The great thing about this wired world of ours is you can buy anything from anywhere at the touch of a button.
These days, I order most of my grocery staples, clothes, and even furniture online.
And for the last few years, I've saved money on every purchase using Ebates.
It's my secret weapon, and I always get a great deal online when I use it.
Ebates is getting more and more popular all the time, so if you really haven't heard of it, consider me surprised.
It's just this simple: Ebates users get special deals on their online purchases, plus cash back on the things they buy.
You can search for products on the Ebates website, or use it to find deals wherever you like to shop online.
And the best part is you get all these deals and dollars at no extra cost - seriously!
So how does it work?
It may sound too good to be true, so let's clear something up:
Companies pay Ebates to bring them customers, and they get a commission from every sale.
But they also share that commission with you as cash back.
First, you sign up for free using an email address, Facebook account, or Google account.
Then, search for products you want on Ebates, and finish the purchase on another website.
Your cash back appears in your Ebates account after every purchase, and the balance is mailed out every three months.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Why I'm addicted to Ebates
For one thing, using the Ebates website is very simple, and gives you plenty of chances to save.
You usually get $10 and a gift card just for signing up.
Then, Ebates gives you a list of available coupon codes and sales at checkout to guarantee you get your money's worth.
Best of all, Ebates works with 1,500 online stores, including national brands and chains like Macy's, Kohl's, Walmart, Avon, Sephora, Land's End, Amazon, JC Penney, and Fisher Price.
If you're already shopping on those sites but not getting cash back, you can see why Ebates is a no-brainer.
You can shop the site daily for things you would buy anyways and earn plenty of cash back.
Even if you earn just $10 a month, that's $120 back in your pocket by year's end.
Getting paid with Ebates
Every purchase on Ebates gives you cash back, usually around 2% but sometimes as much as 6%.
It takes about two days for your cash back to be totaled, and checks are sent out every three months.
Bear in mind: you'll need a $5 balance to get a check sent out, and if your purchase is too close to the mailing date your cash back rolls over to the next check.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get paid using Ebates.
You can have your cash back send directly to a Paypal account, or even to a family member or charity if you're feeling generous.
Ebates even covers the sender's fee for those online transfers.
Make the most of your Ebates
As someone who has already learned the ropes on Ebates, let me offer some advice:
- You can refer a friend and earn a hefty bonus if they sign up, so watch out for regular recruitment drives on the site.
- Remember that there are plenty of unlikely items on Ebates too. You can earn money on everything from hotels and rental cars to glasses and contact lenses.
- And if you never want to miss a rebate, cover more ground: sign up for the Ebates app and download the browser extension - Ebates Express.
Ebates Express - AKA the "Ebates button" - can identify any potential cash back when you're shopping off the Ebates website, and also gives you coupon codes.
Finally, heed the golden rule of Ebates: offers change regularly, so see it, search it, and shop it ASAP.
Ebates in the real world
If you're already an Ebates user, you may be surprised to learn that the site works in brick and mortar stores too.
You can assign a credit card to your Ebates account and link special deals to your card.
Buy the items those deals apply for in-store and you'll earn cash back just like you would online.