time!

  3. Hao – received my first check from Mid-Feb in the form of a postcard that anyone could see. IMO it is a very sloppy practice by Staples. Even their staples rewards coupons dont get mailed like that.

    Harvson – I cannot speak for FM but Staples had put a limit of 1 per customer on the order system(plainly stated on the web page) but the rebate continued to say that there was a limit of 10 per household/name/etc. I have not checked yet but I assume that this limit on the order page on Staples.com has been removed. I think there was some kind of communication error between Staples and Trend Micro which has finally been cleared up in our favor allowing you to order and get rebates for 10 copies.

  4. Matt W – The download version has(had?) the advantage of not having sales tax charged. Some people have been reporting though that Staples has been starting to charge sales tax(if your state has sales tax) for the download version. Can anyone confirm?

  5. great find 🙂 I’m glad they brought back allowin 10 purchases (and that I just procrastinated the whole week on buying anything from them).

    Aside: do you typically make your purchases with the sapphire/ink bold card? Or a different card? I was wondering what your success rate is with non-Chase cards. it seems i’ve gotten some other purchases to post on the mall using non-Chase, but my recent staples purchase and my ipad (through Apple) purchases have not posted. The funny thing about the iPad was that I bought another item from Apple in the same order, on a non-Chase card, and that other item has already posted, about 5 days after my order, but the iPad never did…

  6. Hi

    Need some clarification on this .. “another 1 point per dollar if you pay with a standard point earning credit card. ”

    Can I still use a CitiCard or something and get the 4x (ie a non Chase card) ? I need to full fill the min spend requirement. 🙂

    Thanks

    d

  7. I have already bought one yesterday and applied for staples easy rebate. Can I buy more of the same product and still apply for the same staples easy rebate?

  8. You are the man once again! I laugh when some “scoff” at all the gift card stuff. If you are diciplined and do this stuff regularly, you can rack up a ton of miles. Not as easy as a credit card ap, but no effect on credit score and readily available.

  9. I bought 1 copy before the website was fixed. Pickup location was a store in CA. The purchase used to be sales tax free if I pickup in CA. The last order came back with sales tax!
    Maybe try NH or other true tax-free states!

    • Amanda, Enigma: Thanks. These are great options if you’re not going to use an Ink card.

      Mike: No, Staples gift cards cannot be used online. Strange but true. Unless you mean Staples Visa gift cards in which the answer would be yet.

  10. It seems I am just out of luck of Staples.com. Every item I selected to add in the cart is out of stock. Called Staples.com and followed their instruction deleted cookie, using different(or upgrade) browser, etc., nothing seems helped. I wonder is there anybody else had the same issue I had.

  11. Actually, the AMEX FB/Twitter would be better to use than Ink for 2 of the purchases. $50 buys 3800 UR (at 1.3 cents each if you go with fair trading value). You’re only giving up 5x UR – 1x UR on $70.

  12. Oh, never mind. I misread the FB/Twitter promo. I thought it was a $50 statement credit. I see it’s only a $10 credit. Still might be worth doing since $10 is worth more than (5 UR – 1 MR) x $70.

  13. @Sun, I just purchased and I didn’t get an out of stock error. Make sure you are searching for the correct item number. I decided not to split up my order between AMEX and Ink. For the extra $10 of value, I figured it wasn’t worth the hassle to split things up into 3 orders. I’ll drive to 3 different grocery stores to save $10 but register / input another 2 credit card numbers, heck no, lol.

  14. Can I buy 10 of the download version and 10 of the boxed version and file two different rebate forms, for a total of 20 items?

  15. Can you do 20 if you do 10 at a time with different accounts with different emails, but the same billing address?

  16. If I buy 2 with AmEx #1 (synced to twitter #1) and 2 with AmEx #2 (synced to twitter #2), then 6 with a Chase Ink card, could I still get a rebate for 10? I’m guessing I’d have to fill out 3 different forms …? I’d be willing to do that for $20…

  17. thanks again frequent miler!
    @Hiker T when are you gonna start your frequent flyer points and miles blog?

  18. Fingers crossed i hope this one goes thru since I did the stupid newegg version of this one, although it was a different rebate #

  19. am just about to submit the rebate form. No where does it say that i will be getting it for 10 purchases. It says 1 $35.00 rebate.
    help!!!!

  20. so just do it once even though it says no where that it is for 10 purchases? Have you recieved a check yet for 10 after filling a one?

