Day 19 - Rebate Card

January 19, 2011

Day 19 - Rebate Card

Yesterday, I found the reply to a mail-in rebate in my mailbox. Mail-in rebates are as common in the US as they are silly. Instead of somehow bundling the rebate processing at the point of sale, every consumer contacts the manufacturer separately and then gets their rebate back in the mail. Of course, the US is infamous for both making everything regarding money incredibly complicated -- and then finding elaborate workarounds to make things go faster instead of actually fixing the system.

Anyhow, what struck me as interesting is that the rebate was not paid out as a check, let alone direct deposit or the like, but as a prepaid visa card. I can use it at the store like any other debit card, and once it's empty I can dispose of it. That's kind of neat, but honestly is more inconvenient for me than a check: I could deposit a check and forget about it. For the card, I need to keep track of how much is still on there if I don't use it all at once. If my bill is more than the amount on the card, I need to make sure the merchant can handle several payment methods at once (so, no using it on Amazon in that case). All in all, I am not too impressed.

The pic is a macro shot from my cell phone. Not too bad. On a white piece of paper, the colors were relatively acceptable this time.

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