Plink + Staples + Chase = Free Money!

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Yesterday I posted that Staples is a new partner of the loyalty program Plink. While you can earn points for every day purchases, one way to really maximize your earning potential is gift card purchases. Staples sells a slew of other merchants gift cards online and in-store. Typically you can purchase gift cards in denominations of $25, $50, and $100 – it varies by merchant and not all stores carry all gift card options. Up until now you’ve been able to double dip with all Staples purchases online by 1) Using your Chase Ink Bold or Chase Ink Plus credit card and getting 5x points, and 2) Going through an online shopping portal which varies in the number of bonus points you’ll earn. Now you are able to triple dip your gift card purchase! In-store there was no double dipping, but now there is as you can get the 5x points and the Plink points!

With Plink you will earn the following points per Staples transaction ONLINE and IN-STORE.

  • 50 Plink points when you spend $15 in a single transaction
  • 125 Plink points when you spend $30 in a single transaction
  • 300 Plink points when you spend $60 in a single transaction

Some gift cards purchased online carry a $1.99 fee, while in-store gift cards do not carry this fee. Let’s do the math to see how many points you can really earn. Currently, I am going to use Chase’s online shopping portal as they are giving 2 points per dollar spend on purchases at Staples.com. I am also going to value Chase Ultimate Reward points at 2 cents per point.

$25 Gift Card Purchased Online with No Fee

  • Using your Chase Ink Bold/Plus credit card = 125 Chase Ultimate Reward points
  • Going through Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal = 50 Chase Ultimate Reward points
  • Linking your credit card to Plink = 50 Plink points
  • TOTAL money made = $4.00

$25 Gift Card Purchased Online with $1.99 Fee

  • Using your Chase Ink Bold/Plus credit card = 135 Chase Ultimate Reward points
  • Going through Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal = 54 Chase Ultimate Reward points
  • Linking your credit card to Plink = 50 Plink points
  • TOTAL money made = $4.28 – $1.99 = $2.29

$25 Gift Card Purchase In-Store

  • Using your Chase Ink Bold/Plus credit card = 125 Chase Ultimate Reward points
  • Linking your credit card to Plink = 50 Plink points
  • TOTAL money made = $3.00

$50 Gift Card Purchased Online with No Fee

  • Using your Chase Ink Bold/Plus credit card = 250 Chase Ultimate Reward points
  • Going through Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal = 100 Chase Ultimate Reward points
  • Linking your credit card to Plink = 125 Plink points
  • TOTAL money made = $8.25

$50 Gift Card Purchased Online with $1.99 Fee

  • Using your Chase Ink Bold/Plus credit card = 260 Chase Ultimate Reward points
  • Going through Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal = 104 Chase Ultimate Reward points
  • Linking your credit card to Plink = 125 Plink points
  • TOTAL money made = $8.57 – $1.99 = %6.58

$50 Gift Card Purchased In-Store

  • Using your Chase Ink Bold/Plus credit card = 250 Chase Ultimate Reward points
  • Linking your credit card to Plink = 125 Plink points
  • TOTAL money made = $6.25

$100 Gift Card Purchased Online with No Fee

  • Using your Chase Ink Bold/Plus credit card = 500 Chase Ultimate Reward points
  • Going through Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal = 200 Chase Ultimate Reward points
  • Linking your credit card to Plink = 300 Plink points
  • TOTAL money made = $17.00 

$100 Gift Card Purchased Online with $1.99 Fee

  • Using your Chase Ink Bold/Plus credit card = 510 Chase Ultimate Reward points
  • Going through Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal = 204 Chase Ultimate Reward points
  • Linking your credit card to Plink = 300 Plink points
  • TOTAL money made = $17.28 – $1.99 = $15.29

$100 Gift Card Purchased In-Store

  • Using your Chase Ink Bold/Plus credit card = 500 Chase Ultimate Reward points
  • Linking your credit card to Plink = 300 Plink points
  • TOTAL money made = $13.00

While this might sound like a lot of effort to make just a few extra bucks, once you grasp the concept, it will really only take you an extra minute or so per purchase. You only need to link your Plink account once, just make sure to link it to your Chase Ink Bold or Chase Ink Plus if you plan on maximizing the 5x points at office supply stores. Every purchase thereafter will qualify. The only extra thing you’ll need to do per purchase is to go through the online shopping portal – which you can access here (you’ll need to sign in with your username/password).

