Everyone Wants a Piece of your Rebate Check

Will you get to keep any of it?

It’s been a lot in the news lately: grocery stores offering incentives to get you to convert your rebate check into a gift card to use at their store. Sears/Kmart, even Expedia seem to be following on this trend. I tried looking up statistics on the percentage of gift cards that go without being redeemed. I could not get a specific number but found this article instead. Basically, it is widely known that gift cards are a revenue generator for retailers, either because they don’t get redeemed or because they get to put the money you paid to work during the period the gift card goes without being redeemed.

Read Cathy’s at Chief Family Officer’s things to consider before taking advantage of these offers.

I was also reading an article about where most of this check is expected to go. The graph below is shared in the article and it compares expenditures on these categories between the year 2006 and 2008.

So it seems that if you are going to use your tax rebate to buy a gift card, you are better of buying a gas card. I bet gas stations won’t be offering any incentives since they know you will probably end up spending your money there anyways.

Source: “Where Will All The Rebates Go? By KELLY EVANS and SUDEEP REDDY, April 30, 2008