Free points, cash back, and rewards from Staples

This deal is good through 8/31/2013.  Rebate ID=13-75033.  Hat Tip Trevor.

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 ($60), 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. Once at Staples.com, buy three copies of this product for a total cost of $60.  If you use your Chase Ink card you will earn 5 points per dollar since this is an office supply purchase.  In other words, you could earn about 300 points for free, plus $3 cash back, plus $3 in Staples Rewards. 

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: Choose a shopping portal:

You can get additional points or cash back by starting with a shopping portal. Some good choices are uPromise 5%, ShopDiscover 5%, and the Ultimate Rewards Mall 3 points per dollar.

Step 2: Add three copies of “Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2013 for Windows (1 User) [Download]” to your cart:

TIP: Search for item 982926

The rebate’s terms & conditions say:

Limit 3 rebates per name / address / household.

image

 

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.

TIP 3: Checkout the latest Staples’ coupons here.  The $10 off $100 coupon might be of interest to you if you have additional Staples’ purchases to make.

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: The software rebate can be changed from a Visa gift card to a check! About 4 screens into the rebate process, you’ll see something like this (screenshot is from a previous rebate, not the current ones):

image_thumb10

Click on “or see other options for my reward” and you’ll see this:

Q&A:

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, but there is always a risk that portal points won’t post.

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. In my experience, that estimate is fairly accurate.

Download

  • 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.

Double Dip

  • 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.  Staples gift cards are for in-store use only.  They do not work online.

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, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and Marriott Business.

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.

Examples:

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 at a yard sale, or 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, renting on airbnb, driving for Uber or Lyft, 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.

Is it OK to use business cards for personal expenses? Legally, it's fine. And, anecdotally, almost everyone I know uses business cards for personal expenses. That said, the terms in most business card applications state that you should use the card only for business use. Also, some consumer credit card protections do not apply to business cards. My advice: don't use the card for personal expenses if you're not comfortable doing so.
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.
Marriott Rewards points can be redeemed for free night awards, travel packages, airline miles, or experiences. 5th Night Free Awards: When redeeming points for free nights, the 5th night within a single reservation is free. Airline miles: Points can be converted to airline miles at a rate of 3 points to 1 mile. A bonus is added on when you transfer 60,000 points at a time, such that 60,000 points transfers to 25,000 miles. Also, you'll get a 10% bonus when transferring points to United Airlines.
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, how to book business class to Europe for 80,000 miles roundtrip, and more. You can find John’s website and award booking service here: theflyingmustache.com/awardbooking.
-Greg The Frequent Miler

Amex Application Tips



  • Safe to Apply: Amex is the safest bank for trying your luck at a new welcome bonus. They don’t usually issue a hard pull when denying your application. Plus, they’ll now warn you during the application process if you’re not eligible for the bonus.

  • Lifetime Rule: If you've ever had the same card before, you are most likely prohibited from getting a welcome bonus for the card if you sign up now. Fortunately you'll be warned during the application process if this is the case. Amex is known to "forget" that you've had a card after about 7 years.

  • 5/90 Rule: In general, you can get at most one credit card within 5 days and 2 within 90 days. The 5 day limit is not enforced when your applications are automatically approved. Neither rule is enforced for charge cards.

  • 5 credit card max:Amex usually won't approve applications for new credit cards if you already have 5 or more Amex credit cards open. This limit does not apply to charge cards.

  • Better Offers: You may be able to get a better offer than the best available public offer. Details here.

  • Hard inquiries combine into 1 when approved same day


Check application status here.
If denied, call reconsideration: 877-399-3083 (new accountholders); 866-314-0237 (current accountholders)



Chase Application Tips


  • Shut-Down Caution: Signing up for new Chase cards can lead to Chase reviewing your accounts. This may lead to Chase shutting down all of your accounts if you appear to be a credit risk. See this post for details and recommendations: Why Chase shutdowns have increased and how to avoid them.

  • 5/24 Rule: With most Chase cards, you won't get approved if your credit report shows 5 or more cards opened in the past 24 months. Details here.

  • 24/48 Month Rule: With most Chase cards, you can get the same card and bonus again 24 months after having received the bonus as long as you no longer have the card open. With Sapphire cards, you must wait 48 months. No wait is required for Chase Ink cards.

