(EXPIRED) $5 off Visa Gift Card activation fees at Staples 4/10-4/16

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Staples will be offering reduced-fee Visa Gift Cards starting Sunday, April 10, 2021 through Saturday, April 16, 2021. This time around, they are offering $5 off the activation fee, so you’ll still pay a couple of dollars for each gift card. That’s not as good as recent fee-free promotions, but you’ll still come out ahead as long as you use a credit card that earns a good category bonus on office supply stores. As Doctor of Credit points out, they ran this same $5 off promo during exactly the same week last year (Sunday April 11 – Saturday April 17, 2021), so this probably has no bearing on the likelihood of future fee-free deals.

a close up of a card

The Deal

  • Staples will be offering $5 off the activation fee when you buy a $200 Visa Gift Card in-store from April 10, 2022 to April 16, 2022
  • Direct link to store ad (see page 8 of the 4/10 ad)

Key Terms

  • Limit 5 per customer per day
  • Available in-store only

Quick Thoughts

While it is of course disappointing that these gift cards are not fee-free, it’s nice to see Staples keep the limit at 5 per customer per day. That means that if you buy five $200 Visa Gift Cards in one trip, the math still works out well:

  • 5 x $201.95 = $1,009.75
  • Cost = $9.75
  • Rewards (at 5x) = 5,048.75 points (if using a Chase Ink Cash card)

While free is better, getting more than 5,000 Ultimate Rewards points for $9.75 is still a big win considering that that points could get you a Category 1 Hyatt stay or could be used to pay yourself back for a grocery, home improvement, or dining purchase of $75.73 if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

We’ve seen Staples run these $5 off sales in the past, so I am not terribly concerned that these will replace the fee-free promotions that we all know and love. I’d prefer a fee-free deal, but this will do. Personally, if I were passing a Staples store, I still wouldn’t pass up this one — which is doubly true in 2-player mode.

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These haven’t been selling too quickly at my local Staples. Normally the GC rack would be empty by Wednesday with the fee-free deal. With this $5 off deal, probably only about 20% of the cards had been sold by Wednesday.


Have the wrong year (2021) rather than 2022


I decline, Staples.


Better off waiting for fee free. If lots of people buy at reduced fees, Staples may decide they’re better off doing that instead.