How to Save with Ebates

Several months ago, a reader told me about Ebates, a site that gives you cash back for the things that you buy online.  At first, I was incredibly skeptical.  But yesterday, I got my first rebate check, and now, I’m sold.

The premise is simple, every time you intend to buy something at a participating online retailer (Sephora, Nordstrom, Best Buy, Target, etc.), you go to Ebates first.  After you log in, you connect to the retailer using a secure link.  Once you make your purchase, you’ll receive an email stating how much you earned in cash back. 

It’s like having all the benefits of a rewards credit card without going into debt or paying an annual fee.

The amount of cash back you earn varies between retailers.  I earn 3% at Nordstrom and 12% at Sephora, 12% at and 4% at J.CREW.  But every now and again, retailers offer special one day increases like 20% back at GAP. You can also earn a flat fee of $5 for every grocery order you place at Safeway.

Last week, thanks to a one day sale at Nordstrom (15% cash back), I replaced a pair of broken sunglasses and earned $19 back.  It’s like having a coupon every time you shop. And just about every retailer you can think of participates. 

Rebate checks are sent every three months, which gives you a chance to earn quite a bit of cash back.  I’ve shopped online probably a half dozen times since I opened my account in January, and I earned $109 back this cycle.  I only wish I’d known about this company sooner.

To join Ebates, follow this link and sign up.  There’s no fee to join.

If you shop online a lot, which I do, you need to sign up for Ebates.  Think about it, you could be earning cash back on groceries, car rentals, magazine subscriptions, clothing, makeup and more.  So sign up and give it a try.  The hardest part is remembering to visit Ebates before you make a purchase.


    leave a comment

  1. N says:

    I'm also a huge fan of these sorts of sites – I use that gives me points for shopping that I can redeem for giftcards. I do think readers should be warned though that not all of these sites are legitimate & even the legitimate ones have a business motive. They pay you because they're collecting data on how you shop & some of the sketchier ones collect credit card info, so make sure you read the site's privacy policy and know what sort of information they're collecting!

    May 17, 2011/Reply
  2. prosecutordc says:

    And if you pay with a cash back rewards credit card…don't you get double cash back?

    May 17, 2011/Reply
  3. jaime says:

    I have been using Ebates for a while now and tell everyone I know about it….its surprising how many people don't know about this yet.

    May 17, 2011/Reply
  4. S says:

    First off, thank you so much for sharing this, Belle! Also, I was wondering if the cash back can work in conjunction with other coupons one may have? Thanks again!

    May 17, 2011/Reply
  5. ava says:

    S, yes, ebates does typically work in conjunction with other coupons. Once you go to the shopping website from ebates, you shop as normal. Moreover, ebates aggregates coupons/online shopping codes FOR you. For example, type in macy's and you'll be brought to a list of all current specials going on at macy's at that time.

    May 18, 2011/Reply
  6. ava says:

    Also, please note that $109 for one cycle is A LOT. I thought I shopped online a lot, and I typically only get anywhere from $10-$30 back per cycle…Maybe I am shopping at the wrong places! Regardless it is something, and why turn it down free money?!

    May 18, 2011/Reply
  7. Belle says:

    I got lucky and hit Nordstrom and Gap during their 12 and 20% cash back sales with gift cards from the holidays. I also buy all my flowers for relatives, cable services, netflix, etc. on there, it won't be nearly that much next cycle.

    May 18, 2011/Reply