UPDATE: Use code 59367 for an additional $15 off!
This deal is good through 12/2/2013. Rebate ID=13-78325.
Staples has a new Free After Easy Rebate software download. These are usually a great way to make progress toward meeting credit card minimum spend thresholds or to earn points and cash back for buying software regardless of whether you actually want the software. This time, the total spend is pretty small ($125), but its better than nothing…
The idea is to go through an online portal to Staples.com and buy software for which you’ll eventually get all of your money back. The best current portal options offer 5% cash back via uPromise or ShopDiscover. Once at Staples.com, buy three copies of this product for a total cost of $135,
then apply coupon code 18359 to reduce the total price to $125 (coupon has expired). If you use your Chase Ink card you will earn 5 points per dollar since this is an office supply purchase. In other words, for $125 $135 you could earn a rebate of $135, plus 625 points for free, plus $6.25 cash back from a portal, plus $6.25 in Staples Rewards, plus up to $3 worth of Plink points (see “Plinking Staples“). If you value all of those rebates at face value, then this deal could mean earning a profit of $25.50 $15.50 in addition to the 625 free points.
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 rebate. Usually Staples gives the option of receiving either a check or a Visa gift card, but this time unfortunately the Visa gift card is the only option.
If you have questions, please see the Q&A section at the bottom of this post.
Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Choose a shopping portal:
You can get additional points or cash back by starting with a shopping portal. Some good choices are uPromise 5%, and ShopDiscover 5%. Click through the chosen portal to Staples.com.
Step 2: Add three copies of “Kaspersky Internet Security for Windows (1 User) [Download]” to your cart:
TIP: Search for item 275509
The rebate’s terms & conditions say:
Limit 3 rebates per name / address / household.
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!
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.
Apply coupon code 18359 to get $10 off your order! UPDATE: Use code 59367 for an additional $15 off!
Step 4: Submit Easy Rebates
You will receive an email from Staples with a link in it for submitting the rebates . It’s easy! Even though you ordered 3 items, you’ll only have to fill out the rebate once.
TIP: Usually, the software rebate can be changed from a Visa gift card to a check, but with this rebate they only allow the Visa gift card option.
A lot of trouble, little gain
Q: Isn’t this more trouble than its worth?
A: If you’re asking the question, then yes it’s more trouble than its worth. In the past there have been similar deals, though, where you could buy hundreds of dollars worth of free after rebate items to earn thousands of points and extra cash back. It might be worth doing this one to get the hang of it so that you’re ready next time.
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.
Q: If I buy all three copies at once, should I submit one rebate form or three?
A: Just submit one rebate form per order even if you bought 3 copies in one order.
Q: Are you sure? I tried tracking my rebate and it looks like I’m only going to get one rebate for $45.
A: Yes, the rebate tracking display is confusing. If all goes as expected, you’ll get the full $135 rebate.
Q: If I submit just one rebate form, will I receive 3 $45 gift cards or one $135 gift card?
A: You should receive one $135 gift card.
Q: How long will it take for my rebate to arrive?
A: The Staples web site says to expect 8 to 10 weeks. In my experience, it’s usually a bit faster than that, but it’s best to expect the full wait just in case.
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: Can I double dip by buying a Staples gift card through a portal and then go through the portal again to use the gift card?
A: No. Even though Staples gift cards can now be used online (that wasn’t true previously!), Staples wouldn’t allow me to apply gift cards to this order for some reason.
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.
|Chase Ultimate Rewards points are super valuable and super flexible. At the most basic level, points can be redeemed for cash or merchandise, but you'll only get one cent per point value that way. A better option is to use points for travel. When points are used to book travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal, points are worth 1.25 cents each with premium cards (Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred, for example) or 1.5 cents each with the ultra-premium Sapphire Reserve card. Another great option is to transfer points from a premium or ultra-premium card to an airline or hotel program when high value awards are available (see this post for details). If your points are tied to a no-fee "cash back" Ultimate Rewards card, then first move those points to a premium or ultra-premium card before redeeming them in order to get better value.|
|Amex Membership Rewards points can be incredibly valuable if you know how to use them. In general, if you use Membership Rewards points to pay for merchandise or travel, you won't get good value from your points. One exception is with the Business Platinum card where you'll get a 35% point rebate when using points to book certain flights. This gives you approximately 1.5 cents per point value, which is pretty good. If you don't have the Business Platinum card, then your best bet is to transfer points to airline miles in order to book high value awards. More details can be found here: Amex Transfer Partners.|
|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