Staples introduces 5% back in rewards on everything

10

This just appeared in my email:

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Last April I reported that Staples was testing this program in select markets (see “Staples ups the ante (targeted)“).  I assume that this new email means that the program is now available to all rewards members, but I don’t know for sure.  Its possible that they are just expanding the rollout to additional areas.  Please comment below if you know more.

This is exciting news for a few reasons:

  • Free shipping!
  • 5% back in rewards makes possible a quadruple dip: 1) Use a Staples coupon; 2) Pay with a card that earns a great bonus at an office supply store (such as one of the Chase Ink cards); 3) Go through an online portal to earn extra points or cash back; and 4) Earn 5% in rewards!
  • Staples rewards can often be converted to cash by using the rewards to buy Free After Rebate items.  It’s a bit of work and it takes a while, but still…

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it will work for buying gift cards.  Here are the Terms & Conditions (bolding is mine):

As of 3/15/13 Staples Rewards® members receive 5% back in rewards on all items excluding taxes, postage, prepaid phone cards, delivery charges, coupons, gift cards and purchases made on third-party Web sites. Staples Rewards back are issued online monthly when the value of the Reward is at least $10. Rewards expire no less than 60 days after issuance. Monthly balances of less than $10 will roll over each month until the minimum is met for that calendar quarter. If the $10 minimum for the quarter has not been met, the balance will expire at the end of the quarter. Rewards members receive free shipping on all orders placed on staples.com® or by phone at 1-800-333-3330 for which a membership account is identified, excluding orders made at staplescopycenter.com, print.staples.com, staplespromotionalproducts.com and third-party Web sites linked to staples.com. Standard Staples delivery policies apply. Recycle any ink or toner cartridge, up to 10 per calendar month per customer, and, if the member has spent at least $30 in ink and/or toner purchases at Staples over the previous 180 days, the member will receive $2 back in Staples Rewards per cartridge. Ink and/or toner purchases made on the date of recycling are calculated toward minimum purchase requirement. Minimum purchase requirement is net of coupons, taxes and shipping charges. We will recycle additional cartridges but rewards will only be issued for 10 per calendar month per customer. Ink Recycling Rewards are issued online monthly, separately from your standard Staples Rewards statement. Ink resellers and remanufacturers are strictly prohibited from earning Ink Recycling Rewards. Staples Rewards membership is FREE. Limit one Staples Rewards account per person or at any mailing address. For full program details, visit staplesrewards.com.

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