Is there such a thing as easy and free cash back? Well if you like finding amazing deals and getting free money for something you already do, then this Rakuten review (formerly known as ebates) is for you.
Already love and use Ebates? You’ll love Mr. Rebates and his $5 free gift too!
As someone who loves saving money and finding deals, this statement is huge: EBATES IS MY FAVORITE MONEY-SAVING SITE. I started using Ebates years ago, way before I had a personal finance blog. Although I have found other cash back programs that are ok, Ebates is by far my favorite (hence why I am writing this Ebates review and I have an Ebates tutorial as well).
In this Ebates review, you will learn:
- what is Ebates and how does it work
- is Ebates legit or is it a scam
- Ebates pros and the biggest complaints
- secret tips for maximizing your earnings
Let’s dive in:
WHAT IS EBATES
If you’re not familiar with it yet, you might be wonder what’s Ebates? Ebates is a free rewards program that gives shoppers 1-40% cashback on practically any purchase you make through your Ebates account. There are over 2,500 stores that qualify, so there’s something for everyone. Ebates also has special discounts and promo codes for free shipping. To do this, you just click on a store icon first or if you have the Chrome browser extension for Ebates, you click the cashback button to “activate” your cash back earnings.
Ex. You order groceries or household goods online from Walmart through your Ebates account. Ebates will give you 7% of your purchase back in cold hard cash.
HOW EBATES WORKS
Of all the cashback and rebate programs I’ve tried, I chose to review Ebates first because is the easiest. Here’s what you do:
- Sign up for an account with your email address.
- Log in and see what discounts are offered at your favorite stores. Browse by department, alphabetically, hottest deals, or use the search bar to look for your favorite stores.
- Click on a store and you are directed to that website. Shopping is exactly the same except you are earning cashback because you went through Ebates first.
If you use a Chrome browser, I cannot recommend enough that you add the Ebates extension to be automatically notified whenever you visit a site that’s eligible for cashback. All you have to do is click the pop up to activate your cash back. This eliminates step 2 above so you don’t have to go to Ebates.com before making a purchase, making saving money it easy as can be. Here’s what it looks like:
WHICH STORES ARE ELIGIBLE
Ebates is partnering with new stores all the time. Currently, they have over 2,500 stores where you can get free money back.
Some of the stores include:
- Household stores like Walmart, Kmart, Sam’s Club, Walgreens, Staples
- Baby & Children’s stores like Carter’s, The Children’s Place, Hanna Anderson, The Honest Company, OshKosh B’gosh, Robeez, StrideRite
- Clothing & Accessory stores like Nordstrom, J.Crew, Macy’s, Old Navy, Kohl’s, JCPenny, Forever 21, Lands’ End, LLBean, American Eagle, Banana Republic, Loft, Zulily
- Health stores like Vitacost, Dr. Axe, Beachbody
- Sporting Goods stores like Cabela’s, Ace Hardware, Columbia, Under Armour, Dick’s
- Pet stores like Petco, PetCareRx, and Petplan
- Electronics stores like Dell, Best Buy, and HP
- Travel sites like Expedia and TripAdvisor
- Toy stores like Fisher Price, Pillow Pets, and Step2
- Custom gift sites like Shutterfly, Snapfish, Etsy,
- Deal sites like Living Social, Groupon
- Sites with everything like Amazon, eBay
HOW DO YOU GET CASHBACK
Each quarter, Ebates will send you your earnings in a “Big Fat Check.” You choose if you want a paper check sent in the mail or if you want money sent to your PayPal account. There is no minimum amount, so whether you’ve earned $2 or $200, you’ll get your money.
