I applied for a rebate several weeks ago and today I received an envelope that for all the world looked like one of those credit card solicitations that I normally just run through the shredder unopened.The wife even said it feels like it has a fake credit card in it. The return address said sentinel brand products and I had just given my dog her monthly heart-worm medication a sentinel brand so I opened it up and there was a debit card for the amount of the rebate and a note inside stating this is not a credit card solicitation this card is not re-loadable but must be activated to be used. Further You cannot use it at a gas pump or ATM but works like a credit card wherever Visa is accepted! You cant tell me this is cheaper than a check I could have deposited in my account and when I spend it all it's another piece of plastic for the land fill...maybe they just want to know what I'm buying for my "T". It's time to start reading the junk mail again
G.R...I think we use Sentinel also. Next time we'll be super careful about what we pitch! I suspect they're hoping that some people will see it and do just that...toss it! Then they keep the rebate. Thanks for the info and have a Merry Christmas!
That's the reason for issuing rebates instead of lowering prices. They know most people will forget.
Yeah, you gotta wonder why. There is no way that's cheaper than printing a check. I think you are onto something when you say they want to know what you are buying. They send you a check. You deposit it. All they know is what bank you use. They send you a card. You use it 3 places. Now they know how to aim advertising at you. It's even worse if they have your e-mail address. Can you say SPAM? There are so many things out there today that want your personal information. Some are for illegal reasons, but a lot of it is just so they can advertise to you. I refrain from giving my e-mail address to any business and I also do not download apps or send text messages to places that want to give me a free burger for doing so. As soon as you do, you will be inundated with SPAM and telemarketers.
Hal, you are absolutely correct. I also am very careful who gets my email address.
Please list your email address here so we can be sure to keep it private!
This is probably why they do it, because they know many will shred the card just as you did.
I do get many solicitations for cards. I remember one time I signed up for a card from, I think it was an insurance company or my stock broker. I got the card with their name on it and used it. Then I got a letter from Bank of America, a bank at which I don't have an account, so I thew it away. Turned out to be the bill for my credit card and I was late in payment! However, I explained that I didn't know the bill would be coming from that bank because they were not the name on the card. Anyway, since it was the first time, they forgave me and erased the late charge.
The other reason for a gift type card is that you will probably spend more than the value of the card. If you spend less, then the next time you go to use it, you will dip into your pocket to pay the overage difference.
Also, some have expiration dates and some charge a montly fee to carry the balance and it gets used up.
Just think of it this way . . . the reason they use cards instead of a check isn't to benefit YOUR!
Even the Government is in on it; when I was on unemployment insurance, they issued me a credit card that they would put my benefits into and then I could go to my bank and transfer them to my account. I could also use it to buy groceries, etc. in town.
I can't speak to the issuance of a debit card in lieu of a check, but I believe the reason for issuing a rebate rather than a discounting a product is an accounting trick.
As it was once explained to me by someone very knowledgeable in this practice, rebates can be classified as a deductible advertising expense whereas a discount simply lowers their revenue.
It is also possible that the debit card is more secure than the check if it requires some sort of activation process, though that is merely speculation my part.
Almost all of our economy has become a combination of pyramid schemes, shell games, and three card Monte. I quit requesting rebates many years ago when I kept a record for about half a year. I had spent more money on postage for the few rebates that I actually got than the rebate amounts I got back. It didn't help any that the six dollar rebate I was supposed to get for buying three cases of motor oil never arrived. I did read the fine print, however. The "rebate company" was a separate corporation from the oil company, the distributorship, and the retailer. NONE of those other companies could be held liable in the event the rebate corporation went bankrupt. Guess what notice I read in the business section of the paper a few months later.
And people wonder why I cannot stop being so cynical?
Drive carefully, and enjoy the holidays! W2