I’m looking at two Staples “Easy Rebate” giftcards right now, each of them for $350, and wondering what can I do with them? They expire in just under six months, and have lots of interesting fees and conditions attached, so I am eager to use them up sooner rather than later. However, they are surprisingly hard to use. In spite of being a “debit” card, they tell you always run the transaction as credit, and specify that “ATMs cannot be used to withdraw cash.” I’ve tried:
- Getting a cash advance at the bank for the full amount (declined)
- Charging an Amazon giftcard for the full $350 (declined)
- Talking to a Staples store manager (spent 15m on the phone, no luck)
- Buying Kindle giftcards at an in-store Best Buy (declined)
After I ran the first Amazon attempt, a “test” pre-authorization charge of $1 went through and apparently will stick there for 7 days, so I now have $349 on each card to figure out how to extract:
The cards think they have money. They decline everything!
My next test will be to titrate up Amazon giftcards, starting at $10 and working my way up, and seeing if they will let smaller charges through. 10 minutes later, it worked. So, Staples won’t let you use the card all at once–weird! I’m charging $100 now … success! $200 would make life easier, so trying that now … DECLINED. Alas. Also don’t submit orders > $100 in a row until the first one clears–major yuck.
My advice to you if you go the Staples “Easy” Rebate route is to take the cheque option. It’s far more painless. Check out FrequentMiler’s Staples keeps on giving post where it’s all explained. Just select “I would like to see other options for my reward” when filling out your rebate form, then choose “Select Rebate Check” for the best option.
I bought a Seiko Men’s SKA201 Arctura Kinetic Watch from Amazon for ~$150 more than 5 years ago. It’s a great watch and lasted decently, but recently it’s worn down and no longer charges up when you wear it on your wrist.
So, I googled around and ending up sending my watch to a company in Denton, Texas called BestFix Watch Company, Inc.. The watch came back shiny, looking new, ticking, and charging up again–I don’t know if there are other good repair places out their, but this shop was really worth it.
(No, this is not an ad!)
If you have a Best Buy giftcard, you might be wondering what to do with it. You could spend it at Best Buy, where they frisk you like a thief as you exit with your purchase, sell you overpriced goods, or force their “optimization” service on you when you try to buy a laptop. Or, you could try to convert your near-useless Best Buy giftcard into another currency. While cash is ideal, Amazon.com giftcards are almost as good. One way to do this is to sell your card to Cardpool, which take a 10% cut for the service:
Yeah, don’t do that, you’re literally throwing away your money. (OK–if there’s no Best Buy near you, maybe you have no choice…)
Did you know Best Buy sells Amazon Kindle gift cards? They do! Look for them in the accessories for e-readers section, near the Nooks, Kindles, Sony readers, and Kobos. At the Best Buy I tried out, they had both $25 and $50 denominations, making converting my $150 gift card a cinch. Even better, at least in NYC, there’s no sales tax charged on gift card sales–they’re treated as cash equivalents, I suppose.
So don’t trade your BestBuy.com giftcards in online for a 10% discount or sell them on eBay, etc. You can convert them to Amazon credit by simply going into the store and buying Kindle giftcards. The credit doesn’t appear to be specific to Kindle books–you can use it for anything sold on Amazon.