(EXPIRED) $200 Mastercard GCs with a $1.95 fee at Staples next week

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Starting Sunday, October 21st, Staples will be offering an instant discount of $5 off when you buy $200 in Mastercard gift cards. That should stack with the Current Amex Offer on some business cards for 10% back at Staples (assuming you haven’t already overdone it and gotten offers clawed back — go easy). Even without those offers, this can be a good deal if you’re using a card that earns one of the Best Category Bonuses at Office Supply Stores to make for some very cheap points indeed.

The Deal

  • Instant discount of $5 off when you buy $200 in Mastercard gift cards at Staples (in-store only) from 10/21/18-10/27/18
  • Direct link (on page 6 of next week’s ad)

Key Terms

  • Valid 10/21/18 to 10/27/18
  • Valid in-store only
  • 1 per customer (YMMV as to whether or not your store allows more than 1 transaction)
  • Issued by US Bank National Association

Quick Thoughts

These cards are PIN-enabled, though some people have had trouble using them that way at Walmart. Still, they should work as debit elsewhere.

The activation fee is $6.95, meaning that you’ll pay $201.95 after the instant $5 discount. That’s a decent deal since there are a couple of opportunities to pick up cheap points:

  1. Use an Amex business card with the offer synced for 10% back at Staples. Net cost per $200 card = $181.76. Nothing quite like printing money.
  2. Use a Chase Ink Cash or Chase Ink Plus (no longer available for new applicants). Pay $201.95 per card and earn 1,010  Ultimate Rewards.

Either of those options are pretty good. Obviously, coming out eighteen bucks ahead before considering rewards is a stellar deal. If you don’t have the Amex Offers, the Chase Ink Cash or Plus angle is still solid. Assuming your liquidation cost is $1 (it may well be less), that’s like paying less than 3/10 of a cent per Ultimate Reward point, which looks like a win to me. It’s certainly as good as fee-free, but it beats paying full cost.

Remember that this doesn’t begin until Sunday, so set a reminder on your phone. In some areas, I expect the $200 Mastercards may sell out early on, so you don’t want to forget to head to the store.

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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These Staples offers get worse every year. I miss the days of the $20 rebate on $400 worth of cards. With that said, I’ll still take part in the deal for the 5X rewards for a cost of about 1% of the purchase price. At least I won’t have to worry about the supply of cards being bought out by Monday morning.




On the issue of not overdoing the 10% staples offer, do we have any DPs on what Amex considers overdoing it? I’ve used the offer on a few cards, but stopped when the clawback news hit. I still have the offer available on a couple of cards, and I’d use them if I had a sense of what Amex is OK with. I’ve never abused this or other Amex offers with the AU thing, just added the offer to each of my cards as had always worked in the past.


Do you ever proofread your posts before clicking the Publish button?

Mike Brinson
Mike Brinson

What does that have to do with the topic of the post?

Dan Jones
Dan Jones

Seems if Staples takes Samsung Pay, you could tie Chase pay to Samsung pay, pay with Freedom via Chase Pay and get both 5% points and (sadly devalued) Samsung Pay points.