  • 30 Day Rule: It is tough to get approved for more than 2 Chase cards within 30 days

  • Get Same Card Again: You can get the same exact card and again if you first cancel the older card and follow the 24/48 month rule. Ink cards are OK to get again without cancelling previous card if you apply with a new business.

  • Better Offers: You may be able to get a better offer than the best available public offer. Details here.

  • Hard inquiries combine into 1 when approved same day (not always true when mixing business and personal)


Call (888) 338-2586 to check your application status
If denied, call reconsideration here:1-888-270-2127 for both personal and business cards;
or 800-527-7415 for the Ritz card

Citi Application Tips


  • 24 Month Rule: To apply for a card within the same brand, must wait 24 months after opening or closing account.

  • Velocity Rules: Max 1 personal card per 8 days. Max 2 personal cards per 65 days. Max 1 business card per 95 days.

  • Get Same Card Again: Citi allows getting same card again (even if card is still open) as long as you follow the 24 month rule and velocity rules (above).

  • Hard inquiries DO NOT combine into 1 when approved same day

Check application status here.
If denied, call reconsideration here:800-695-5171 (personal); 800-763-9795 (business)
If reconsideration # doesn’t work, try the Citi Credit Card Executive Office: 423-477-6858

Bank of America Application Tips


  • 2/3/4 Rule: Max 2 consumer cards per rolling 2 months, 3 per rolling 12 months, and 4 per rolling 24 months.

  • 5 card limit: You will not get approved for a new consumer card if you already have 5 consumer BOA cards open

  • Get Same Card Again: Yes, even if you still have the previous card open.

  • Hard inquiries are usually combined into 1 when initiated within 30 days but there have been reports of TransUnion not combining.


Click here to check your application status
If denied, call reconsideration here: 800-354-0401 (8am-7pm ET Mon-Fri); 866-695-6598 (business cards);

Barclays Application Tips


  • 5/24 Rule Arrival+ Only: Difficult (but not impossible) to get approved for Arrival+ if you've opened 5 or more cards with any bank in past 24 months.

  • Get Same Card Again: Must wait 6 months after cancelling previous card.

  • Hard inquiries are combined into 1 when approved same day. Most inquiries issued through TransUnion.


Consumer: Click here to check your application status
Business cards: Click here
If denied, call reconsideration here: 866-408-4064

Capital One Application Tips


  • 6 month rule: Must wait 6 months after applying for a Capital One card before applying for another one.

  • 2 card limit: You can have at most 2 Capital One consumer cards

  • Get Same Card Again: There is no known rule against getting the same card and bonus again even if you still have the card open.

  • Hard inquiries usually get issued through all 3 credit bureaus


To check application status, call (800) 903-9177 or (877) 277-5901
If denied, call reconsideration here: (800) 625-7866

Discover Application Tips


  • 2 card limit: You can have a maximum of 2 Discover cards.

  • 12 month rule: Must wait just over 12 months after previous card was opened before applying for another Discover card.

  • Get Same Card Again: No known rules against getting same card & bonus again.


Click here to check your application status
If denied, call reconsideration here: 888-676-3695

TD Bank Application Tips


Call (888) 561-8861 to check your application status

US Bank Application Tips


  • Get Same Card Again: No known rules against getting same card & bonus again.

  • Hard inquiries may be combined into 1 when approved same day.


Call (800) 947-1444 to check your application status.
If denied, call reconsideration here: 800-947-1444 or 800-685-7680

Wells Fargo Application Tips


  • Bank first: Wells Fargo usually requires having a bank account open before you can apply for a credit card.

  • 16 month rule: Limit of one signup bonus per 16 months

  • Get Same Card Again: No known rules against getting same card & bonus again.

  • Hard inquiries are combined into 1 when approved same day.


Check application status here.
If denied, call reconsideration here: 1-866-412-5956

Caution: Plastiq has announced a temporary change to the way Visa credit cards are handled:
  1. Payments using personal Visa cards issued by Chase will be subject to a lower limit of 20% of your credit limit.
  2. Payments using personal Visa cards from other issuers (other than Capital One) will code as a cash advance. That means you’d incur cash advance fees and wouldn’t earn any credit card rewards.
  3. The following types of Visa cards are not affected by these changes: Capital One personal Visa cards, Visa business credit cards, Visa corporate, debit and prepaid gift cards.
Full details about Plastiq can be found here: Complete Guide to Plastiq credit card payments.
In order to meet minimum spend requirements, people often look for options to increase spend in ways that result in getting the money back. These techniques are often referred to as "manufacturing spend". American Express has terms in their signup offers that exclude some manufactured spend techniques from counting towards the minimum spend requirements for the welcome bonus. For example, most signup bonuses have terms like this:
Eligible purchases to meet the Threshold Amount of this offer do NOT include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchase of travelers checks, purchase or reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards, person-to-person payments, or other cash equivalents.
That said, many techniques for meeting minimum spend are perfectly fine. Here are some techniques that are safe for meeting Amex minimum spend requirements (click each link for more information):

