Ebates became the pioneer and leader of online cash back shopping over 10 years ago. The company was founded in 1998 by two Deputy District Attorneys in Silicon Valley who used to prosecute online fraud & identity theft before starting Ebates. Joining Ebates is always free and no matter how much money you spend through their website, Ebates never takes a penny from you . Four times a year or more, they’ll mail you a check, or transfer the money to your PayPal account if you’d prefer. They’ll even send the money to your favorite charity and there is absolutely no charge for any of it.
So how exactly does Ebates work? Well the concept behind the website is simple, in that online merchants pay Ebates for referring your business to them. Ebates then passes most of the money they make onto you, keeping a small percentage for themselves (which you can bet adds up fast!). So the more you shop at Ebates, the more money they will make and the more money they can pass back to you. Makes sense right?
The process for signing up for Ebates and saving money online is about as easy as it gets. The first step is to visit their website, www.Ebates.com and register an account which takes just a few seconds.
You can see from the graphic above that the only things required to get started with your new Ebates account are your email address, as password and the email address of the friend that referred you (if it applies). Once you start earning money with Ebates, you will be required to give out more personal information like address and phone number, but that info is only used to pay you!
The Cash Back Process
As it currently stands, there are over 1,200 merchants who participate in the Ebates program and many of which you’re well familiar with. From JC Penny to Kohls to HP, the list of merchants you will earn cash back from is growing each and every day. The cash back amount you’ll receive from Ebates is clearly displayed on each and every page, so there are no surprises.
For example, let’s assume you’re looking to make a $300 purchase at Kohl’s. Rather than visit their site directly and make the purchase, you should first visit Ebates, where the current cash back percentage for shopping at Kohl’s is 4%. Once you’re ready, click on the Kohl’s link through Ebates and you will be temporarily directed to the following page:
This page will stay on your screen for just a few seconds, before you are automatically directed to the Kohl’s website. The ticket number you see above ensures that any purchase you make following this redirect, will be given 4% cash back in your Ebates account. After making your purchases at Kohl’s, return to Ebates a few days later and you should see the 4% cash added to your account. On $300 spent, that’s a solid $12 saved.
The amount of cash back that can be earned through Ebates is unlimited (although there are a few individual merchant limits which Ebates will clearly define before they redirect you) and receiving payment is a breeze. Once per quarter, you’ll receive a check from Ebates (unless you’re saving a TON of money) and that’s really all there is to it. If you choose to sign-up for their newsletter, you’ll even be provided the chance to earn double cash back on a different store every day.
As a collector of sports cards who frequently buys them on eBay, I learned during this review that I can save 2% cash back on all of my eBay purchases! You can bet that each and every time I place a bid on eBay now, I’ll first log in to my Ebates account.
To sign-up for your Ebates account and start saving on most of your online purchases, visit www.Ebates.com.
Published or updated November 10, 2010.