Ebates, Scam? Or a Legit Side Hustle?
I started blogging because my husband and I were able to pay off an insane amount of money our first year of marriage, and I wanted to share what I learned with the world! How much you ask? We paid off 30,000 in just 11 months and are on track to do even more this year!
How on earth did we do it?
We did this by establishing the four pillars of a debt free person in our lives: 1)learning how to budget, 2) plan for emergencies, 3) save money, and 4) side hustle like crazy to earn extra cash. I read several blogs from hard working moms saying they earned some extra cash through ebates.com by just buying normal items they would purchase anyways. Sounded too good to be true but I had family members who love it, so I thought I would give it a try. Below is my honest review.
*Disclaimer: Some links may contain affiliate links, which means I might make a small commission but will never cost you a dime.
Is Ebates Worth your Time?
I pulled up a web browser and typed in www.ebates.com and thought why not see what all the hype is about. When you log on to ebates.com the directions say all you have to do is 1) shop through Ebates, 2) earn cash back on purchases, and 3) receive your Big Fat Check.
But is it really that simple? Where is the catch?
I wasn’t sure either, so I did a bunch of research and found some actual friends and family members who used the service. After uncovering nothing alarming I decided to try it out for my self and so far I am pretty impressed. The service is completely free and never charges you a fee joining or maintaining membership. And they do in fact send you a check for the cash back you earned.
Does it actually work?
I was skeptical but it actually works! So far the only catch I have found is that 1) you have to click through their site or plug in first 2) you have to buy items first in order to earn cash back. However, even with only buying items I would have to buy anyways either for the home, work, or a birthday presents I get a small check just for purchasing needed items.
How do I get the cash back?
You can either have the check mailed to you or deposited into your paypal account. Personally, I choose the paypal account so it just get directly deposited into my account. Once you click through Ebates and purchase an item the cash back will show up in your Ebates account within seven days. You can monitor your cash back to make sure you are receiving the percent indicated. Then, the funds are released every 60 days via paypal on the following dates. February 15, May 15, August 15, and November 15.
Okay so I didn’t make a fortune. But all I did was click on www.ebates.com prior to buying a groupon while visiting New York and bam! $2.15 cash back.
How does Ebates make money? What’s in it for them?
If you are anything like me you are thinking, “What does Ebates get out of it, if they are paying you cash back for purchases?” Basically Ebates is an affiliate for over 2,000 stores. An affiliate earns commission for referring sales. Ebates drives their sales by giving half their commission back to the customer (you). The retailer wins by getting a sale. Ebates wins by getting a small commission. You win by getting cash back.
Is it worth the extra click?
Recently, my life has gotten pretty busy and I have switched to online shopping to save time and money. After signing up for Ebates I realized it helped me do to things: 1) earn a little cash back on items I already buy 2) save even more with additional coupons and promo codes. I hate paying for shipping and what I love most about ebates is that besides getting cash back many stores offer promo codes so you can get additional savings and often times free shipping. So far I found the site to be completely legit and absolutely worth the extra click before buying online.
Easy sign up
Can get additional coupons and savings
Receive cash back on purchases
Great referral program! You can earn an additional $50 by just referring two people. (look at the picture below)
You have to buy items first to earn cash back (don’t buy items you don’t need)
You won’t get rich off of it (but if it adds an additional $50 bucks in your pocket each month, that is worth it to me)
If you don’t buy a lot of items online it may not be worth it
How does Ebates work?
Prior to shopping online you simply go to www.ebates.com and search for the store you want to shop at. You can see next to the store is the amount of cash back you can earn from each store. For example, my husband and I have to go to New York for a work trip. Expedia is offering 10% cash back on New York Deals. It looks just like the picture below. I simply clicked on the red “Shop Now” button and it took me to the Expedia website and applied my tracking number so I could earn cash back.
That means if we spend $1000.00 on airfare, Broadway tickets, and New York attractions (which is super easy to do) we would get a check in the mail for $100.00! Just for clicking through ebates first. Which will help us keep costs down so we can stay in our budget.
Here are some of the other stores.
How do I sign up?
The other thing I love about Ebates is that signing up is a breeze. Plus, it is completely FREE! 1) You first go to Ebates official website and click join. 2) A pop up will apprear and you can either join with facebook, google, or your email and personal password. 3) Currently, if you sign up you can get a $10 bonus (I choose mine to come as a walmart gift card) as long as you purchase one item for over $25.00 within 90 days. I suspect they do this to show that the site is legit and you will get your cash bonus. Also, this really encouraged me to think of Ebates before future online purchases.
4 Tips to Maximize Earnings:
- Use the Coupons: If you do a lot of online shopping, be sure to check Ebates for coupons before you check out. Not only do you get cash back but also a lot of stores offer addition coupons saving you lots of money! I hate paying for shipping, so I love it when I find a coupon that gives me free shipping.
- Download the Plugin: I’ve been known to be forgetful from time to time (insert husband’s laughter here) ok pretty forgetful. But if you don’t go to Ebates prior to buying something you won’t get any cash back! Ebates finally created a browser extension to help the forgetful like me J It is pretty simple and won’t slow down your computer at all. The Ebates button will sit at the top of your window browser, and when you visit an eligible store’s website, a message will pop up reminding you to “Activate your ___% Cash Back”. By clicking the button you activate the tracking ticket needed to earn you cash back! Best part is you are never redirected away from the site and it won’t add any time onto your order.
- Look to Ebates First: There are a ton of different stores on Ebates and the promotions change often. Look to Ebates first when you are doing big-ticket items like a vacation, decorating a house, or shopping for Christmas. Even if you only earn 2% cash back on larger items it adds up quickly!
- Use Ebates at Stores: You can get cash back by shopping in stores too! For many years you only were able to get cash back when shopping online but not you can go to the offline cash back page and link your credit card. If there is a store you shop at regularly this is a huge cash back earner and totally worth it!
I hope this helps you to save a little hard earned cash and earn some in return. If you have any questions like me know below in the comments!
Free Budget Form Here!
Download the same budget I used to pay off $30,000 in just 11 months!!!