You can check out all the Staples online gift card options here. Keep in mind that in-store gift card options vary per Staples store.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • You need a minimum of 500 Plink points to cash out and can only cash out in increments of 500 points
  • Plink points can be cashed out for gift cards such as iTunes, Tango card (which can then be redeemed at many merchants such as: Target, Home Depot, Pottery Barn and REI, etc.), Amazon.com, Walmart, Kohl’s, Barnes & Nobles, Overstock.com, and Zappos
  • You will need to monitor the online shopping portal you go through to ensure to receive the points you are entitled
  • The 5x bonus points at business expenses (which includes office supply stores) is maxed at 200,000 bonus points /$50,000 spend

You can read more about Plink in my post from yesterday, but here is a snip-it:

How this works:

  1. Sign up for Plink here and you’ll earn 500 Plink points
  2. Link your credit card to your Plink account – I know many do not trust this concept so the choice is yours (I’ve been doing it since the Spring and have not had any issues)
  3. Add the merchants you’ll be shopping at to your Plink Wallet account (for example, Staples)
  4. Read the terms of each merchant and shop in-store or online and earn Plink points

Let me know if you have any questions!

UPDATE: There is a Staples Amex Sync promo that just came out today where you can get a $25 statement credit with a $75+ purchase. Also, this Sunday, you can purchase $300 worth of MasterCard Gift Cards in store and get a $20 Staples Gift Card after rebate. I will post more about this later today.

Note: The Plink link listed is my referral link, feel free to add yours to the comments section as well. Additionally, this post contains affiliate links for the Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus credit cards. Thanks for supporting the blog as my goal for you is to travel on a deal (and make some free money along the way)!

Comments

  1. Best to consider stacking this with AMEX Sync which has a $25 credit on $75 purchase, so if you bought a $100 Marriott GC for example, you’re looking at 300 plink points, 100 MR or SPG points, and $25 credit. The return is slightly lower buying a Visa GC.

  2. I will start making $75 GC purchases ($50 + $25) to optimize plink rewards. Using the same math the money back would be:

    Online with no Fee: $13.50
    Online with Fee: ($14.06 – $3.98) = $10.08
    In store: $10.50

    Beside Online with fees the other 2 give the highest % back.

  3. Doesn’t it still make more sense to buy $500 OneVanilla GCs at gas stations (if you can) for $4.95 instead of these $100s for $6.95 ($3.95 after Plink)? It only costs $49.50 to generate 10000 URs at gas stations, would cost $56 to generate the same via Staples through UR portal (10000/700 * 3.95).

  4. Is there a cap on the number of plink points you can earn per transaction? Such as if I buy $120 worth of items will I earn 600 plinks? Will it continue to scale or is it capped at 300 plink pts regardless of total over $60?

  5. I just saw my Staples circular for next week and they are offering a 20 dollar staples gift card via easy rebates for a $300 MasterCard gift card purchase starting Oct 13.

    • @Josh – That is correct. I tweeted about it in the wee hours of the morning, but haven’t been able to post about it yet.

  6. I’ve had no issues buying VISA gift cards at Staples with a credit card here in California. However, not sure its generally worth the trouble given they don’t sell anything higher than $100, and that costs $4.95 I think, which is going to wipe out a lot of the value. Let alone all the hassle to reload all those $100 cards at WM. Ugh.

    Nevertheless, worth doing once in a while when there’s a bonus of course. Which it sounds like there will be this weekend…

  7. This is what I found on the Ultimate Rewards website for Staples. It says that buying gift cards are not eligible.

    Please note these terms & conditions:

    Not eligible on purchases made with coupon or discount codes that are not found on this site. Shopping cart must be empty prior to accessing Staples through this site to be eligible. Not eligible on gift cards, gift certificates or any other similar cash equivalents. Not eligible on Promotional Products, technology, software, and electronics. Discount reward certificates and Copy and Print shop orders are not eligible. Staples Business Advantage orders are not eligible. Contact with Staples for price matching, sales assistance, etc. will likely cancel eligibility. Any return, exchange or other adjustment made at a physical store location for an on-line purchase may result in your purchase being deemed ineligible. Phone orders are not eligible.

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