Staples Gift Card Rebate Warning & Best Practices to Avoid Problems


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Staples gift card rebate problem
Not so easy when your gift card is worthless.

Staples Gift Card Rebate Warning & Best Practices

Today marks the beginning of yet another negative cost deal from Staples for the purchase of gift cards. You can find out more information about the deal here, but today I have a quick warning regarding Staples gift cards and Easy Rebates.

This week’s deal like many others pays the rebate back in the form of a Staples gift card. If you are like me, sometimes you may have multiple rebates and you may not always check them. To be honest, I used to just write the amount on the card, discard the paperwork it came with and then file the card away in my book.

Staples gift card rebate problem
This is what I get when checking the balance. I did confirm with Staples that this card was never activated.

Unfortunately that rather lackluster organizational system eventually burned me. A few months ago during a Staples purchase, I was redeeming a few of my $20 cards gained through rebates when one of them was declined. After trying several times to redeem it, I went online to check the balance and found that the card was never activated. It didn’t have a $0 balance, it was just never an active card.

At that point it was too late to really do anything about it since “participate” in a lot of Staples rebate deals and it had been quite some time since I received this card. Perhaps I could have pushed them to sort through every rebate, but I decided it was best to just eat the $20 loss.

Staples Rebate Best Practices

Staples gift card rebate problem

Fortunately there is a simple routine I now follow that will prevent this from ever happening again.

  • Open the envelope containing the card and rebate paperwork. (Tracking #, etc.)
  • Take the card out and go online to check the balance.
  • After the balance is verified, I write the amount on the card with a Sharpie and file the card away.

If a card ever arrives inactive again, I will still have the paperwork in hand so that I can easily contact Staples for a resolution. Like I said, this may be common sense to most of you, but I thought I would share since my laziness cost me $20 and I don’t want that to happen to anyone else.


I had been meaning to write this warning for a few months, but I was cleaning my office today and came across the offending card. Given this week’s deal, I thought it was a perfect time to share my story. It is a good reminder that it can be easy to slack of a little when playing the miles/points/deals/credit cards game, but that normally ends up costing you in one way or another.

Have you ever had a similar issue with Staples rebates? Let me know in the comments.

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    • Thank god all 12 are good. Thanks for the tip, I will be checking the balance on each one as I receive them. I have few more on the way.

      • Just curious. Is there any way for getting more than one Easy Rebate ($20 GC or Visa GC) From Staples during the same promotion period, e.g. vary/edit the mailing address’s format a little bit?

  1. I bought several cases of paper and should have received an $82 rebate card.

    After some time the card arrived in the mail and when I went to use it, there was $1 left on the card. It was used before I received it. I went through the legal process and sent the notarized letter stating I didn’t spend the money, which was all out of state.

    Staples send another card, again no balance. I didn’t waist my time going through the process again.

    Bottom line, don’t trust Staples for rebates, their employees processing the rebate cards are a bunch of crooks! Truly, buyer beware!


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