When I became a SAHM I decided to give Ebates a whirl. I had seen the commercials, and maybe you have too. People who say they’ve earned thousands of dollars using Ebates when they shop online. Since I wasn’t making money but still needed to shop for things like clothes, baby essentials, and furniture (since we’d just moved into a house), I figured why not see what the hype is about?
I’ve been using Ebates since 2013 and haven’t earned thousands. Typically, I receive pennies with each transaction BUT these do add up. And I love it! The amount of money you can earn will depend on a few things:
- How often you shop online.
- Remembering to enter the retail site through Ebates first or being sure to click the Cash Back Button on your browser.
- The percentage of cash back from the store.
Signing up is free and when you make your first purchase they will send you $10 bonus if you make a purchase of $25 through one of their qualified merchants within 90 days of signing up. (Right now their site says $10 cash back; when I signed up I received a $10 gift cart to one of four stores; I chose Kohl’s).
Ebates will send you your Big Fat Payment quarterly with a minimum of $5. Don’t have $5 in your account? No worries; your balance rolls over. You have the option of having them deposit it into your Paypal account or mailing a check.
I shop at Amazon the most, and honestly I find them the most frustrating. First, only certain departments offer cash back. It’s worth to open an Ebates ticket before you start shopping at Amazon. I feel like Amazon is my online equivalent of Target; I never know what might end up in my cart. So I try and open a ticket every time I shop at Amazon because who knows? Maybe something I deem “necessary” will be eligible for cash back!
There is usually a waiting period before your cash back will show up in your account. This has to do with order confirmations and some stores make you wait until the return period has ended. If it’s been a few weeks and you still don’t see your cash back, you can use your receipt to fill out a Where’s My Cash Back? form. When they determine that your purchases are eligible (which has always taken less than 24 hours for me), they’ll add it to your account ASAP. If they receive confirmation from the store they will adjust things accordingly. Because of that lag time, I keep my receipts until I see the order reflected on my Pending Cash Back summary. You must have your receipt to fill out the Where’s My Cash Back? form.
Fair warning: I find I use the Where’s My Cash Back? form a lot with Amazon. This is why I find Amazon the most frustrating. It’s not so much than the departments that usually offer cash back aren’t the ones I need to shop in, but that I’ve actually gone months without getting my cash back when I actually do. If I know I should have received $2.00, I’m going to ask for it! I’m that kind of person 🙂
Ebates has recently come out with a Cash Back Button that you can add to your browser. If you have it activated, it will notify you when you’re on a site that offers cash back. This has been a game changer for sure! I’m not always good at remembering to get to the site I want to shop at through Ebates first.
Do you purchase a lot of music through iTunes or apps through Apple’s App Store? I recently found out that Ebates offers cash back through these! If you’re like me and usually make these purchases through your phone, you can download the Ebates app and use it when you make purchases! Right now they’re offering 7% cash back at iTunes and Apple’s App Store. Yeah, that’s only 9 cents per song, but if you want to purchase several? Or an album? That adds up! The hardest part is remembering to open the Ebates app first.
Like I mentioned earlier, I haven’t earned thousands like the people on Ebates’ commercials have. I began using Ebates in 2013 and as of today (11/26/16) I’ve made a whopping total of $219. Here’s a peek into one of my quarterly activities looked like:
Mostly pennies. But they add up. I’m happy to get that $12.32 deposited into my bank account. Even $5 makes me do a happy dance since I’m not earning an income. My best cash back was from the purchase was the new lap top I ordered from Dell last year. I got $81 back for that purchase! But I’d say on average I earn .30 to $2.00 on my purchases.
Halfway through my adventure in organizing my first fundraising event, I realized DUH let’s see if FedEx offers cash back. They do! I hate thinking about the cash back on all the copies of flyers I could have earned. But I’ve learned for next year! Vista Print and Staples also offer cash back, so if you tend to make copies via your computer, you can start earning something in return.
Cash back amounts change often. Below are the stores I tend to shop the most at through Ebates and a list of others that I have on occasion or that I think would interest my fine readers:
Another way to earn some cash back through Ebates is with their referral program: Ebates will pay you for every new member you refer to their site who then shops at our partner merchant sites. If I’ve enticed you at all, I’d love it if you would use my referral link to sign up: