Staples keeps on giving

This deal is good until April 7.

Eventually I hope to write a post or two that is not about Staples, but as long as they keep giving us freebies I might as well keep writing about them!

Did you buy 10 copies of the Free after Rebate Trend Micro Titanium Antivirus last week?  A reader tipped me off that the same deal is back this week, but with a new rebate number.  This means that you can buy another 10 copies of the same software for free!  I know, it sounds improbable, but I called Staples to check.  The rep who answered confirmed immediately that as long as it was a new rebate number I could go ahead and order 10 more copies.  I asked him if he was really, really sure and so he put me on hold while he talked with the rebate center.  When he returned, he said that the rebate center had confirmed the same thing.  He even gave me the rebate center rep name and number in case anything goes wrong.

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 2 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 2,450 Free Ultimate Rewards points with your Ink card or 1,050 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:

image

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

TIP: Search for item 368658

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.

Do I have to use a Chase credit card?

  • Q: If I go through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to Staples, do I have to pay with a Chase credit card in order to get bonus points from the mall?
  • A: No, you can use any credit card.  For details and information about risks involved please see Ultimate Question.

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.

Do Good

  • Q: I don’t need this software.  Is there someone I can send the license keys to that could make good use of this stuff?
  • A: You can check with your local schools or libraries.  Reader Ajit, for example, says he has been using the software to help a school in India.  In case you want to contribute to his non-profit work:

Please send license keys to: info@shantibhavanonline.org
And please put ‘Staples License Key’ in the title. Our non-profit has been profiled in the New York Times, ABC World News, the Discovery Channel and so on–we do some good work with very underprivileged kids in India, and free software like this is definitely helpful!

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.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »

Pingbacks

  1. […] Earn Ultimate Rewards by “buying” free after rebate software from Staples through the Ultimate Rewards portal. You spend money upfront then get a refund by check. This is good for a few thousand Ultimate Rewards per month. I’ll have a post on this soon. For now, see the Frequent Miler’s post. […]

Comments

  1. Thanks! I can’t believe they keep giving this stuff away every week it seems!
    Eventually they might get to a point where I can’t keep floating the spend, those rebates need to start coming in!

  2. I received my last two staples rebates about 33-34 calendar days from rebate submittal. I opted for the check. You can choose the visa gift card and call them to send you a check instead. They will zero the balance on the gift card and the check usually arrives about 10 business days afterwards. I have read of people calling in to change it to a check once the status reads “mailed” so you don’t have to wait additional days for the gift card to arrive before you call.

    • Amanda: I’m hoping to post something about Staples’ new program soon. My understanding is that it is a trial run only available to certain people in certain regions. If you’re lucky enough to be one of those people, then yes it should work for FAR items!

  3. I just logged in UR site through my old ink bold and Staples is offering 3 points per dollar. Is anyone else seeing this?

  4. This stuff is unbelievable. I am still so mad about the move to 2X!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have checked all my portals and can’t get a better deal. It does sound like Amex Centurion and the one that gives you the lounge access are getting 3X.

  5. Ultimate rewards just updated their mall perks.

    This will be my 3rd “free” purchase – one check on the way, another one “validating” I’m going to feel real stupid if I end up with a $1k bill worth of “free” software because the rebates aren’t accepted.

    My question is – if I have the Bold Ink with multiple users, can they order as well if they have different account numbers and addresses?

  6. I understand the negative implications of the drop from 4x UR points to 2x, but I’m glad to see that the FAR offers are continuing. I’m using them mainly to help me hit the $40k spend on the HH Surpass AMEX card to secure my Hilton Diamond status. The UR points are truly a bonus for me. (As others have verified, I have had no problems getting UR points through the Sapphire mall using my AMEX card.)

  7. Great post, and thanks for the info from Ajit on a place to donate the software 🙂 I just sent two previous orders worth over to the non profit.

    Also, I’d like to point out (I’m sure many people realize this by now), that you don’t actually have to wait for the email to submit the easy rebate. On the order confirmation page (page after u’ve place the order), there’s a link at the bottom to easy rebates that has your order and rebate number. you can use that link, and fill out the form. In about a day, you get an email update about which products on the order are getting rebates.

  8. Amex MR is still at 3x (using Blue card) so that might be a better alternative for MR fans but I think all you’ll get is 1050 pts (the 3x for MR includes the amount spent) whereas with UR mall at 2x you’d also get 1050 (2x is the bonus + 1x for the amount spent which Amex doesn’t do) so it’s still fairly even…

  9. I was kicking myself for losing the extra 7% at year end if I used by Sapphire Prefferred portal now that the 2X is equal. Thought I’d pass that along.

  10. Now that the UR mall is down to 2x for most folks I think it’s time for a reality check on the value of shopping thru the mall. If fair trading value of UR points is ~1.3 cents then 2x is only worth 2.6 cents. I’m going to be using the Discover portal to get 5% back on the mall portion and then use Ink Bold to get 5x. A reader yesterday indicated this strategy had worked for them in the past. Unless you value UR points very high, I don’t think it’s worth going thru the UR mall for staples.com purchases at 2x. Similarly for gift card purchases at staples.com. I will be switching to shop discover.

