It’s no secret that I hate shopping. I’d rather shove hot pokers under my fingernails than head to Macy’s for this weekend’s blowout sale. For me, online shopping is the way to go. No crowds. Nobody to talk to. No leaving the house. I just sit in front of my computer, quickly scroll through hundreds of options, and buy what I want. No muss, no fuss. I love it.
Finding good deals is also a must. If I’m going to buy something, I have to feel like I’m getting a bargain. If not, I’m going to pass. On top of that, I’m much more likely to shop if I have a coupon I can use to stack my savings. For me, coupon + sale = reason to buy.
What is Ebates?
Ebates is an online coupon and cash back website that helps you save oodles of money when you make online purchases. With over 1,800 stores to choose from, you can find almost anything you need when you shop through Ebates.
Cash Back Rewards
“Wait a minute. Did you say cash back?”
Why, yes. Yes, I did!
The thing that makes Ebates different from other coupon sites is its awesome cash back program. Not only will you find great coupons and promo codes for major retailers (like Kohls, Amazon, and Macy’s and more), but you also earn cash back while you shop. Cash back rewards can be for as much as 40% of the purchase price, although typical cash back rewards are in the 5-10% range. Either way, that’s free money in your pocket and a huge savings for your wallet.
Is Ebates a Scam?
Nope. Ebates is legit….and it is completely FREE! In fact, they’ve been around since 1998 and have paid out more than $325 million in cash back rewards to their users.
How can they do that? Simple. Each time you make a purchase through one of their links, Ebates receives a commission from the merchant. Instead of keeping that whole chunk of change, they give a little back to you in the form of cash back. Pretty sweet, eh?
How to Use Ebates
Using Ebates is a piece of cake. Just create a free account, click through their links when you shop, and start earning cash back right away.
Create an Ebates Account
Creating an account literally takes less than 1 minute. Simply go to Ebates.com, click “Join Now” in the upper right hand corner, and enter your email address and a password. Boom! Done. You have an Ebates account.
To make the process even simpler, you can even create an account using your Facebook or Google+ profile.
Sign Up Bonus
After you create your free account, Ebates will even give you up to $10 for signing up! You know I looooooove me some sign up bonus offers, so this just sweetens the pot. After you spend $25 through Ebates within 90 days, you’ll either receive $5 in your Ebates cash back account or a $10 gift card to a participating retailer (like Walmart, Target, etc.). Just like that, you’re getting paid to save!
Shopping with Ebates
Shopping with Ebates is also a breeze. Their platform is more attractive and easier to use than many other discount sites, which makes shopping there even more comfortable.
Finding great deals is simple. If you already know the retailer you’re looking for, just type the store name into the search bar. If you know what you’re looking for but don’t know where to find it, use the “Search by Department” dropdown to find a list of stores carrying that type of item. You can also scroll down the homepage to see some of the featured deals for the day.
After you’ve selected a store, you’ll be brought to the store’s individual portal. For example, let’s take a look at Macy’s!
As you can see, you get an automatic 6% cash back for any purchases made at Macy’s when clicking through the Ebates link. Just click the “Shop Now” button and you’re good to go! Better yet, use one of the coupon codes or sale links to earn additional savings!
Stacking Rewards with Ebates
When you stack your cash back rewards with coupon codes or sale links, you save even more. For instance, let’s assume you purchase some clearance items using the Macy’s code above. Assuming that the regular price of the merchandise totals $137.59, here’s how your savings with Ebates would break down.
Regular Price: $137.59
20% off Code: – 27.52
Purchase Price: $110.07
6% Cash Back: $6.60
Total Savings: $34.12
That’s over $34 in total savings just for clicking through a link on a website! To me, that’s a no-brainer. Just be sure that each time you shop, you click through the Ebates links. Your account will not be credited unless you click through immediately prior to the transaction.
Want to get even more savings? Stack your rewards even higher by using a cash back or rewards credit card at checkout! This time, let’s use assume we want to do some holiday shopping at Amazon.com. Lucky for us, Ebates already has us covered. Due to the holiday, Ebates is running a promotion for “Double Cash Back” on certain purchases. Additionally, we’re going to use our a cash back card with rotating categories that provides 5% cash back at Amazon.com during the quarter. Let’s also assume you get double cash back at the end of your first year, which applies to some cash back cards. That means we’re effectively earning 10% cash back just on the card alone. Here’s how it all breaks down:
Regular Price: $387.99
10% Off Code: – 38.79
Purchase Price: $349.20
3% Ebates Cash Back (x2): $20.96
5% Cash Back (x2): $34.92
Total Savings: $94.67 (24.4%)
That’s $94.67 in real savings. Effectively, we’ve just saved almost a full 25% off the regular purchase price, just for doing nothing more than clicking an Ebates link and using our cash back card wisely.
Let’s take a look at one more way you can stack your rewards through Ebates. This time, let’s assume we need to order a new chair for our office. It’s already on sale for $299, so we’re already saving money. We also need $100 in copy paper. Ebates offers a coupon code for $40 off any purchase over $250, plus you’ll receive 3% cash back on purchases sitewide. Additionally, we’ll join the Office Depot Rewards club to earn 10% back on our paper purchase. To pay for the merchandise, we’ll use a card called the Chase Ink® Business Cash Credit Card. This card allows you to earn 5% cash back for all purchases at office supply stores on the first $25,000 spent. Here’s how it all works out:
Sale Price on Chair: $299.00
Copy Paper: +100.00
$40 Off Code: – 40.00
Purchase Price: $359.00
Office Depot Rewards: $10.00
Ebates Cash Back (3%): $10.77
Chase Ink Cash Card (5%): $17.95
Total Savings: $78.72 (19.7%)
Again, that’s almost a 20% savings just for clicking through Ebates, providing a coupon code, and paying with the cash back card that gives us the most benefits. Seriously, that’s real money you’re saving. All it takes is a few extra seconds and employing a simple stacking strategy.
Claim Your Cash Back
Ebates pays out cash back rewards on a quarterly basis. So, if you’ve been shopping through their platform, you could potentially receive a check every three months.
To claim your cash back, you have three payment options:
- Big Fat Check – Ebates will send a paper check right to your door.
- Paypal – You can have your cash back rewards deposited directly into your Paypal account. (This is my favorite option.)
- Charity/Organization/Family Member – Ebates will send a check another person or entity of your choice.
In order to receive a quarterly payment, your cash back balance must total at least $5.01. If you fail to meet the minimum balance requirements, your rewards simply roll over to the next quarterly payment.
This stuff really works. I’ve used Ebates multiple times and have received several hundred dollars back in rewards. Personally, I like the simplicity of receiving my cash back through Paypal. However, if you’re old school and don’t want to mess with an online account, you can always have a paper check mailed to your house.
Should You Try Ebates?
If you prefer online shopping to standing in a store, I’m not sure why you wouldn’t try Ebates. Setting up an account is free, and it’s a great way to save money on the spending you were going to do anyway.
As a serious tightwad, I still don’t do a ton of online shopping. In the same vein, I also like to save wherever I can. So, if I’m going to be shopping online, it only makes sense to get the biggest and best discounts I can. That’s why I almost always use Ebates.
Personally, I love the site. I instantly save money using their coupons and discount codes, plus earning cash back is a no-brainer. Being able to stack rewards with my favorite cash back cards is an even bigger bonus. The interface is attractive and easy to use, so you don’t even have to be a technology wiz to save big bucks.
I highly recommend using Ebates, and I think you’ll love the savings you find there. With great coupon codes, cash back rewards, and an easy to navigate platform, what’s not to like?