Earn up to 2,000 Ultimate Rewards + $100 in Staples Rewards for $.10 (AR)

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Staples Negative Cost Deal

Great Staples Negative Cost Deal

Staples currently has a great deal on some questionable antivirus software. Right now you can purchase McAfee Antivirus 2016 for $39.99. Doesn’t sound good? Well they will also throw in a $39.98 rebate bringing down your cost to $.01 per copy!

The Rebate

The $39.98 rebate is done completely online and is paid out in the form of a prepaid Visa gift card. Better yet, there is a limit of 10 rebates per name/household so you can do quite well here. Let’s take a look.


If you purchase the digital version online, then you can stack savings from credit card rewards, Staples Rewards and a cash back portal. Note that many states do not charge sales tax for digital purchases, so it is probably better to get the digital version.

Here is what you will earn for the online purchase after rebate:

  • 2,000 Ultimate Rewards points with a Chase Ink (substitute in your credit card rewards if using another card.)
  • 5% cash back ($20) through the Splender portal. (You can use another portal, but Splender currently has the highest payout.)
  • 2-5% ($8-$20) in Staples Rewards depending on your tier.


If you purchase these in-store then you can do even better. Currently Staples has a coupon that gives 25% back in rewards. If you purchase the digital version through the kiosk in-store and select “pay at register” they should be able to apply the coupon.

Here are the in-store rewards:

  • 2,000 Ultimate Rewards points with a Chase Ink (substitute in your credit card rewards if using another card.)
  • $99.98 in Staples Rewards

Cash in Staples Rewards?

Another option is to cash in your Staples Rewards in order to convert them to a Visa gift card. For many this might be an attractive option since Staples Rewards expire quickly. If you cash in Staples Rewards keep in mind that it lowers your overall cost and thus your portal and credit card rewards will be reduced.


This is a great deal considering the rebate can be completed online. I checked the fine print and there doesn’t seem to be any requirement that you actually download or install the software, so this is a deal that can be completed easily. We used to see similar deals from Staples quite regularly in the past, but they have mostly dried up so it is nice to see this come along. Hopefully we will see more soon.

I personally bought 10 and used the opportunity to cash in some rewards. How about you? Is this worth the hassle or are you going to pass?

HT: Miles Briefs

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  1. Did anyone receive the 25% instore rewards? Staples won’t honor mine – talked to 2 supervisors and they both refuse to honor it. I did the software version and staples does not allow return. Very frustrated.

    • We got it on both our Reward accounts. $100 each.
      I specifically ordered boxes, to make sure we get the Rewards.
      That was an in store coupon code, and the product needs to be available in store.
      The boxes were, and the download was not.

  2. I would like to use the coupon to go to the store and the link above no longer seems to show the 25% coupon for rewards. Any way I can still find the coupon?

  3. I ordered IN STORE, using the Kiosk, and used the 25% rewards coupon on 10X of the McAfee.

    Got my delivery earlier this week.

    Have submitted the EZ Rebate, but very strangely, unlike most of my other EZ Rebates, this one isnt showing any “Status” as of today.

    I deliberately ordered BOXES, so that IF something goes wrong, I have the option to return 10x boxes to the Store, as I am NOT going to get stuck with $400 worth of McAfee’s crappy anti-virus.

    IF you ordered the download version, you are SOL trying to do a “Return”.

  4. order placed yesterday, this morning experienced the same “your eligible rebates are still being determined”, engaged Staples Live Chat, he helped me submitting the rebates. All good to go, thanks, Shawn.

  5. I too got to the end of the rebate process for the 8 I bought at a store and was told I was getting a single card for the 39.98. Has anyone had to return them because they can’t get 10 of them rebated? Do you have to apply 10 times with the same rebate number? Has anyone seen something at the end of the process that suggests they are getting 10x 39.98?

  6. I purchased this today at the kiosk in Staples and paid at the register. I selected NH store for “delivery” and I’ve got zero tax on my customer’s receipt. But when I paid at the register they charged me 7% tax. Have I done something wrong? Can I request tax to be refunded?

