One online offer to this effect is available here, and I'd say it's the best place for you to head for if you want to buy a PS3, because in addition to showing an "apply now" link for the credit card, it also has an instant "redeem now" link. You use "redeem now" after filling out the online "apply now" application for the card (which comes from Chase Bank) and getting, hopefully, instant approval. Once that is done, you write down your new card's account number, expiration date, and CVV2 code — or you just print out a copy of your application confirmation. Then you return to the offer page and click the "redeem now" button to order your PS3 system from the Sony Rewards website right away and "save $150 instantly."
Notice that going this route locks you into doing business with Sony Rewards, and not with (say) SonyStyle.com online, or a local store such as Best Buy. Sony Rewards (or any online store) will charge you shipping ... but the local outlet will charge you sales tax. You can buy the PS3 from any authorized dealer, online or local, and take advantage of the $150 rebate ... if you obtain a PlayStation Card and use it to buy the PS3.
But therein lies a tale.
I completely missed the opportunity to "redeem now" from Sony Rewards for some reason — ozone in the know zone I suppose. Upon being accepted for the card, I figured (wrongly) that I had to wait until I got my new card in the mail to redeem the rebate offer. Later on that same day, or possibly the next, I discovered my error and tried to retrace my steps and activate the "redeem now" at that time ... with no success. I had failed to write down the card number, expiration date, and CVV2 code of my PlayStation Card, and I could not retrieve them. Hence I was unable to place an order.
Once I did have the card in hand about a week later, I activated it with a phone call and then went right to the Sony Rewards site to place my PS3 order, using the new card. That went fine, but it ended up charging the card with the full $399.99 MSRP, plus shipping. (OK, I got a tiny reduction because a few "reward points" were awarded to me for opening a Sony Rewards account at that time.) But there was no "save $150 instantly" involved.
Well, I thought, maybe instructions as to how to get the rebate will show up in my e-mail inbox, in the order confirmation from Sony Rewards? No such luck. Maybe wait a day or two for instructions to arrive? No. Maybe they will magically appear in my inbox after the order actually ships? Uh uh.
I then used the "Contact" form at the Sony Rewards site to ask for clarification and was told (after a two-day wait for a response) to call
To claim your $150 rebate:
1. Register your new PlayStation Card at www.sony.com/playstationcard/register2. Complete the Rebate Form, under Your Account
-- Rebate Name must include ‘PS-PS3 $150 Rebate’
3. Submit Rebate Form online
4. Print out and mail the completed Rebate Form with copy of your PS3 sales receipt to the address as indicated within 60 days from date of purchase
You'll have to establish an account at Sony Rewards to do this. You can buy the PS3 elsewhere, but to get a rebate through Sony Rewards, you'll need to open an account for which you then register your PlayStation Card. Then, when you are logged in to the Sony Rewards website, you navigate to "Your Account" and click on "Rebate Form." What you should see is a form to fill out online. (This form should give "C8D8-C8D2-PS-PS3 $150 Rebate -Nov08" as the "Rebate Name." Make sure it does.) On it you will see, already filled in, such data as your first and last name, your street address, and your e-mail address. You will then fill in manually:
- your PS3 purchase date
- the name of the retailer (mine was "Sony Rewards")
- the city and state of the store location (mine was "Park Ridge, NJ")
- the total purchase amount (mine was $399.99)
- the credit card number (mine was already filled in with all XXXX's except the last four digits)
- the model number (I put "PlayStation 3 80GB")
- the product price (I put $399.99 again)
- the UPC (see below)
It's the 12-digit Universal Product Code associated with the scanner bar code shown on the PS3 box.
Only problem was, in my case I threw out the box. I had no idea what the UPC was. So I went to this web page where the UPC for a Sony PlayStation3 80GB is shown as 711719801306. That's what I used to fill in the UPC field on the rebate form.
When I clicked "Continue," the completed form appeared in condensed form in an overlay over the original form on my screen in my web browser. I clicked "Submit and Print" on the overlay and the form was simultaneously submitted online and printed on my computer printer.
But I still wasn't done. I had to mail the printed version of the form (now called a "Mail-in Rebate Document," by the way) along with a printout of my online order confirmation (in lieu of a copy of the hardcopy sales receipt a Best Buy would provide), to:
Sony Rewards Redemption Center
1 Sony Drive MD-2F4
Park Ridge, NJ 07656
Now, I've done all that. I just have to wait "8-12 weeks" for the $150 rebate to be credited to my PlayStation Card account.
Notice the gotcha here. Unless you are smarter than I was and use the instant "redeem now" link at the very outset to "save $150 instantly," the rebate (once it is credited) sits in your PlayStation Card account until you use the card again to buy at least $150 worth of stuff. My hope was to use the new card for just this one transaction, since I like to use another VISA card I have for all my credit purchases. Now I'll have to break out the new PlayStation card at least one more time, in order to take advantage of the $150 rebate.