[Expired] Easy 5x: Fee-free Visa Gift Cards at Staples next week

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Staples will once again be offering fee-free $200 Visa Gift Cards starting Sunday, August 4, 2019 through Saturday, August 10, 2019. The ad states one per customer – YMMV as to whether or not a cashier will allow more than one.

The Deal

  • Staples will waive the $6.95 activation fee when you buy a $200 Visa Gift Card from 8/4/19 to 8/10/19
  • Direct link to ad (see page 10)

Key Terms

  • Limit 1 per customer (YMMV on whether or not your store will allow multiple)
  • In-store only

Quick Thoughts

While not as exciting as the days when these used to be offered as money-makers, this can nonetheless be an easy point-generator for Ink Cash or Ink Plus cardholders (note the Ink Plus is no longer available to new applicants). Note that the terms only allow for 1 per customer. In my case, my wife is an AU on my Ink Plus card, so I know we could at least pick up 2 per store, earning 2K Ultimate Rewards in the process. That would make this an attractive enough deal if we were passing a couple of stores.

Overall, this is an easy way to generate some points without cost on this end of the deal. Remember that this does not start until Sunday and it is in-store only.

Other times this deal has run recently at Staples:

Fee-free Visa Gift Cards

  • 6/30/19-7/6/19
  • 5/5/19-5/11/19
  • 1/13/19 – 1/19/19
  • 11/11/18-11/17/18

Fee-free Mastercard Gift Cards

  • 7/21/19-7/27/19
  • 4/21/19-4/27/19
  • 3/24/19-3/30/19

We have added this deal to our list of current Visa and Mastercard gift card deals.

H/T: GC Galore

Last updated on August 11th, 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.

More articles by Nick Reyes »

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[…] Fee-free Visa Gift Cards at Staples next week […]

Lab Rat
Guest
Lab Rat

The cashier was clueless and let me buy 5. Woo hoo!

I think. I’ve never used my Ink Business Cash card to buy gift cards before. Are we absolutely sure it’ll get coded as a purchase worth 5x, and not a cash advance?

Bob
Guest
Bob

So if cashier let’s me buy 2 in 1 transaction, will the system waive the activation fee on both?

Amy X N
Guest
Amy X N

I have the Chase Ink Business preferred…Does the 5x not work for this card? 🙁

Ed. C
Guest
Ed. C

Got shut down at my local Staples today. Managed to get $2,000 of VGC’s every day this week until today. Hard limit of 1 per HOUSEHOLD is now being enforced. Have to see what happens when my wife tries after she gets off work if she manages to get more than one.

Frank Doyle
Guest
Frank Doyle

How on earth would they know you and her live together?!

Ed. C
Guest
Ed. C

I was saying that she was going to see if she could get 5 cards – she couldn’t. Only allowed one. The “per HOUSEHOLD” was on the signage at the display.

However, I went back to the same store this morning and and had no problems buying 5. Different cashier and different manager on duty.

Blaine
Guest
Blaine

Trying to make my spend on my AMEX Bonvoy card. My staples will let us buy 10 each day. Will I have any problems using my AMEX? Today is the last day for me to do this, would love a quick reply if anyone knows anything about AMEX cards.

trackback

[…] 4:46 Fee-Free Visa GCs at Staples (link) […]

Ed. C
Guest
Ed. C

I managed to rack up 40,000 UR points last time around (between my wife and myself) before the store manager unexpectedly pulled all the $200 VGC’s from the rack. My wife went in on the last day after I had gone in earlier and bought 5. The cashier told her the manager came out and pulled them all off the rack without explanation. Weird.

I’ll see what happens next week. There’s really only one cashier at my local store that doesn’t care how many I buy. He says there’s several of us “regulars”.

Jon
Guest
Jon

Mind me asking what you then do with $8000 worth of VGC? I’m new to this…

Ed. C
Guest
Ed. C

You buy money orders with them (88¢ at Walmart or 78¢ at the local grocery store where I buy mine), deposit the money orders into your bank account and then pay off the credit card. 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points and your only cost is the money order fees.

Ed. C
Guest
Ed. C

Also, if you are uncomfortable going the money order route (which for some reason a lot of people are) you can open a GoBank account (Google it) and can use the VGC’s to fund it and pay your credit card bill that way. It still requires a trip to WMT to do that, though.

