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.
- $15 Staples gift card rebate by mail when purchasing $300 or more in Mastercard gift cards
- Valid 8/13/17 to 8/19/17
- In-store only
- Only one rebate per name/address/household
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.