For lack of a better introductory sentence, I give you this: If you are going to do any shopping online, this article is for you.
As someone who’s always looking to save a buck or two (and ideally more!), I am shocked that I just recently learned about Ebates. I am an avid online shopper. I’m sure many can relate to the reality that sometimes it’s just easiest to have an item or two that you need delivered to your front door, rather than making a trip to the store (this is especially true when you have a rambunctious toddler in tow!). So let me tell you- if you are going to do any amount of shopping online at any time, you must start using Ebates!
(and if you don’t do any shopping online, but do grocery shop [most people do!], check out my post on how to get cash back on grocery purchases here)
Ebates is a website that gives you cash back on online purchases that you make. They support over 1,800 online retailers, which is pretty incredible! You will most likely recognize some of the most popular ones in the picture below, taken from their website.
Ok, BEFORE WE GO ANY FURTHER, I want to share the fact that Ebates currently has a great deal on Turbo Tax Online. You can get 7.5% back on your purchase of Turbo Tax! Additionally, it is 20% off through Turbo Tax’s website until February 21, 2016. If you plan on purchasing Turbo Tax for your taxes this year (April 15 is coming up quickly, people!), do yourself a favor and save yourself some money on it (20% off at purchase, and 7.5% cash back)! I’ve included a screenshot below for proof of this timely deal! (EDIT- the 20% offer has since expired and dropped to 10% off. However, the 7.5% cash back through Ebates still stands, so take advantage of it!) Please know that no one is paying me to promote Turbo Tax; I just wish I would have known for myself a few weeks ago when we purchased it for our taxes!
Ok, back to the ins and outs of Ebates…
“How does it work?” you are most likely thinking. Well, It’s pretty simple and I’ve included a few pictures as a tutorial.
The next step is to give yourself a pat on the back. Once signing up, you will hopefully never make an online purchase again without getting cash back! Woo hoo! That’s worth some self-love right there, for sure!
The following instructions are the details of how to actually use the site to get money back on your purchases. I have decided to do this tutorial through a desktop computer, rather than the Ebates app on my phone, as I’ve found the website itself is a little easier to navigate than the app. However, if you’re feeling ambitious, or don’t have a desktop/laptop, feel free to use the app! It still does the job!
Anyways, here is how to use Ebates for cash back:
Basically, any time you are going to purchase an item online, go to Ebates.com and make sure you are signed into your account. From there, you can browse or do a search for the retailer you are looking for. In this case, as an example I used Carter’s, because I needed to purchase a few things from there. As you can see in picture, it is at the top of the list.
Click “Shop now”
After clicking “shop now”, you should see a window temporarily pop up on your screen that looks similar to this picture.
Now, here’s the cool thing. See that green text that says, “Nothing more for you to do”? It’s true! For as long as you are browsing through the retail site without clicking out of your web browser, you’re connected to Ebates! It really is that easy!
I will admit, when I first started using Ebates, I was skeptical that after being directed to the retailer’s site, I was no longer connected to my Ebates account since I couldn’t see any evidence of it. However, trust the system! I have gotten cash back with no issues for every purchase I’ve made through Ebates thus far. If you see the box pop up like above, you’re good to go from there on out!
Anyways, moving on…
The next step is to do your shopping! Again, remember to not click out of the browser once you have started your trip.
Now you may be wondering, “Since I am getting cash back, can I still use coupons and promo codes?” YES!!! I love this about Ebates! It doesn’t interfere with your online shopping trip at all. Shop the sales, use your promo codes, get your cash back. That, my friends, is budget savvy!
Here are a few things to keep in mind when using Ebates that I wish I would have known when I started using it.
- You will not receive an “Order Confirmation” in your inbox from Ebates, so don’t expect one. You will receive a Cash Back update email when you are issued your cash back, which could be within a few minutes of your order up to a few days (depends on retailer). With every purchase I’ve made, I’ve gotten my cash back within a few hours, but I have a few friends that it took closer to 24 hours. So be patient! If you still don’t see your cash back, you can contact customer service and they will get back to you within 24 hours (and usually much sooner!). …………………………………………………………………………………………………………
- The cash back percentages change almost daily. Here is an example of some current cash back deals offered. Just know that these deals may not be the same tomorrow! Everyday, different retailers are featured for “double cash back”. For example, perhaps you get 6% back from Kohl’s today, but it may be featured at double cash back tomorrow at 12% back! If you are not in urgent need of an item, you can easily be wise in waiting for your retailer to offer double cash back so that you can get the most bang for your buck. ………………………………………………………………………………
- If shopping at Amazon.com, be aware that not every item is eligible for cash back. Ebates currently only gives cash back to items in select categories (see picture below). Also, the percentage of cash back varies from category to category. This could change in the future.
- You can only “cash out” quarterly. This means that you will receive the money you earned via PayPal or physical check no more than 4x a year. While this may be a bummer in ways, it gives you longer to earn cash back for a bigger quarterly payment! You can see more information about when payments are issued below (this is a screenshot of the info from their website).
All in all, this site is a fantastic opportunity to spend less on online purchases by getting money back on the tail end. If you are already going to shop online as it is, you might as well get cash back! You will be surprised how quickly the cash back adds up, especially if you refer friends. They have an amazing referral program (see picture below from their site)!
Stay tuned for a future article featuring tips on how to make the most out of Ebates.
You can sign up for Ebates and get $10 free by using my referral link. This $10 free comes through once you make your first $25+ purchase and can also come in the form of a gift card if you’d like. When signing up through my link, be aware that it may ask you for an email address for your referrer, but this is not necessary, as the code is in the link.
Well, that’s all for now, folks. Thanks for taking the time to read, and HAPPY SAVING!
P.S. If you liked this post, or like Ebates, check out my follow-up post- “How to make the most out of your Ebates experience”!