Get an Extra 3X on Gift Cards at Staples (So 8X If You Have a 5X Office Supply Card)

Update: Wow, instant response! Chuck from Doctor of Credit let me know this may or may not work. So for now, I think the best thing to do is start slow at your local Staples (like try $5 and see if it works) and go from there, should you decide to try this. Thanks all for any info you want to add!

I was poking around as I am wont to do and assembled an 8X combination that I think will work.

Now, I haven’t done this myself, but it seems totally do-able.

What you’ll need to get started is:

  • The MileagePlus X app (which I’ve written about) AND
  • If you want 8X points, a Visa or MasterCard that earns 5X at office supply stores

Such as:

You can also get 5X on top of what you’ll earn from any other card with the exception of a couple of Amex cards.

Or, if you’re trying to meet a minimum spending requirement and want to get an extra 3X at office supply stores, this should work nicely.

Stack 3X through MileagePlus X with 5X on another card

Check this out. (Oh, before I start MileagePlus X is an app. You’ll need to install it on your phone.)

Get 5X at Office Max via MileagePlus X

Get 3X at Staples via MileagePlus X

When you buy a Staples gift card through Mileage Plus X, you’ll earn 3X United miles.

But the cool thing is when you pay with a Visa OR MasterCard, the category bonus codes appropriately. In this case, office supply stores.

So if you have a Visa or MasterCard that earns 5X at office supply stores, you can get 8X – 5X of your normal points + 3X United miles.

This is based of a data point I found on this FatWallet thread.

Pretty much any gift card

Pretty much any gift card (Click to enlarge.)

According to this, as recently as July 2016, you could use Staples gift cards to purchase other third-party gift cards, including Visa/MasterCard and, it seems, pretty much any other gift card they sell (shoutout to eBay and Southwest – I know a lot of you guys like those categories).

Again, I have not tried this myself. But I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

Why is this useful?

Purchases made on MileagePlus X code as a purchase. And if you’re buying other gift cards at office supply stores anyway, this is an easy way to stack 3X United miles on top of whatever your’d normally earn.

Depending on how much you spend, it could add up quickly.

My best is advice is to go slow should you try to make the most of this.

Be wary of Amex cards (or not!)

There’s an Amex card that earns 5% cashback at office supply stores. But, when you purchase a gift card through MileagePlus X, it codes as a travel purchase from United (which is handy for getting $200 “on United” if you have the Amex Platinum Card).

But it won’t help you in this case. Just wanted to put that out there.

However, if you have an Amex that earns bonus points on travel, you could stack that nicely!

Bottom line

So who wants to be the guinea pig? :p

I don’t purchase Visa or MasterCard gift cards often as I use my Airbnb business for the bulk of my monthly points-earning. But I know a lot of you do.

This looks like an easy way to rack up 8X at Staples, even if you use a Staples gift card as your payment method for another third-party gift card. Of course, you could also buy actual office supplies too.

I also noticed eBay disappeared from the MileagePlus X app. But this method could be another way to earn more on eBay purchases (and Southwest flights, too!).

Of course, there’s potential for further maximizing – just take it slow, yo.

Has anyone tried this yet? Does it work? Please share your experience.

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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    • I’m not sure what you mean by that. I think we’re talking about two different things.

      I’m talking about using an ordinary credit card in the MileagePlus X app to buy a Staples gift card.

      I think you are talking about using a Staples rebate card in the MileagePlus X app to buy any gift card.

      Correct me if I’m wrong?

  1. anything purchased on MPX is a store gift card. So even if you pay on MPX using a chase Ink at Staples, you are essentially paying the stuff u r going to buy there with a gift card. Buying any gift card with MPX using a credit card for that is a big time wont go through

  2. Staples long ago ended in the ability to buy gift cards with staples gift cards. They require you to purchase actual merchandise (ie. not stamps or gift cards).

  3. I can confirm the ‘8X’ potential on MPX as I have purchased a Staples GC before from there and charged it onto my Ink card (got 5X on Ink and 3X United miles from MPX), however I was not able to purchase a Visa GC or any other GC using that Staples GC. They said I can’t use “cash” for “cash” as the GC is basically treated like cash.

  4. You can’t use eBay GCs to buy gift cards on eBay anymore FYI. Recent change. See DoC post.

    Also the data points I’ve seen are that Staples gift cards can’t typically be used to buy other gift cards or VGCs. YMMV of course.

  5. The only way this will work is if you can actually find some merchandise at Staples that is worthwhile for resale. Maybe laptops or iPads from Staples Daily Deal listing?

  6. In my experience, the cashiers that allow buying other gcs like (sw, ebay, hyatt, amazon etc) with a staples gc are very rare. Their systems are not hard coded but this is a big no-no in many places I have been to. I tested this in Northern NJ, STL, Tysons(DC) area so far. Not even a single staples allowed me to do that. I know a staples manager and texted him to see what his take was. He said while the systems allow that, there is scope for huge fraud with this payment mechanism. The more people complain about a purchase in ‘that’ store, the manager has to be responsible for the paperwork and if things go to the police complaint level. No wonder the managers do not allow this. And for once, I am on the manager’s side on this one. 🙂

  7. You can do better than this if this “potential” is true

    Ink through MPX for 5X
    MPX Staples 3x + 25% bonus if you have United CC
    Go through Staples portal (UA, UR, etc…) and make a purchase with GC for 2X

    You are talking about 10.75X per $1 spend.

    That said, I highly doubt Ink codes MPX as office supply.

  8. cvs sells anazon gift cards, dies staples? if so, use this to buy amazon gift cards at staples, and then pay your business’s amazon wrb service bill with the gift card

  9. Confused?! So if I use mileage plus app with Ink at Staples will I get 5x for ink as well as mileage plus points? If not will just use Ink for 5x .

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