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How to get an iPad for $399

If you're willing to sign up for a new MasterCard, you can get $100 back after purchasing a big-ticket item like the iPad.

Sign up for this card, spend at least $300 (not a problem with the iPad), and presto: you get $100 back (in credit form). Citibank

I know plenty of people who would love to have an iPad, but aren't willing to spend $500 (minimum) on one. Well, how about $400? If that sounds a little more palatable, read on.

A new Citibank promotion is offering a $100 credit when you spend at least $300 using a new Citi Diamond Preferred Rewards Card.

That means if you use the card to buy a $499 iPad, the credit brings your bottom-line price down to $399. (Obviously the same math applies to any iPad model: basically, you're saving $100.)

There are, of course, a few terms and conditions, though nothing deal-breaking. You have to spend your $300+ within the first three months of getting the card, and the $100 you get back comes in the form of a credit on your statement. (Not quite the same as cash, obviously, but still money you can spend on anything you want.)

The other caveat: this means signing up for yet another credit card, something that many would argue is a foolish step in this credit-crazy days. On the other hand, the Diamond Preferred Rewards Card offers some nice perks over and above the $100 credit, including no annual fee, a 0 percent APR on balance transfers (for the first 15 months), and purchase points you can redeem on various rewards.

Interestingly, Sony ran a similar promotion some time ago, but your buying options were limited to Sony products (like the equally desirable PlayStation 3). Obviously you can use the Citi card for any big-ticket item; it doesn't have to be an iPad.

What do you think? Is it worth a little bit of hoop-jumping to save $100 on an iPad (or whatever)? I think so, but I'm cheap that way.

Incidentally, I scored my iPad for just $199. That was after redeeming a $300 Apple Store card, which I "earned" using Swag Bucks. Your mileage will undoubtedly vary, but that's another cool way to defray the cost of an iPad.