  7. I was able to buy one this morning the 18th at 11am PST, and received the download code in a separate email, but never got an email for the rebate. Tried entering in order number at the easy rebates website but didn’t work, just tried right now and it still didn’t work, saying “your eligible rebates are still being determined”. Does anyone have a clue what is going on? I see others who were able to submit the rebate successfully almost immediately after placing their orders.

    • Same question here please? Nick, did you do yours in store too? Did it only print out one rebate number also?

  8. I bought 5 download versions and then began freaking out thinking I bought non returnable items to only end up receiving 1 rebate, not 5. I feel relieved now.

  9. Is it common practice that you can use Staple Rewards to buy a Visa Gift Card? I have not found my local Staples open to letting you buy Visa Gift Cards with Staples Rewards.

  10. Can u still submit easy staples rebate for purchase made online?
    In store easy rebate id is on the receipt. How does this work?

    • You can use the order number that came from the email confirmation for your order. And yes you can use the online Easy Staples Rebate form to submit the rebate request.

  11. DEAD — Just did a chat and my order of 10 around noon was cancelled . Reason give they are now oos.

    There are 3 at my local store buy not worth it for so little points.

    • I also received a subsequent e-mail from Staples cancelling the order, which I had placed at 11:50am on 1/18. I found it odd cause staples.com was still selling the item (both the boxed and download were listed as in-stock). So I called them up today, and they explained that McAfee limits the number of purchases that are available within a given day. The rep said my order would be handled as canceled, and that I was free to place a new order today. Which I did. And I subsequently received the download e-mail within 15min. So seems like it went through today, a-ok. btw, I purchased 10 both on the first attempt as well as on today’s attempt.

      • I just went the pajama route on QTY 10 and a few minutes after the order I received all codes. Maybe you were just unlucky.

    • My local Staples also said 5 but I bought 10 anyway. I submitted my easy rebate online and received confirmation of 10 valid rebates. The actual rebate details online say 10.

  12. Now here’s the next thing I wonder — is it possible to resell the subscriptions? Anyone thinking of trying this? Is it possible/legal?

  13. Thanks for the tip! Since my goal is to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, I went through the Southwest shopping portal and used my Rapid Rewards Premier card Instead. Less payout, but I live in Houston, so that SCP will be more valuable to me in the end!

  14. Are you receiving 10 cards at $40 each or one card for $400? How do you liquidate these things? I’ve found them to be a pain in the ass but this deal is pretty enticing.

    You mention “should be able to apply the coupon.” Is this a YMMV thing that is technically not allowed but up to the cashier? Why would you buy at the Kiosk in store and not just at the register?

    I don’t play the Staples game much so I’m not in the loop on this one.

    • During past rebates they have always combined the value onto one card. I use them to purchase eBay cards at my local grocery store when they run fuel point promos. Not perfect, but a decent way to cash them out and they auto-drain at the register.

      • Customer rep told me I had to tell the cashier a specific amount and to run it as credit? You’re able to just swipe as credit and they auto drain? Be great if they combine the value though.

  15. @James: United shopping portal currently offering 6 miles/$. Which is better (to me) than 5% back via Splender. Still earns UR points if pay with Chase Ink card.

    @Daniel: sales tax isn’t charged on the download version. fyi, the initial order will display an “estimated sales tax”, but the final purchase confirmation e-mail has that as $0.

  16. I just submitted one rebate form online via Staples Easy Rebates. Will they pick up the fact that I am to get 10 separate $39.98 gift cards or will I have to send in 9 additional rebate forms?

  17. You can also earn 1200-1600 United miles on top of all this by buying a gift certificate through the Mileage Plus app and use it to purchase the software in store or online.

  18. Thanks for posting – this sounds like a great deal!

    One question outstanding – how easy/hard is it to process the rebate? Specifically, I have a business computer without admin privileges and cannot load software onto my computer – so it would make a big difference for me whether I have to “activate” the software or simply purchase it in order to get the rebate.

    • I read through everything and don’t see any mention of having to install or activate the software. Feel free to read the form yourself. You can click through from the product page. I can’t guarantee it of course, but based on previous experience and the fine print I don’t believe you will have to install anything.


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