STAPLES has a temporary consolation offer for Ink cardholders
Feeling blue about Office Depot’s decision to stop selling Vanilla Reloads? I know I am. Props to @aegt on Twitter, though, for notifying me this morning about this deal from STAPLES.
Between November 11 (yesterday) and November 24, STAPLES is giving a $15 Staples Gift Card for each $100+ Visa/Mastercard gift card you purchase. The activation fee is $5.95 for $100 gift cards and $6.95 for $200 gift cards. That fee is more than made up with the gift card, which you can turn around to use or sell on sites like Cardpool (though they only take gift cards >;$25 for STAPLES).
As for what you can do with these gift cards, you can use them like you would any prepaid gift card – if you purchase the cards with your Chase Ink Bold/Plus, it’ll still be a “5x somewhere else” solution. Others are opting to liquidate with Payments via Amazon. Me … I still have a Serve account that I didn’t close to get Bluebird, and it just so happens that Visa gift cards (but not Mastercard) play well with Serve as debit cards (as long as you register them with the Gift Card Mall’s website first). It’s free to load up to $200/day and $1000/month until March 15, 2013. I have used Serve to pay others for money I borrowed or owed.
I went to my local STAPLES today (which I have been otherwise neglecting for the Office Depot further down the road lately) and bought three $200 Visa gift cards (the yellow ones) with my Ink Bold — I’m trying to see if buying a $200 Visa will get me a $30 Staples Gift Card and save me some activation fees and grant me access to Cardpool selling if they come as separate gift cards. If it doesn’t work, I’ll try again later with $100 cards. Since my purchase was over $500, I had to do the manager authorization dance, though the clerk realized what I was up to when the rebate form printed. Luckily, these rebates work with STAPLESEasyRebates.com, so I’ve already submitted the rebates online.
Edit: Looks like my rebate has already been processed. And that’s a very pleasant surprise :)
Edit2: Staples figured it out –
Dear Valued Staples Customer,
We have identified you as one of the consumers who may have visited the
Staples Easy Rebate site to track your rebate. Upon tracking your
submission, you may have noticed that the value of your rebate might
have calculated incorrectly.
Please know that we are working to correct this issue. When you
receive your Staples gift card in the mail, it will be loaded with
the correct reward value.
We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.
As always, thanks for shopping at Staples.
Staples Rebate Team
Now I’m curious what the “correct” rebate amount is.