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Watch Those Expiration Dates on Rebate Cards!

By JLP | June 30, 2009

I made a boo boo.

AT&T mailed me one of those Visa Rebate Cards for my BlackBerry Curve. I think it was originally for $99 or so. I used the card a couple of months ago but still had a balance of $8.19. I tried using it again but got the remaining balance wrong, thinking it was $8.91 so the transaction didn’t go through. I called to get the correct balance and found out it was $8.19. I put the card in my closet and sort of forgot about it until this morning.

I pulled it out and tried to use it only to find out that it expired on the last day of May!

OOPS!

I’m a little surprised at how quickly the card expired. I don’t remember for sure when I got the card but I think I received it after the first of the year. It seems like the expiration date would be longer than a few months.

Now, had it been a paper check, I would have deposited it into my bank account and the money would have been mine free and clear. I never liked paper checks. I thought the rebate card would make things easier but I found it to be a hassle—especially if it takes more than one transaction to use up the card.

Anyway, LEARN FROM JLP. Use those rebate cards quickly. Don’t allow the companies to keep your money!

UPDATE: I guess I’m not the only one complaining about the AT&T Visa Rebate Card.

Topics: Credit Cards | 8 Comments »


8 Responses to “Watch Those Expiration Dates on Rebate Cards!”

  1. Greg Says:
    June 30th, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    It is the same thing with gift cards and check cards. My ex-wife got our daughter some check cards for different reasons and they took money from those things left and right. It turned out that everytime you checked the ballance on it over the phone it would deduct money. It also lost money monthly for keeping up the balanece. I do not like either of those at all. The really bad thing about gift cards is that a lot of places won't give you cash back if you have to return an item, instead it goes back on a card.

  2. LOL Says:
    June 30th, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    JLP: Thanks for the reminder! I have two of those AT&T rebate cards hidden in my wallet. And yes, they are a real pain — especially when you have merchants that can't split a purchase over more than one card. I'd prefer a paper check any day over these things.

  3. Stacey Says:
    July 1st, 2009 at 12:50 am

    A rolling gift card gathers no moss. Guys, you have to spend like a woman!! Blow it in one place!! Go wild!! Use leftover balances on gas–even if it's for the lawnmower! There's no reason to carry a balance my friends :)

  4. TFB Says:
    July 1st, 2009 at 4:29 am

    A good way to deal with a rebate prepaid debit card is to use the entire amount to make a one-time payment toward your phone bill. Phone companies usually accept debit card payments. As soon as you receive the card, deplete it. Then you can forget about it.

  5. Beth Says:
    July 1st, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Good advice from Stacey…..lol…..spend it right away! Oh, by the way, most rebate cards I've received expire within 90 days.

  6. cherilynn stone Says:
    July 2nd, 2009 at 8:18 am

    It really pays sometimes when you read a lot. Thanks!

  7. Jamie Says:
    July 3rd, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Here's a tip that helps – a little. Write the balance of the card on the card with permanent marker. When you use some of the balance, write the new balance on the card. That way, you always know for sure when you remember to use it. I also store the cards right next to my credit card, so when I go to pay, I'm more likely to see it. I lost money on those cards too. I'd rather get a paper check.

  8. jack c Says:
    July 6th, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    One other thing you want to watch out about gift cards is that some stores won’t let you use it for clearance sale items. Macy’s gift card is like that. You pay real money to buy a gift card to give to your gf, but she can’t use it like real money. What a ripoff! So whenever my credit card company asks if i want the %1 reward in check or gift card, i always go for check.

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