As you know by now, Staples has a Rebate program and a Rewards program. The Rewards program does require a little more babysitting than the Easy Rebates, but with a little organization it is easy to master.
As I mentioned before, it’s easiest to have the same logins for both the Rewards and Rebates programs, which just makes checking in online that much easier. Once you have your Rewards account started, you can scope out the frequent “Free after Rewards” items in the circular.
When you buy the item, be sure to either give the cashier your Rewards card or have the cashier look it up with your phone number. Keep the receipt. If it’s easier, pop it into your Rebate Envelope. In a few days, log in to your Rewards account and see if the item posted. If it hasn’t yet posted, click on the button allowing you to add a receipt, and enter the required numbers. Soon, you should see the receipt posted to your account. The next month, Staples will issue you Rewards. If the item was free after Rewards, you will receive Rewards equal to the price of the item, minus any coupons and Rewards you used to pay. If it was not a “free after rewards” item, you will get 5% of the purchase price in Rewards, unless you bought gift cards, postage, or a savings pass. They will issue your Rewards in the month after your purchase.
Staples Rewards are like a Staples gift card with a very short expiration date. Your Rewards expire after 3 months, or 6 months if you are a Premier Staples Rewards member. Don’t get too nervous about those Rewards expiring before you get to use them. It is likely that you will find another great deal at Staples. In fact, you can turn those Rewards into cash if you find a “free after Rebate” item.
If you don’t see a rebate deal you want, review my checklist of frugal ways to spend your expiring Rewards. Consider whether you need ink or toner for your printer. Staples will match the best price you can find online if you just give them a call. If you’re completely stocked up on ink and toner, check out their “breakroom supplies,” which, to household managers like me, is another term for “household paper goods and cleaning supplies.” Staples accepts manufacturer coupons, and you can pair a manufacturer coupon with one of the Staples “15% off breakroom supplies” coupons that are frequently in their circular.
Check out the official Staples Rewards site if you’re ready to sign up for a Rewards account now or want to read the fine print.