It’s all about racking up UR points for “free”. By this time next year I plan on having 1,000,000+ Ultimate Rewards points (I currently have over 500,000) and have only been doing this type of thing for a little over a year.

Jon
Guest
Jon

Thanks! Yeah, after reading about the money order thing (I got dizzy just reading the list of everything that can go wrong at walmart), don’t think I want to go that route. Also I don’t have a Walmart (or any grocery store that will take GC for MO, it seems) very close by.

Have you considered paypal? I’d be worried about them blocking my account, but seems like a simple way to liquidate at whatever they char (2.9%)? So it’s not free, but could be a way to buy UR at under .6 cents a piece without leaving the house (for the liquidation part, at least).

Ed. C
Guest
Ed. C

One mistake people make is telling the cashier you’re using gift cards. NEVER, do that! Just tell them you need to put it through X number of DEBIT cards (which VGC’s are). They’ll probably ask if it is pin enabled, and of course they are. I always take a few minutes and change the pins to the same number that is easy to remember for all the cards.

Jon
Guest
Jon

Got it. I’m assuming this isn’t possible, but may as well ask: since they are debit cards, can you get cash back at grocery stores? I never do that but I know that people do something like pay for their groceries with a debit card and also get $40-60 cash when they check out.

Also, there’s no way to combine balances on these, is there? I can pay my rent with a credit card, but there’s a huge (flat) fee for each charge. If I pay in full using my freedom unlimited I can buy UR for just under a penny which is worth it but not amazing. If I could buy VGC, combine them on one card, then make one charge, then it would go down to under .3 cents, which would be amazing.

02nz
Guest
02nz

Leaving aside money orders – there are probably more ways to spend these than many realize. For example many utilities (gas, power, water) take credit cards without extra charge, or sometimes for just a small charge. Many also allow you to specify how much you want to pay, even if that results in overpayment (e.g., power bill is $50, I pay $200 with the VGC, credit balance carries forward). Many car dealers even take credit cards for purchases/leases – up to $3K is typical. I’ve also paid ACA health care premiums, university tuition, and more with VGCs.

Gary70
Guest
Gary70

Hi Nick. I am long time follower. I love heads up on promotions and bonus opportunities. Thank you.

You may want to update deal date in your post.

Pam
Guest
Pam

Nick, are there any recent reports of these gc purchases working on Staples Chase Offers?

Jon
Guest
Jon

Hopefully not a stupid question, but what am I supposed to do with these after I buy them? I know that some people try to buy money orders (at grocery stores? walmart? I can’t even remember…) but I’m not interested in jumping through all those hoops.

I mean, I can buy Amazon or Whole Foods gift cards (as well as those for a ton of other stores) whenever I want at Staples and get 5x, and for many other stores I can get 10% or more off from the gift card sites. What’s the big deal about fee-free Visa GC?

Are they only for people who liquidate via money orders? If so, is it easier than I think to do so? If not, what do I do with them that I can’t do with normal gift cards?

Matt
Guest
Matt

You could use them to buy gift cards at those gift sites… so get 5x UR points and 10% off

Jon
Guest
Jon

Man, that’s such a stupidly easy thing I never thought of. Thanks!

Barry
Guest
Barry

If you don’t want to use the gift cards to buy money orders, you can still use them for normal spend. My goal is to try to get 5X Ultimate Rewards on every dollar that I spend. I often use the Visa Gift Cards just to make normal purchases at Costco. That way every $200 I spend at Costco = 1000 Ultimate Rewards. Another option is to make Kiva loans with the gift cards, but you’ll have a portion of your money tied up for at least 6 months before you’re fully paid back.

Jon
Guest
Jon

Good point, I guess I could just use them at my local grocery store (which is probably the only place I spend a significant amount of money that’s not already at 5x), except for restaurants, but I don’t know if it’s worth the trouble to get an extra 2x over my sapphire reserve.

TomT
Guest
TomT

The correct date for the latest Staples fee-free VGC deal is 6/30 through 7/6. 5/5 – 5/11 is in the past. Please make the correction

Susan
Guest
Susan

My county says on their website I can pay property taxes in-person with PIN-enabled debit cards without incurring any processing fees. It sounds like this is another way to liquidate gift cards, right?