  21. @worldtraveller2, I would if I saw a need for another blog – but there are already too many out there IMO and I’d just be regurgitating the same stuff. I just hope Frequent Miler is able to continue pulling these rabbits out of the hat. That is dependent somewhat on Chase supplying the hat, Staples, Sears, etc. supplying the rabbits, and of course, Frequent Miler devising and performing the magic tricks on this stage.

  22. How long does it usually take for the rebate email to come ? On my last purchase, it never came, I had to call the rebate center and they guided me on how to do it. On this purchase, I got a confirmation email then I got an email with the download info (meaning my order went through and was processed) but I did not get a rebate email.

  23. Have you actually had the points post for downloadable software?

    I’ve been buying stuff through the United MP Shopping Mall at Staples and all the physical items actually shipped out post fine, but none of the downloadable stuff does. I’m probably going to get a Sapphire Preferred soon and switch to doing things there, so it’d be nice to know if the downloadable items have points post.

  24. Alan, what?!? No SP or IB yet? UR have posted just fine here for downloadable software. A word of warning though. Make sure your staples shopping cart is empty before clicking thru from the mall. The T&C do say something about eligible for items in the shopping cart.

  25. For all of you that are afraid of this, I’ve done many rebates with Staples and they have all come through. Staples has the EASIEST rebate process and all you have to do is fill out the form online and you can also track the progress of your rebates.

  26. HikerT: I’m fairly new to the miles game, been doing Staples a bit longer. It’s good that UR posts fine for downloads. I prefer to buy boxed when possible (ie, when there’s a coupon or I have rewards to cover the tax) but I’ll do the downloads as a last resort. SP is definitely next, probably going to apply next week after I figure out all the other cards I want to go for this round.

    oneeyejack: Absolutely agreed, Staples rebates are awesome. The *only* caveat is to double and triple check rebate limits before buying downloadable software since it’s not returnable.

    As far as tracking, I’ve got a web script that puts all your Staples rebate statuses on a single page instead of having to click through each one: http://www.geekandproud.net/staples/

  27. In for another 10 copies. I also just noticed that my 1800 Chase UR points posted for the last round even though I used my Citi AA Visa to meet minimum spend. Sweet.

  28. You’re the best, FM!! I really appreciate all your work with this. I’ll buy you a beer in Europe someday, since you’re the one that helped me get the points for the trip!

  29. Actually this thing is a potential money + point making offer. Apply the staples 25 off 75 coupon at the time of purchase and you still get your full amount at the time of refund. This was proven by ME in the past.

  30. Silly question… I noticed that this was for Titanium Antivirus and the previous rebate was for Titanium Internet Security (done them both). I see that Trend Micro offers a 3rd product called Titanium Max. Was there a rebate for Titanium Max in the past I missed? If so, would anyone be able to share one of the links and keys? I actually would like to download this version. Thanks…

  31. Ah thanks for the info…I’ve done a mix of buying stuff on sapphire preferred and not on sapphire preferred just to see what would happen.

    Also, I pre-ordered the iPad 3, and got it on release day, so if there was any sort of embargo on affiliate rewards, I probably got included in it 🙁 Well at least I still got about 1000 Starpoints out of it 🙂

  32. According to many Slickdealers, applying 25 off 75 or 30 off 100 coupons on downloadable software is a fast-track way of getting you blacklisted by Staples. Yes it does happen. And I sure don’t want to be blacklisted when they’re offering these points-hoarding schemes for me. You’re already getting thousands of points, why push your luck?

    My researching status overcame itself in the morning without me calling.

  33. Hi Guys, I get staples emailed with free gifts (as I am sure many of you do as well). Just to let you know that for the last two times, I have been able to redeem the free gift coupon at the time I placed the orders.
    Now these are targeted coupons and not the $ off ones. Am I setting myself up for a blacklist.. dunno… thought I would share.

  34. My mistake. I was able to Order ten.

    If you want pay your credit card with the rebate check, make sure to pay on the first day your statement cycle starts. If your statement closes April 1, then if you buy on April 2, you receive a ~60 day loan – statement close date then extended to payment due date.

  35. Worked fine for me in chrome, in again for my 2nd round of goodness. Was disappointed at the beginning of the week but this is a good finish to a Friday!

  36. Thanks so much for the tip that this is working again!

    I was charged sales tax on my download with a CA zip code. I received this email from Staples.

    Valued Staples Customer,

    When you made your recent purchase(s) of Trend Micro Titanium Antivirus 2012 software download (item # listed above) you were charged sales tax, which should not be assessed on downloads in your state.

    We are processing a refund of the tax which should be seen on your account within three business days.

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