Buying Gift Cards at Staples – Another Perspective You Will Want to Hear

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Gift cards at Staples

The Truth About Buying Gift Cards at Staples

It is amazing that as bloggers we can write something and start a conversation. Conversations are so valuable because they allow us to see beyond our own ideas and thoughts.

Last week Ed at Pizza in Motion mentioned in passing that he didn’t think buying gift cards at Staples is a good deal. That really got me thinking, so I wrote about how I believe it is a good deal and demonstrated why.

In my post, I broke the deal down to the most basic level. I asserted you could pay yourself back with points and still make over $100 per hour. Matt at Saverocity challenged me yesterday, basically saying that paying yourself back is rubbish. (He is British!)

As I mentioned in my post, I don’t actually pay myself back for the cost of the gift cards. I was simply presenting it as an option for those who were looking for completely free points. You know that whole “free travel” idea that a lot of people sell.

Matt very clearly proves why selling the points back to the bank for less than face value isn’t an ideal solution for anyone. It certainly isn’t the best way to maximize your time or money. With that said, I think being comfortable with a solution can be just as important as maximizing everything.

I think it is important in this hobby to look at all deals from as many angles as possible. Sure I presented an option which I don’t practice myself, but I recognize that it has value to a lot of people.

Since I don’t want to shortchange Matt’s post, I highly suggest going over to Saverocity and reading it. His logic is pretty spot on and I appreciate yet another perspective on the topic.

What Do You Think

So what do you think? Is Matt’s logic correct or is it something that works better in a perfect world? If you feel the need to pay yourself back, should you just find a more efficient way to earn the money to spend on travel? Do you not care? Let me know!


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10 COMMENTS

  1. I like the kids over at Saverocity but Matt lost me with sentences like this……”She has been trumping these buckets of milk up and down to the market day in, day out, dodgy cowpats left by the devils own satanic herd.”

  2. I exactly does what you explained in your post. I don’t travel a lot , so keeping so many UR points is a waste. I does a statement credit of all my points. Just because the Singapore airlines suite worth more money, I don’t want to fly to Singapore and come back to get more value for my UR points. If doing this worth your time and effort also depends on the person.

    • I agree. The value of a deal depends on the person and their perception of it. Keep doing what you are doing as long as you feel comfortable and are getting the results that you want!

  3. You don’t even have to use your toes to count enough to figure out Matt’s logic does not actually exist regarding the transfer fees, at least when using a card that multiplies points. As for the larger question, unless you’ve got a crush on a Target or Walmart cashier, nobody spends the hours demanded by most MS methods for love. You’re trading away your only real tangible asset in life, time. Same as any work, really, but unless you’re very high-income, the travel value exceeds the labor value and is tax-free to boot. Plus you get to feel like a buccaneer.

  4. Hey Shawn,

    Just recently looked into MS with Staples VGC. I think both arguments are valid, depending on what your objective is. My current objective is to get 80K points for travel for to NZ. Keeping the points makes a lot of sense for me ‘coz it’s a business class ticket for less than $600. If I want make a living off the UR points, then perhaps I’ll count every penny & work harder (and much longer). As a hobby, however, I’ll pick efficiency any day…

    Thanks for all your work! I’m learning a lot from you.

    • Thanks Allan. You are absolutely right. The best strategy differs from person to person depending on their situation. As long as you are happy and the results work for you, then I think there really isn’t a wrong answer.

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