I am a HUGE fan of Staples some weeks. Many don't realize that they often give away items for FREE with either an "Easy Rebate" (cash back) or "Staples Rewards" (store credit).
My favorite are the "easy rebates", obviously, because they are cash back that I can spend anywhere...
The "Staples Rewards" are a bit of a hassle because you are not able to spend them on future rewards items that give you more Staples Rewards. If I've totally lost you, here's an example:
Let's say that Staples has a ream of paper for $5.00 with 100% Staples Rewards. That means, you pay $5.00 for the paper and then the next month, you get $5.00 Staples credit via email to use in their store or online. Now, let's say that next month there is a $15 pack of storage boxes with 100% rewards. If you use your $5.00 reward from the previous month on that, you would only be given a $10 reward the next month instead of the $15 reward you would have gotten if you paid cash.
This is a bit of a bummer because your rewards come in one big chunk. This month, I had $112 in rewards to use. So, I would have to spend that on items that were NOT reward items in order to get their full value. NO FUN! BUT, I have learned that you CAN purchase Staples gift cards online with your rewards so that you can use that gift card to get more "reward" items. Does that make sense?
So here is what I did today:
I desperately needed ink, so I decided to use my $25 of $75 coupon that came in the mail. Check your mail if you are a Staples member...these come every few months or so. They are valid only by phone or online.
Since I had $112 worth of rewards to use, I ordered a $50 Staples gift card. After both, that brought my balance to .73!!!
You will also notice that the gift card cost me $1.99 to get on top of the $50. However, that is a small price to pay (for me) to have the option of rolling my rewards over and over instead of purchasing items with my rewards that will not give me more rewards!
We will get into more Staples shopping, but this will get you started if you are confused about the difference between "easy rebates" and "Staples rewards".
NOTE: If you use coupons with your staples rewards items, this will also diminish the amount of your staples reward. However, you may use it on an "easy rebate" item and still get the full amount of an easy rebate.