Rebate checks come early to some

April 25, 2008 3:19:09 PM PDT
Those rebate checks are on the way and, for some, they're coming earlier than expected.As fuel and food prices soar, and housing prices sink, finally some good news for consumers. The government is taking action by sending out those rebate checks a little early.

The first economic stimulus checks will start going out via direct deposit on Monday. That's five days earlier than originally expected. The goal is to pump $168-billion into the slowing us economy.

Individual taxpayers will get $600, couples will receive $1,200 and an additional $300 dollars for each dependent child.

When you get your check depends on the last two digits of your Social Security number. The closer those two numbers are to 00, the sooner you get it. Again, the first rebates will be directly deposited into people's bank accounts.

Paper checks will start going out on May 9th.

Retailers' rebate check promotions

Retailers are doing their part to make sure you spend that check at their store.

For instance, if you use your entire stimulus check at Sears or Kmart, you'll get a gift card with 10-percent over the rebate total.

Supervalu, parent of grocery chain Acme, will tack on an extra $30 of spending power, if you exchange your check for one of its stores gift cards.

Office supply chain Staples has announced an online Economic Stimulus Center targeting small business owners. It's offering cash savings on big purchases as well as free advice on how small businesses can lower their tax bills.

We'll have to see how successful those promotions are. Less than half of consumers are expected to actually spend the extra cash in stores and when Action News asked people what they plan to do with their rebate checks, most have told us they plan to use them to pay bills or put the money in savings.