You know how restaurants host benefit dinners where they give all of their proceeds from that night to a local charity? Well at Staples, teachers get something kind of like that, too. The Classroom Rewards program at Staples lets customers “donate” 5% of every purchase to the teacher of their choice.
If you’re a teacher, signing up for the Staples Classroom Rewards program is a must for back-to-school season. And if you’re a parent, grandparent, etc. of a kid in school, it doesn’t get much easier to make a monetary impact on local school teachers (who often have to spend money out of their own pocket to stock their classrooms).
Here’s how Classroom Rewards at Staples works.
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1. Teachers can sign up for Classroom Rewards in the Staples Connect app.
If you’re a teacher, you’ll first need to sign up for the free Staples Rewards program, which is the regular ol’ store loyalty program at Staples.
Once you have a Rewards account, you can sign up for Classroom Rewards in the Staples Connect app. Enter your Staples Rewards ID number, name, email, and school information, and you’re in.
Then, every time you shop at Staples you’ll earn 5% cashback in rewards. Plus, you can “donate” an additional 5% to your own teacher account. You’ll want to ask parents to do the same.
2. Parents will get 5% in rewards — plus another 5% that goes to the teacher or school of your choice.
As a parent, you’ll also sign up for Classroom Rewards via the Staples Connect app. And just like for teachers, you’ve gotta be a Staples Rewards member to take part in Classroom Rewards. But don’t worry — joining the loyalty program is 100% free.
To get credit for your purchase, you need to provide your Staples Rewards number at checkout. Only in-store purchases count, with a singular exception for in-store pickup orders.
Then, on every purchase, you’ll earn 5% back in rewards. You’ll be given another 5% to donate to a teacher or school of your choice. Once you’ve hit the minimum of $5 in donatable rewards, you’ll be prompted to look up your teacher or school name.
TIP: Check out the best back-to-school deals happening now.
3. Look for extra Staples rewards during back-to-school season and Teacher Appreciation Week.
Historically, Staples has juiced up their rewards during the big school-shopping holidays. In the past, Classroom Rewards have reached a peak of 20% (up from that normal 5% rate), and there have also been additional special coupons offered when you shop during these events.
TIP: Teacher Appreciation Week typically happens the first or second week in May at Staples. Back-to-school sales usually start in July, reach their full frenzy in August, and then enter clearance mode once September hits.
4. Gift cards, postage, and prepaid phones don’t count toward Staples Classroom Rewards.
You can earn Classroom Rewards on almost any purchase. The three notable exceptions are purchases of gift cards, prepaid phones, and postage.
And your rewards will get calculated before tax is applied, in case you were wondering.
Related: Get a preview of all the best Staples Black Friday deals to expect this year.
5. Parents’ points expire after 90 days of inactivity.
If you’re a parent with almost-but-not-quite the $5 minimum in your Classroom Rewards account, don’t let 90 days go by without making at least a small purchase at Staples. That’s because any rewards you’ve accrued will expire if you have a 3+ month gap in your activity.
Related: Here’s every reason you should shop the Staples Back-to-School Sale.
6. You can donate a maximum of $50 in Classroom Rewards every 90 days.
It doesn’t seem like a lot for a maximum, but to get $50 in rewards you’d need to spend $1,000 over 3 months. So don’t stress too much about the max. I’d actually worry more about my spending habits than Staples’ rules if I were consistently racking up more than $50 in rewards every 90 days by shopping at Staples.
TIP: Are you the PTO President? You might want to check out Quill.com for bulk orders. It’s owned by Staples and can save you some dough.
7. Teachers can receive a maximum of $1,000 every 180 days.
That’s the maximum you can receive from all donors — including contributions from yourself if you’re going that route. That means the maximum Classroom Rewards you could claim in any one calendar year would be $2,000 (with 5 days leftover).
Related: Put your school ID to work with these best teacher discounts.
8. Teachers’ rewards expire 180 days after the last donation.
So keep an eye on how much is flowing into your Classroom Rewards account. If you haven’t gotten any recent donations, you’ll want to make a trip to Staples before the 6-month (ish) mark hits.
TIP: Want even more Staples Rewards? Make your eCommerce returns at Staples via Happy Returns to earn a $10 off $30 Staples coupon.
9. Pay attention to Staples deals to make those Rewards go further.
If you’re shopping at Staples, you’ll want to keep tabs on the Staples deals shared on The Krazy Coupon Lady website. We’ll help your favorite teacher stretch those rewards by combining their rewards money with other promotions.