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Ask Belle: Is Ebates for Real?

Dear Belle,

I just found your blog last weekend and I am obsessed! I noticed that you mention Ebates in a few of your posts.  I’ve seen their commercials, but I thought it was a scam.  Do you really use it?

MG

Yes, I really use Ebates.  I know it feels a little like a Nigerian prince is hosting an online auction for 26-cent iPads, but the site’s legit.

If I can earn 4% or 6% cash back at retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Sephora, and Nordstrom, I’ll take it.  I also take advantage of 40% cash back on my favorite magazines using Magazines.com.  If you wear contacts, the 1-800-Contacts cash back is a nice boost.  And whenever I send my Nana flowers, I make sure to take advantage of double-digit cash back.

If you’re planning to do your holiday shopping online, I would take a minute to sign up for Ebates.  It takes a little time to build up your savings, but it’s worth it.  I also recommend signing up for their e-mail alerts so you find out about sales at your favorite retailers and boosts in cash back.

Disclaimer: First, I want to apologize for not having this disclaimer on the original post.  If you use the link above to sign up for Ebates, their tell-a-friend program pays me $5 for the referral.  This program is open to any Ebates member.  I love Ebates, I would promote it regardless, but I erred by not posting this disclaimer sooner.

Leave a Reply to Michelle · cancel comment

    20 comments

  1. Jenn S. says:

    Chiming in – eBates is legit. I’ve been using them for years and honestly didn’t know they had commercials until I went on vacation recently (I don’t watch much TV). The commercials are weird, but the site is legit.

    November 20, 2014/Reply
  2. Trezlen says:

    Yep. I use Ebates and it’s a nice little paycheck for the normal shopping I would do while online.

    November 20, 2014/Reply
  3. Sara says:

    One of womankind’s biggest mysteries, solved 🙂 Thanks!

    November 20, 2014/Reply
  4. Tel says:

    Same here–I regret not signing up earlier. It’s easy (at least when I remember to do it) and lets me save 1%-10% at the stores where I’ve already decided to spend my money. I’m sure the company is harvesting our shopping data, but so do the websites themselves. And at least that holiday shopping can add up to a nice Ebates check!

    November 20, 2014/Reply
    • Megan says:

      google chrome has an ebates extension that buts a little button on your address bar that flashes when you’re on a site that has cash back if you haven’t gone through ebates first. Helps with the remembering!

      November 21, 2014/Reply
  5. AJ says:

    Everyone who shops online should be using this-its money for nothing!! I have got back almost $400 in the years since I have been on it. Simply for clicking through from their site.

    November 20, 2014/Reply
  6. Casey says:

    They also have a Google Chrome extension that lights up when you’re on a site that offers an ebate. I highly recommend adding it if you’re a Chrome user.

    November 20, 2014/Reply
    • Alaina says:

      Thanks for the tip! I’m signed up for eBates, but I never remember to go through it when shopping. This will certainly help. 🙂

      November 20, 2014/Reply
    • Charlotte says:

      I second this! I’ve had eBates for a year and just always forgot to use it, but the extension has help immensely to remind me.

      November 21, 2014/Reply
  7. barchbo says:

    I love Ebates and am only sad I didn’t start sooner. Just cashed my third check.

    November 20, 2014/Reply
  8. joy says:

    It’s real! I installed the browser alert that lets me know when a site I’m on offers a certain percentage cash back. The percentage cash back amount changes sometimes, so if you watch the offers, you’ll know when something is pretty good. Nordstrom goes up to 10% or so, Sephora can get up to 8%.

    November 20, 2014/Reply
    • Sam says:

      I second the browser alert — I don’t always remember to link through ebates and this helps me remember!

      November 20, 2014/Reply
  9. mginwa says:

    To next level this, use evreward.com. You search for the site you’re shopping on, and it tells you all the rewards programs and what percentages, and you can click through from there. Ebates is great, but so is Upromise, Ultimate Rewards, or even airline mileage programs. It’s amazing how many sites participate in one or all, and how much money you can accrue in a year.

    November 20, 2014/Reply
    • Monica says:

      Wow that is great, thanks for sharing!

      November 20, 2014/Reply
    • Michelle says:

      Thank you! Just used evreward.com for the first time and got 1% more than I would have otherwise for my HauteLook order (by using Mr. Rebates instead of ebates). 🙂

      I can’t believe that so many of the people I know are resistant to using sites like these. If you are going to make the purchase anyway, why not get some money back on it?

      November 21, 2014/Reply
  10. Kathy says:

    Don’t forget to use it when you book hotels through a booking site–got almost $100 cash back from doing it for a flight and hotel for a recent trip. AND ebates tells you when there are special sales going on and will sometimes increase the cash back value.

    November 20, 2014/Reply
    • Lori says:

      Good point, Kathy! Hotels.com is a good example. You can go through eBates, first, and then hotels.com, where hotels will provide a free night’s stay (up to a certain monetary value) at a hotel on your 10th stay (your night’s stays accumulate as you book through hotels). It’s a win-win.

      They also have a good refer a friend program where you can receive cash depending upon the number of people referred. who then use the site, first, for a purchase. Love eBates!

      November 21, 2014/Reply
  11. lhh says:

    You can use ebates when booking hotels too! I used it for our trip to Cozumel, we stayed at the Intercontinental and I got about $50 back. It’s really great.

    November 21, 2014/Reply
  12. Tory says:

    Belle, was the ebates link a referral link? Do you make money if someone signs up?

    November 21, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      It is, I didn’t think of it a the time, but I’m going to add a disclaimer when I get home.

      November 21, 2014/Reply