- The Good
- Earn up to 25 percent cash back on purchases
- Over 2,000 retailers participate
- A+ Better Business Bureau rating
- The Bad
- Accuracy of purchase tracking
- Payouts made quarterly
- Cashback percentages low by comparison
Ebates is a website that pays you cash back rewards for shopping online at their affiliated stores. They advertise their service as very simple: shop and get money back.
The sign-up process at Ebates doesn’t require you to pay anything for registering. There is no charge directly to you when you use the Ebates service.
- Multiple ways to save
- Payment options
- Chrome browser extension
With Ebates, you’re given options when shopping online. You can earn rebates for shopping at Ebates’ affiliate stores. You can claim additional savings with coupons. These can range from a designated percentage off your order to free shipping offers. By partnering with select retailers, Ebates can offer additional savings opportunities, such as double cash back. In most instances, you can compound these deals in the same transactions. Ebates also offers a downloadable extension for Chrome browser that helps you take advantage of savings much easier.
- Participating Retailers
- Large variety of retailers
- Includes many major national store chains
Some apps that offer similar savings opportunities allow you to only claim discounts from web-based stores or brands that are not found in the mainstream. Ebates differs in this regard, with retail giants such as Amazon, Walmart, Rite Aid, Macy’s and Groupon among their stable of participants. Categories are widespread, from eBay to travel bookings to grocery to entertainment. There are very few retail categories that don’t have a participating merchant listed with Ebates
- Coupon Formats
- Digital coupon format
- Links to credit or debit card
This is where Ebates gets a bit complicated for many. There’s a video on their website that explains how to take advantage of in-store coupon savings. You’re required to link a credit card or debit card to your Ebates account. You then go shopping, but to claim your savings, you must check out with the linked card. You can view available coupons on your phone as you shop to see what savings are available.
Ebates: User Reviews
When looking at online reviews for Ebates, one thing becomes clear: it has some solid, loyal users and it has its detractors. Overall, the positive, loyal users seem to outnumber those who have had a negative experience with Ebates.
How Does Ebates Work?
Shopping through Ebates is a straightforward process if you’re shopping online. First, you create your account through Ebates.com. You can provide a home address to have your payments snail-mailed to you, or you can link your payments to your PayPal account.
Once you’re set up, you can search through the linked retailers for a place you wish to shop. A “shop now” button will be there for you to click. This takes you to the store where you can shop at your leisure. When you make a purchase, your rebate percentage will show up in your Ebates account. For example, if Walmart offers a 10 percent cash back on electronics and you purchase a $600 laptop, you’ll see a cash back rebate of $60 show up in your account.
You won’t see this amount immediately posted to your account, however. It can take up to seven business days for your cash back to appear. You get paid for your accumulated rebates after the cash has been in your account for 60 days. After that, payments go out every quarter on the 15th of February, May, August and November.
What Makes Ebates Stand Out?
The first thing that jumps out when you visit the Ebates website is the number of major retailers that participate in the program. From Kohl’s to the artisans of Etsy, you can claim rebates for purchases made online. If you prefer brick-and-mortar stores, there is a way to claim savings while shopping in store.
By far, Ebates is the most widely advertised affiliate marketing business that uses online apps. With the exception of the downside points listed above, Ebates is a ridiculously simple way to save some cash with online shopping.
Common Reviews of Ebates
Hands down, the majority of reviews of Ebates are positive. There are very few complaints voiced in review blogs and comments sections. The most commonly mentioned complaint is inaccuracy in recording purchases, which results in missed rebate postings to accounts. There is a link on the Ebates page to register these complaints, and Ebates seems to be fairly good at resolving any such issues.
Is Ebates For Me?
The amount of the rebates you receive is a small percentage of the purchases you make, so you’re not going to get rich from Ebates rebates. But it can add up if you do a great deal of purchasing online, especially if you make large purchases. If you’re only buying a few bucks of product here and there, Ebates is probably not going to be worth your time. You must accumulate rebates of more than $5 to receive their quarterly payouts.
If you’re just looking for some side cash now and then, Ebates is an effortless way to collect it.