Welcome to my first series ever–My Favorite Websites and Apps for Saving Money. In this series, I’m detailing websites and apps that I use to save money. A few of these are actually legitimate ways to EARN money! These are all websites and apps that YOU could easily start NOW in order to save money or even EARN money! Every little bit adds up!
Thank you for joining me, and remember that you can ask me any questions in the comments and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability. Let’s continue with Day 2!!
Website #2: Ebates
What is Ebates and how does it work?
Ebates is a website that partners with over 2,000 online retailers to offer their members cash rebates on their online purchases. You simply login to your free Ebates account, and then search for the online retailer you want, click through to the retailer’s website and buy what you need as you usually would.
By clicking through to your desired retailer through the Ebates website, Ebates receives your purchase information and credits your account with a percentage of your purchase amount. Different retailers offer different percentages of cash back through Ebates, ranging from 1% to 40% cash back. Ebates also runs promotions throughout the year to offer double or even triple cash back on select stores.
Another Ebates feature I love is that Ebates lists coupon codes for each store. When you search and select your desired store, Ebates shows you all the available coupon codes before you click through to the site. It’s everything you need all in one place!!
Which one is better: shopping through Swagbucks or Ebates??
Last week I posted about Swagbucks, another website where you can receive credit for shopping online. So you might wonder which one is better to use. That’s a good question…
I say make a comparison first. Swagbucks gives you credit in the form of Swagbucks points, whereas Ebates gives you actual cash back that you will get back via check or PayPal. I prefer to get real cash instead of just gift cards…but that’s me.
When you search for a retailer on Swagbucks, they will give you a description of how many Swagbucks per dollar you will get back and say “as good as [5%] cash back.” Sometimes that percentage will be higher than what Ebates is offering, but most of the time I find it to be the same as Ebates or even less.
Because both of these sites have to track your purchase and then reward you accordingly, I prefer to go with Ebates. From my experience, Ebates has EXCELLENT customer service. Several times I have not had cash back come through as it should have, and they very quickly remedied the situation. It’s a very simple process to request a correction.
Not so with Swagbucks. I have had several shopping trips lost, and no easy way to get them corrected. Swagbucks’ customer service ticket submissions can be lengthy and difficult, and the customer service is just not as reliable, in my opinion. If anything, it’s just very slow, and it’s so much harder to get credit after the fact when it didn’t work correctly.
I HAVE, however, gotten lucky and received credit from BOTH Swagbucks and Ebates by entering a retailer website through Ebates, and THEN activating the Swagbucks Shop & Earn through the SwagButton that you can install in your browser. Again, that doesn’t always work, but it is nice when it does.
OVERALL POINT: Shop through Ebates in order to make sure you do receive your rebate for your purchase. Ebates is much more user-friendly and reliable when it comes to online shopping. That’s all Ebates does and they are mighty good at it.
How can you get started on Ebates?
Sign up for your free Ebates account. Search for a store and start shopping. It’s really that simple–I’d have to say the simplicity and ease-of-use is what makes Ebates so appealing to me. Well, besides the free cash back rebates. 😉
Ebates is currently offering a $10 bonus for signing up as a new member. All you have to do is sign up and then make a $25 purchase within your first 90 days. That should be fairly easy with Christmas coming!!
How and when do you receive your cash back?
As I said earlier, when you click through Ebates to an online retailer, Ebates receives information from the retailer on your purchase amount. Then Ebates credits your account with the percentage that the retailer was currently offering back. This usually only takes a few days.
Then every quarter, Ebates sends you a “Big Fat Check,” as they like to call it, or you can opt to receive your cash via PayPal. The only caveat is that you must have accumulated $5.01 in cash back in order for them to send you a check.
Is Ebates really worth it??
Umm…pardon my language, but heck yeah!! If you were already going to buy something online, why NOT get some cash back?? It’s really not hard to go to ebates.com first and then go to your desired retailer–just a few extra keystrokes and clicks. And with over 2,000 online retailers participating, you’d be missing out on a lot of money but not shopping through Ebates.
Every little bit of cash back adds up…I’ve been a member of Ebates since 2013, and I’ve received $164 in cash back. But I think it’s important to note that I’m not even a huge shopper!! That’s $164 that I could not have saved any other way.
But I would say that when we need something, I quite often go to the store to check it out, and then come home and order it online whenever possible–choosing pick up in store is a great way to do this without shipping fees. There’s no point in missing out on that free cash back!!
If you are a big online shopper, Ebates is definitely going to become your best friend. It’s like having a coupon no matter what it is you’re buying!
Let me know if Ebates helps you out this holiday shopping season!! This is a great time of year to use Ebates because they offer higher cash back percentages on many stores!
Be sure to come back on Wednesday (11/16) to read all about the National Consumer Panel!
(Note: The links I’ve provided to Ebates are my personal referral link. If you sign up for Ebates as well, you’ll also get a link to share with friends for the same referral bonuses. Happy Savings!)