Posted by Chuck on February 2, 2016
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Published on February 2nd, 2016 | by Chuck

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All You Need to Know About Staples Easy Rebates

Staples Easy Rebates

Staples has a rebate system, called the Staples Easy Rebate, which allows us to get rebates on select items purchased from Staples by submitting the rebates online, without the need to mail in any UPC symbols, or anything at all for that matter.

It’s, well…easy. Once your Staples Rebate login is setup, all your personal info (name, address) is prefilled, and it takes minutes to submit a rebate online. It does, however, take a month or two until the rebate comes in the mail.

One of the more popular rebates is $20 back when purchasing $300 in Visa/Mastercard gift cards at Staples; this offer comes up many times over the course of a year. There are many other rebates offered by Staples as well.

Rebate Options

Rebates are commonly issued in two forms. At times, Staples will offer a prepaid Visa card which can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. Other times they’ll offer a Staples gift card which can only be used at a Staples store or Staples.com. There used to be a check rebate as well, but we haven’t seen that recently.

The prepaid Visa cards get hit with a $3 monthly fee after the first 6-months, so be sure to use it up before then. On the other hand,  Staples gift cards never expire.

Frequentmiler noted that even when the advertised rebate is for a prepaid Visa, they’ll some times offer a choice to get a Staples gift card rebate (of the same value) instead. Choose this option if you prefer the non-expiring Staples card over the soon-expiring Visa card.

Miscellaneous Facts about Staples Rebates

  • Submit a rebate here. Track a rebate here. Search for a rebate here. Check the balance on your rebate card here.
  • For support, contact Staples Easy Rebates here; there is a chat option and an email option.
  • You usually have 60-days from the purchase date to submit a rebate (purchase date + 59 days).
  • All rebates have a limit per name/address/household. If you can get someone else at a different address to submit it for you, or if they allow you to submit it under their name, it would be possible to double your limits. (More on this in a previous post.)
  • Many rebates have a limit of one. For a rebate that has a limit of more than one, you’ll get one large prepaid card for all the rebates purchased in one order. For example, if you buy three items in one order (online or in-store), and the item has a $20 rebate with a limit of three, you’ll submit one rebate form, and you’ll get a single $60 rebate card for all three rebates combined.
  • All rebates come in the mail, usually within a month or two. Cards come in the mail already active.
  • Rebate offers typically run 7-days, from Sunday – Saturday, and they’ll show up in the weekly ad which can be viewed online at staples.com.
  • You can choose to submit the rebate online or to mail it in; we recommend the former.
  • For online (or kiosk) orders, you’ll need the following info to submit a rebate: the order number and the delivery zip code. The order number can be found in the confirmation email and on the packing slip that comes with the delivery.
  • For in-store purchases, a special rebate receipt will print out automatically at the register, aside from the regular purchase receipt. To submit the rebate, you’ll need the Easy Rebate ID number, which is a long string of numbers that comes printed on the rebate receipt. From memory, the Rebate ID number can be found on the regular receipt as well, so don’t sweat it if the special Rebate receipt doesn’t print out (happens occasionally). Here’s an additional tip.

How to Liquidate Staples Gift Cards

Rebates that come in the form of a Staples gift card are regular Staples gift cards; they can be used at Staples or Staples.com, and they don’t expire. When using online, there is a limit of five Staples gift cards that can be applied to each order. In-store, you should be able to do more than that in one checkout.

If you don’t think you’ll need the Staples gift card, consider selling it to a gift card exchange. You can usually yield over 80% of the face value on Staples gift cards though the prices fluctuate. Also, bear in mind that some exchanges (Saveya and Cardpool) won’t accept gift cards with small values. See The Complete Guide to Selling your Unwanted Gift Cards for Cash for more details on selling gift cards.

How to Liquidate Prepaid Visa Cards

The prepaid Visa cards work anywhere Visa is accepted. For online transactions, your mailing address (the address that the card was sent to) is the default billing address. The card also comes with your name printed on the card.

It used to be possible to use the prepaid cards like PIN-enabled debit cards to buy money orders and the like, but this doesn’t seem to be working anymore.

Here are some tips for using up these prepaid cards:

Request a Check

Reader XP1 notes that you can request a check to cash out the prepaid Visa cards – at the cost of $2.50. After receiving the prepaid card, call customer service at 1-866-923-0052 to cancel the card, and you’ll get a mailed check with the card balance minus $2.50.

The fee will amount to a high fee for a $20 prepaid card (more than 10% of its value), and many will prefer other methods. But for a high-dollar prepaid Visa rebate card, this is a great, cheap way of liquidating. You may even be able to get away with one $2.50 fee for liquidating a bunch of prepaid rebate cards or they may not charge any fee at all.

