Smart Money

The 7 Best Cash Back Online Shopping Sites

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Deals, coupons, promo codes, and cashback shopping sites have proliferated over the last several years. It’s now easier than ever to get cash back on virtually every online purchase you make. The problem is that we often forget to use the sites when shopping online. I learned this firsthand last week. Here’s what happened.

Last week I decided to purchase Dragon Dictate version 4 for the Mac. The retail cost of the program is $199. Before making the purchase online, however, I decided to see if there were any rebate offers. I first went to a site called EVreward.com. I had recently discovered this site and had mentioned it on the weekly dough roller podcast.

On EVreward.com I searched for Dragon Dictate. The results of the search showed several ways to save money on the software.

Of particular interest to me was a list of cash-back reward sites that offer discounts on the software. The search results also showed points programs and even frequent-flier mile programs and how much I can earn if I made the purchase using an airline miles credit card.

Wanting the cashback, I selected one of the rewards websites listed. That quickly took me to a page where I could purchase Dragon Dictate at a 10% discount. So in exchange for about five minutes of my time, I saved $20 on the purchase. (Using my favorite cash back credit card, I saved an additional 2%.)

As a result, I thought I'd share with you some of the best cash back, rebate and promo code sites available today.

Best Cashback, Rebate and Promo Code Sites

1. Capital One Shopping

Disclosure - Capital One Shopping compensates us when you get the Capital One Shopping extension using the links provided.

Capital One Shopping is a bit different from other online shopping sites but in a good way. Beyond rewarding you for your online shopping, Capital One helps you find the best available price for the things that you’re buying.

Once you add Capital One Shopping to your browser, it automatically directs you to the website with the cheapest price for the things you buy online. This helps you save. This is on top of the rewards points it offers for shopping with its partner websites. You can also earn rewards with local merchants when you link your credit card to your Capital One Shopping account.

You can redeem your points for gift cards to popular websites, but cannot redeem them for cash. If you do a lot of online shopping, this shouldn’t be an issue, but it’s worth considering given that some other sites pay out in cold, hard cash.

Read Our Full Review Here: Capital One Shopping Review

2. Earny

Earny is a relative newcomer to the cashback space. With Earny, you connect your email address and the app reviews your email to look for purchases. With that information, Earny can monitor your purchases and then take advantage of price protection programs to file claims and get you cash back if the price drops.

On top of that, Earny offers you the opportunity to get cash back through a referral program, get cash back from Amazon late shipping and even allows you to add items to a watchlist to get the best price. With Earny, you can shop with confidence, knowing you’re getting the best price on everything or you get cashback.

Read the full Earny app review here.

3. Swagbucks

Swagbucks takes a different approach to earning rewards online. Frankly, it’s not my favorite site, but I list it here because its approach appeals to many. Once registered, you earn Swagbucks a number of ways. Shopping online is just one way. You can also earn Swagbucks by using its search tool, watching advertiser videos, answering questions, to name a few. In this regard, Swagbucks is a combination between online shopping and taking surveys.

Once earned, you can redeem Swagbucks for branded gift cards from retailers. Generally, you earn a $5 gift card for every 500 Swagbucks. As I've mentioned, it's not my favorite approach. I want cold hard cash, not Swagbucks. But it's a popular alternative in part because you can earn rewards without spending money.

Sign up for Swagbucks here

4. Rakuten

Rakuten offers deals on over 1,700 online retailers with cashback savings of up to 10% or more. It offers a daily double where the cashback rewards for a given retailer are doubled for that day. It also offers a browser tool that makes finding cashback deals very easy while you shop online.

Sign up for Rakuten here

5. Mr. Rebates

This site works much like Big Crumbs and Ebates. The stores listed on the site pay Mr. Rebates a commission when you shop online from a link on the Mr. Rebates site. Mr. Rebates then shares that commission with you.

The key is to shop around. Mr. Rebates may offer stores that the other sites do not, or the cashback percentage could be different from one site to the next. There is a lot of overlap, but you'll also find some better deals depending on the online retailer. The key is to check out each of these sites before making a buying decision.

Sign up for Mr. Rebates here


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