  11. OK, as soon as I say that, I log in to ShopDiscover only to find… it shows me get 2% instead of 5%. Wondering if Discover also just dropped their offer?

  12. upromise portal is giving 5% minimum cashback on everything, including staples. I’d take 5% cash over 2x UR points.

  13. Are these FAR deals still count toward the Staples Reward “Elite” status? I haven’t seen my status tracker move a bit, even though I made like 2K of these FAR purchases in the last few months.

  14. @ Peter S. I’m still sitting at $0 for my Elite Status. I’ve made 6 purchases for $1560 this year (including $9 in non-FAR items). I emailed them today about getting credit. I’ll report back when I hear from them about my missing purchases.

  15. Agree with the upromise cash back. However,any has reported the bad reputation of upromise reporting the cash backs! Comments about them being prompt posting cashing backs?

  16. Thanks, FrequentMiler. I bought 10, let’s hope the rebate does come through even though I bought 10 of the old ones…

  17. @ Blankeeta, the boxed versions are typically out of stock. You can get the download version though – it is in stock.

  18. I bought 10. Staples rep called to verify my email address and told me she will email me the links for the downloads. Obviously I can care less if I get the download links. But nada yet…will this slow down the processing of my rebate? Help this shopping newbie out FM whiz:-)

    • gpapadop: you don’t actually need the email with the downloads in order to fill out the rebate. You should have received a confirmation email of your order. Within that is a link to the easyrebate site as well as the rebate number that you’ll need to enter in. Don’t worry, this will work.

      Blankeeta: Priority Club points aren’t worth as much as Ultimate Rewards. I would value UR 2x a bit higher than Priority Club 4x.

  19. Has anyone had any experience buying this software through the Staples UR portal with a Staples gift card? The AAdvantage shopping portal is offering 3x points for the purchase of Staples gift cards, plus I’d get 1 point for whatever credit card I use (lets say a Citi AA card for a total of 4 AA points), and then purchase the software through the UR portal with the gift card for 2 UR points per. (FYI I don’t have a Ink card)

  20. If you select to have the items “delivered” to a non-taxable address, where does the refund go? Is there a separate form for the rebate check’s address?

  21. Thanks for this American historical monument. Legally suppressed until the filmed subjects had passed away, it is an amazing insight into the horror of government remedies’.

  22. this staples link through the ur mall, or staples.com on its own perhaps has been driving me CRAZY…it will not accept payment options, and continually tells me i am entering incorrect cc info, and always puts the expiration date back to 01/2012. I have tried multiple browsers, different computers, guest accounts, my account. always the same result. anyone else with this issue? i am about to give up on staples altogether for their unbelievable frustrating website operation!…so aggravated!

  23. I just got my last Ultimate Rewards purchase confirmation from Chase even though I used a non-Chase card to make the purchase for 2% cash back.

  24. As ever thanks for the info.

    I am thinking this is basically cheap financing for Staples. My guess is they offer these FAR items on items where their cost basis is super low or they have already written off the stock. Thus they are selling you something they basically value close to zero for zero, but getting 6 weeks floating funds out of it. Also I bet there is breakage where people forget to claim the rebate.

    This really helps to make the min spend on cards

  25. Another tidbit – this was targeted with a unique offer number, so YMMV – my Staples email this week included an offer for a free Darian Tote Bag ($29.99 value) for any online or phone order over $150. Always nice to get an extra with the extras…make sure to check your Staples emails!

    • Steelsnow: Yes, I got that too. I previously received a similar offer for a car kit (jumper cables, etc.). I went through TopCashBack to make those purchases, but did not receive cash back for the software and paper I ordered. I suspect that the free stuff offer is to blame (but it could be that Staples doesn’t give money back to TopCashBack for free after rebate items). It will be interesting to see if people get points when redeeming the tote bag offer.

  26. Outside of the Amex/Staples $10 credit, there’s also a $15 off $150 coupon (coupon code 80675). Since the order total would be more than $300, I tried splitting it into two orders of 5 to see if I could get the coupon to work twice, but I got an error on the second order. Still, it’ll be nice if I still get the rebate check for $350 and only pay $335.

    Also, anyone know if you’re able to have them charge a different card after you’ve already placed an order? I forgot that I had already used my Staples/Amex credit and like an idiot used my Amex instead of my Ink Bold on one of the orders.

  27. There is a well publicized offer for Bitdefender FAR from NewEgg.com. Trouble is rebate is only available in form of visa pre-paid gift card. I can’t find any way to get more than 2 points per $ on NewEgg.com (go through mall for 1x and 1x for regular spend). So best I can tell this is no better than buying amex gift cards through bigcrumbs, but am I missing something? Any way to maximize the value of this one?

  28. @FM: Will let you know if the freebie offers work with UR Mall for points. Interesting that this weeks email offers a free gardening kit…. From Staples?!?

  29. Update: Received UR Mall points for the software purchase that included the freebie offer. Interesting note – they deducted the ‘value’ of the freebie from the total purchase, and then rewarded 2x points for the ~$320 that remained. This deduction should only hit mall-earned points, so any points earned by the card itself will still be based on the order total.

    So as long as the freebie isn’t totally worthless, it’s probably worth the loss of ~60 UR points.

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