How to turn restricted rebate debit cards into cash

debit cards
debit cards

If you've purchased any high priced item with a rebate in the last year, like a cell phone, you've likely received your rebate in the form of a rebate card. While these cards often carry a Visa or MasterCard logo and can be used much like a debit or credit card, they don't carry the same protections as pre-paid credit cards or gift cards. The hassles and potential for wasted money is high, but you can turn most of these cards into cash in one stop.

The biggest problem that consumers run into with these types of rebate cards is that they assume they fall under a state gift card regulations or even consumer protections built into the Credit CARD Act of 2009. But as BankRate warns cardholders -- they don't. The reason these cards are exempt from charging inactivity, and other miscellaneous, fees is because these cards represent free money, from which any fees are deducted.