A little FAR

This deal is good until September 8 2012.  Hat tip to Peter S.   

Staples is back with a new FAR (Free after Rebate) software download.  Usually, these are a great way to make progress toward meeting credit card minimum spend thresholds or to earn points for buying software you may or may not want. This week’s deal is really small, though, so you won’t be spending much or racking up tons of points.  In fact, I’m not really sure it’s worth bothering with unless you have Staples’ rewards money that you need to spend.

The idea here is to go through the Ultimate Rewards Mall to Staples.com. Once there, buy only one copy of this “Free After Rebate” downloadable software product for $15 after discounts. If you use your Chase Ink card, you will get 4 points per dollar from the Ultimate Rewards Mall and another 5 points per dollar if you pay with your Chase Ink card (since this is an office supply purchase). If you use a Freedom or Sapphire card, you will earn 4 points per dollar from the Ultimate Rewards Mall and another 1 point per dollar from your Chase card. This means that you can earn between 75 and 135 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 Ultimate Rewards Mall currently offers 4X for Staples purchases.  If you don’t have any Ultimate Rewards cards, you can go to TopCashBack or uPromise instead to get cash back.

Step 2: Add one copy of “Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security 2012 (3-User) [Download]” to your cart:

TIP: Search for item 368663


Step 3: Check out

TIP 1: If you have Staples’ rewards money, use it!  If you have a Chase Ink card that gives 5X for office supplies, use it!

: 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: The software rebate can be changed from a Visa gift card to a check! See screen shots taken from a previous FAR deal:



Same Item

  • 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: Can I buy a copy for every friend I know?
  • A: I don’t recommend it. I know at least one person who tried to do something similar, 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.

Ultimate Rewards Mall T&C

  • Q: The Staples’ Terms and Conditions in the Ultimate Rewards Mall says “Not eligible on promotional items, technology, software, and electronics”. Shouldn’t this deal be ineligible since this is software? And, aren’t these free after rebate items “promotional”?
  • A: In all past FAR deals, points have posted despite these terms & conditions.

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, but you may have better luck with a Chase card. For details and information about risks involved please see Ultimate Question.

Rebate Time

  • 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.


  • 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.

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: 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

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 »

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19 Comments on "A little FAR"

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I may have missed something, but why only one copy now? I recently (one or two months ago) bought 10 copies of some FAR software and got the rebate from all of them. It was a deal posted here.

Gary S

@marZ its in the terms and conditions of the rebate. may i suggest you start developing a love of reading all the fine print on a deal before you jump on it. even deals listed here on this fine fine blog.


Got it…that was just me being temporarily blind. It wasn’t even in the fine print. It’s listed right there at the top…


So “software” purchases are still earning UR points even though T&C’s say otherwise?


Zach: Yes, I (and many others) have continued to receive points for software purchases.



Just like your Sears posts recommend that people sign up for Shop Your Way rewards for 1%, I think these posts on Staples FAR deals should encourage people to sign up for Staples Rewards and be sure to log in at checkout. Staples Rewards earns 5% back throughout the store, including on these software purchases. I’ve received $60 bucks (or toward future Staples purchases) for FAR deals in 2012 so far. Applied toward current FAR deals, that money goes back to my checking account.

And I have free shipping of any order from spending >$1K at Staples.


harvson3: It sounds like you’re one of the lucky ones who was targeted for 5% rewards at Staples. I’m jealous! Most people (including me) only get rewards when buying Ink, Toner, Paper, etc.. But your point is correct that people should always signup for rewards programs like these. For me the advantage has been that I’ve become a premier member for spending so much (all FAR spend) and so I get some benefits that way.

The Weekly Flyer

HikerT has a website ??? 🙂


Some people posted on FW that they haven’t been getting bonus points. I did the most recent one that had limit 10 and I did not receive as well. Small sample size though.

Either way it gets put to good use. I advise a small student group and we raffle these off as door prizes for our meetings and stuff.


Sam_Goh: Good idea to offer these as prizes. I have continued to get points from the UR mall despite the T&C…


Thanks. Every little bit helps when trying to meet the minimum spend on a card. I don’t even care whether I get the bonus UR pts, but I think I got them last month.


great post! I think staples updates the opportunities at the beginning of the week? Where can we find new FAR opportunities on the beginning of each week?


Kenny: Staples puts out its weekly ad for preview each Thursday. Often the FAR deals are shown in those weekly ads, but not always. I try to always publish when the good FAR deals are available so a simple approach is simply to subscribe to this blog.


This one might not be worth the effort. Can only get 1 copy and the $50 is discounted immediately so you only get to charge 15 bucks.


Here’s a good reason to go for this: to (for free) extend the life of points in a program.

My daughter’s 3000 Hilton points were about to expire. Since they’re worth almost nothing, I didn’t really want to spend much to keep them going. iTunes isn’t an option with Hilton. But Staples is! Done.


Michael: Great idea!


I got in on this at the last minute.
I think I erred slightly. Now that the portals are all 4x for points, one should always use the Sapphire portal because the 7% year-end bonus is on points earned in the UR mall too, correct?


harvson3: Yes, when all else is equal, use the Sapphire Preferred log-in for the 7% annual dividend.

Tom B

Received email today – “Information about your Easy Rebate inside.”
Staples states “Trouble is, there aren’t any rebate offers associated with the Easy Rebate ID number/Order number you provided.”
So I checked orignal order & it was Canceled?? Also no Ink Bold charge.
Has this happened to anybody?
Thanks, Tom