Free money and points from Staples

The following deal is valid until November 24 2012. 

On Friday I mentioned a lucrative deal from Staples: Buy $100 in Visa or MasterCard gift cards and get a $15 Staples gift card as a Staples Easy Rebate (limit 10 Staples Gift Cards per name/address/household).


This is a pretty nice deal by itself, but there are a couple of ways to make the deal even better:

  • Use a credit card that offers extra points or cash back at Office Supply stores.  For several examples, see “Best Category Bonuses“.  If you use a Chase Ink card to buy $1000 worth of gift cards, for example, you’ll earn over 5000 Ultimate Rewards points in addition to a $150 Staples gift card!
  • Or, use a credit card with which you are working on meeting minimum spend requirements.  This is a nice way to spend $1000 and get even more spending power in return.
  • Buy $200 Visa gift cards.  Reports from SlickDeals and Dan’s Deals show that when you buy a $200 Visa gift card, you qualify for a rebate of $30 in Staples gift cards.  By buying Visa cards in $200 increments, you substantially lower the fees as a percentage of card value.  $200 cards have a fee of $6.95 each (3.475% fee) whereas $100 cards have a fee of $5.95 each (5.95% fee).

How it works

To take advantage of this deal you need to go in person to a Staples store and buy up to $1000 worth of Visa or MasterCard gift cards.  The register will automatically print out a rebate receipt.  Take the receipt home and fill out the rebate online.  Wait 4 to 6 weeks to receive your Staples’ gift card in the mail.  Note that Staples gift cards can be used in-store, but not online.

According to reports, you will receive one gift card containing the entire value of your rebate.  For example, if you buy $1000 worth of MasterCard or Visa gift cards, you will receive a single $150 Staples gift card rather than 10 separate $15 cards.

What to do with all those gift cards

The Visa and MasterCard gift cards can be used like regular credit cards almost anywhere that credit cards are accepted.  If you need to liquidate those cards for actual cash, please see “Using the Target Amex card to run up spend” for one good option.

With the Staples gift card, of course you can use it to actually buy merchandise at Staples.  Another option is to look for in-store Free After Rebate offers at Staples and buy those products.  It’s a slow, but viable way to turn your Staples credit into cash.  Finally, if you really can’t wait, consider going through TopCashBack to Plastic Jungle to sell the gift card.  You won’t get the full value of the gift card, but at least you’ll get paid fairly quickly (in my experience).

Rebate step by step instructions


Step 1: Buy gift cards at Staples

Go to Staples in person and buy no more than $1000 worth of Visa and/or MasterCard gift cards.  If possible, pay with a credit card that earns extra points or cash back at office supply stores.  Make sure that you get a Rebate Receipt in addition to the normal purchase receipt.  As I mentioned above, the best value at Staples are the $200 Visa gift cards.

Step 2: Fill out the online rebate form

Go to to fill out the online rebate form. 

Step 3: Click “store purchase”


Step 4: View the example rebate form

On the next screen, there is an example of the rebate redemption form that came with your receipt.  Note that this screen shows you where to look to find both the Rebate Offer Number and the Easy Rebates ID number.  Scroll down within the screen to see an example of the latter.  Then, press “Start Now”.



Step 5: Enter the rebate offer number and your easy rebate ID number

Both numbers can be found on the form labeled “Rebate Redemption Form” attached to your store receipt.  The rebate offer number is 12-28680.  The Easy Rebate ID number is unique to each purchase and can be found at the very bottom of the Rebate Redemption Form directly under the bar code.  This number isn’t labeled so you’ll just have to trust that it’s the right number.  In my case it was a 17 digit number.



Step 6: No need to add another rebate offer

If you purchased all of the gift cards in one transaction at the store, then you only need to do this process once.  So there should be no need to add another rebate on the next screen.  Instead, just press “Next”.


Step 7: Tell Staples where to send the rebate

If you’ve filled out Staples Easy Rebates before, you may be able to click “retrieve” to get Staples to fill out this section for you.  Otherwise, fill out your name and address.



