You love the idea of saving money when you shop. But you don’t want to spend your valuable time searching for coupons. Who has the time for that?
What you need is a tool that does all the heavy lifting for you when it comes to saving money. Ebates might be just the tool you’ve been dreaming about. And if you still want to search for coupons? No problem – they are stackable with your savings from Ebates.
This Ebates review will teach you everything you need to know about this money-saving program and how to maximize your cash back.
Ebates Review: Why I LOVE this Site
How Does Ebates Work
Let’s start with what Ebates is.
Ebates offers you cash back deals for a large variety of stores – all you have to do is shop through Ebates when making a purchase.
Their business model is that many stores, especially online, pay people for sending a customer. For example, if I send you to Amazon via a link from this website to buy a book, I’ll get a small percentage of that sale.
What Ebates does is it splits that commission with you. So you get a bit, they get a bit. This is money you weren’t seeing, so it’s really a win-win.
You can use Ebates from your phone, from a desktop, or even shopping in-store.
Here’s a rundown of how it looks.
Say you’re looking to buy a new mobile from from a desktop computer. You know the type of phone you want–the Samsung Galaxy S8.
Step # 1 – Sign up for Ebates
Click join now, then you can quickly sign up with your email address or Facebook.
Step # 2 – Start your search from Ebates
Enter the product you’re looking for in the search bar.
Alternatively, you can search your favorite stores, e.g. Walmart, Amazon, Patagonia, etc… if you’re not sure what you want to buy.
Step # 3 – Click through to a site which maximizes your cash back
Here’s what I see for the results of the Samsung Galaxy S8.
Step # 4 – Click through to the website of your choice
Last, simply click through to the store which maximizes your total cost.
By buying through this link, you’ll then be credited the cash back in your Ebates account. For example, if you were to buy the phone through Walmart, you’d receive up to $59.99 cash back.
It’s worth mentioning again this is how you use Ebates through a desktop computer. The process changes little on your phone. However, it takes a little more effort to use Ebates for in-store purchases.
To use the in-store feature, you’ll tap on the in-store button in the Ebates app. Then you’ll have to locate the store you’re going to and tap the button that says link.
If this is your first time using it, you’ll have to key in your credit card or debit card to that account. While that may make some people skittish about the security of their card, the information is encrypted.
When you see that store is linked, you’ll know you’re good to go. You can shop just like you normally would there, but by using your credit card so the purchase can be logged. Then you’ll receive your savings from Ebates – you’ll be able to see it soon in the dashboard right where your little yellow E is.
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Pros and Cons of Ebates
It seems easy, right? That’s because it is.
Nonetheless, no Ebates review would be complete without looking at the pros and cons. As with any tool, there are good things and not-so-good things about Ebates.
Pros of Ebates
- It’s incredibly simple to use, even if you aren’t great with technology.
- You get money sent to you just for shopping like you normally would – you don’t have to alter any of your behaviors.
- It is linked with a large number of stores – more than 2,000.
- It’s free.
- You have a variety of options when it comes to getting your money – you can have a check mailed to you, or you can be paid through PayPal.
Cons of Ebates
- You can’t link all types of credit cards, including Mastercard or Discover, for in-store purchases. It does take Visa and American Express though.
- They only send payments four times a year, but that does allow those payouts to be bigger because they contain months of shopping at all once.
- Certain stores only give cash back in particular shopping categories, not on anything you buy in the store.
Ebates vs. Swagbucks
There’s now more than a dozen cash back websites around. One popular one is Swagbucks.
How does Ebates stack up to Swagbucks?
Here’s a few things to know:
- Ebates pays in cash, while Swagbucks pays in points that can be redeemed for cash or gift cards.
- Ebates pays you 4X a year. Swagbucks allows you to purchase gift cards starting a $3 and withdraw cash at $25.
- Swagbucks has more ways to earn points, while Ebates is strictly a cash back tool.
- Ebates offers a very generous $25 bonus for referring a friend. Swagbucks offers you $3, then 10% of the points your friends earn.
While these details are helpful to know, what’s most important is to minimize your total cost. And to do that, it’s worth searching both cash back sites for the best deal.
Ebates Review: Tips For Maximizing Your Cash Back
To ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck, here are some tips for you.
- Pay attention to limited time bonuses — they had 15 percent cash back on everything and a 10 percent cash back on hotels recently. That kind of savings can really pay off when you’re booking a family vacation. You could easily save $100.
- Download both the app and the browser extension. Once you’ve installed it, you’ll see an icon in the upper right corner of your screen – it will look like a yellow E. You can click on that icon at any time to check your information, such as how much money you have pending in savings and how much you’ve saved so far. And whenever you visit a website to do some shopping, if there are any Ebates savings linked to it, it will let you know in eye-catching print. Then you’ll just press the activate button before paying for your merchandise.
- Refer your friends and family. You’ll get a very generous $25 for every friend who signs up and makes a purchase. Keep in mind, they’ll get $10 too. So, it’s an easy share.
- You can stack your savings with a good cash back card, my favorite is the Chase Freedom Unlimited or Chase Freedom.
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