3450 free points from Office Depot, but I’m not buying

If you have a Chase Ink card that gives 5 points per dollar for office supplies, FAR (Free After Rebate) deals at Office Depot should be pretty exciting.  Currently, if you log into the Ultimate Rewards Mall with your Ink account and click through to Office Depot, you will earn 10 points per dollar for all purchases in addition to the 5 points per dollar you will earn automatically.  So, FAR deals are great because you can earn 15 points per dollar and get your money back!

The current deals

Currently, Office Depot lists the following FAR deals:

  • QuickBooks® Online Simple Start, Online Service [518962]
    $79.99 – $80 mail in rebate ($80 check)
  • AVG 2012 Anti-Virus + PC TuneUp, For 3 Users, Traditional Disc [708763]
    $39.99 – $40 in rebates (2  $20 Visa prepaid cards)
  • Trend Micro™ Titanium™ Maximum Security, Traditional Disc [710446]
    $59.99 – $60 in rebates (a $20 rebate and a $40 rebate. checks?)
  • System Mechanic® 8, Traditional Disc [388915]
    $49.99 – $50 in rebates (a $30 rebate and a $20 rebate. checks?)

If you do all of these rebates, you would spend about $230 which you would get back as rebate checks and Visa cards.  And, if you used your Ink card through the Ultimate Rewards Mall you would earn 15 X 230 = 3450 Ultimate Rewards points.

Why I’m not buying

Except for the QuickBooks offer, each of the others seems to have an Achilles heel:

  • The AVG software returns Visa gift cards.  I can deal with $200 or $500 cards, but $20 and $40?  Not worth my time for 60 * 15 = 900 points
  • One of the two Trend Micro rebates is an “upgrade rebate” that requires proof of a previous purchase.
  • One of the two System Mechanic rebates is also an “upgrade rebate” that requires proof of a previous purchase.

So, I looked into buying just the 1 QuickBooks item.  Since it is a different rebate number, it looks safe to buy even if you bought the same item through Staples.  When I went to buy it, though, I found that Office Depot didn’t let me do the trick of delivering downloadable software to a store in California (which doesn’t charge tax for downloadable software).  So, to buy this item I would have to pay sales tax or list a fake delivery address in a tax free state.  And, unlike Staples, I would have to register the software and then fill out and send in a paper mail-in rebate.  Is it worth the trouble for 80 * 15 = 1200 points?  Maybe, but I’d rather spend my time researching other schemes

Where to get more information

I haven’t done any Office Depot FAR deals, so I’m the last person in the world you should ask for more information.  Instead, if you have questions or you’re interested in learning more, I’d recommend you read this post at SlickDeals.Net.


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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. Yeah and I also dont like mailing in rebates and whatever else. Just like at Staples if it is not a SER I tend not to do them either.

    Why cant everyone just be like SER?

  2. In my personal experience, I have had far more problems collecting on mail in rebates. I keep a copy of everything I send in and send it with some type of proof of mailing or delivery reducing the value of the rebate. And I also find the prepaid cards a nuisance. So unless it is a product that I actually want I do not think mail in rebates are worth the bother. Thanks for the post though!

  3. I think I will get QuickBooks just because I happen to want be able to use it. I saw the terms and conditions limit it to one per address so not sure if you already did a Staples one you’d pull it off. And agree that mail-in rebates are dubious, though touch-wood I’ve not had any problems yet, but keep good record keeping

  4. The rebate form for the QB offer states “Original UPC Code from the bottom portion of the QuickBooks Online Simple Start box (photocopies will not be accepted).” Both the disc version and download version link to this same form. Maybe they ship you a box for both versions and that is the reason for the CA sales tax?

  5. I did the Quickbooks rebate from OD back in February. Still waiting for the check. My first rebate submission was rejected because the UPC code was incomplete. Luckily I kept the box and a copy of the original submission. The way the UPC is located on the box, there is a round clear sticker that seals the box that goes right over the UPC. When I opened the box, the sticker lifted off a part of the UPC and that’s why the rebate was rejected! I tried to reconstruct the UPC using the round sticker, and resubmitted it. I don’t expect to see that $80 back. To make things worse, it turns out Quickbooks doesn’t support the credit union where I do all my business banking, so it’s useless. This is definitely not as good as the Staples FAR items.

  6. I asked the same question slick deals about the UPC code download version. The theory there is the download version really isn’t eligible for a rebate, only the disk version is, and the Office Depot website is in error.

    I emailed OD and several days later haven’t heard a response 🙁

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