Let’s review Ebates’ benefits:
- you get money back for something you already do
- there are so many stores that qualify, you can benefit from Ebates even if you’re on a tight budget
- it is so easy to use, no frustrating surveys to complete or wasting a bunch of time to save $0.50
- the reward is cold, hard cash, not points only good toward a single store
- customer service has been super friendly when I’ve accidentally ordered and forgotten to click Ebates first (within a couple of hours or completing an order)
- there’s a $10 Free Gift Card to Walmart or $10 Cash Back Bonus for signing up
- the Chrome browser extension for Ebates tells me when I’m on a site that’s eligible for cashback
- there are promo codes for free shipping and extra discounts in addition to the cash back you earn
- the referral program where you can earn $5-$25 per person you refer
See why I love it? Now here are the cons of Ebates…
This Ebates review is completely honest, so I’ll tell you upfront what the downsides are as well:
- it’s hard to find eligible purchases on Amazon (for me anyway)
- the payout is quarterly, not monthly
- some stores have category exclusions like Target electronics or baby purchases do not qualify
- you must use Ebates to make a $25 purchase to get your $10 bonus within 90 days after signing up
MAXIMIZE YOUR EARNINGS WITH EBATES
There are a couple of ways to get the most out of your Ebates account:
- use Ebates Cash Back Visa Credit Card to earn an extra 3% cash back
- use the Ebates Chrome browser extension for notifications when you visit a website eligible for rewards
- use coupons and promo codes (many inside Ebates) in addition to earning cash back to stack your savings
- use the Ebates referral program and share it with your friends/family. You’ll earn a commission after their first purchase and they’ll get the $10 bonus too.
Note: I only recommend using a credit card for people who have no problem paying off the balance in full every month. If you use a credit card but do not pay off the balance, the interest charges will likely void your cash back earnings
As I’ve used, shared, and researched for this Ebates review, there are some common questions I’ll answer for you right here:
Is EBATES a scam?
No. There’s no need to worry about Ebates scams. According to the Better Business Bureau, Ebates has been in business for 19+ years and has an A+ rating. That’s no easy feat. There are some Ebates complaints from users, but the number is so low compared to the size of this company. Most complains were when customers felt entitled to money back that they did not receive. However, the vast majority of them have been resolved and Ebates users continue to be extremely happy customers.
Is EBATES safe?
Yes, it is safe and legal. Ebates is basically the middle man between customer and the goods. They get a commission for your purchase, and they share some of that comission with you. I’ve safely used it for years.
Is EBATES legit?
Yes. Ebates is a legit money back program. Shop and buy things you normally would but click through Ebates first, and you’ll get legit money back four times per year.
Is EBATES free?
Yes. There are no fees to sign up for Ebates. It only takes a minute or two to create an account and you can start earning cash back on your purchases today. There is nothing you have to pay for with Ebates.
Is Ebates Hard to Use?
No. It is so easy. I created a video to show you just how easy it is to create an account, add the browser extension, and use Ebates. Watch below to see how simple it is to use. You’ll wonder why you waited so long to use it and wonder how much money you could have gotten back with all your online purchases!
EBATES REVIEW – THE FINAL VERDICT
Using EBATES is about as Common Cents as it gets. I agree with the BBB and give Ebates an A+ or 4.8 out of 5 stars.
As summarized in this EBATES review, it is fantastic because:
- you get cash back and more money in your wallet year round
- you can save money on things you already buy, no need to spend extra money in order to “save”
- it is EASY EASY EASY to use (none of us have time for anything complicated)
- with the Chrome extension, you are notified when you’re on an eligible website, no need to remember to check
- the rewards are in the form of cold hard cash, not points
- there are over 2,500 stores, so everyone can find value in it
- it finds promo codes for extra discounts and free shipping, in addition to cashback earnings
- customer service is friendly and helpful
- you get $10 bonus after making your first $25 purchase
True, there are a few excluded categories and you only get your rebate every three months, but I promise, once you start using Ebates and see how fast the money adds up and how easy it is, you’ll wish you had started using it years ago.
Related Money Tips on The Common Cents Club:
- Ebates vs Mr. Rebates — Which Cashback Site is Better?
- 10 Free Money Apps that Saved Me Over $1,000
- 100+ Ways to Save Money in Every Area of Life
- 31 Jobs for Pregnant Women to Get Money Fast
- How to Make Money Online as a Stay at Home Mom
Cheers to smarter habits and loving life–without going broke,
Free Stock Photo courtesy of picxclicx.com
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