Step 8: Press Next

Nothing to do on this screen, but press “next”.  With some rebates you are given the choice to switch from a gift card to a check, but not in this case.


Step 9: Submit the rebate

Check that the info is correct and press “Submit Rebate”.


Checking status

After you submit the rebate, you will receive an email confirming the submission.  Within that email is a link to check the status of your rebate.  If you click that link soon after submitting the rebate, you’ll see a screen like this one:


After a few hours, you’ll receive a new email with the heading “Update! Your rebate is being processed!” At, that point, if you check the status you will see something like this:


Notice that the screen now shows the products I purchased and the expected rebate.

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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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  1. I just tried submitting the rebate online and got the error message “The Rebate Offer Number you entered is no longer valid for online submission.” So I’m going to mail it in and hope for the best.

  2. Same for me. I wonder if Staples realized they were giving the gift cards away for $200 purchases instead of limiting it to $100 V/MCs.

    This makes it much less of an “Easy Rebate,” Staples!

  3. Crap, having the same problem on the $200 cards. I am betting they will cut it to $75, but that is still a hell of a deal. I am mailing.

  4. Just bought 10 x $100 @ Staples…got home and registered my rebate but my $1k purchase is only generating a $15 rebate, not $150! All 10 items are on the transaction…anyone else with this problem?


  5. BigTex: Did you get the email yet that says “Update! Your rebate is being processed!”? If not, you won’t see the full rebate amount. Wait until you get that email, then check the rebate status to see the $150 rebate is being processes

    • Jen: It can be used to load Bluebird online (up to $100 per day), but there is a $2 charge each time. It can’t be used to load at the Walmart register because you don’t have a PIN

  6. I bought 5 x $200 and was then able to buy a Vanilla Reload at Walgreens using $503.95 of my GCs. I wanted to buy two but the register said the limit is $500 per trnxn. I’ll try another Walgreens in a day or so.

  7. Thank you for the step by step instructions. Just filed for my $150 Staples gift card and found it so easy to do because of your help!

  8. Was told by Staples that promotion has been extended thru November 24. I purchased 5 $200 Visa gift cards today, followed your instructions and, viola, $150 gift card is on its way. Hope to be able to use the FAR to realize the full $150 in cash.

  9. Not looking good. should have purchased 10 $100 cards instead of 5 $200.

    Dear Valued Staples Customer,

    We have identified you as one of the consumers who may have visited the Staples Easy Rebate site to track your rebate. Upon tracking your submission, you may have noticed that the value of your rebate might have calculated incorrectly.

    Please know that we are working to correct this issue. When you receive your Staples gift card in the mail, it will be loaded with the correct reward value.

    We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

    As always, thanks for shopping at Staples.

    Staples Rebate Team

  10. Received the same email. If I get $150 Staples gift card for my 5*$200 visa gift cards purchased, I’m happy. Worst case scenario is $15 staples gift card for $1000 purchase, but I earned miles so it is not too bad.

  11. Did Anybody who bought five $200 giftcard in one transaction and suppose to get $150 in rebate, also received a email like this. Wanted to confirm people people who did “5” $200 giftcards are going to receive $150 or $75.

  12. @victor and @umc – I’m confused. Did your submission say you were to receive $150 and then you got an e-mail saying it was possibly calculated incorrectly? Or did it say $15 and then you got this e-mail. I did 5 x $200 and my submission says I will receive $150 rebate.

  13. It appears that at some very recent date they changed the promotion. My rebate shows this:

    Get a $15 Staples Gift Card on EACH Purchase of $100 or more of Visa and Mastercard Gift Cards at Staples Stores Only

    They added the word “EACH” (their emphasis, not mine) onto the rebate which is not in FrequentMiler’s screenshots above. Also, on my rebate form that I received in-store, it shows:

    Rebates you’re eligible for using this rebate redemption form: 1

    So even though I purchased 5 * $200 gift cards my status shows that I will only be receiving $15. I’m going to try to argue with them.

  14. @chris

    That’s fine. I just submitted rebate form for 3x $100 cards and received a message saying I will be getting Staples gift card for $45.

