Cash rebates are discounts on things that you are purchasing. However, a lot of times you must jump through a few hoops in order to take advantage of the offer. Know exactly what you are getting into when you are purchasing an item with a rebate. Many of them are different so be sure to pay close attention. Fun fact: They are totally worth it!
Mail-in cash rebates are by far the most common. You will pay full price for the product at the time of purchase. Either the mail-in rebate directions will be attached to the item or you will receive a form that you will mail to the actual manufacturer. Once your rebate is processed you will receive your rebate either by check or a debit card. Note: Be sure to mail in your rebate form asap because sometimes rebate offers expire. Also keep copies of your rebate, receipt and anything else needed just in case there is an issue. Mail-in rebates take around six to twelve weeks to process and receive.
Credit Card Rebate
These are sometimes hidden, but if you are wise, you will look into any credit cards you have to see what they offer in rewards. If there is a cash back rewards offer, you should read the fine print and follow the guidelines. You might be able to use the rebate to decrease the balance you owe (wouldn’t that be nice) or keep collecting until you know for sure what you would like to do with the rebate. Dependent on the credit card your rebate could be for airlines, gift cards or simply a check written to you.
Instant Cash Rebate
This is a favorite for many people. The immediate rebate at the time of purchase. Heck, even if it is a few bucks off, it is a few more bucks in YOUR pocket. This type of rebate if also nice because you don’t have to fill out any forms and send them off somewhere. You get the benefit right away!
Some retailers take care of all of their rebates for you via their website and online. This kind of rebate is a lot like the mail-in rebate minus the postal mail part. You pay the full price when you purchase an item and follow up with the rebate. Typically these rebates are processed a lot faster due to the fact that you do not have to deal with gathering the receipt, UPC Code, fill out the form and head to the post office. Not to mention the waiting game. There is still processing time once you submit your rebate online, but most likely a lot less time until your rebate arrives!
Be sure to pay close attention to the terms and conditions of your rebate. Often times the rebate is very detailed and calls for multiple products to be purchased or a certain spend amount. No matter what form your rebate is in, read the directions once you receive it. Sometimes the debit cards have additional charges to withdraw money or an expiration date. Same with a hard check written to you. You don’t want to miss out on your rebate if you leave the check sitting with the rest of your mail pile that you are going to “deal with later”. Don’t miss the chance to take advantage of your rebate. Even if it is a small amount, it’s always a nice treat to get money in the mail instead of a bill.