More easy rewards: Staples fee-free $200 Mastercard gift cards (now live)


Staples is once again be offering $200 Mastercard Gift Cards with no purchase fee through Saturday, 7/20/24. Note that the new limit of eight per customer per day is listed, but some may be able to purchase more at their local store.

a card with a silver and gold ribbon

The Deal

  • Staples is offering fee-free Mastercard gift cards from Sunday 7/14/24 through Saturday, 7/20/24.
  • Direct link to weekly ad (see 7/14 ad, page 9)

Key Details

  • Valid in-store only
  • Limit of 8 per customer per day

Quick Thoughts

These deals can be great way of getting rewards through spending at office supply stores. If you can buy 8 at a time, that’s a potential of $1,600 that’s possible each day. Note that some stores may allow you to purchase more than 8, and we also hear occasional reports that some managers will only sell a smaller amount despite what the ad says.

See our Current Visa and Mastercard Gift Card deals page for other currently-available deals.

This fee-free Mastercard promotion recently ran on the following dates:

  • 6/16/24 – 6/22/24
  • 5/19/24 – 5/25/24
  • 4/21/24 – 4/27/24
  • 3/24/24 – 3/30/24
  • 2/25/24 – 3/2/24
  • 1/28/24-2/3/24
  • 12/31/23-1/6/24
  • 12/3/23-12/9/23
  • 11/5/23-11/11/13
  • 10/8/23-10/14/23
  • 9/10/23-9/16/23
  • 8/13/23-8/19/23
  • 7/16/23-7/22/23
  • 5/21/23 – 5/27/23
  • 4/23-4/29/23
  • 3/26/23-4/1/23
  • 2/26/23-3/4/23
  • 1/29/23-2/4/23
  • 12/4-12/10/22
  • 11/13/22 – 11/19/22
  • 10/30/22 – 11/5/22
  • 8/21/22 – 8/27/22
  • 7/17/22 – 7/23/22
  • 6/26/22 – 7/2/22
  • 5/22/22 to 5/28/22
  • 4/24/22 to 4/30/22
  • 3/20/22 to 3/26/22
  • 2/6/22 to 2/12/22
  • 12/5/21 to 12/11/21
  • 11/14/21 to 11/20/21
  • 10/10/21 to 10/16/21
  • 8/22/21 to 8/28/21
  • 7/18-7/24/21
  • 6/27-7/3/21
  • 4/25/21 to 5/1/21
  • 3/28/21 to 4/3/21

H/T: GC Galore

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Nothing “easy” about these cards anymore. Have no problem finding them in stock, but wow, liquidating them is the really hard part. Everything that used to work for me and friends no longer. What’s worse is still seeing headlines, wow, easy rewards. (that’s between lazy lack of editing of flat out dishonesty. You guys are better than that) How about some candid jargon-free commenting on this somewhere…?


Yes, such dishonesty! and how dare they write positively about deals that don’t work for Will?! I bet it’s because Staples is giving them a slice of the gift card fee they collect during those promos!


I would be helpful if this post appeared *before* the promo started. These sell out everywhere by me on day one of the sale.


I do an internet search for staples ad on sunday morning. you can see the promo in the ad. sometimes you need to be proactive.


To add to my last comment, these do not appear to be working towards any online purchases at the moment. I’ve used these to pay rent many times, never had any problems, but it didn’t work last month and has not worked for any online transactions I’ve tried since.

Even though they have been registered online, with my name and billing address added, and a PIN added. Balance is there, but online spend doesn’t work. I’ve tried 3 of my 15 cards so far, none of them working for online purchases. They do still work for swiped in-person transactions (no chip or contactless).

So I have $3,000 in Mastercard gift cards I’m slowly working on using for in-person swiped transactions while I wait for the problem to be resolved. Super annoying as most of my purchasing is online and this used to be a nice way to get 15k Chase points per month on rent.

I will not be purchasing the Mastercards again, only the Visa gift cards.


Max, do you know of any other ways to liquidate these? What about money orders? I have 1400 I just bought but am having the same issues you mention with online orders.


Haha, no kidding that there’s no chip or contactless. These things aren’t even plastic anymore. They’re made of cardboard. I’m afraid of taking them to the store on a rainy day.


Just a note that I’ve used these Mastercards (and the Visas Staples sells) to pay rent many times and never had an issue. Now not working, despite me registering the cards and confirming the balance. I tried multiple Mastercard gift cards and all failed, then also tried a SoFi Mastercard debit to test and it did work.

Looks like at least 2 other people are having this same issue. Until it’s resolved, I would not purchase these. I now have $3,000 in Mastercard gift cards I need to find ways to liquidate.

Ryan James

These $200 MasterCard gift cards just stopped working for a couple of my utility payments. Never had this issue before. Tried multiple gift cards; all declined. Just a FYI.


Just declined at Godaddy for a website renewal charge. They are laughing at us.


Same issue for me. Not working for any online purchases, even after registering the card online to add billing address and PIN.

Only working for in-person, swiped transactions.


Hi Tim. Don’t remember if you guys covered this, but there is an AMEX Offer out there for buy $325 of AMEX gift cards and get $25 back. There is a $5.95 service fee, but it is an easy $19.05 back for virtually no work since you can choose an e-gift card which gets delivered in about three minutes and can be used right away (I paid my telephone bill).


Would Chase be upset (like Amex) if I buy these gift cards to meet the $6k spend requirement on a Chase ink cash card?


wasn’t a problem for me




Re problems with MC card :

I’ve used these for a year and had problems twice .

