Don't Assume That Rebate Will Be Redeemable For Cash

Companies love rebates because they are difficult to redeem and easy to forget. But you clever shoppers are getting too good at their game, so instead of paying out your rebate in cash, you’ll get something different altogether. Take, for example, Buy.com’s supposed “$26 mail in rebate…”


It doesn’t give you cash. No, it gives you a prepaid Visa debit card.

Use it within six months or start losing it.

The prepaid debit card is the reward for surviving a patented system designed to “maintain breakage.” Still, we know there are rebate partisans out there, and if you’re one of them, carefully read our tips for redeeming rebates before sending in your claim form, including:

  • Read the offer carefully before you buy.
  • Fill out paperwork promptly.
  • Enclose all required documentation.
  • Make copies of all paperwork to be mailed, including forms, receipts, and UPC codes.
  • Consider notarizing your receipts.
  • Send your form via certified mail and request a return receipt as proof that the company received your request.
  • Watch for rebate checks or prepaid cards disguised as junk mail.

Software Rebates: Don’t Assume It’s Cash [Mouse Print]