As a child, I would place orders online–sparingly–with my parents’ credit cards and reimburse the expenditures with my cash allowance. My mother being the lovely, managing woman that she is, I eventually went around the middlemen and relied on a circus ring of small sum iTunes and Amazon gift cards and $5 surcharge prepaid cards from the local RiteAid. When my mother presented me with my first debit card, I felt empowered by a novel, precious sense of autonomy. I was able to do what I’d always wanted–that is, to shop online. My preference to buying things online was initially owed to my adolescent timidity in clothing stores. Later, that preference was driven by discount codes. I enjoyed scouring the internet for stackable codes to gain free shipping and additional price cuts. Because of that, I have held an Ebates account for longer than I have had my oldest credit card line.
Being so click-happy, however, I have missed out on cash back in the past by not reentering sites through Ebates’ shopping portal during check out. But you, dear splurgist, need not entirely dampen your shopping experience with the task of remembering to ebates (the act of proceeding through their dedicated affiliate link in order to receive cash rewards). Firstly, create an Ebates account and select one of the complimentary sign up bonuses, either a $10 gift card to Target, Kohls, Macys or Walmart, or a $5 Ebates equivalent to dollars that can be used however you wish.
Going through the provided link or banner above will result in my earning a $5 referral amount which I’d appreciate immensely because it would feed my cat for a week.
Secondly, add the Ebates extension to your Chrome, Firefox or Safari browser here. An icon appears to the right of your search bar in Chrome and will flash red and drop a green bar that informs you of Ebates’ cash back offer for that partner site, if any. Having installed and run the extension for the better half of a year, it has truly ingratiated itself to me. The cash back bar functions as a free reminder so that I miss out on Ebates rewards less often. Additionally, constantly receiving these reminders has made me accustomed to crosschecking the Ebates website as a precaution, moreso than before having the extension.
That being said, the drop down bar does not appear universally. It does not work on Amazon webpages–you’ll have to proceed through the Ebates site to gain cash rewards for specific categories on Amazon.com. And I still frequent the Ebates website to keep my login details current and would rather proceed through the links on the Ebates site to ensure that the script is running for that shopping trip.
On a related note, I have downloaded the Ebates iPhone app previously and do not consider the app deserving of valuable storage space. I can head onto the Ebates website on Safari and accomplish my goals just as well.
Though the cash back amounts are usually <10%, the rewards on shopping trips will add up. Should you return the merchandise, I believe that Ebates will withdraw the proportion of the refunded amount. When your cash pending amount hits the $5.01 minimum every 3 months, Ebates will send you your cash reward as a mailed check, as a fund in your Paypal account, or even as a third option that seems convoluted to me (a gift to a charity organization or family member). I opted to receive payments via Paypal for easy transfer and use.
Ebates is absolutely free and can be stacked with promotional codes while gaining additional benefits from a rewards credit card. Lastly, I do not believe that Ebates can work concurrently with Discover Deals, shopping through Chase or with the more-expansive-yet-less-exciting Mr. Rebates. I advise you to go through just one shopping portal, preferably the one that stacks most advantageously with your credit card, promo codes and has the superior cash back offer at the time, to submit your electronic order. Depending on the time of the year, Ebates will offer double their usual cash back deals, such as 10 to 12% at major department stores and up to 52% at Magazines.com.
My fellow splurgists, Ebates is the ultimate shopping buddy.