Everyone of us shop, whether it’s clothes for ourselves and family, a gift for a friend’s upcoming birthday, or groceries. Well, what if I told you there’s a way to make money each time you do those things, with just one extra click of the mouse required? Would you do it? A better question is, why wouldn’t you?
In this post I’ll introduce you to 5 of the best shopping rebate sites you should sign up with TODAY to start earning money while you hand it out. If you don’t, you’re literally throwing away cash each time you shop, which, call me financially responsible, doesn’t make much sense.
I estimate I’ve earned around $500 in the last 11 months with the following 5 rebate sites and apps. That’s enough for an awesome shopping spree in itself. Can you see now why you need to get on this ASAP?
How Do Rebate Sites Work?
The basic idea is very simple- instead of going directly to your favorite online store like Macy’s, Amazon, or the thousands of other participating retailers online to make your purchase, you start at a shopping rebate site like EBates first. After choosing the desired store, you’re redirected to the intended destination. With this simple action the rebate site is rewarded a commission from the merchant when you make a purchase, which they then happily share with you. The amount you get back ranges from 1% all the way up to 50% cash back.
Everyone wins in this cash back game- the merchant gains new customers while building up customer loyalty, the rebate site get a heft commission, and you get a part of the spoils every time you shop. It’s not a scam, and it’s sustainable.
This is the rebate site I use the most often, as they have the largest collection of merchants to get rebates from. I’ve received everything from a low 3% cash back on a mattress I bought on Amazon, to 12% on a Michael Kors handbag at Macy’s. The best part of it is, the rebate is in addition to any in-store promotions, so your savings could potentially reach 40% to 50%.
My favorite part of Ebates has to be the excellent browser extension, which once installed will automatically apply the cash back from participating merchant sites without visiting Ebates first. It also magically applies any in-store coupons before I check out, maximizing my savings each time. Now how cool is that?
Every quarter, Ebates sends you a check or paypal for the amount of cash you’ve earned by doing your regular shopping via the site. No extra work needed.
Pro Tip: Use Ebates to buy gift cards and get cash back on, well, cash you can spend anytime.
Lately I’ve been logging into Swagbucks a lot, because frankly it’s kind of addictive. You don’t just earn money shopping using Swagbucks, but also a variety of other tasks, such as watching short videos, completing surveys, or searching the web using their toolbar. Every successful action results in swag “bucks”, which can then be redeemed for real cash (payable via Paypal), or a gift card. They have forked over $200 million to date to its members, to give a picture of how active Swagbucks is.
For shopping, Swagbucks has partnerships with thousands of online retails to offer up to 20% cashback, including the big boys like Ebay, Macy’s, Sephora etc.
I often browse Swagbucks’s exclusive grocery related coupons before heading to the store. They have coupons on common household items I use daily, such as toilet paper, yogurt, laundry detergent etc. They work like normal coupons- print and redeem. And true to Swagbuck’s unique economy, printing those coupons earns me additional swag bucks each time.
Pro Tip: Install the Swag Button browser add-on to to automatically get swag bucks when shopping at participating online retailers, instead of going through Swagbucks first.
BeFrugal works very similarily to EBates. It offers cash back at over 5,000 online retailers, including Walmart, Sears, Bed Bath And Beyond, Gap, to name a few. The average cash back rate for BeFrugal is 7%, though I’ve gotten as high as 12% during promotional days. Combined that with up-to-date coupons that BeFrugal conveniently shows for each merchant, and I’ve saved up to 80% on items by going through the site.
Often times I’ll compare the cashback amount between Ebates and BeFrugal before making a purchase, as they’re not always equal.
Like EBates, the best kept secret to fully take advantage of BeFrugal is to install their free browser add-on after you’ve signed up. It automatically applies the cashback to your purchase at checkout, plus any valid coupons. The add on has coupons for 40,000+ stores, and earns you Cash Back at over 5000 online stores.
BeFrugal sends payment within 10 days after you make a request, via check, Paypal, or gift card.
TopCashBack carries a smaller selection of merchants than the other two rebates sites above, though they make up for it with often times higher rebates. For example, right now I see TopCashBack offering 6% cash back on select Amazon purchases, while on EBates, the amount is 3%. Due to this, it’s wise to at least cross check with TopCashBack before making a purchase with the other rebate sites.
TopCashBack sends payment via direct deposit, Paypal, or your choice of select gift cards anytime upon request, as soon as the funds have been received from the merchant.
Pro Tip: Redeem your payments with an Amazon gift card and get an additional 3% cash back.
Cash Back on Groceries
To get cash back on groceries, the two best apps to use are Checkout51 and Ibotta.
With Checkout51, you browse new offers on groceries every Thursday morning, sometimes on fruits and veggies as well. You have one week (until the following Wednesday) to make the purchase and upload a picture of the receipt to Checkout51 to receive your cash back. The average amount you get back per item is around $1.50.
Ibotta works very much like Checkout51, though they do offer a larger array of items for cash back, including cosmetics and apparel. The products needs to be purchased at one of over 300 retail stores that IBotta has partnered with, including Walmart, Kroger, Walgreens, 7 Eleven etc. I shop at a lot of these stores anyway, so I seldom feel like I need to go out of my way to get a cash back.
Should I stick to one rebate site, or use all of them?
Different shopping rebate sites partner with different merchants, so it’s smart to sign up with multiple sites, to cover all the types of products and major retailers you already purchase from anyway. I use all of the above sites to cross compare and get the best deal on everything I purchase, and I recommend you do the same. Beware of shady rebate sites that may promise higher rates, but end up not paying you, or only paying when your balance is small. I’ve run into a few of those before.
Tweak your shopping habit today, and start reaping the benefits!
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. I only promote services I have used and genuinely believe in.