Be sure to check out the other posts in my ABCs of Frugal Living series!
This week, I’m talking about the website Ebates. It’s a cash back site, which means if you go through this site to make a purchase somewhere, like Amazon, you’ll get money back from that purchase and it’ll go into your Ebates account. There are many sites like this, but Ebates seems to be the most popular. It’s easy to get started, and easy to get paid. Today I’m just going through the basics and showing you all the different features to make it seem less intimidating.
First of all, to activate an offer, you find the store you want to purchase from. It’s a long list; I feel like almost every website is on here in some form. Some of the most popular are Amazon, Wal Mart, Macy’s, JCPenney… all stores that we’ve heard of before. Once you’ve chosen your store (I picked Wal Mart), just click on “Shop Now” and it’ll take you straight to Wal Mart’s website to do your shopping. Remember that you have to click on that button through Ebates in order to qualify for your cash back! Once you make a qualifying purchase, your cash back will appear in your account in about a week. When you reach $5.01 in cash back, you can redeem that in 3 different ways:
- Receive the money in the mail through a check
- Receive the money through PayPal
- Donate the money to your favorite charity
And it’s that easy! Ebates takes care of all the mailing fees so you get all of the money, not just a percentage. Here are the other different features on the site:
Double cash back
Ebates will offer double cash back on certain stores every so often. You can see most of them on the front page, or you can click on Double Cash Back to see the entire list. I’ve seen a few popular websites on there like Amazon, Wal Mart, and Groupon! Be sure to check here before you make a purchase anywhere.
Cash back button- Firefox extension
Ebates has a Firefox extension which lets you know whether the website you’re visiting has any cash back features. The little “E” icon will turn different colors:
- Green- Your Cash Back is automatically activated, so all you have to do is make your purchase.
- Orange- You have to manually activate your offer. Just click on the orange “E” and click Activate.
- Neutral- What you see in the image above. This means there are no cash back offers available on the site.
It’s a convenient way to be reminded to earn cash back on any page you visit. I go to Amazon a couple times a month and I always seem to forget that I could have gotten some money back on what I bought!
This section will show you any special coupon codes or sales for certain websites. Like in the picture above, you’ll see that Kohl’s is currently offering 15% off $100 with a coupon code. This would be a good place to check if you’re making big purchases.
In-store cash back
Certain stores have the cash-back feature inside the store. You’ll need to link your credit card to the site, and link it to the particular store, then go inside and shop normally and make the purchase with that credit card. There currently aren’t many stores available for the in-store cash back, but it is pretty convenient to be able to take your time inside the store and find what you want.
This section is similar to other websites, where you can search by store and it’ll show you any sales and coupon codes that are available. It’s always good to do a quick search first before you shop; I know there have been times when on a whim I decided to look for a coupon code for Amazon, and ended up saving a few dollars! It’s always worth the extra few minutes to look.
I hope this makes things a little clearer! Using a site like Ebates every time you do online shopping is another great way to save money. Just think of what you could save even if all you use Ebates for is Christmas shopping every year. That could be a big chunk of money! You can sign up here and get started today. Have you earned a bunch of money from a site like Ebates? Leave a comment and let us know!