Brynne Conroy | 

Staples Teacher Discount: How to Get Your 10% Cash Back

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Back in 2021, the Staples teacher discount morphed into what they’re now calling Staples Classroom Rewards. But the Classroom Rewards is just another way to save and donate rewards to your kids’ teachers. Anyone can earn 5% back on purchases and still donate to a teacher. So in essence, this is still a Staples teacher discount, as long as teachers follow a few steps to get their cash back earnings.

It’s a little confusing because the new program sort of blends the Staples teacher discount with the Staples Rewards program. But the good news is that if you’re used to the old Staples teacher discount, the revamped program is way more user-friendly. For one, no more receipts! You don’t need to do anything with receipts to take advantage of the program.

Let’s dive in.

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1. The Staples teacher discount can get you up to 10% cashback.

staples teach discount classroom rewards app phone screenshot

OK, there are two angles to the Staples Classroom Rewards program. Both benefit teachers. First, let’s cover the Staples teacher discount for teachers. To participate, you’ll need to download the Staples Connect app and sign in. Teachers, every time you shop, you’ll earn up to 5% back on purchases. Designate yourself as the teacher you’d like to donate to in the app, and then you can donate another 5% to your own classroom.

For parents and non-teachers, it’s similar except you’ll select a teacher who you want to receive the 5% donation.

So to sum it up, everyone earns up to 5% back at Staples, and everyone can donate a separate 5% to a teacher.


2. As the teacher, you’ll need to follow a few steps to receive your Staples Classroom Rewards money.

person holding phone with staples classroom rewards screenshot

Parents and other community members can donate rewards in $5 increments, so as soon as you get at least one donation as the teacher, you’ll follow these steps to claim it:

  • Open the Staples Connect app.
  • Find your Classroom Rewards balance in the top right corner.
  • Click the button next to your balance, and the app will generate a barcode.
  • Show this barcode to the cashier at checkout.

TIP: If you’re a parent, be sure to give your Staples Rewards number to the cashier when making your in-store purchase. That’s how you get credit for Classroom Rewards in the first place.


3. Staples teacher discount rewards expire six months after the last donation is made.

If you’re a teacher or administrator, Classroom Rewards are good for 180 days from the last donation date. So you can save up the rewards for up to six months before you need to spend them. This means you can earn over the summer.

If you’re a parent, you’ve gotta keep your account active, too. If you don’t use Classroom Rewards for 90 days — either racking up points or donating them to a teacher — they’ll disappear.


4. You can earn teacher rewards on almost anything you buy at Staples.

staples cart with school supplies
Almost anything. The biggest exception is that the program doesn’t cover purchases you make at or via Instacart. Now, that’s not to say there’s no way to shop online — if you choose in-store pickup, your purchase can still count towards Classroom Rewards. Otherwise, you have to be shopping in the physical store.

Additionally, you can’t earn rewards on purchases like:

  • Gift cards
  • Postage
  • Prepaid phone cards


5. Staples limits your cashback earnings as a teacher to $2,000 per year.

You’re able to accept up $1,000 in donations every 180 days. So up to $2,000 per year!

TIP: If you’re a parent, you can only donate up to $50 every 90 days. But that means you’d have to spend $1,000 every 90 days to hit the maximum.



6. Staples offers extra rewards during Teacher Appreciation Week.

In 2023, Staples gave everyone $30 back in rewards if they spent $100 in-store during Teacher Appreciation Week from May 7 – May 13.

So whether you’re a parent or a teacher, keep an eye out for those savings at the beginning of May each year.

Related: Freebies for Teachers


7. Expect beefed-up Classroom Rewards during Staples back-to-school sales.

If you’re shopping Staples back-to-school sales, not only can you expect to pay rock-bottom prices, but you can also expect to see beefed-up Classroom Rewards perks.

In years past, we’ve seen these promotions give teachers anywhere from 10% – 20% back on your purchase as the parent, so these extra benefits can really add up.


Other Top Tips for Shopping at Staples as a Teacher:

1. Staples price matches competitors.

Yep, it’s true. But there are a few stipulations. Like with any price-matching situation, the item has to be identical in every way. On top of that, the competitor must have both a brick-and-mortar and an online store. The only exception to this is Amazon. Staples will match Amazon’s price (but just not third-party sellers).

Also, you can’t get a competitor’s price during special sales events like back to school or Black Friday.


2. Earn money when you recycle your ink cartridges.

If you’ve spent $50 on ink or toner in the last six months, you can exchange your old used cartridges for $2 each. You can do this up to 10 times per month — or 20 times per month if you’ve spent at least $1,000 on your Staples Rewards account.

Related: Stores That Reward You for Recycling


3. Shop Staples on Sundays — that’s when they do storewide markdowns.

In order to get first dibs on newly discounted items, shop on Sundays. Discounted inventory gets picked over fast!

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