3 Tips to Ensure You Get a Cash Rebate


By Tali Arbel, AP Business Writer

If you make more money, you're more likely to mail in those pesky rebates that give you cash back on purchases, a survey says.

Which people haven't used rebates in the past year? Most commonly, those living in households that make less than $50,000 a year, says Consumer Reports.

The consumer organization's random telephone survey of 1,000 U.S. adults showed 70% of those surveyed said that they had, at least once, applied for a rebate in the past 12 months. Of those, 21% said they never got any cash back.

The most common reasons for not sending in for a rebate:

  • Too many steps in process (52%)
  • Monetary reward is too small (46%)
  • Missed the deadline (42%)

Consumer Reports offers some tips on taking advantage of rebate programs:

  1. Send the application right after a purchase; don't wait until the deadline. That way, if the company says you made a mistake, you can correct it and resend it.
  2. The check back from the company may look like junk mail. Keep a sharp eye on your envelopes to make sure you don't toss it.
  3. Write down the latest date you would expect to receive your rebate.

The survey was taken in late May. The margin of error is 3.2 percentage points.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.  All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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