Free Money & 5X at Staples Returns, But the Deal Has Eroded!

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staples mastercard gift card rebate

Staples Mastercard Gift Card Rebate Deal

Staples once again has a negative cost Mastercard gift card deal this week. Like their last Visa gift card deal, the rebate is lower than we have seen in the past (erosion), however it is still slightly profitable and can generate 5X points as well. Let’s take a look!

The Deal

  • Buy $300 in MasterCard® Gift Cards and get a $15 Staples® Gift Card after easy rebate

Key Terms

  • Deal valid from 07-17-2016 through 07-23-2016
  • In-store only.
  • Limit 1 rebate household.

You can find the full terms of this deal in the Staples weekly ad on page 12.

Maximizing the Deal

staples mastercard gift card rebate

This deal is best maximized by using a card that earns 5X at office supply stores like the Chase Ink Plus or Chase Ink Cash. You can also use an Amex SimplyCash Plus which earns 5% cashback at office supply stores.

Using the Chase Ink, the optimal strategy is to purchase 2 of the $200 cards which cost $206.95 each. Here is the math:

  • Cost: $413.90
  • Minus Rebate: $15
  • Final Cost: -$1.10
  • UR Points Earned: 2,070

You could also purchase a $200 card and a $100 card, but the savings of $1 on fees doesn’t justify the loss of 500 Ultimate Rewards points on the extra $100 in spend.

The Staples Gift Card Rebate

The rebate comes as a Staples gift card. In my opinion the best value is if you actually have a use for this card, however it can be sold for 85% of its face value if you don’t. That of course would take another $2.25 out of your pocket and put you in the red overall for the deal. If you sell the gift card at 85% of face value, your cost would be $1.15 for 2,070 points.

Conclusion

These deals have always been nice, but with the lower rebate amount, the rebate currency and the fact that Mastercard gift cards are a bit tougher to deal with, I think this one won’t be for everyone. With that said, if you have the time and are close to a Staples, it might make sense to stop in for a purchase. Deals like this won’t make your balance swell, but over time they do help to build it up.


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10 COMMENTS

  1. Word of Caution – I have bought M/card gift cards from Staples in the past few months to take advantage of this deal and several of my gift cards had been largely drained due to fraudulent activity. I use my GCs for regular non-bonus spend over time and it is risky, particularly with Mastercards. M/C seems to be having a problem with duplicate cards as all my fraudulent charges were made with a physical gift card in-store in place that I have never visited. You have to go through a cumbersome process to get your money back, if in fact you do get it.

    I would advise that if you buy these, then use them up right away. Shawn – any thought on how best to use them up immediately would be appreciated

  2. any problem getting money orders with these at walmarts that still accept visa gift cards? Or do I remember the master cards are not recognized as a debit card at the counter? They worked fine at the kiosk which are now gone.

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