Rebates, often referred to as cash refunds or cash back, are refunds or credit given back to buyers after they have paid full price for a product or service.

Many businesses use rebates to market their products and services, giving their customers an incentive to make purchases on their sites. Luckily for consumers, there are a large variety of rebates available on the market.

Consumers may find rebates ranging from manufacturers like Covergirl Cosmetics to manufacturers like Ford Automotive. Depending on the price value of the products, a rebate may span from less than $1 dollar to over $1,000.

What are the different types of rebates?

While all rebates serve the same purpose, there are different ways you can obtain rebates. Some rebates require additional steps than others. How you choose to acquire your rebate is dependent on either your preference or the preference of the product’s manufacturer or service provider. Below are the various types of rebates and how they work.

Instant rebates provide refunds back to customers immediately after a purchase. The term is another way to phrase “instant discount” or “instant saving.” If you are buying a shampoo at a convenient store and you receive an instant rebate for five dollars, then it means that five dollars will be deducted from the original price and you will pay the discounted price.

Credit card rebates are offered by many credit card companies when making specific purchases. You may receive credit back to your account, reducing the balance you owe. You may also choose to collect the rebate separately and redeem it in a form of a check, prepaid debit card, gift card or airline miles.

Online rebates may be processed through a third-party site or a manufacturer’s site. If you are using a third-party site like Ebates, then click on the offer of your choice and you will be directed to that retail site.

Pay the original price of an item and redeem the refund automatically to your Ebate account. On the other hand, some products and services only allow you to redeem your rebates through their site. After purchasing a Verizon phone, you will directly use the online Verizon Wireless Rebate Center to claim your rebate offer.

After submitting your claim, you will receive a refund within four to six weeks.

Mail-in rebates are the most common amongst rebates. Pay the original price of the product or service. With the purchase, you will receive a form from the cashier that you must mail-in to redeem your refund. In other cases, you may have to download and print the form online.

Send a copy of your receipt or the UPC code along with the form. In return, you will receive your refund in the mail through a check or debit card. Next time you take a trip to a store, look for adhesive coupons attached to specific products.

They will typically list the website where you can find the mail-in rebate form. It typically takes six to eight weeks to receive your refund.

What are rebate apps?

Leave it up to technology to make saving money easier for consumers. By downloading rebate apps, you can skip the hassle of mailing-in rebate forms and waiting weeks to receive a reimbursement. Use your smartphone to choose and link rebate offers to your debit or credit card while you are out shopping. The best part about most of these apps is that you can stack up your rebate offers with other coupons and in-store sales.

On the downside, many of these apps are tailored for everyday purchases at the grocery store or pharmacy store. Large rebates are typically not redeemable by using these apps. For example, you will not be able to redeem a $1,500 rebate after buying a big-ticket refrigerator from an appliance store.

In this case, you would have to take extensive steps to redeem your cash refund by mail or online.

Nevertheless, accumulate an equal amount of savings by using rebate apps daily. Discover which of the followings apps are best suited for you.

Checkout57 is an app dedicated to providing rebates on your trip to the supermarket. You may redeem offers up to five times while most apps only allow you to redeem rebates up to two times. In this case, you may buy up to five cereal boxes and collect rebates for each box.

Every week you will be given the opportunity to “Choose Your Own Offer,” which includes grocery coupons on fresh produce. Considering the lack of coupons available for fresh produce, this app is best suited for those who like to stock up on fruits and vegetables. You are eligible to receive your refund in the mail after meeting the $20 minimum on rebates.

SavingStar offers grocery rebates from over 70,000 store locations. The app will provide you with one healthy offer a week to help you save on fresh produce. Easily link your store saving card or loyalty rewards card from stores like Publix, Kroger, Walmart and Walgreens.

By doing this, your SavingStar account will be notified every time you swipe your card to redeem an offer. Once you meet the $20 minimum, withdraw your refund from a PayPal account, your bank or donate to charity. If you do not have a loyalty card, then simply snap a photo of your receipt and upload it to the app to redeem your rebate.

Berrycart is an app most appropriate for health-conscious consumers who purchase organic and specialty foods. You can find rebate offers for organic, gluten-free, Non-GMO and dairy-free products.

If you are looking for food products with high-fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors, then this is not the app for you. The app offers fun facts, quizzes and testimonials for you to get a better insight into each product. You can find out about the health benefits associated with chia seeds and maca powder.

Simply buy the product and take a photo of the receipt with your BerryCart app. The app will send deposit your refund into your PayPal account within 24 hours.

What are the pros and cons of rebates?

Rebates are great if you are looking to try new products. Instead of purchasing a fragrance that you use regularly, try a fragrance from a brand like Bond No. 9 or Clinique. You will be surprised at all the companies participating in rebates when browsing Ebates.

Moreover, the reimbursements you receive with rebates are tax-free. This is due to the fact that the Internal Revenue Service defines rebates as a reduction in price rather than an earning. Lastly, there is a chance you may receive full reimbursement when obtaining a rebate for a specific product.

Depending on the brand’s offer, you may receive full or partial repayment, a free product or a gift card by completing a few steps.

Many rebate shoppers fail to receive their refunds because they have misplaced their rebate coupon or receipt. It is important to keep coupons organized so they do not become misplaced or you miss a deadline. In addition, they may fill out the claim forms incorrectly or forget to include requested materials.

Furthermore, some companies experience programs honoring their rebates offers due to an inability to keep up with demand.

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