Staples’ FAR is back!
Finally! Staples is back with a new FAR (Free after Rebate) software download! This is a great way to make progress toward meeting credit card minimum spend thresholds or just to earn a few points for buying software you don’t really need or want. Of course, if you do want the software, the deal is even better!
The idea here is to go through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to Staples.com. Once there, buy up to 10 copies of this “Free After Rebate” downloadable software product for $15 each. You will get 4 or 5 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 can earn between 750 and 1500 free points. 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 takes 4 to 6 weeks to receive your check.
If you have questions, please see the Q&A section at the bottom of this post.
Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Go to Staples via a shopping portal:
According to HikerT’s website, the Chase Freedom card currently offers 5X for Staples whereas other Chase cards offer 4X. If you have the Freedom card, log into that account. If you have the Sapphire Preferred, log into that one (for the 7% annual dividend). Even if you plan to pay with a different card, you can maximize points earned by logging into the mall with the card that has the highest payout for Staples.
If you don’t have any Ultimate Rewards cards, you can go to TopCashBack instead. This should get you 5.5% cash back. $8.25 in free money!
Step 2: Add up to ten copies of “Trend Micro Titanium Antivirus + 2012 (1-User) [Download]” 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 4 to 6 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:
Q: In the past I’ve bought the exact same item for the rebate. Can I do this again?
A: Yes. As long as the rebate number is different from your past purchases, you should qualify for a new rebate. This rebate is different from any I’ve posted about in the past.
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.
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 as pending within a week 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.
Q: How long will it take for my rebate to arrive?
A: The Staples web site says to expect 4 to 6 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.
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’ve bought in the past, but all rebates processed successfully.
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: Check with your local schools or libraries. If someone can make good use of this software, then great!
|Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months. Some exceptions that are NOT subject to the 5/24 rule include: British Airways, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott Business, and Ritz Carlton.
To determine your 5/24 status, see: 3 Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status.
|Chase 5/24 semantics ("Subject to" vs. "Count towards"): Most (but not all) Chase cards are subject to the 5/24 rule. That means the rule is enforced in making approval decisions. In other words, you probably won't get approved if your credit report shows that you opened 5 or more cards in the past 24 months. Meanwhile, most business cards (such as those from Chase, Amex, Barclaycard, BOA, Citi, US Bank, and Wells Fargo) are not reported on your personal credit report. These cards do not count towards 5/24.
Chase IHG Card is not subject to 5/24 so it's easy to get. But after approval it will count towards your 5/24 total.
Chase Ink Business Preferred is subject to 5/24, so you likely won't get approved if over 5/24. If you do get approved, it won't count towards 5/24 since it won't appear as an account on your credit report.
|Amex 5 credit card limit: If you apply for a new Amex credit card, you may get turned down if you already have 5 or more Amex credit cards. Both personal and business cards are counted towards this limit. Charge cards, though, are not counted. You can apparently get as many charge cards as you’d like, and the number of charge cards you have does not affect your ability to get up to 5 credit cards. Authorized user cards are also not counted towards the 5 credit card limit. See also: Which Amex Cards are Charge Cards vs. Credit Cards?|
|Applying for Business Credit Cards
Yes, you have a business: In order to sign up for a business credit card, you must have a business. That said, it's common for people to have businesses without realizing it. If you sell items on eBay, for example, then you have a business. Similar examples include: consulting, writing (e.g. blog authorship, planning your first novel, etc.), handyman services, owning rental property, etc. In any of these cases, your business is considered a Sole Proprietorship unless you form a corporation of some sort.
When you apply for a business credit card as a sole proprietor, you can use your own name as your business name, use your own address and phone as the business' address and phone, and your social security number as the business' Tax ID / EIN. Alternatively, you can get a proper Tax ID / EIN from the IRS for free, in about a minute, through this website.
|Editor’s Note: This guest post was written by the same guy who showed you how to fly round trip to Africa (DC to Senegal) for 50,000 points. You can find John’s website and award booking service here: theflyingmustache.com/awardbooking.
-Greg The Frequent Miler