A rebate card is a prepaid debit card that is issued by a manufacturer or retailer and loaded with funds associated with a product or service rebate.
Retailers issued $4.24 billion in rebates on rebate cards in 2008, according to Mercator, a market research consulting firm for the prepaid card industry. That represents a 53 percent jump from the previous year and industry analysts expect that trend to pick up in the coming years.
Rebate cards look (and act) like prepaid debit gift cards, but are not necessarily regulated by the same laws. For example, rebate cards are not governed by state laws and a new federal law that limit fees and quick expiration dates on gift cards.