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As long as some of the office supply stores keep giving away free money, I will share the news here! And until someone gives me a better one, I will continue to use the Mad Lib construct to announce them.

Solve the Mad Lib

Save _____ (amount) when you buy _______ (purchase amount) in _______ (type) Gift Cards at _______. Refund will be given in ___________

This time, the Mad Lib answers are:

1) $20

2) $300

3) American Express

4) Staples

5) Staples Gift Card

To follow along, if you buy $300 in American Express gift cards this week at Staples, you’ll get a $20 Staples gift card by Easy Rebate in the mail.  It’s in next week’s weekly ad on page 2 ( H/T: Doctor of Credit)

staples-american-express-rebate

Making the most of the Staples free money deal

A Staples gift card is in the worst of the 3 different types of these free money deals (best is instant rebate, and next is Visa gift card).  Even discounting the $20 you’ll get back from Staples, I do think that this deal is probably worth doing. The hardest thing I have is remembering to use my $20 gift card (since I usually am using a CC for points when I spend).  You could also sell it online if you want.  Keep in mind that American Express gift cards are harder to liquidate than Visa or Mastercard cards (you pretty much have to just spend them organically)

Definitely I would recommend using a Chase Ink or other card that gives 5x points on office supply stores. I love the Chase Inks for exactly this reason, and it’s one of the reasons that I think Chase Ultimate Rewards are the best points out there!

I always recommend 2 $200 cards (if they have them) – the activation fee is $1 more than the $100 cards, but IMO that is worth the 500 extra points you’d get.

I never know what to do when I show up at the store and Staples is (inevitably) out of the $200 gift cards. Do I just buy the $100 cards, even though the deal isn’t as lucrative, or do I try stopping back later at another store. I even wrote a poll about this (how much your time is worth) awhile back, and the consensus seemed to be to just buy the $100 cards in the store that you’re in, and not go back.

Doing the math

If you find and buy 2 $200 American Express cards, you’ll spend $413.90, but then receive:

Many gift cards also on sale for 20% off

Staples is offering several gift cards at 20% off

staples-gift-card-sale

At least the Toys R Us card should be good for reselling, as you can sell those for around 85-86%.  It remains to be seen whether there will be other gift cards (besides those pictured) on sale for 20% off.  I would imagine so but we’ll have to wait until we see reports from in-store.

How to get started gift card reselling

If you’re interested in gift card reselling, you may want to check out my beginner’s primer on gift card reselling.  It’s not super complicated (buy low, sell high).  You will not believe how hard it was for me to resist the “Buy Lowe’s, sell High” pun there….  

The big tool that I use for gift card reselling is this gift card scanner (typing in tons of gift card numbers and PINs is annoying, even if I do have an army of “minions” that I sometimes pay / coerce into typing as part of “homeschool” 😀

I also use these Scotty Peelers (to peel off the PINs on cards, though you have to be careful).

I’d say it’s worth a stop to Staples this week!!  If not for the Amex offer, at least for the 20% of gift cards.

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