For several years I’ve been helping readers, just like you, find the best deals on everything they need. We all know it is smart to use coupon codes when we can. But, that is just one way you can save money. Another one is to get paid for shopping online through Ebates.
There are countless cashback sites out there promoting cash back offers. While most are legitimate, some are not. That begs the question – which sites can you trust.
Like I said above, I have been teaching people how to use coupons and save money for years. That has given me the chance to review many sites. Sadly, I no longer use many of them, but there are a few I still trust and go to time and again.
One of my favorite sites to use when it comes to saving money on my online purchases is Ebates. But, because it pays you cash back, many people question if it is legit or not. I’m here to say that is. But, before you sign up, read my honest review that explains how it works and.
What is Ebates?
Ebates is an online site filled with coupons and deals that save you money. They work with thousands of online retailers to offer discounts to consumers. As a thank you for using the links on their site when you shop, they give you a small cash back amount. It can be as little as 1% but has reached as much as 12% or more!
Ebates has affiliate partnerships with the merchants on their site. That means if you buy through the link on their page, they get a small cut. But, rather than keep it all for themselves, they pass some of that payment onto consumers. It is just a little way they are saying “Hey! Thanks for using our link when you shop!!”
First off, I want to put any rumors to rest and say that Ebates is a legit site. They do pay you cash back on your purchases. So, you can read on knowing you can trust that this site will not use your information in any way that they should not.
How does Ebates Work?
First, you sign up and create a free account. You can do so with either your Facebook, Google+ or email. Once you have an account, you log into it before you ever shop online. Search for the merchant where you want to shop and then click their link, which sends you to the other site.
Shop as you usually do. No codes or offers to add to your checkout to ensure it tracks properly. Once you finalize your purchase, Ebates sees the amount, and within 48 hours the money is in your account!
Ebates will, in turn, mail you a check. Not pay you in points or gift cards. They send you an actual check you can cash! That is the part that is the best about this site. No stupid points to accumulate and remember to cash in. Nope, you just set up your account, and they mail you a check time and again.
How do I get started?
You’ll want to head to Ebates to make your account. And, for a limited time, when you sign up, you will be eligible for a free $10 bonus! When you sign up at Ebates and make a purchase of at least $25 within 90 days, you will get a $10 bonus in your account! SWEET!
How to Save Money Using Ebates
Ebates is about more than just cash back. You can use it to save money every time you shop. Honestly, you are going to shop online anyhow, so why not get paid? Right?!
Daily Discounts and Promo Codes
The simplest way to save when shopping at Ebates is to check out the Daily Promo Codes, Coupons and Deals. Every day, Ebates offers a new discount to its customers.
To find the current offers, click on Hot Deals from the main menu. You’ll see the featured Daily Deals show and a bit beneath that you will find that day’s special offers. You never know what type of discount they will offer, so make sure you check back frequently.
As you can see from this screenshot, one of the offers today is not only the opportunity to save more than $600 at Hewlett Packard, but I will also earn a whopping 10% back on my purchase! That means if I spend $800, I will receive $80 back (amount is the pre-tax total only). I have to click on the red SHOP NOW button and Ebates will send me directly to the site with any discount codes instantly activated for me. How sweet is that?
Search for offers
If you already know what store you plan to shop at, you can search once you log into their account. Once you find them, click the button and you’ll go to that store to shop. As mentioned previously, shop as usual and your order will be tracked by Ebates so your cash back can be calculated for you.
For example, if you know you need to shop at Walmart, type that into the search bar. You’ll see the various categories and the cash back you can earn. Some will make you more than others.
For example, at Walmart, you can get 10% cash back on shoes and nursery items, but it drops to just 1% on food, household and pet items. Click on any of the red SHOP NOW buttons, and you’ll go to Walmart, where you can shop as usual.
Can it get any easier than this?!
Use the Ebates Chrome Extension
There is nothing worse than shopping and then remember you have a coupon you should have used. It’s the same way when shopping online. How annoying would it be to complete your online purchase and then to remember that you forgot to go through Ebates? Ugh.
You don’t have to stress about that at all. Just use the Chrome extension tool. Once installed, you will get an alert reminding you that this merchant is on Ebates. Check out what I would have missed out on had I not had this extension added — a whopping 10% cash back to JCPenney on the day I was shopping!!
You can click on the activate button and sign into your account. It’s tools like this which make me appreciate a program even more than I already do! (Pssstt — you can download the extension here).
Get cash back when you shop in the store
Ebates also has a way to get cash back for shopping in the store! There are currently more than 60 retailers who have physical stores that will even get you cash back when you shop.
The way it works is simple. You need to add a credit or debit card to your account. Check out the offer you want and link it to your card. When you shop in the store, use the same card, and it will make the connection between the two. How slick is that!?
Avoid Shipping Charges
One thing that holds many back from placing online orders are those outlandish shipping fees. Don’t pay to get your items sent to you. Opt for in-store pick-up instead. You can still shop online through Ebates and then select to pick up your order when it is ready. You get the bonus of the cash back, any discounts and never have to pay high shipping charges.
Use Discounted Gift Cards
As if the discounts and cash back weren’t already amazing enough, you can get even more savings by shopping with discounted gift cards. Sites like Gift Card Granny sell gift cards at less than face value. You get the instant savings without sacrificing the value of the card.
When you combine a discounted card, online offer and cash back, the savings quickly add up! Check out the savings on these Target cards.
You can get a $20 or $25 gift card and save 7.5% off the list price. Add that to the cash back from Ebates, and you’ll be cashing in big time!
Make money using Ebates
Another unique feature about Ebates is their lucrative referral program. When you sign up, you will get a link to use to share with your family and friends. When they sign up and make their first purchase, Ebates will give them a $10 bonus (just like you received) and you’ll get $25 back from them! That money can quickly add up!
Imagine not only getting paid to shop but also getting paid to tell people how to do it. Genius!
What is wrong with Ebates?
Nothing is perfect. It is impossible. The biggest issue I usually see with Ebates is the change in the payout amount. Sometimes it is 10%, but then it can drop to 1% without notice.
Another thing you may run into is a partner no longer being on the list. There can be changes in the agreement terms, and a site may decide to be no longer available on Ebates.
You are also responsible for ensuring your cash back gets applied. Almost all of the time it happens without any issue, but there can be instances where it did not show. If you do not see it in your account within 48 hours after your purchase, you must reach out to them.
While you may be ready to sign up, you may still have a few more questions. Let’s see if this answers them.
When do I get my check?
Checks get mailed on the 15th of the second month, after the end of each quarter. So, any cash back or referrals you earned during January – March is paid to you on May 15th, April – June paid on August 15th, July – September is paid out on November 15th and October – December is issued on February 15th.
What happens if I return something?
Any cash back earned you earned on items returned will be deducted from your account. If you return something after you have been paid, you could end up with a negative balance in your account.
How long does it take to see the cash back in my account?
Within 48 hours after you complete your purchase, the cashback amount will be in your account.
What do I do if the cash back is missing?
You will need to reach out via the HELP link to Ebates. They will look into the problem and find out what happened so that your cash back can be applied to your account.
Is it really free?
Yes, it is. I know it sounds too good to be true, but this is a case where it works as it should. There are no gimmicks nor strings attached. It is literally as simple as shopping and getting cash back.
Is only for buying products?
Nope! You can also save on travel and vacations! Get cash back through certain booking sites and hotels, saving you even more on your next vacation.
So, what are you waiting for? Get signed up right now at Ebates and score your FREE $10 bonus offer!!!