Ever since we’ve taken an interest in financial matters, there is one website that we have come across again and again — Ebates. Ebates is a company that gives people cash back in return for shopping through their affiliated retailers. The site boast deals with over 2,500 online retailers and offers cash back and discounts when a customer buys from these retailers through Ebates.com.

Confused? We’ll help you understand how Ebates work and how it can actually help you save money on your purchases. 

Understanding Ebates

Ebates isn’t a scam. It’s a legit service that buyers should use it every time they shop. Here’s how it works.

The customer goes to Ebates.com, searches for the affiliated store they want to buy something from, clicks the “Shop Now” button and shops at the store just as they normally would. Once they’ve purchased something, a percentage of their purchase appears in their Ebates account.

If Ebates offers 5% cash back for buying from Amazon and the customer purchases something for $1,500, they’ll get $75 in cash back.

How to Find Cash Back Offers?

There are two ways for finding cash back offers on Ebates – install the Ebates browser extension or search the site for deals and discounts ahead of time. We prefer using a combination of these two. For example, if you know that several retailers are carrying the item you’re looking for, you can check Ebates ahead of time and see where you should start your search from. Moreover, you may be alerted by the browser extension if you’re on a website where there’s a cash back deal on purchase.

The Ebates browser extension doesn’t just pop-up when you’re on an affiliated site but it also assists you in finding Ebates deal through Google. If you’re searching for a service or product with the Ebates extension on, you’ll see a little ‘E’ logo above the affiliated sites and also the cash back offer for each listing.

How Ebates Make Money?

You may wonder, “How does Ebates give money for free? How does their business model work?” If you understand the concept of affiliate marketing, you would know how Ebates makes money.

In the online realm, affiliate marketing refers to the process by which an affiliate site earns a commission for marketing products or services of another person or company. Ebates is an affiliate to thousands of stores. When a customer makes a purchase from a store through Ebates.com, Ebates gets a commission.

Ebates gives half of their commission to you, the customer, via cash back. Everyone – Ebates, affiliate store and customer – gets something in this case. Ebates gets a commission. The store gets more customers and you get free money for shopping.

Example: A customer goes to Ebates.com and clicks on Amazon. They buy a PlayStation for $300. Ebates gets a 5% ($15) commission from Amazon for referring the customer. Ebates gives half of the commission ($7.5) to the customer in cash back.

You may question whether this really increases the sales of the store since customers would make purchases even if Ebates wasn’t there. Here’s the logic of affiliate stores: Since the customer is able to save money on their purchase, they’ll be incentivized to make more purchases and spend more. This makes perfect sense!

How You Get Paid?

Once a customer makes a purchase from the affiliate store, the cash back from Ebates will show up in their Ebates account within a period of seven days.  Ebates pays out cash backs quarterly, either by PayPal or check. Here’s a table from Ebates that shows their payout schedule.

They send you money every 15 days via check.

Ebates Payment Schedule

Tips to Maximize Your Earnings

·      Check Coupons

Ebates doesn’t just give you cash back, but they also have coupons for many of their stores. So, before checking out, make sure to check the website for coupons. Coupons can double your savings.

·      Purchase Promptly

Complete your purchase in the same session that started after you clicked on the store’s link on Ebates.com. If you go to other sites before buying from the store, there’s a high chance that your purchase will not be linked to Ebates which means that you won’t get cash back.

·      Refer Friends

If you refer a friend to sign up for Ebates, you may get a maximum of $25 bonus (for qualified referral). The details of the referral program can be found here.

·      Brick-and-Mortar Stores

Cash back from Ebates is also available for shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. You need to go to in-store cash back offers page, find a store that you want to buy from and click “Get Deal”. When you tie the cash back offer to your credit card and make a purchase from the store, the cash back will post to your original Ebates account.

·      Ad Blocker

If you use ad blocker, make sure to whitelist Ebates.com. Ebates does not work well when ad blocker is enabled.

In a Nutshell

In a nutshell, Ebates.com is an ideal website for those who frequently shop online. If you spend thousands on online purchases, you’ll be able to save a lot of money from cash backs by Ebates. It’s free and will never cost anything to the customer, so you’ll only benefit from using Ebates.com. You can buy something as you would normally do and get money in return for making a purchase through Ebates. In our view, Ebates is great and you should definitely give it a try.

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