If only all Visa gift cards had a check-liquidation option…

Drain them In-Store

The easiest way to use these up is to spend them down on regular in-store purchases. Many store registers are capable of detecting the balance of the prepaid card, draining it automatically, and leaving the balance to be paid with another payment method. For example, if you’re at a CVS store, and your shopping total amounts to $197.76, swipe the $20 prepaid Visa card first, and the system will use up the $20. The balance of $177.76 can then be paid with another card. You can even use up multiple small prepaid cards, drain them down, and pay the balance with your regular credit card.

The key here is to verify that the register is capable of automatically draining the card – not all registers can do that. Refer to DoC Payments Workshop for info on many stores, which registers auto-drain and which don’t.

Use on Staples.com

Staples.com has a unique checkout system which allows the use of five Staples Visa prepaid cards as payment for a regular staples.com purchase.

(They also have an option to use up one regular Visa prepaid/gift card – not received from a Staples rebate – which means you can actually use up six prepaid cards in one order. Combined, you can use a total of twelve different cards in one checkout on staples.com: five Staples gift cards, five Staple rebate Visa cards, one prepaid card, and one regular credit card.)

Some people won’t want to use this option since they prefer to use a credit card that gets bonus points at office supply stores.

Drain on Amazon

An old favorite is to drain small balances of prepaid Visa cards on Amazon. Amazon does not place a $1 hold on Visa cards when adding them into the system, and they allow you to buy an e-gift card or do a reload in any amount. So if the prepaid Visa card is $15, you can buy a $15 Amazon e-gift card or do a $15 Amazon reload; the $15 will then be combined with your Amazon balance.

Some people won’t want to use this option since they prefer to use a credit card that gets bonus points on Amazon.

Drain on Insurance or Utilities

Many people have success draining prepaid cards on their insurance or utility bills. Just add each card as a new payment method and enter the payment for the amount that’s on the card. Hopefully, they won’t put a $1 hold on the card, and they’ll just drain it down.

Some utilities earn bonus rewards on certain credit cards, like cell phone bill with INK, and it’s costly to give up those rewards. But health insurance, for example, won’t earn any bonus points on the credit card and is certainly an option to consider.

Any other important things to know about Staples Easy Rebates? We undoubtedly missed something – hit the comments!



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Carlos
Carlos

The phone # under request a check is missing a #.

Lantean
Lantean

good summary. there have been issues with check requests since December… not sure anyone has gotten their check since. hopefully they’ll fix it.

i would absolutely never recommend anyone request Staples GC instead of a Visa.

PN
PN

I just received the checks requested on 12/5/15. They’re definitely taking their sweet time issuing checks lately.

Spanky
Spanky

Recently the new prepaids DO have a pin number. Last 4 of card number is pin. The networks were recently switched to blackhawk

Lantean
Lantean

excellent… how did you find out they had a PIN? thanks.

Carl

Just wanted to add a more recent DP since the last one was 2+ years ago. No issue using my recent $20 Visa rebate as debit today. Wish I’d tried sooner! I’d previously read this post about it not working anymore, and I didn’t read the comments. Glad I scanned them today!

fauxblogger

@Lantean

Try draining Staples Visa and Staples GC separately on Staples.com when combined with another payment method and you’ll relax your “never”

@Chuck.. Reconciling receipt of Visa Prepaids another worthy subtopic. Am finding that Staples on occasion regens Tracking numbers AFTER submission of original rebate, making reconciliation difficult. I suspect this happens for “invalid SKU or “Houshold Limit Exceeded” errors that require you to call in to resolve. Still monitoring and will update this post when I figure out what is going on. You’ll get the invalid sku postcard whenever Staples IT dept. forgets to extract the rebate/promotion information from the merchandising system into the rebate_sku table in the rebate offers system (this primarily happens when more than 1 sku is eligible for a single rebate offer)

Also, for those managing multiple households, 1) Never submit rebate while logged into rewards account since user profile data ingested by rebate system. 2)Name, phone number AND address must be unique across households. Perhaps some more advanced tricks out there as well to extend “household” footprint

Regarding converting Prepaids to check request, I combined 2 PPs into 1 check request for no fee, but am waiting for check to arrive to confirm no fee deducted from check amount.

Lantean
Lantean

Your scenario is purely hypothetical… I would never use Staples Visa at staples.com because I would use Ink.
Staples Visa is used places where I don’t get bonused spend, like Macy’s, Nordstrom, work cafeteria, post office etc.

PG
PG

One warning when using staples gc’s in store: DON’T ATTEMPT TO USE THEM WHEN MAKING A GIFT CARD PURCHASE, even if you have enough regular items for the staples gift cards to cover. (If my local store is any indication, you will want to make two separate purchases!) I did this once, assuming, that the system would just apply the gift card to the regular items and not the vgc’s I was purchasing. Instead it seemed as though it almost caused the register to crash and it turned into a big ordeal, with two managers called over and a big headache for them, which took a couple days to fully resolve. I wound up with a bunch of $5 store credit slips instead of my gift cards and my face clearly plastered in their memories. They were friendly enough about it, but still feel like I am “marked” when I walk in there. You’d think their IT guys would hard code the machine to not allow the transaction beforehand, instead of practically crashing the system afterwards!

