Easy 5X or 5%: $15 back on $300 in Mastercard gift cards

Update: Many readers have reported not receiving a rebate receipt this week.

It seems that the problem this week is definitely related to which SKU numbers are included in the rebate. While a couple of people have had success with the store manager honoring the rebate on the spot in-store, another reader reported that the rebate receipt only printed when buying $50 denomination cards. This may require more communication with the Staples rebate processor to get this one sorted out or it is possible that Staples is only including $50 cards in the offer this week, though the advertisement does not specify that (the ad almost always shows a $50 card pictured, but the rebate has long applied to other denominations as well).

At this point, we suggest contacting the Staples Easy Rebate center and we will certainly post a new Quick Tip post if more information about this rebate comes to light. If you haven’t yet purchased gift cards this week, it might be best to hold off until the rebate confusion is sorted.


Through Saturday, August 19th, Staples is offering a $15 Staples gift card rebate on $300 or more in Mastercard gift cards. While this isn’t as good as last week’s $20 Visa Gift Card rebate on $300 in Visa Gift cards, Staples gift card rebates are still an easy win as you can earn 5x with a card like the Chase Ink Plus or Ink Cash and get a rebate worth more than the activation fee on the cards.

The Deal

  • $15 Staples gift card rebate by mail when purchasing $300 or more in Mastercard gift cards

Key Terms

  • Valid 8/13/17 to 8/19/17
  • In-store only
  • Only one rebate per name/address/household

The Math

This week’s rebate is a Staples gift card, so you will be limited to using it at Staples (and you can not use it to buy a gift card). However, current resale rates for a $15 Staples gift card can still nearly wipe out the activation fees if you do not regularly shop at Staples:

 

To maximize rewards, you’ll want to buy two $200 gift cards. Assuming you are selling the Staples gift card, the final math would look like this:

$413.90 (total cost for two $200 gift cards with activation fees)
-12.82 (rebate value in cash if Staples gift card is sold)
$401.08 net cost for $400 in Mastercard gift cards + 2,069.5 Ultimate Rewards

Conservatively valuing the Ultimate Rewards at 1.5 cents each (the rate at which they can be redeemed for travel if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve), the points are worth at least $31, but you may get quite a bit more value with transfer partners.

These cards are issued by US Bank and should contain a PIN in the packaging. Of course, the PIN can not be used to withdraw money from an ATM, but should work for buying a money order in some locations. Note there has been some discussion about issues this year with Staples Mastercard gift cards being hacked. If you buy these gift cards, you might consider using/liquidating them sooner rather than later out of caution. One reader suggested registering your card online immediately after purchase (so that it has your name/billing address associated with it). I would still suggest using your gift cards sooner rather than later.

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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Comments

  1. Use ASAP! Having purchased well over 6 figures in cards over the last few years (mostly Visa, some AMEX and some MC), MC from Staples are by far the most likely to get hacked. Customer service eventually gets the money back but it’s a royal pain (takes months to process and multiple phone calls).

    • I am in that boat…first time I ever had a problem with a prepaid GC, it was a MC from staples…Months to dispute through them, then another month and a half to let them dispute it to the merchant…in my case Amazon. I will NEVER buy MC giftcards from staples again…if they would give me the name and address that amazon shipped to, I would get the cops and go knock on the door and see who used my card…with small $20 charges they never prosecute the crooks and the problem continues.

  2. Unusual: I purchased the two $200 MC cards totaling $413.90, and the receipt did not print out the rebate. Went to the easy rebates site to process the rebate and got only a generic “Congratulations. You’ve submitted your rebate(s) successfully” with no other details regarding the rebate. Never have seen this before so shall see how this one plays out.

    • Same problem. No rebate receipts printed. First time I’ve ever seen this. Unfortunately, I’m still getting the “Your eligible rebates are still being determined” message. What’s going on??!

    • This just happened to me. I talked to the manager and cashier, and we figured out that the SKU for the $200 cards is not part of the rebate. She scanned the $50 cards and they did show a rebate. Not sure if this is an ominous sign of a new policy with these staples GC rebate deals or if it’s just a one-time error. Note also that the picture in their circular is of a $50 GC.

  3. In my apartment I can swipe my debit card to pay rent and there is no fee for debit card ( where as 3% fee for credit card). Can I use these visa / master gift cards to swipe and pay rent??? Will there by any fee???? I am new to buying visa master gift cards.

  4. Any issues using these Mastercard GC to buy money orders at Walmart? Recently tried to use Vanilla Visa GC there and they came up as credit rather than debit, and weren’t usable for money orders.

  5. I’ve updated this deal. It seems that there is an issue with this week’s rebate missing the SKU numbers of the $200 and $100 cards. I suspect it was an error, but we haven’t yet seen a resolution. If you’ve already purchased, I would recommend holding onto all receipts/screen shots of the offer/clippings of the ad and contacting the Staples Rebate center. If you haven’t yet purchased, it would be best to hold off and wait until they have sorted this one out.

  6. Bought a few more $200 MCGCs at that Ann Arbor Staples again this morning, and this time the $15 rebate showed up on the receipt.

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