December 11, 2013
Staples still sells gift cards online
Last week I posted a Quick Deal stating that all gift cards were out of stock at Staples.com (including e-gift cards). This was extremely disappointing because Staples is one of the few merchants where you can buy gift cards to other merchants online and earn points or cash back from portals for doing so. Plus, of course, you can earn bonus points by paying with cards like the Chase Ink cards or the Amex SimplyCash card. And, you can earn Plink points too (more about that further down this post).
Fortunately, over the weekend, the gift cards reappeared. Even better, people found that when browsing gift cards they were offered special limited time discounts on those gift cards. Again, I published a Quick Deal about this here. Unfortunately, Staples seems to have stopped offering those discounts (at least for now). Maybe they’ll reintroduce those offers periodically? We’ll see.
Staples gift cards now work online
Until recently, Staples’ own gift cards only worked in-store. As of mid-November, though, Staples finally updated their system to allow online payment by gift card. They now allow up to 5 gift cards per order. The system does currently allow you to buy gift cards with gift cards online, but if you do too much of that you’re likely to have your orders cancelled. In a recent test I found that purchasing a gift card online with a gift card did result in portal cash back (via uPromise). They do sell their own gift cards online, but not in e-gift card form so you do have to pay $1.99 extra for each one. The largest value Staples gift card they sell online is $100.
Plink now limiting rewards for Staples purchases to 10 transactions per month
I’ve reported this in passing a few times, but I think it deserves its own callout. I’ve previously written up ways to benefit from the Plink / Staples combination (see “Plinking Staples” and “5X everywhere rises“). Since writing those posts, Plink secretly changed the terms to say:
Offer can only be redeemed 10 times within a 30 day period.
To be fair, some people (but not me) received an email on November 21 from Plink as follows:
Subject: New offer details for Staples
The Staples offer is changing. Starting today, you can earn Plink points for up to 10 qualified purchases each month. Be sure to shop at Staples 10 times in 30 days* to get the most points for your Staples purchases.
I find it very strange that Plink sent this to only a select group of customers instead of everyone. With the recent loss of Sears and Kmart from Plink, there’s not much at Plink to get excited about anymore.