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Staples has a couple of money and points making deals either in process or coming up this week. Lets take a look at them!
First off, Staples and Cashstar have an eGift card promotion running from now through 12/23/2013. If you purchase a $50 eGift card, they send you a bonus $10 eGift card with a maximum of four cards per person. This promotion does have a few interesting conditions though. The free eGift card is SUPPOSED to be good only from 1/1/14-1/15/14 and the terms say that eGift cards cannot be combined, but that MAY not be the case.
In reality, my experience has been a little different. Yesterday I ordered two $50 eGift cards and received them along with the two $10 bonus cards in an email within about 20 minutes. I then immediately went to the Staples site through the uPromise portal (They have a 5% cashback payout right now for Staples) and was able to combine all four of the eGift cards on one order to purchase other gift cards.
While the original purchase of the eGift cards won’t give me any portal cashback or 5x points on my Chase Ink card since it is processed through Cashstar and not Staples, I should earn portal points when I use the eGift cards to purchase merchant gift cards directly on the Staples website.
Now lets take a look at the steps to this process and do the math to see how much free money we can get!
- Purchase two $50 Staples eGift cards at Cashstar.
- Receive two $10 bonus Staples eGift cards + your purchased cards via email for a total of four cards worth $120.
- Purchase $125 in merchant gift cards (They are sold in $25 increments. i.e. $25,$50,$100 Lets assume you buy two to get to $125.) by clicking through to Staples via the uPromise portal. Staples charges a $1.99 fee per merchant gift card so the total would come to $128.98. You would then pay the $8.98 overage with your credit card of choice. (If you went into a Staples store, you wouldn’t have to pay the $1.99 fee, but they may not allow you to combine the eGift cards.)
- Total spent out of pocket: $108.98
- uPromise cashback: $6.45 (5% of $128.98)
- Total spent: $102.53
- Total received in merchant gift cards: $125
- Total received in points: 108 points or 145 if using a 5x card such as the Ink. (100 for the original purchase and 45 for the 5x on the $8.98 purchase.)
- Net gain: $22.47 plus points
- Total received: $125 in merchant gift cards and 145 Ultimate Reward points if you used your Ink card. (100 points at 1x for the original purchase and 45 points for 5x on the $8.98 spent.)
Now remember I used an original purchase of $100 in eGift cards in this example for simple math, but you can double this and purchase $200 in eGift cards. If you did that you are basically looking at a profit of $45. In case you didn’t know, Staples sells gift cards for dozens of different merchants. Chances are you will be able to find a place that you shop often and thus the money will go to a good use.
Disclaimer: As of now Staples is allowing these eGift cards to be used to purchase other gift cards. That could stop at any time.
The second deal is more straightforward. From Sunday 12/22 through Tuesday 12/24 Staples has an in store promotion for Visa and Mastercard gift cards. If you buy $150 worth of Visa gift cards then you will receive a $15 Visa gift card back by mail with a limit of one per household. Additionally, if you purchase $150 worth of Mastercards, you will receive a $15 Staples gift card by mail with the same limit of one per household.
Staples doesn’t sell Visa or Mastercard gift cards in $150 denominations, so your best option would be to buy one $200 Visa card and a $200 Mastercard to limit the fees. The Visa card comes with a $6.95 fee and the Mastercard comes with a $5.95 fee. Some stores don’t carry the $200 cards, so it may be necessary to purchase two. If that is the case then you really aren’t making very much money.
Where the real benefit to this deal comes in is if you have a Chase Ink card. Since the Chase Ink card gives you 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent at office supply stores, you would earn 2,000 Ultimate Rewards points for a $400 purchase. (Worth about $20 in gift cards, $25 for travel booked through Chase or potentially much more if transferred to travel partners.)
In the end, you can make some money with both of these deals and earn some points along the way as well. For me, the eGift card promotion is really good since the entire process can be done in about 10 minutes from a computer. Since there is a Staples not far from my house, I also plan to partake in the in-store promotion. If it wasn’t close by, then I would skip that one. Also, if you have minimum spending requirements to hit for a credit card bonus, these deals are a no-brainer.
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