1) When swiped, there was $20 less on it than I had just confirmed it having.
( There were no pending purchases).

2) Triple A auto club would not accept for on-line membership application

Last edited 5 months ago by Julie
Stephen Fan Club President

Thanks Stephen, I love your website GC Galore

Al Saito

Are there still problems with the Mastercard Gift Cards? On the Staples website, there are many negative comments but many are at least 3 years old. Since I haven’t seen many recent negative comments, does this mean that Mastercard has resolved the activation issue? If you have any recent experience with these cards, positive or negative, then please let us know.


It’s not live yet


Walmart would not accept the Mastercard in person last round or today. I buy them on occasion just to get 5x on some regular spend and have not had trouble before.


Consider calling ahead… went into Staples in Branford, CT, and was told they rarely have the $200 M/C gift cards. In fact, the assistant manager was quite rude about it, and said he didn’t know anything about the promotion.


unable to register card


same here, visa would not register, but the card works for online purchases, the past 4 months too many problems with these cards, not sure what is happening that about 1 in 10 cards are faulty in some way, had recently a MC card with several transactions just fine until at $6.59 left it stopped working, declined in person transactions as well as online, giftcardmall sent me a replacement card for that amount, this issues cost them money, it costs all of us money

Charles Davis

I often get paid with cards- gift & reloadable-multiple ones every week. Only some are Vanilla, but here’s pertinent info to help you- and much of it has already been provided by others here.

1. Prefer Visa over MC. It’s just accepted at more places- including between banks & processors, not just stores.
Example A- Cashing (also labeled free advance) reloadable prepaid cards at a bank teller- I’ve yet to find a bank or credit union that won’t do it with Visa, conversely MC works at very few places not BoA or Chase.
Example B- From same provider…its Visa has online ACH transfer option, but not its MC.
Example C- Similarly online. My cellular provider but one example where only the Visa variant works.

2. Yes, registering it online helps with more acceptance, but it’s no magic bullet. Be prepared for card to work first time and then no more, as others have reported- even with the big Wallets & Fintechs.
A. The following not an option with Vanilla, but with reloadables you can bug the bank to send a replacement card printed in your name (those of you who do focus groups, product testing, clinical trials, surveys, gigs).

3. To foster a higher success rate and avoid shutdowns, try to add steps in between \ throw a few crumbs to everyone. When someone gives you free or cheap transfer, they’re often eating fee \ cost in hopes they can make it up with processing fees & third-party commissions on future purchases. So to avoid being categorized as a customer that will earn them zero fees, or suspicious money launderer (that in turn may trigger regulator focus on them), try to add steps \ purchases. I’m talking Fintechs, banks, Wallets, retailers…Coinbase, Cash App, Venmo, PP, Google, Apple Pay, Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc. Fund their wallet\card\account first, then transfer to your bank but not in identical amount & meantime try to buy something that you usually do with a different provider.
They’re too valuable to risk shutdown and can take many months to resolve disputes.

4. If you know what you’re doing & can devote the time you can use sports betting & Bitcoin buy \ sell, but research thoroughly Provider quirks. Coinbase & Cash App come to mind. One of them, besides directly with gift\prepaid cards, even lets you buy Crypto using PayPal (using your gift card registered inside PP) but card may only work first time, there are rules like max daily PER card OR Coin (to bypass Limit you have to switch card and\or crypto type purchased). And they give you false sense of security by vetting account with credit header info, but later on may want to do KYC (& not accept your ID).
FYI Cash\Venmo\PP\GPay allow 2 accounts, 2 of them allow AUs & minors each w\ own card. (Cash- obviously same SSN, but phone & email need to be different)

5.YMMV always, but this is true in other industries from food to electronics. Individual managers may not like or fully accept corporate promos. Or owe explanation, even to the point of lying that a promo (or any of its stated benefits) exists…even in corporate locations, not just franchisees.

6. Addresses in neighboring States can be helpful. For example Amex Serve (& others) monthly fees are forbidden in NY, TX, VT.
Contrarily, many Fintech brokers \ crypto exchanges \ banks, & now even mobile check deposit provider Ingo (serves many small banks \ fintechs- PP, Venmo, Serve, etc.), not available in NY & maybe a few other States.

7. Miscellaneous \ in between transfer tools useful at times- (also useful because some retail stores open 24\7 whereas bank ATM lobbies being closed to combat crime and homelessness).
Fidelity refund all ATM fees everywhere.
Chime can be loaded immediately w\ zero fees at Walgreen \ Duane Reade + use their ATMs at zero fees.
Serve (now has a Visa variant). Instant free loads at CVS & some Family Dollar, 7\11 & Walmart.
Cap One free instant deposits CVS counter.
Target Debit free at Target.

8. Cash emergencies- or when you just like to see instant transfers- with zero or little fees- besides #7 (maybe use same amount to fulfill fee-waive or bonus requirement at multiple banks).

Props to Cap One for Mobile Check Deposit- Large funds available instantly to purchase with or transfer out.

Zelle- (IF you’ve ascertained that your phone # & email address have NEVER been previously registered by someone else at Zelle or any other bank!), and PP \ Venmo \Cash.
When they support your particular bank, it’s just impressive to do instant transfer to Debit Card- even to Podunk little Credit Unions that take several days to verify ACH or Credit Card payment, funds listed immediately and available.

PS. Tim please mod out anything that doesn’t serve your purpose. Thanks.


I am trying to understand the Zelle part. Could you explain a bit more in detail?