smart spending

5 times when you can rake in rebates

Cars © Alexander Chaikin/Shutterstock.com

Cash-back offers are common with cars, especially new ones. Woroch recommends checking with a brand's website to see what they're offering, and following your favorite brands or dealerships on Facebook or Twitter to get updates on their promotions and rebates.

Also, search the Internet for rebate information by ZIP code. "Keep in mind the different types of rebates available when purchasing a car and which is more valuable to you," she says.

Stinchfield says the term rebate is not always used properly. "The majority of the car rebates that I've seen are automatic. It's a discount, not a rebate," says Stinchfield. "Anytime you hear the term 'instant rebate,' that, too, is not a rebate; it's a price cut."

If the auto dealer offers a choice between low-interest financing or a manufacturer's rebate, a car rebate calculator such as Bankrate's can help you determine which is the better option.


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