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Yesterday as I was sifting through the Staples circular I noticed that Staples was offering a $15 gift card (via rebate) for every $100 Visa or Mastercard Prepaid Card purchase (up to 10 per person/household). I was immediately interested knowing that I could purchase these gift cards with my Chase Ink Bold card and earn 5x per dollar since Staples is an office supply store (one of the benefits of all Chase Ink Business credit cards).
This morning I went to my local Staples only to find out that they had a limited supply and the promotional offer was not in their store circular. I showed the women the offer online, but she said that sometimes NYC has different offers, but we will know right away as the rebate will either print or not print. Since this is a prepaid card that cannot be returned if the rebate doesn’t print I didn’t want to take my chances without being 100% sure. Many chains have different offers/weekly ads for Manhattan stores and typically do not have the same generous promotions (CVS, for example, is one of these – in the suburbs you have a weekly ad of about 10 pages, in the city it is 2, pisses me off!). The Staples sales associate completely understood and called Staples customer service for me. Luckily she was able to confirm it would work and lo and behold the easy rebate form did print.
Although you can get up to 10 per person/household, my Staples only had 6 $100 Mastercard Prepaid cards, so I went with that. Each card has a $5.95 transaction fee, so I ended up paying $600 for the cards, plus another $35.70 in fees, for a total of $635.70. Due to the 5x bonus, this will give me a total of 3,178 Ultimate Reward points. I value these points at a 2 cent/point minimum, so this is worth at least $60. It will also give me $90 in Staples gift cards. I’ll either keep this for a future Staples purchase, or re-sell to a third-party gift card resale store – at Cardpool.com I can get $71 (for immediate cash) or $75 (by sending the gift card in) for my $90 Staples gift card.
Originally, I assumed I would just use my $600 Mastercard prepaid cards on everyday purchases, but after just reading some advice on DansDeals.com I learned that I can cash out these prepaid cards for free via Amazon Payments. Head over to his site to learn how to do this.
I will end up with… $600 in MasterCard cards (which I will then cash out via Amazon payments) + $71 in cash from Cardpool.com (by reselling the free Staples gift cards I eventually receive), TOTAL = $671
And I spent…. $635.70
So ultimately I am walking away with… profit of $35.30 and 3,178 Ultimate Reward points (valued at $60 minimum)
Not too bad for 10 minutes spent at Staples! If they had more $100 prepaid cards available, I would have purchased more, but oh well.
Some things to note:
- The Staples gift card comes in the form of an easy rebate – these are the best types of rebate as there is nothing you need to mail in. It takes just a few seconds to submit the information online. The Staples gift card will appear in 4-6 weeks.
- After reading DansDeals, I saw that some people were having luck purchasing a $200 MasterCard Prepaid card and getting a $30 rebate per card. This reduces the amount you need to spend on fees (the $200 card is $6.95 for the activation fee)
- If you purchase all MasterCard/Visa Prepaid cards on one transaction, you will receive only one Staples gift card with the total amount ($15 x the amount of prepaid cards). So if you are looking to give out the individual $15 gift cards as stocking stuffers/secretary gifts, purchase then as individual transactions. If you are looking to resell, having the rebate on one card is good as many third-party online resellers require a certain amount to resell (typically $25)