Posted by Chuck on June 30, 2017
Loyalty Programs

Published on June 30th, 2017 | by Chuck

29

Negative Changes to Staples Rewards Program starting July 1 [No Online Earn, No Free Shipping, & More]

Staples sent out an email with some changes coming to the Staples Rewards program. The changes take effect July 1, 2017.

For reference, these are the new terms and these are the old terms. Here are the changes that I’ve noticed:

  • No more rewards earned at all for online purchases. Thoughts: This is a big hit which they swallowed inconspicuously within the email.
  • No more Plus level. It used to be that Base level gets 2%; after spending $500 you are Plus and get 3%; after spending $1k you are Premier and get 5%. Now we remain Base until spending $1k and become Premier with 5% benefit. Thoughts: no big deal, makes sense to simplify the program. (Note: This understanding is based on my belief that there is some misinformation in the Membership Levels section due to copy-and-paste errors.)
  • All Staples Rewards members get free next-day shipping on orders $49.99 or more. Thoughts: The few times I’ve ordered they deliver fast, usually with their own truck, not the postal service. Certainly good to know it’ll always come next-day for all Staples Rewards members; makes the store more reliable and even faster than Amazon.
  • No more free shipping without a minimum. This negative change they almost pulled right past me, but if I’m not mistaken Staples used to offer free shipping for all Staples Rewards members. Looks like there’s now a $49.99 minimum. (Oddly, when I add a $25 Gap e-gift card to my cart, it gives me free shipping even on less than $49 order.)
  • Signup for a Staples More Account and get 5% back both in-store and online. This gets you 5% online, and it also helps you skip the Base level straight to the Premier level. Thoughts: Most importantly, those who signup for a More credit line will be eligible to receive 5% Rewards for online purchases.

Final Thoughts

The biggest news is that you won’t earn Staples Rewards online unless you signup for the More account. The More account looks to be like a line of credit for businesses, and I imagine it comes with a credit check process. Personally, I don’t order much from staples.com, but those who do might consider signing up for the More program. Hopefully, it won’t count against 5/24, and will just appear as an inquiry.

[Update: Staples support makes it sound like it’s an ordinary credit card, which means it’ll likely count toward 5/24, and you might need to actually pay with the Staples card (and lose your Chase INK rewards) to get the 5%. In that case, it’s a non-starter for most of us.]

The new $49.99 requriement for free shipping will mean I probably won’t be ordering anything from Staples any time soon.

I’m probably missing some analysis of the change, drop a comment below if you notice anything else or different.



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Nick
Nick

To only give you 24 hours notice of a major devaluation, that has to be a record in negative corporate behavior. I bet it has to do with the private equity purchase of Staples – they’re looking to cut costs wherever they can.

JL
JL

actually…since Delta doesn’t have award chart, they can (and have) devalued many routes without any notice.

Dave
Dave

Staples…lol… These changes may be disheartening for some,
but I’ve lost interest in their store (and prices) long ago.

captainsave
captainsave

So no more 20 ink per month?

Brent
Brent

Ink still remains and is still 20 for premier

Andrew
Andrew

If you can get it, Staples Advantage is a pretty good deal. Free next-day shipping on all $50+ orders. Otherwise shipping is $5. Their prices are also very good; much better than the pricing on staples.com. No rebate earning potential, though. Also can’t use gift cards with Staples Advantage.

Peter
Peter

This is total crap. Email didn’t lay out anything clearly and now there is little incentive for me to organically shop at Staples, especially Staples.com.

Gina
Gina

Bummer. I do most of my shopping on staples.com. The store is just too far for me. So what happens to people who are plus and recycling 20 inks each month? Plus is supposed to be good until the end of the year so can I still recycle 20 in July and other months?

Brad
Brad

I was a Plus member. The email from Staples on June 29 did not mention anything about Plus membership going away. I took my 20 cartridges in for recycling in early July. Only got credit for 10. Great business model, Staples.

Jeremy
Jeremy

Is Staples no longer a shoprunner partner?

dave
dave

The elimination of the plus category actually is significant. I was anticipating getting to $500 spend this year, but not $1000. That means I could recycle only 10 cartridges a month instead of 20. That represents a loss of being able to recycle an additional 120 cartridges next year, or $240 of Staples money. And I’m not the only one.

Brad
Brad

Yup.

MoreSun
MoreSun

Thanks for the run down! The email made it sound like everything was kinda staying the same, it was so confusing.

Parkerthon
Parkerthon

i think this is a bad move. A lot of office admins elect to spend money at staples for the rewards they personally reap. This is going to kill that group of loyal buyers.

Anonymous
Anonymous

For the sake of clarity, there are three variations of the Staples More Account (all credit/charge cards backed by Citi):

1. Personal Credit Card
2. Business Credit Card
3. Commercial Charge Card

Since these new changes have not actually gone into effect yet, I cannot comment on whether online purchases will actually need to be made on the More Account to qualify for 5% back in rewards. I can only say is that up until now, More Account card holders have always received 5% back in rewards regardless of their payment type.

Based on other Citi business cards, signing up for a Business or Commercial More Account card should not affect your 5/24 count.

I hope that helps.

escot
escot

Not sure what the major fuss is here. I never much benefited from STaples rewards themselves. The two big benefits for me have been (and will continue to be?):

1. Earning 5k Ink points on purchases of VGC’s — on-line and in-store (especially when the recurrent rebates come around). That’s not changing is it? (Couldn’t get staples rewards on gift card purchases anyway — so no big deal)

2. The $40 / month “free stuff” (everything from paper to coffee to anything in the Staples catelog) each month for recycling 20 ink cartridges per month continues. (only slight change in the middle category spend — though my purchases of gift cards seem to have kept me in the top category — even if no cash discounts) Learned this all from Shawn at M2M long ago…

Am I missing something

SDO
SDO

I thought GCs don’t count towards Premier status?

escot
escot

footnote: I too though have been mystified as to just why they’re cutting out reward benefit for on-line purchases….. Only explanation that comes to mind is remembering the ghost-town / Sears like scene I witness every time I enter a Staples — more employees than customers, lots and lots of empty aisles….But then explain why they’d cut out buy on line, pick up in store purchases?
Ya’all fret about Sears surviving….

Dan
Dan

Both Staples and OD/OM are on their last legs. One of them will go under after Sears… Many retailers will not survive next downturn. It will be glorious.

Eric
Eric

Why will companies going out business and many people losing their jobs be “glorious”? Do you experience schadenfreude?

barrytuneup
barrytuneup

this shows how the retail sector is hurting badly. No one can compete with WM/Amzn. Sad. And WM offers free pickup in any store and Amzn has lockers.

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