Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified or personally used.
Nearly 80% of Americans shop online. I am guessing you fall into this category and if you aren’t using Ebates, you are leaving money on the table.
I signed up for Ebates in 2011 and neglected to use all the benefits of the site until just last fall. I am not a big spender, but I have saved myself $70 over the previous six months. These savings are only the cashback offers, but I have saved even more by using Ebates’ promo code feature. My estimated combined savings are near $200.
What is Ebates?
Ebates is a company that has partnered with online retailers to form a referral relationship and has been in existence since 1999. They have become the largest free-membership loyalty program in the US.
Ebates will be undergoing a name and logo change this year (2019). Rakuten (RACK-uh-ten) will be the new name but the company ensures that it’s users will experience the same perks and benefits as in the past.
How Does Ebates Work?
Ebates is an affiliate company that has partnered with over 2,500 merchants. As an affiliate company, it means that Ebates has negotiated to receive a certain percentage of each sale it refers to a specific retailer. Ebates then shares part of that percentage with you. This is how Ebates makes money and how you earn cash back on your purchases. It’s a win, win.
Extras: Daily Deals, Coupons, & Promos
As I mentioned earlier, your savings using Ebates isn’t limited to getting cash back. There are daily deals listed on the site that you can utilize which may include increased cash back percentage or a limited time offer on top of the cash back.
Coupons and promo codes can be stacked on top of your cash back percentage to increase your overall savings.
Once you sign up for Ebates, make sure you whitelist their emails. They frequently will email you with deals to your favorite retailers.
Typically, when using Ebates, you would head on over to their site, find the retailer you wish to purchase from, then click through the link to activate your cash back savings.
Going through the Ebates site first can be quite a hassle and something that is quickly forgotten. Instead of taking this extra step I would encourage installing the Ebates extension on your browser. You can sign up for Ebates here and then head over here to get the extension.
With the browser extension, you will be automatically reminded to activate the cash back savings. Once you have completed shopping, you will also be able to apply any promo codes or coupons with a simple click of a button.
How Does Ebates Pay?
Ebates pays out cash back earnings every 90 days by either paper check or Paypal. Payment will be sent out when your balance is over $5.00. Payouts do not include pending transactions. Here is a copy of their payment schedule:
Pros & Cons
- Ebates is 100% free to sign up for.
- Easy cash back on items you would typically be purchasing. A couple of extra clicks is all it takes to save money.
- Ebates isn’t limited to online shopping any longer. They have limited in-store options available.
- You will not have to pay full price anymore, and you won’t have to Google promo codes only to be dismayed when they don’t work. Ebates does all the work for you.
- Ebates doesn’t work with all Amazon categories, only a select few.
- Cashback percentages and retailers can change. A couple of stores I was once able to receive cash back from are no longer partnered with Ebates.
- Hotel cash back payments take forever to be applied and sometimes are never received. I am still waiting for hotel stays from the summer of 2018 to be applied. They currently show as pending in my account.
- You only receive payments every three months.
- Ebates is getting smart to their competition, and you can no longer piggyback savings with some other cashback sites. I noticed that I could no longer activate savings with Wikibuy and Ebates. Ebates would automatically deactivate once I enabled Wikibuy features.
With the rise of affiliate marketing, influencers are making social sharing very profitable. Ebates pays you $25 for every referral you send to their site that signs up for a new account and spends $25 themselves. If your referrals do this, they will get $10. You can join Ebates here to receive your free $10 to jumpstart your cash back rewards!