Save Money Shopping Online with Rakuten
Yep, there are affiliate links here. As a consumer advocate, I don’t review or link to anything I don’t benefit from myself. I’m sharing the savings, if you sign up for Ebates you will, too, starting with $10 cash back.
I recently answered a question asked by Valerie Richter of Meaningful Journey about how I save money, and one of my answers was that I use Ebates ($10 back on your first order) when I shop online to get money back on purchases. I also promised a review of this online shopping app and browser plugin that has saved me around $120 over just a couple of months, so here is my Ebates review. I shop online frequently, so your mileage may vary – but I’ll explain later how I maximize my cash back. I also want to mention right up front that Ebates now works in a few bricks and mortar stores as well. I recently went to a Petco store and made a little cash back after I bought cat food.
How to Use Ebates
In a nutshell, you shop through Ebates.com or use the Ebates Cash Back Button plug in (Chrome / Firefox), or the mobile app – all of which offers a percentage of your purchase back as a cash reward. Accumulate cash back and then once a quarter or a little more often that cash will go into your PayPal account or you’ll get a check in the mail. You can also automatically donate your cash back to charity. As long as you have earned over $5, you will get paid. If you haven’t earned that much, then that amount rolls over to the next payment cycle so you can build on it. You never lose your cash rewards.
Sales and Cash Back
On top of getting cash back, Ebates lets you know when there are a sales either via a daily email or when you use the browser plug in for browsers like Chrome or Firefox, you’ll see a yellow “E” in the upper right hand corner. When you go to an online store that works with Ebates, that “E” turns red. Click on it and you’ll see if there are any deals on that website and you’ll see a drop down box that tells you what percentage of your purchase you will get back as cash. You can also sign up for a quick daily Deal of the Day email, and the mobile app sends notifications for daily deals, double cash back and other promotions.
Ebates combines the best shopping and sales deals plus cash back, so you can’t use it with any other offers. For example, if Ebates gives you a code that gives you 10% off your order plus cash back, you can’t buy via a shopping site like Discover Card Deals or use another coupon and still get the Ebates deal. The retailers have to make some profit! If you find a better deal compared to what Ebates is giving you, just enter the code and it will work and Ebates will stop tracking your shopping for that order.
More Juicy Ebates Info
- I like that Ebates was developed way back in 1998 by two law professionals who used to prosecute online fraud and identity theft. The company takes security seriously.
- From what I’ve read, over 2,000 stores participate in the Ebates program. You can set the online shopping sites that you frequent to be favorites, which show up in a list ready to be looked over for deals when you need to do some shopping.
- Every day at least one store offers double cash back, so if they usually offer 4% back, you will get 8% back if you place an order that day.
- Ebates has special events where the percent back goes way up! In May, I earned over $45 back on purchases at Kohl’s and Philosophy websites because of a 15% cash back event. Granted, I spent quite a bit to get that kind of rebate but I bought items I needed or had been planning to buy but was waiting on a sale.
Final Word on Using Ebates to Save Money
As for saving money, you won’t save much if you allow Ebates to convince you to buy stuff you don’t need just because of the rebate/sale combo. Make buying decisions responsibly, use Ebates wisely and it can be a great addition to your budget or savings plan. Keep Ebates in mind when you’re shopping for gifts and use it when one of your favorite online shopping sites is having a blow out sale and you will save significant amounts of money.