Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Savings Tip-Retail "Free" Offers

Hello All-

There are lots of rebates out in stores that are truly great deals! However, there are others that actually will take so much time that you may just want to cruise over them.

Here is one example, you can decide if it is worth it and I will give you my verdict at the end:

This week in the Safeway circular they are offering Buy 2 American Express Gift Cards, get a $15 prepaid AMEX gift card after mail-in rebate.

I went to Safeway to check on this as AMEX gift cards have a "registration fee", which is a ridiculous way to have you pay more for their convenience of giving a gift. Most companies don't charge these fees, not sure why they do!

The fee is $3.95/gift card. Since you have to buy 2 to get the free one, you are looking at fees of $7.90. This would leave you theoretically getting $7 free from AMEX.

When I got to Safeway, I looked for the rebate mail in form. It was not with the gift cards and it wasn't at the customer service desk. Safeway is notorious for not knowing what is going on with their rebates and when they ran this promotion last year, they didn't know what to do either, so I issue a beware of offers they are running as I lost 30 minutes today in the store trying to have them locate the rebate form (they didn't and I had to come back to the store later...they had a form faxed, but the fine print clearly states you must have an original form...the faxed one wouldn't work). I was told they could probably have a form the next day for me. I had them call the Pioneer Parkway store and they have the forms so I went ahead and bought the 2 cards and will pick up the form later to send in.

Result: I have spent 40 minutes working to get the forms, I will spend another 10 filling out the paperwork and I will save $7. Was it worth it? See below for my opinion!

My verdict: This rebate was not worth it. My time alone is worth more than $7/hour when I have other things I could have been doing. If the rebate amount was more or I happened to be shopping at the store anyway and not making a special trip for this offer only, I might consider it a decent deal, but this time I wouldn't encourage it...not worth the time & effort.

Happy Saving!

Summer H.

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