Disclosure: Some posts contain referral links (much love if you use them!). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by any entities.
Online shopping is here to stay. And often, it is easier to find discounts and price compare using your browser then it is in store. There is an ease and simplicity to online shopping – I’d much rather order from my living room with a coffee in my hand vs. fighting traffic and checkout lines.
I love to shop online for all of those reasons listed above – and because of Ebates. Ebates is one of my favorite shopping portals and the premise is simple: when you shop through Ebates, you become eligible for certain perks, like cashback and bonuses. This represents instant savings with the click of a button.
How does Ebates work?
There are two ways to get the “Shopping Trip” started – either by going to Ebates site and then typing in the store you want to shop at or, my go-to method, using a browser extension. The browser extension adds a little Ebates button to the top corner of your browser that stays hidden until you go to a website that is offering cashback, at which point the button will prompt you to activate the cashback. If you are using Google Chrome, head here to get the extension.
The browser extension is my favorite option because prior to it existing, I only remembered to go through Ebates on probably 2 out of 5 online shopping trips. Now, Ebates reminds me every time I go to an eligible store’s website – and with the click of a button, I am on my way to earning more cash back!
On top of that already sweet perk of getting cashback for normal shopping trips, Ebates just added a capability that allows it’s extension to automatically apply promo codes that it finds on the internet. They don’t always work, but when they do it sure is nice to see the amount owed drop, plus you are earning cashback!
If you are shopping on your mobile phone, just add the Ebates app from the app store and go through it to start all your shopping trips. It’ll activate the trip for you, and then open the website or app you are shopping at for a quick and easy cashback experience. The only downside of the mobile app is that you have to remember to open the app first to start your shopping trip – there is no handy-dandy browser extension.
Another great benefit about Ebates is that they also have a referral program because they want you to tell your friends how awesome and easy it is. If I share Ebates with a friend, and they use my code to join and make a purchase, I’ll get some extra cash for referring them and they will get some extra cash for joining! An easy way to maximize this is by signing up through my link and then referring your significant other or friend. That way, you get the money from using my referral, and then you can refer your friends for some more easy cash.
Once you start earning through Ebates, your online balance will start to grow and once a quarter Ebates will send you a check for your balance. I’m all about simplicity and Ebates makes it easy by allowing you to link your PayPal account, which means you don’t even have to deal with going to the bank and cashing a paper check! It just shows right up in your PayPal account and you can then transfer it to your bank. All of this happens while you on your couch hanging out with a good cup of coffee.
Helpful Tips and Tricks
- Keep an eye out for double cashbacks. This is when Ebates doubles the cashback offer at one of their stores, and that extra 5% or so can make a big difference on a $500 purchase!
- Use Ebates on discount sites like Groupon and LivingSocial to maximize your savings. In my experience, Ebates tends to offer pretty generous cashback for these sites, and best of all, Ebates will automatically apply any current promo codes at checkout!
- You can also use Ebates in stores by adding your credit card to your account and then linking eligible offers. I don’t currently do this, but if I was making a large in-store purchase for a cashback eligible store, I would definitely look into it.
- If you have any kind of ad-blocker extension, you might have to whitelist Ebates (aka tell your ad-blocker to “ignore” it). Click here for more info on how to whitelist Ebates!
- Sometimes Ebates has issues tracking an order (especially if you are really indecisive about the purchase, and keep coming and going from the webpage). If you notice that you didn’t get your cashback, just click here to put in a ticket to track your cashback. The couple times this has happened to me, I’ve uploaded my receipt and Ebates has instantly credited my account!
The Simple Summary
Well, that covers Ebates and all the tips and tricks I’ve learned from using it over the years. It has only gotten better, especially with how they’ve added the promo codes in. My lifetime cashback balance is $160 and that doesn’t even include what I’ve saved because of the promo codes. Every quarter it is a nice surprise to see that extra $10 to $20 pop up in my PayPal account.
If you haven’t tried Ebates yet, use my referral code to get a sweet $10 on your first purchase with Ebates that is over $25. If you do use Ebates, what is the biggest cashback you’ve gotten? My record is $24 for a hotel stay – do you have me beat?!