What do you do with rebate cards?

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Every couple of months, I clean out the expired coupons and random receipts that I've tossed in my wallet or purse. I'm the worst about carrying around random coupons that I almost never use. Does anyone else feel the need to keep coupons *just in case* you might need them?

In my most recent purge, I found four Visa rebate cards that expire this month. I ended up with these after ordering things like a year supply of heartworm medicine for the dog or a six month supply of contact lenses, and I'm sure we all get these for various purchases. I typically make a purchase with the card and have a remaining balance of something like $3.78. I usually shove it back into my wallet and forget about it, and it expires before I can use it. 

I spent about 5 minutes looking up the balances of the rebate cards online and found that together they totaled almost $60. I planned to order some Christmas gifts,  but you can't use  rebate cards on most websites unless the card balance exceeds your purchase total. What I did to work around this was I purchased several electronic gift cards in the specific balance amounts to the store, and they were in my inbox in a matter of minutes. Most stores will allow you to apply as many of their gift cards as you'd like toward your purchase. 

The entire process of looking up the card balances, ordering the store gift cards, and waiting for them to show up in my inbox took about 15 minutes. It was definitely worth the few extra minutes to whittle my $67 purchase down to less than $10.

Do you have any tips and tricks for not letting these cards go to waste?

 
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