To meet parents' growing concerns over the soaring costs of college, as well as to distinguish themselves from competitors, asset management firms that manage 529 state college savings plan assets are increasingly pairing up with retailers or credit card companies to offer rebates toward 529 balances, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In some cases, they are offering rebates of 4% to 5% of purchase prices.

Still, it would take an awful lot of diapers or baby formula for a parent to buy before they would see any significant rebate accrued, The Journal warns. In some cases, such as with the Citibank Upromise credit card, which gives consumers 1% back on certain purchases, annual rebates are capped at $300.

In addition, to obtain the rebates, consumers often have to log onto and make their purchases off of a Web site, which may not always be convenient. And parents should be careful to check whether participating retailers that offer rebates may actually be selling these goods at a premium.

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