MDM
Guest
MDM

Will you also get 3% back on Dosh for buying these?

trackback

[…] Office Depot in your area, you’ll do better buying Visa gift cards at Staples seeing as they’re fee-free this week. If taking advantage of this Office Depot deal, you’d have to pay $3.90 in net activation fees if […]

Gary
Guest
Gary

How do I receive 5 points for each dollar spent using Chase Unlimited card for buying a Visa Gift Card at Staples?

J.J.
Guest
J.J.

You don’t. Neither the Freedom Unlimited nor the Ink Unlimited have a 5x point category bonus for office supply stores.

Mark W
Guest
Mark W

Worth mentioning – if combined with Dosh, this is a negative cost gift card offer. Officially, gift cards are excluded from the 3% in-store Staples cashback with Dosh, but it’s been posting for me no issue. 1000 UR and $5 back per $200 VGC isn’t a bad deal!

Dave
Guest
Dave

Hello! I’m new to all of this points game and was lucky enough to find this article while the promo is still good. Was able to get 3 cards in 1 transaction (cash register simply took the activation fee off each one!). Easy.

However, this is where I bumped into the issue. I took them to Walmart and tried to buy a $600 MO. The cashier put in the amount. I slid the first card and it asked if I wanted cash back. I clicked no. Then it asked for my pin, I entered the default numbers (last 4 digits). And it said cannot process as debit. Can someone help me figure out what I did wrong? Should I instead do 3 MOs at $200 each? Not sure.

Any help would be most appreciated. Novice trying to learn the ropes.

Thank you in advance.

Nguyen
Guest
Nguyen

Hi Dave, after you mention about buying $599.12 ($0.88 is for the fee) MO and the cashier put in the amount, next you want to tell her that you want to use the first debit card for $200, she puts in the amount, you enter your pin, etc., and then you tell her the next debit card is again for $200, the same steps, and the last amount is for $200. This should work. Hope this helps. Thanks. Nguyen

Dave
Guest
Dave

Thank you for the help, Nguyen! I will definitely try this out and report back with an update.

Thank you again!!

Dave
Guest
Dave

Well no luck. Cashier saw the card and said that I could not use it because they only accept bank debit cards. Looks like I am out of luck. Thanks for the help though!

Nguyen
Guest
Nguyen

Sorry to hear about that. At WM, it is usually a hit or miss. You can try to come back at different time to see different cashier. Perhaps, go to another WM location. Whenever I encounter your exact situation, I just politely say sorry and leave quietly. Good luck! Nguyen

Dave
Guest
Dave

Thanks for the encouragement, Nguyen. I will definitely try at another time. Hopefully a better outcome will come of it.

Thank you again!

On another note, have you tried the Gobank method (mentioned earlier in comments)? Is it the same method at WM? By that, I mean having to try and hide the card and attempt to add to account (w/ the possibility of a hit and miss b/c of cashier)?

Nguyen
Guest
Nguyen

Hi Dave, the GoBank method is a reloadable prepaid card which you can buy at Walmart, and you can go to any WM cashier to load it. It just like the American Express Blue Bird (I used this in the past). I personally have not tried the GoBank yet since I am a pretty light “user.” Please see Ariana’s post listed below. Thanks. Nguyen

https://www.pointchaser.com/gobank-card-manufactured-spending/

Dave
Guest
Dave

Thank you once again, Nguyen. I appreciate the assistance through all of this. I will definitely check this out!

trackback

[…] in your area, you’ll do better buying Visa gift cards at Staples seeing as they’re fee-free this week. If taking advantage of this Office Depot deal, you’d have to pay $3.90 in net activation […]

Ed. C
Guest
Ed. C

Last time around between my wife and me each. going every day, we managed to rack up 68,000 UR points during the promotion. Can’t wait to see how it goes next week.

Barry
Guest
Barry

I would recommend to use a little bit of caution. I have seen reports of people having all of their Chase cards shutdown because of abuse of the 5X spending categories. Staples provides level 3 credit card data and Chase does have the ability to see what you’re buying at the office supply stores.

Ed. C
Guest
Ed. C

Where have you seen these reports and how old are they? I have been doing the Staples (and Office Depot when they do it) buy for about a year and a half and have never had any problems with Chase. I have read reports by other bloggers that Chase stopped shutting down cards for this reason a couple of years ago.