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I wrote this post over a year ago while living in Scotland. Since eBates was a US thing, I ended up never using it until I just recently remembered it existed. I was Christmas shopping on Amazon anyway, and they had 4% cash back for purchases on select categories, and I made my first $1.53 after just one purchase. If you aren’t doing this, you need to! I’m so sad about all the money I’ve been losing not shopping through eBates since moving back to the States.
I don’t know about you, but I love saving money. I’m obsessively frugal sometimes, which can be both a good and bad thing. (Bad when I won’t turn on the heat…hehe).
I also love shopping online. Typically I do most of my online shopping through Amazon. They are a trusted company, I have Amazon Prime (student version, since Casey is still in school!) which gives me FREE two-day shipping, and many of their items have free returns. Plus I love the access to impartial reviews — I feel like I really know what I’m getting into before I buy anything.
But I also like shopping for Christmas gifts from home (instead of braving the mall!) and I’m a traveller, so I really need a way to save money on plane tickets.
So you have to imagine that I was psyched when I found out I can actually make money from shopping online.
Ebates to the rescue
I was on another website reading about saving money when I ran across Ebates.com. It’s basically a website that allows you to get cash back just by going to their website before going to Amazon’s. The even cooler thing? You can also get cash back from thousands of retailers besides Amazon, like Overstock.com, Sephora and Livingsocial.com.
Does that sound sketchy?
I know, it does, doesn’t it? But it’s completely legitimate. Ebates gets paid to drive traffic and sales to these retailers, and in turn gives some of that profit back to you. They make money, the retailer makes money, and you save money. Basically a win-win-win for everyone!
The even cooler part? You get $10 just for signing up through my link (and hey, I get $25 if you do, and you get $25 if you get a friend to sign up after you do!).
How to start saving
Here’s what you need to do if you want to start earning cash back:
1. Click here to go to Ebates.
2. Sign up (just first name and email address)
3. Find a retailer you want to purchase stuff from (Kohls, Walmart, Hotels.com) and click on the link.
4. Purchase items just like you normally would.
5. Get cash back! Woot 🙂
Next time you need to order something online, go to Ebates first and see if that retailer is part of their network. Chances are you’ll start earning in no time. Want to know what companies participate? Check out the list.
You can also get an extension for your computer so you can easily click the eBates icon and see what stores have deals going on. Just click through, and save. Remember: You can’t get paid unless you click through from eBates first, so you want to make it easy to do so.
Ebates also offers plenty of deals and coupon codes. For example, you can currently earn double cash back (or 7%) from orders through Amazon and an additional $40 off cheap holiday flight deals on Cheap-O Air. So you can get a discount and get cash back all for one purchase you’d make anyway.
Here’s the catch
I know, I just said it’s all legit. And it is! But do keep in mind that you’ll have to wait for that cash back. You only a check every 3 months and only if you earned more than $5.01. If you earn less, you’ll have to wait another 3 months. So it’s not fast-cash, but it is cash.
Here’s when you’ll get your money:
Purchases made between Jan 1-Mar 31 — on May 15
Apr 1-June 30 — on Aug 15
July 1-Sept 30 — on Nov 15
Oct 1-Dec 31 — on Feb 15
Also keep in mind that Amazon doesn’t offer cash back on all categories. Make sure to check which categories you can earn from before making a purchase!
Why not get free money?
Even with the wait, there’s no reason to ever shop online without using Ebates again. Who doesn’t like free money?
Plus with the holidays just around the corner, you can save money by shopping for Christmas gifts online (instead of heading into chaotic stores — Yay!).
So what are you waiting for? Click here to start saving!
While you’re at it, sign up for Amazon Prime so you can get free shipping. Just click the picture below.
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