XP1
XP1

Postmark date is usually 60 days including the purchase date, so actually, it is purchase date + 59 days when you put it into a date calculator.

Mike
Mike

The way I usually get rid of the $20 rebate gift cards is using them on the penny paper deals that Staples runs practically every single week. They offer reams of paper for 1 cent after rebate. When you give the cashier the coupon code it drops the price of the ream to ~$5 (usually $4.80) and triggers the computer to spit out a rebate form. You can do this for up to 4 reams per household per rebate period and all 4 reams can be on one transaction so you’ll get a single check. The rebate period runs 1 week so you can do it 4 times a month, or more if you have multiple mailing addresses you can use. 4-6 weeks later you’ll get a check in the mail for the cost of the each ream minus 1 cent which is usually $19.16.

It’s kind of a pain in the ass, especially if you’re high volume, because you end up with tons of reams of paper. I recently decided to clear out the corner of the basement they were stacking up in and put ~250 reams on Craigslist for $200 bucks and sold them to a local business. I also give them away to family and friends.

m-girl
m-girl

You can also donate them to a charity and get full value of priced paid for tax credit. I could be worth your while and you can also help out the charity by donating something they always need. I have done this, and with other school supplies as well for the kids there and you would be amazed that your donation may be the first office supply donation and something they are quite appreciative to recieve.

Mike
Mike

Thanks for the tip, I’ll have to try that in the future.

Chris
Chris

I’ve had difficultly reconciling the Rebate tracking number given when you submit a rebate with the card number listed on the attached sheet to the card which eventually shows up…the numbers simply don’t match. Does anyone have any idea how to keep tabs on the rebates and match them up?

m-girl
m-girl

no idea but I have noticed that you can usually match up the first 5 numbers if that helps you out at all. I keep a spreadsheet of every purchase, rebate offer, the rebate tracking number, the check number or card number received and if you can’t figure it out, call the rebate folks and they will help you reconcile what isn’t obvious from your spreadsheet.

Daniel Gordon
Daniel Gordon

Are there some good rebate deals at staples this week? I thought I saw something, but can’t seem to find it.

Daniel
Daniel

Has anyone received check for the McAfee rebate that totaled $399?
I requested check and I still haven’t received it, and I was wondering if it takes this long.
Since it’s really hard to get hold of the customer rep nowadays, I wanted to check with some other people here.

Dillon Welch
Dillon Welch

It takes a couple weeks. I requested it sometime in April and just got mine today.

Daniel
Daniel

Ok. Here’s the update for the check for McAfee rebate.
I called in today, and I heard this ridiculous explanation from a manager from Parago, the company that handles the rebate.

Apparently, from Feb 1st, Staples asked Parago not to issue any check for the rebate card. And because I asked for the check after that, they just blocked the card and not issued any check. Instead of proactively notifying me of the problem and reissue me a card, they decided to just not do anything about it until I called. And the BS that the manager pulls it, it doesn’t matter if I purchased the McAfee software before Feb 1 with the old T&C that specifically allows requesting a check. Since the Visa gift card was issued after Feb 1, the option for requesting a check no longer exists for Staples customers regardless of when they bought. The manager was simply rude as well when I even mentioned that they have to honor the T&C when the customer bought asking sarcastically “was a in a legal department?”
I don’t understand why Staples decided to create such a mess and deal with such unscrupulous company.
Either way, the option to receive a check for a visa gift card is gone.

Eric
Eric

Did your card expire in the meantime? Your post is really good timing as I had been putting off requesting a check and was going to finally call sometime this week. This is a really lousy development. Is there any chance that you received wrong info?

Daniel
Daniel

You can give them a call and try. I doubt you’ll have any other response.

Eric
Eric

What’s the phone #? I’ll give them a call when I get a chance.

Daniel
Daniel

1-866-923-0052
WHen they say, they can’t issue the check, try asking them politely that when you bought the product (sometimes Jan, which is pre-Feb 1), the T&C was different and that T&C should be honored.

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

Where exactly do you see whether or not checks are an option? Was it on the rebate offer? I have a $135 card right now that I was hoping to pay $2.50 and get a check for but it appears I’m almost a year late to the party here.

mord1
mord1

Called to get a check for a $399 rebate card, and it never came, the card is frozen and I have called multiple times and chatted, I dont seem to be able to get someone with a quarter of a brain to help me. any ideas?

f
f

If I were to purchase one for someone can they get cash back from it on ATM?

trackback

[…] Not a bad deal if you can easily liquidate the Visa gift cards; helps subsidize the cost of the INK points. For more info on the Staples Easy Rebates system see All You Need to Know About Staples Easy Rebates. […]

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