Reviews

RebatesMe Review: How Much You Can Earn + How It Compares to Other Sites

RebatesMe Review
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With the large number of cash-back and rewards websites out there, you might wonder if RebatesMe is worth the trouble. After all, there are other more well-known websites that may potentially offer better rewards.  

This RebatesMe review will help you answer that question.

We’ll touch on what the site is, how it works, and how its earning potential stacks up against the competition. 

RebatesMe Basics

RebatesMe is a cash-back portal in the same vein as more popular options like Swagbucks and Rakuten: you can save money when shopping online by visiting the site, clicking a link to go to your retailer of choice, and then shopping as usual. 

RebatesMe gets a referral fee from the merchant, and they share a little bit of that money with you.

Signing up is quick and easy. Just enter some basic personal information and then you’re ready to start earning cash-back. 

According to RebatesMe’s LinkedIn page, the company has paid out about $30 million in rebates so far.

Sign-Up Bonus

New members can earn a $5 sign-up bonus by making a qualifying purchase (one that earns at least $10 in cash-back) within a year of joining.

Referral Bonus

RebatesMe offers a $10 referral bonus. Your referrals must use your unique link, register for the site and make a qualifying purchase (one that earns at least $10 in cash-back) before the commission is credited to your account balance. 

Browser Extension

Many cash-back rewards sites offer a browser extension. RebatesMe’s extension is called the “Cash Back Button,” and the company claims it can help you earn “up to 55% Cash Back at 3,000+ stores.”

While that may be true in some cases, be aware that 55% would be a major outlier. Most of the time, you’ll earn far less than that (as we’ll discuss later in this article). 

Using the extension is easy. Once installed, it will alert you whenever you visit a merchant that’s offering cash-back, providing a link to activate the offer.

App

RebatesMe has a mobile app available for both Android and iOS. It functions identically to the website, but offers a more modern and streamlined interface and is helpful when shopping from your mobile device.

How Much Can You Earn? RebatesMe’s Cash-Back Rates and Terms

As with other cash-back sites, the rates and terms for each retailer varies. 

To help you compare RebatesMe to other sites, we sampled rates from a handful of popular retailers. These numbers were collected in February 2020, and represent the same merchants we’ve used in our other cash-back portal reviews.

RebatesMeRakutenSwagbucksTopCashback
Best Buy0.5%Up to 3%2%Up to 4%
Gap4%10%2%4%
Macy’s7%2%4%6%
Nike1%1.5%3%3%
Sephora5%2%2%7%

Note that RebatesMe offers the best rate for just one store (Macy’s), besting TopCashback by 1%. The portal’s other rates are all over the map, ranging from worst to second best.

Number of Merchants

Another way to compare these popular cash-back sites is through the number of retailers they offer. 

RebatesMe has a solid stable of partnered merchants.

RebatesMeRakutenSwagbucksTopCashback
Number of Stores2,9572,7502,8294,901

Time to Credit and Getting Paid

The cash-back you earn on RebatesMe typically shows up in your account within seven days. 

RebatesMeRakutenSwagbucksTopCashback
7 days1 day7 days30 days

That’s quick compared to many other sites (the four listed above have some of the faster payouts in the industry).

The minimum cash-out amount is $10. However, RebatesMe’s terms and conditions state that this minimum does not apply to your first withdrawal. In other words, there’s no minimum for new members. 

Members can choose from a variety of payment methods including paper check, gift card, prepaid Visa card or PayPal.

Users can also select Alipay, which is a Chinese payment processor similar to PayPal.

Note that if you choose to get paid by paper check, the minimum withdrawal amount is $1,000. Additionally, the maximum you can withdraw via prepaid Visa card is $1,500. 

  • Checks are mailed to the name and address in your account and can take up to a month to reach you.  
  • Prepaid credit cards can take up to a week to reach you. 
  • PayPal transfers are completed within 48 hours. 

Cash-Back Protection Policy

RebatesMe introduced its “Cash-Back Protection Policy” in June of 2020 via a press release

However, this policy is not unique in the industry or particularly valuable for users.

Simply put, the policy outlines steps that members can take if they believe they haven’t been properly credited with cash-back after making a qualifying purchase. 

To utilize the policy, members are required to fill out a form notifying RebatesMe that they didn’t receive the rewards they expected. Upon receipt of this note of discrepancy, RebatesMe staff will “examine the request and begin the process of getting the user the money they’ve earned.” 

Beyond that, there are no guarantees.

This policy pales in comparison to the frameworks offered by other portals. For example, Rakuten makes it easy to report missing cash-back directly from your account page in a process that typically takes less than a minute. 

In every instance that we’ve tested, Rakuten credited us the missing cash-back instantly; there was no waiting for staff to investigate (and no need to follow up). 

About the Company

RebatesMe was founded in 2013 by Daniel Dai, who previously worked at PayPal. The company’s headquarters are located in Beaverton, Oregon.

That said, it’s hard to find much more on RebatesMe as a company, which does not have an extensive public profile. In our research, it was difficult to find details about who works for the firm or how it operates. 

This is concerning when dealing with a website of this nature because members offer up a wealth of data about their internet usage and shopping habits.

While RebatesMe may in fact handle that data safely and ethically, we would feel better if the company was more transparent.

RebatesMe Reputation

On RebatesMe’s Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) page, the site has a rating of 3.43 out of 5 stars

Most of the reviews on that page are either very positive or very negative, with at least one positive review noting that RebatesMe staff worked to resolve an issue with a purchase and awarded the member the cash-back they rightfully earned. 

However, it’s alarming how often RebatesMe responds to customer complaints by noting that if a retailer fails to verify a purchase, no cash-back will be awarded.

This is a less helpful posture than taken by most other cash-back portals, and it suggests that failure to credit may be a common problem.

Our Take

RebatesMe is a legitimate cash-back rewards site that offers hit-or-miss rates. Because it’s not as well-known as other sites that (generally speaking) offer more reliable rewards, it doesn’t enjoy the same reputation and member base.

More importantly, we think the site has an unusually combative relationship with its members. 

For example, in addition to the less-than-stellar cash-back “guarantee” detailed above, the site’s terms and conditions include the following stipulation:

Users who have not earned cash-back for more than 12 months may be subject to a $4.99 per month fee, which is subtracted from their account balance.

This is referred to as a “maintenance fee,” and it supposedly “recover[s] the cost of account maintenance in its normal course of business.”

This $4.99 charge recurs until you reactivate your account by earning more cash-back back (or until your balance is wiped out). 

Since the minimum withdrawal is $10, there’s a chance you may not hit that threshold within 12 months if you’re not a regular online shopper. In that case, whatever you earned would be eaten up by the fee. 

Given that, and combined with the fact that sites like Rakuten, Swagbucks and TopCashback typically pay better rates, we think it’s better to wait on this one for now.

R.J. Weiss
R.J. Weiss is the founder and editor of The Ways To Wealth, a Certified Financial Planner™, husband and father of three. He's spent the last 10+ years writing about personal finance and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, MSN Money, and other publications.

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