New Staples Online Visa Activation Process – How to Activate Cards Online If You Get an Error

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staples visa gift card activation

Activating Staples Visa Gift Cards Purchased Online

Almost two months ago GiftCardMall changed their website completely. As part of their new site, they lowered the Visa gift card maximum denomination to $250 which hurt, but luckily the backdoor link to their old site has stuck around.

I noticed when the new site launched, that the new activation page doesn’t work for cards ordered on the old site. In my original post I detailed how to go to the backdoor activation site to activate Visa cards ordered from GiftCardMall’s old site.

Activating Staples Cards

staples visa gift card activation

What I haven’t had to do since the new site went live is activate Visa gift cards purchased from Staples online. Those cards are issued by GiftCardMall and use the same activation site as the normal Visas. I just got back from traveling, so I finally had time to activate the cards I had purchased when Staples discounted $200 cards a few weeks ago.

Unfortunately I found that the new activation website does not work to activate Visa gift cards purchased from Staples despite what the packaging says. Instead, when trying to activate the cards at the normal site ( I received the following error:

staples visa gift card activation
The new GiftCardMall activation site gives error messages.

Thankfully I remembered the backdoor activation site’s address. ( I won’t draw this out, but I was able to successfully activate all of my cards on the old site with the card numbers and activation codes I received in the mail. For more on the full activation process, see this post.

staples visa gift card activation
Thankfully the old activation site still works through a backdoor link.

One More Thought

$200 Visas briefly disappeared from the Staples website (but not other denominations) and eventually returned last week. Maybe with their absence, Staples has switched over the cards to the new system. My hope is that cards ordered now will activate properly, but if you get the error, now you know how to fix it with the old site.


Despite the instructions on the paperwork that comes with the cards, the normal activation website does not work to activate Visa gift cards purchased at Staples. (At least it does not work for me.) Instead, going to the old site still works, so that will be my continued strategy. Hopefully the backdoor links continue to work and/or GiftCardMall gets their act together.


  1. Thank for this! Had an order of 3 x $200 VGCs from Staples that were giving me the fits activating. But 1 of them still won’t activate on either site. Guess I’ll have to call.

  2. I had something kinda strange with my most recent batch of GCM cards through the backdoor site…when they arrived, I did not have to activate them, as the papers the cards were with said “Activated!” below the card itself. I enjoy the convenience of not having to activate them, but worry about the security! It’s the only time they have arrived pre activated…

  3. A very good AMEX offer for a $20 statement credit on a $100 online or in store purchase at Staples appeared in my account at 10:30 PM last night. I went to turn on my desktop (since visibility in dealing with multiple accounts is easier than on a cell phone) and by the time I logged in to AMEX all mentions of the offer had vanished. I was able to quickly activate the offer on a CITI AA AMEX through Facebook, but Twitter already indicated maximum capacity had been reached. Just a heads up to check often and act quickly. And, yes, on my one offer a purchase of a $100 gift card at Staples did trigger the confirmation “congratulations” email. There were no problems with the activation.


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