Staples Plus, new Business Rewards program - $29/yr @ Staples (expires 12/2)

Some background. In the summer Staples changed their Staples Rewards program:

  • Removed the Plus tier, so to recycle 20 carts/mo you need to reach $1000 in annual spend and be upgraded to Premier. Previously it was enough to spend $500/yr to recycle 20 carts/mo.
  • Changed the minimum order requirement for free shipping. It used to be pretty easy (I don’t remember if there even was a minimum, but it was low), now free shipping requires a minimum order of $49.99.

They are advertising a sale on what I believe is a new rewards program called Staples Plus. Normally it’ll cost $59/yr, but from 11/29 until 12/02 it’s on sale for $29. It:

  • Allows you to recycle 20 carts/mo without meeting the $1000/yr spending level (but just like with Staples Rewards, you still need to spend $30 on ink within 180 days).
  • Drops the minimum order for free shipping to $25.
  • Has other benefits, like a ~5% discount on pretty much everything (I see discounts of up to 60% for higher margin products, like post-it notes and toilet paper). This discount is applied to the items in your cart if you have the Plus Membership in the cart, which was a nice surprise, especially considering the incompetence I’ve seen in their Rewards calculations.
  • There’s also an additional 5%+ discount on 5 items of your choice (can pick 5 right away and change 1 of them every 90 days).

They didn’t have enough FAR deals this year (not enough that I found worth-while, anyway) and I won’t reach Premier, so I’m willing to pay $29 to get rid of my empty carts quicker. I probably won’t renew next year.


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“Automatic upgrade to Premier status”

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I considered the More account. The difference is that it requires a credit inquiry (I try to get at least $400 for each of those), doesn’t include the free shipping on $25 orders, and doesn’t have all the same discounts. I figured for $29 I’d give Plus a try for a year.

What are you doing to generate so much unused ink?

I don’t generate cartridges… I buy them EMPTY on ebay. They cost me 12 to 15 cents (depending on quantity purchased). And they are worth 2 bucks each. Do the math… :slight_smile:

OP, I signed up for this, and my wife did also. so now I recycle 60 per motnh (20 each at staples, and 10 each at OD). Nice $120 per month to buy stuff!


I’m not sure why, but I bit. Guess I’ll have to learn the rules and get some ink carts.

I wonder if the “discounts” apply to nearly-FAR items? For example, X reams of paper for $28-$27 rebate. Are those now negative cost or the rebate is reduced to purchase price and you’re still out the tax?

Edit:nevermind I was too slow. $59 now. Weird, they changed the price at 11:55 EST. Oh well. Saved me $26.

The rebates on FAR paper is usually only for in-store purchases. My guess is that Staples Plus discounts only apply to online purchases.

The rules are simple :slight_smile: – in order to recycle carts (up to 20 per calendar month with Plus or Premier), you need to purchase at least $30 worth of ink (before tax, but after any coupons or discounts – you must be careful if you try to redeem any coupons in the same transaction, because the coupons are spread proportionally across all items) within the previous 180 days. If done correctly, one $30 ink purchase gives you 7 months worth of recycling (180 days can span 7 calendar months). The rewards coupon becomes available on the second Thursday of the month, and expires at the end of the following month, giving you 6-7 weeks to spend it. Coupon can be redeemed in-store or online. You can redeem part of a coupon in-store (but not online), and you’ll be given a balance coupon with the same expiration date as the original. The entire balance coupon must be spent in a single transaction, because a second balance coupon will not be issued. I don’t recall the exact details, but I think if you redeem a coupon on the expiration date, then the balance coupon will get an extra month. Therefore you may be able to combine at most two $40 coupons and one $39-something balance coupon for a single purchase, if you are so inclined.

Technologist can confirm, but you have to be careful about using multiple rewards accounts. You may not use the same phone number or address, because those may either be shut down or be combined into a single account. In fact, I wouldn’t even logon to them from the same IP address.

~$36/mo is small potatoes and not worth the trouble for most people. If Staples wasn’t in the same plaza as my grocery store, I probably wouldn’t be doing this.

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I don’t think that’s true any longer.

Yeah I wasn’t sure. It used to be true.

If this doesn’t work anymore, then the most you can combine is two $40 coupons.

Yeah, sounds like some work. The main motivation would be just the “fun” of gaming the system like i used to and nostalgia of staples. I have caught myself a few times expending some time/effort deal-seeking and eating up time/opportunity $$.

Other details would be what carts count or don’t (or all do), etc. Anyways I had waited till ~10:30PM CST because I was on the fence on paying the $29. Then it took me a little longer to line up the portal and get my staples account reset. Then they ended it early so it’s probably best I missed it :). Usually me waiting until the last few minutes is a sign that I likely should have stuck with the “No” choice.

All carts count.

Now $49/yr. “Limited-time introductory offer” LOL.

Sorry I didn’t see this sooner. And thanks for the callout!

I am now only doing 2 accounts, in different names and phone numbers, but same address. In the past, I mentioned to store staff that 1 account was personal, the other was business use, in my wife’s name. No probs recycling 20 + 20 carts in 2 transactions.

I saw the deal an took advantage of it, for both accounts. It has already paid for itself, allowing me to double ink recycle on 2 accounts. I also used discover cash back to purchase the Plus membership, saving another 5 buck on each (get a staples 30 card for 25, using cashback).

The ink purchase is a wash. What I buy, I sell on ebay, even if I don’t make money or even lose a little. It is the key to making the program run…

So now I get to recycle 240 carts on each of 2 accounts, at a minimum rate of $2 per cart… $960 to spend at staples per year.

To be honest, I rarely use it for cool things, or stuff I want. My wife tells me to get coffee for the house (we go through a lot). So I go in store, pricematch the coffee to target or walmart, and pay using rewards. haven’t “paid for” coffee for years.

There is an additional benefit or 2… you get best pricing on anything at staples (which is meh…). You also pick 5 items (per account) to get even better pricing (again, meh, as I still need to pricematch coffee). But you also get a $50 credit towards printing… I use it to get business cards or signage… and this year it is double the amount.

I also do the office depot ink recycle. Not as good a program - you must spend $10 per month to recycle 10 carts for 2 bucks each. So I usually buy paper, which is almost always FAR…

so I recycle - between the 2 programs - 60 carts per month, 720 per year. Hopefully everyone has figured out where to get the cartridges… its a 4 letter word. And my cost works out to be ~12 cents each (I usually get 400 or 500 at a time). cost per cart is higher at lower quantity.

So for $100 for the first year, I get 960 back from staples and another 480 from OD. For me, its worth the trouble… and a money maker (or coffee money saver).

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Good to know. I imagine that you still can’t (or shouldn’t?) redeem the reward coupons from the two accounts together in the same transaction, right?

Got an offer in my email from American express to subscribe to this for $9/yr. Subject was “Get your office essentials for less.”

It has a unique-looking coupon code, but thought it was worth posting here if anyone else got the email.

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