Ebates is one of the best and oldest cashback sites out there. We did this Ebates review so that you could learn more about the cashback site in order to maximize your cashback rewards. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can sign up here for a $10 bonus.
- 1 Ebates Review: What Is Ebates?
- 2 An Introduction To Cashback Sites
- 3 Step By Step Instructions On How To Use Ebates
- 4 Ebates Special Pages And Portals
- 5 Who Can Join Ebates?
- 6 When Do I Get The Cashback?
- 7 How To Optimize Your Ebates Cashback?
- 8 Ebates Referral Bonus
- 9 Ebates Pros And Cons
Ebates Review: What Is Ebates?
Ebates is a cashback site that was created in 1998 and was bought out by Rakuten for $1 Billion in 2014. In 2011, Ebates bought out FatWallet and AnyCoupons. Rakuten, a $7 Billion company, is similar to the Japanese version eBay and has a huge relationship with helping retailers sell product. Ebates is rated with an A+ on the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Ebates is completely free and you can sign up in less than a minute. You even get $10 just for signing up!
Rakuten Marketing is actually one of the biggest affiliate networks out there. An affiliate network is one that works with large publishers to generate money via purchases. What better way to leverage that network than to share the commissions with everyone at the same time? It’s a win-win-win for you, the retailer, and Ebates/Rakuten.
Ebates offers 1 to 40 percent cashback on over 2,000 retailers and currently has over 10 million members who have collectively earned over $1 Billion in cashback since they’ve started.
I’ve been using Ebates since 2012 and it hasn’t changed that much. I simply click through from Ebates before purchasing whatever product I was going to purchase anyway and make cashback. It’s awesome! Every quarter, Ebates sends me money via Paypal. In its early days, I got paid via check. Now, I get paid via Paypal.
If you love watching video instead of reading about something, here’s a quick video on how Ebates works:
An Introduction To Cashback Sites
Ebates is one of the best cashback sites out there.
What exactly is a cashback site? Cashback sites aggregate coupons, deals, and discounts in order to entice you to order through them by clicking through to the retailer from the cashback site. These cashback sites have agreements with the largest online retailers to receive a small commission every time someone buys something through the cashback site. They give you part or all of the commission they receive in order to entice you to order through them. It’s a win-win for both of you.
Another great thing is that they usually have sign-up bonuses.
BeFrugal offers a $10 bonus just for signing up.
Ebates also offers a $10 bonus for signing up.
Lastly, they offer cashback on very common online retailers. You know, the ones you probably spend the most money on! Amazon, Walmart, Target, Jet, etc. are all popular sites listed on cashback sites.
For example, if you were buying something through Nordstrom and the item cost $100 and the cashback rate was 8 percent, you’d get $8 back.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spends ~$26,000 on things you can get cashback on. In order to get to this number, we subtracted out things like taxes, rent or mortgage, auto and student loans, insurance, etc, basically things you can’t get cashback on.
Most cashback options are between 1-10 percent, so if we’re assuming you’re getting an average of 4.5% cashback, that’s ~$1,170 in cashback per year. If you’re not using a cashback site, you’re leaving money on the table. If don’t shop that much, the cashback you get won’t be as high, but any dollars are better than $0 dollars!
Imagine getting $1,000 pr hundreds a year just for using cashback sites and apps. Add in credit card cashback and bonuses, and you’re getting a ton of money back.
Generally online cashback sites don’t offer that many cashback options for brick and mortar retailers. Check out our Dosh review [$5 bonus] for brick and mortar cashback.
Step By Step Instructions On How To Use Ebates
1). Start by signing up for Ebates to get a $10 bonus in cash through this link.
3). Click on the “Coupons” portion and you’ll see a ton of deals, promos, and coupons. They’re really good at having a ton of coupons. Pick your favorites and click “Shop Now” to go to your retailer. Make sure your Adblock is or ad blocking software is not on.
4). You’ll see the below page when you go through to your retailer. The blurred part gives you the click code, so if anything goes wrong, you can always send an email to Ebates and they’ll know how to track the issue.
5). You can see your “shopping trips” under your profile. Each time you click on a retailer through Ebates, you’ll generate a tracking code for your shopping trip. Ebates will also time and date stamp your click in case there are any issues. Below is an example of what it looks like. The 8% Sephora screenshot above redirects to the site super quickly so it took me 7 tries to screenshot it, haha.
6). Once you’re done with your purchase, you can see your cash back like below. It was quite a nice cashback rate at 14 percent for Nordstrom. Cashback definitely pays off.
7). Get paid! Your cashback goes straight to Paypal if you wish or you can choose to get a check. You get paid 4 times a year, by the quarter.
Ebates Special Pages And Portals
Ebates offers cashback on over 2,000 retailers. We can’t list them all here, but here are some of the largest.
They even have a specific travel portal that allows you to search travel by dates. Check the hotel or car rental cashback rate against the online travel agency cashback to see which cashback rate is better.
Best Cashback Deals
I’m a big fan of Groupon, because they already offer large discounts on local or online experiences. If you go through Groupon, you get additional cashback.