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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A
Guest
A

Either it’s dead or I have bad luck, but any rate it won’t add the product to my cart. I keep getting an error and it adds the $39.99 verison

Promo_Jake
Guest
Promo_Jake

you have to go to the checkout to see the discount.
you can combine this with the current giftcard offer to make an extra $10! https://staples.cashstar.com/?cid=SM:CROSS:FACEBOOK:EGIFTCARD:20130609:EVENT&sf13684275=1

Jivepicnic
Guest
Jivepicnic

Worked for me. Thanks, FM!

David
Guest
David

Do you have to be a US resident to do this ? Can I order from Australia ?

Point Travelers
Guest

Well that was quick! Looks like they are out of stock. Thanks for the info anyways.

Point Travelers
Guest

Nevermind…. I think I was looking at the physical box version.

Nick @ PFDigest
Guest

If you’re getting three copies, can’t you also take advantage of that $10 ePromo card deal they’re offering?

Howard
Guest
Howard

Thanks Miler. Got it sent to Portland, OR.

Jon Chan
Guest
Jon Chan

Try this SKU 957340.

Point Travelers
Guest

Although I bought 3 copies, I am only seeing a $20 rebate. Anyone else having this issue?

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[…] Thanks to Frequent Miler for pointing out the software deal you can do for some free points and a few extra dollars. You can combine that deal with the deal […]

Coffee
Guest
Coffee

@Point Travelers

I saw the same thing, my best guess is that it’s a $20 rebate per item, so in Staple’s system, we’ll each get 3 $20 rebates. I hope.

kris
Guest
kris

Did you guys buy 1 user or 1-3 user download copies?
1-3 user for me shows 59.99..

Scott
Guest
Scott

Wow, what is this?? A MMS guest post? Sheesh.

levander
Guest
levander

Seriousoy you guys, is 9 bucks profit worth keeping watch for six weeks to make sure you get a $60 dollar reimbursement check?

David
Guest
David

When will I received the keys? I place order in the morning.

Rachel
Guest
Rachel

I did an easy rebate with Staples last week and they had the option to get paid via PayPal. I haven’t check this on yet so I’m not sure if this is for all items or specific ones. Mine was a rebate for a ream of paper.

Old Flyer
Guest
Old Flyer

While I appreciate Frequent Miler letting us know about this offer, I agree with Levandar. I just don’t think its worth all that effort for the money and miles involved. Some time ago there was an offer where you could buy 10 software packages for the more expensive 3 user product. That was certainly worth the time, miles and wait for the refund.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

Staples is one of the best places to make a weekly trip to be able to meet minimum spend. This week, Staples is paying me to take 3 of the Kaspersky (you could actually make $6/copy by using last week’s 30% off. Staples coupons are good 2 days paste the expiration), 4 reams of white copy paper, 4 reams of pastel, 4 packages of photo paper.

In the end, I spent $400 on eGift cards. That got me $480 worth of eGift cards thanks to the promotion they are running right now. I spent $120 of that, so I still have about $360 worth of eGift cards left (used the $80 in promo ones first since they expire in Sept). Total profit ($80 promotion eGift + $125 rebates – $120 spent) = $85 plus the paper and software. Yes, I still have to find a way to spend $360 at Staples, but with their weekly FAR offers, that will be gone soon.

I chose to use a card I needed to meet minimum spend on as the eGift cards wouldn’t have given me 5% on my Ink because they are not issued by Staples directly.

JC
Guest
JC

Thanks FM! I also see the $20 rebate but I’ll trust that you know what you’re saying.

BR
Guest
BR

Read the rebate terms & conditions. It says “Limit 3 rebates per name/address/household.”

Samuel
Guest
Samuel

Check your spam folder If you’re still waiting for the download link to arrive. That’s where mine was.

Chimmy
Guest
Chimmy

Love me some Staples rebates!

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