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Monday, June 25, 2012

Breaking it down: mail-in rebates

I've received a few questions recently about how mail-in rebates work  when there's also a BOGO1/2OFF sale and/or coupons you'd like to use along with the rebate. Since there's a new rebate from CoverGirl (you'll receive a $10 rebate when you spend $20 on CoverGirl + Olay products), I thought I'd break it down for you.

Rather than relying on my (bad) memory,  I consulted one of MY coupon gurus, the lovely Lisa over at DrugstoreDivas, (which is a fabulous blog that you should reading if you're not already!) and can now confirm the details for you.

Here's a scenario:

This week (6/24 - 6/30) all CoverGirl products are BOGO1/2OFF at Rite Aid. So let's say you buy two bottles of Tone Rehab foundation. (For the purposes of this scenario, I'm going with the retail price as stated on the CVS website, which is $16.99.)

Buy two Tone Rehab foundations and with the BOGO1/2OFF, your total drops from $33.98 to $24.49. 

And let's say you have two $1 off CoverGirl manufacturer coupons you'd like to use as well (one for each bottle of Tone Rehab). Then, your total out of pocket drops to $22.49.

Also, let's say you have $5 in +UP Rewards from a previous transaction that you'd ALSO like to use for this purchase. Your total would then drop to $17.49.

You can STILL get the rebate, even though your total out of pocket is now under $20. Why? Because the manufacturer does not factor in coupons or store rewards for rebates (this is a general rule of thumb for most rebates, but always check the fine print just to be sure).

They only factor in store SALES, so once you hit $20 after the BOGO1/2OFF sale, you're good to go! You can then use your coupons/rewards and you don't have to worry if you dip below $20 out of pocket.

When you prepare your receipt to send in with your rebate form, circle the prices on your receipt accordingly:

Circle the item you paid full price for, which is the FIRST Tone Rehab. Also circle the item you paid 1/2 price for, which is the second bottle of Tone Rehab..

So in the scenario above, you'll pay $17.49 out of pocket, and you'll then qualify for the $10 rebate. Therefore, your final price after rebate for $33.98 worth of product will be $7.49. All you'll need to do next is wait for your $10 check to come in the mail!

Things to remember:
  • Sales tax is never calculated in rebate thresholds.
  • When calculating a threshold for a rebate, always use the full price or sale price for each qualifying item (if you're buying something during a BOGO1/2OFF or 40% of sale at the drugstore, use THAT price. If you're buying something and there's NO sale going on at the store, use the full price you paid for each item).
  • As a general rule of thumb (always check the fine print on the rebate form), you do NOT have to factor in any store rewards or coupons you may be using in the transaction. In other words, if you hit the $20 threshold for the $10 CoverGirl rebate BEFORE you add in your coupons/rewards, that's perfectly fine. You can still use your coupons/rewards for that transaction and qualify for the rebate, EVEN IF your coupons/rewards bring your total below $20.
Hope this helps, and thanks again Lisa for verifying this info for me!


  1. Thanks for breaking it down G, this really helped!! I'm just not a big rebate lover, I hate waiting for the money to come in the mail, you know? lol ;)

  2. Thanks for explaining this in more detail, G. You make me want to give this a try. :) Haven't tried CG+Olay products yet.


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