Easy 5X: $20 rebate on $300 in Amex Gift Cards

Through Saturday, September 2nd, Staples is offering a $20 Staples Gift Card rebate for purchasing $300 or more in American Express Gift Cards. While this deal is somewhat less attractive than similar Mastercard and Visa gift card offers since those cards can be liquidated pretty easily, this can still be a good deal for a free 5X on $300 in spend if you have a card such as a Chase Ink Cash or Ink Plus that earns 5X at office supply stores. See our Best Category Bonuses page for more cards that earn a bonus at office supply stores.

The Deal

  • $20 Staples gift card rebate by mail when purchasing $300 or more in American Express gift cards

Key Terms

  • Valid 8/27/17 to 9/2/17
  • 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 $20 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)
   -16.60 (rebate value in cash if Staples gift card is sold)
$397.30 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.

Amex Gift Cards do not have a PIN and thus can not be liquidated by purchasing a money order. However, in many places they can be used to buy a Visa or Mastercard gift card or they could be used for your everyday expenses.

H/T: Miles to Memories

Last updated on March 31st, 2019

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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As with other similar offers for bying gift cards with a 5% card like the Chase Ink, your gain from this offer is not as large as you calculate. Assuming you have a 2% cash rebate card like Citidouble, you could instead earn over $8 on a $414 purchase — and you would not have the hassle of redeeming the gift cards or UR points. So your calculated gain should be reduced by at least $8 in nonearned cash back.



But the Ink points can be transferred to United or Hyatt at a value of significantly more than 1 cent per point. Thus your math/logic does not work for me.