  15. @chris, my rebate form said the same thing – “Rebates you’re eligible for using this rebate redemption form: 1” but when I submitted and just now when I checked status, it says $150, which is correct.

  16. @Chris – I agree the revised wording is unclear, but currently my rebates are still showing the full amount of $150, of course all orders are still “pending.” I’m in for $16K so I certainly hope they honor the promotion the way we interpreted it.

    The website still notes “Limit 10 Staples Gift Cards per name/address/household” so I think the argument can be made one combined receipt versus 10 separate $100 receipts shouldn’t impact your qualification for the rebate. Hopefully it is an argument that I don’t need to make.

  17. @FM – thanks again for steering us onto valuable deals. My Staples was out of $200 cards when I went last weekend, but I got 6x$100. I used those to buy some stuff + $450 of Amazon GCs at Safeway. Safeway is giving 4x gas rewards AND offering $25 off coupons your next food purchase for every $150 of GCs purchased.

    Cost: $635.70
    I should receive $789 of value:
    $150 in misc unbonused purchases from Visa GCs
    $450 in Amazon GC credits on my account
    $90 in Staples GCs
    $75 off groceries (3x$25)
    $24 off my next 3 gas fillups combined

    I love that for 20 minutes of my time I was able to make $154 and earn 3k UR points! If only the online Easy Rebate process worked for me this could have counted as my Christmas present.

  18. I also had trouble at Target. They said you can’t “load a prepaid with a prepaid”. Cashing out my Visa $200 GC’s over the next five days using AMEX serve ($200 daily limit to load from debit cards/ $1,000 month) since I already did amazon payments this month. Good news is that I got some sort of $25 merchant credit in my serve account from AMEX…no idea how or why but I’ll take it!

  19. If I’ve not yet acted on this, am I likely out of luck? I will check on Friday or Saturday anyway, but any data points as to whether your local Staples is out of stock?

  20. Any updates from those who purchased 5 x $200? I did the same thing. Initially, it showed $30 for each $200 card, then it went to ” pending amount”.

  21. Staples in Portland has a bunch left.. On a gift card rack with them facing the wall. I had to search but found them. Not really advertised at all in-store looks like they are hiding it!

  22. FM: I think a Staples CSR confirmed it would be $150 for 5x$200 cards.Someone posted the chat transcript of the confirmation on slick deals.

  23. Hi FM,

    What day did you get the email notifying you the check was on the way? I got my email on 12/18 and I’m still waiting.


  24. I did 10 of the $200 Visa gift cards and just received $300 in Staples gift cards today. 3 @ $90 and 1 @ $30. So, The $66.50 in activation fees got me $300 and the $2000 spent on the Visa gift cards made my spend on a new card. I then used the Visa gift cards to move money around through Amazon Payments at no cost to me. I met the spend for free, and netted $233.50 to use at Staples – Thanks for the tip!

  25. Got my $1050 in Staples gift cards yesterday. Too bad I dont want anything from Staples and a 16% cut off the top is to much to swallow. Anyone got any great ideas to turn this into cash beyond whats in this post?

  26. Thanks, FM! The card was waiting for me at work this morning. I was shocked that I couldn’t use it online, though! Oh well, there’s a store just a few blocks from me…

  27. @Richard K – wow. How did you amass $1050?

    I just went and bought $120 worth of stuff at Staples. About $20 will be free after rebate, the rest comes back in the form of Rewards. Maybe you could just chip away at the $1050 with these promos; go grab a couple packs of photo paper? I believe there is also a deal on reams of paper – buy four, pair with a $5 off $25 coupon, and it will save you another $24. So…now you only have $1k to burn. 😉 Every couple weeks these things pop up.

  28. @Richard K – you could also see if your store carries BP cards. I think you can use a Staples card for other gift cards excluding Staples gift cards. I’m not sure about the Visa cards. You could roll that $1050 into other gift cards that sell for closer to 90% of value or take the hit on more Visa activation fees. I have a much smaller card to burn through so I will just wait on the rebate promos.

  29. I used my $150 Staples gift card to purchase $150 worth of Kindle branded Amazon gift cards which are much more useful to me.

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