Coupons & Deals, Offline Cashback, Same Day Pickup, & Ebates Extension
There’s a coupon and deals section on Ebates, which you’ll see when you shop through Ebates. You can get cashback and stack your coupon or deal on top of it. Be sure to use your cashback credit card as well!
The recent trend in the cashback world is to finally offer offline cashback. It’s super simple. All you need to do is link your credit card on Ebates and when you purchase something in real life, you’ll get cashback on it.
If you’re worried you’ll forget to click through Ebates, install the Ebates extension and it’ll automatically track all your purchases.
It’ll also let you know if stores are having deals that day. The extension will also add coupons and deals for you automatically.
You’ll only get cashback if you’re using a credit card transaction though, you won’t get credit if you’re using a debit card.
If you need to buy something in-store, then purchase it online for the cashback and then pickup the item later in the day. This is best done for large physical purchases, because you’ll need to pick it up anyway. Places like Walmart, Target, etc now offer same day in-store pickup as well.
Ebates Credit Card
Ebates came out with a credit card recently and it gives an extra 3 percent cashback when you make a purchase through ebates. You get an additional 1 percent for a total of 4 percent if you use the card where Visa is accepted, which is pretty much anywhere. It doesn’t have an annual fee.
A 3 percent cashback card is pretty rare, and considering Ebates covers 2,000 merchants, that’a lot of places to shop and get cashback. There’s also no annual fee like other cards.
Who Can Join Ebates?
Anyone can join Ebates, but you’ll only be able to get cashback from the retailers on the site. You must be 18 years or older.
When Do I Get The Cashback?
Your cashback will be yours once it has been in the account for 60 days. The long time period is because Ebates does not get paid until the retailers return period is over.
Ebates used to pay out more regularly, but now pays cashback 4 times a year on the 15th of these months: February, May, August, and November.
The minimum payout rate is $5.01.
Though they call the quarterly payments “Big Fat Checks”, you can simply get your cashback via Paypal. Here’s a screenshot of one of my Paypal cashback deposits.
What If I Am Missing Cashback?
Ebay tracks each click you make via the site by time, date, and store you click on. That way if there’s something wrong, you can go back to Ebates and fill out a form. Ebates checks it and deposits it into your account.
Note: One of the biggest issues for people not getting cashback is that they’re using Adblocker, or some other type of ad blocking software. The tech that allows the retailer and Ebates to communicate is called a “cookie” and Adblock blocks that technology from working. So, be sure to turn off Adblock whenever you’re clicking from Ebates to the retailer! Another issue is that you’ve blocked cookies on all webpages. Enable cookies for Ebates if you want to get your cashback. They can’t track your purchases otherwise!
You also must click through Ebates to go to the retailer. You cannot click through after you’ve made the purchase. The tracker they use to track your purchases won’t work if you click on the site after.
There are a couple of stores that offer cashback, but not in all categories. For example, sometimes Amazon offers cashback on luxury beauty products, while it doesn’t offer cashback on other categories.
Taxes, shipping, or purchases paid with gift cards are not allowed cashback. However, you will get cashback if you buy a gift card through the website.
If you return the item, your cashback will get cancelled. If you exchange an item, you’ll still get your cashback in the end.
Best Cashback Deals In The Past
How To Optimize Your Ebates Cashback?
If you read this blog, you know that I love to optimize everything.
For a while, there was a plugin that allowed you to save products to a website and it would alert you whenever the price dropped to the historical lows.
While that doesn’t exist anymore, I now put the products I want to buy on a Google spreadsheet. I wait until there’s a sale on the site or a heavily discounted coupon, and then wait for an Ebates cashback deal (they do 2x cashback every few weeks)!
Ebates offers different cashback rates from day to day. Perhaps they increase cashback rates when there’s a sale for a certain site or it’s a holiday or day where you’re more likely to spend.
Check out the Ebates Daily Double Cashback page.
A while ago, Ebates started picks one store and doubles the normal cashback for it.
Ebates Referral Bonus
As of this post’s publish date, Ebates offers $25 per referral that signs up. Each referral must purchase $25 worth of goods first. It’s a reasonable referral offer. They want to make sure people are not just signing up with fake emails, even though they probably track IP addresses. If you sign up, you already get a $10 bonus through this link, and $25 per friend you sign up to earn cashback is a great offer.
They make it pretty easy for you to invite your friends and you get $25 per referral which is pretty awesome. Convincing your friend to use Ebates so they get cashback each time is a win-win for both of you.
Ebates Pros And Cons
Ebates is incredibly easy to use and gets you cashback easily. Get 1 to 40 percent cashback on 2,000 retailers.
The tracking system is awesome and you get paid via Paypal.
You can wait until the item you want to buy is on the double cashback page or has other great promos or deals, all in one page.
$10 bonus just for signing up and $25 for each referral you make to the site.
Unlike BeFrugal, Ebates only pays you 4 times a year, while you can cashout anytime with BeFrugal. Still, it shouldn’t be a big deal how many times a cashback site pays out, just that it does.
Olivia worked in finance and wants you to learn the secrets of financial independence. She believes there are so many ways to monetize your life and make money doing the things you're already doing because so many companies offer free money.
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