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FatWallet offers cash back on Amazon MP3s, videos

It's only 3 percent, but it adds up -- especially if you buy a lot of music and rent a lot of movies.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

For a while now I've extolled the virtues of cash-back sites like Ebates, which make it easy to get money back on nearly everything you buy online.

Nearly everything. Most of these services kick in only when you buy physical goods. But FatWallet is now offering cash back on Amazon Instant Video and MP3 Downloads.

That's a first. I don't recall ever seeing this kind of offer on digital purchases. Ebates comes closest by offering cash back when you sign up for a Netflix subscription, but that's not really the same thing.

With FatWallet, you get 3 percent back on every MP3 song or album you purchase and every video you buy or rent. (FYI, the service is offering that same 3 percent in two other Amazon departments: Exercise & Fitness and Motorcycle & ATV.)

Given that the average song sells for 99 cents and a typical movie rental runs $3.99, we're obviously not talking about major savings. Three cents here, 12 cents there -- it's the kind of change you leave in the sofa cushions because it's barely worth the effort to fish out.

On the other hand, if you're a frequent consumer of digital media, why not pay a little less over the long run? As I've noted before, the more you use a service like Ebates or FatWallet, the more the savings add up. And it takes only a couple extra clicks to get the rebate, so it's not like there's a ton of effort involved.

(For those unfamiliar with cash-back sites, they work like this: Once you're signed up for and into your account, you simply start your shopping at the site. Click through to the store you want to shop -- in this case Amazon -- then proceed like normal. The cash-back service tracks your purchase(s) and pays out your rebate at designated times -- usually every 90 days or so. It's all very automated and extremely easy.)

According to FatWallet, cash back for these Amazon departments will be available for only a limited time. That could be days or months, who knows, but it's still an interesting development. Here's hoping we see more cash-back deals on digital media -- like maybe for Kindle e-books, hint-hint?