[Updated: July 29, 2017] Wouldn’t it be great if you could get cash back for purchases from numerous stores all over the Internet
One website which lets you do just that is Ebates. If the name sounds familiar, and for whatever reason you find yourself thinking about the 90s, it’s probably because Ebates is a website which traces its history clear back to 1998. It was an Internet pioneer.
What is Ebates? Ebates is a lot different from the majority of the websites that we have reviewed. It isn’t actually a survey website; it is simply a site which pays you cash back for shopping. Basically, you go through Ebates as a portal to access all your favorite retailers (Amazon, Best Buy, Lowe’s, and so on).
Ebates is an affiliate of these websites, so the company gets paid a commission when you shop. Ebates then pays you a percentage of that commission.
So, it is easy to understand how this system works and why Ebates is legit. This is a system where everyone benefits. The retailers make more sales, Ebates gets paid a commission, and you get cash back.
Ebates features include:
• Cash back on purchases from over 1,500 stores.
• Sign up in a matter of minutes. You just have to provide your name, email address, and mailing address or PP account.
• You will be given a $10 gift card right from the start. All you need to do is purchase at least $25 or more, and you will receive $10 back.
• You have one of two methods which you can use to shop. You can either conduct each transaction individually through the Ebates site (requires sign-in), or you can install the Ebates Cash Back browser add-on.
• Points are rewarded on a daily basis.
• Points convert to payments once every quarter. Yes, I know that sounds frustrating, but it takes a long time to accumulate substantial points anyway, so this is not an issue.
• Get paid via check or through PayPal. If you opt for PP, you will receive your payouts more quickly and securely. Plus, you can then use the money right away to shop online.
• Get $50 for referring a friend. You can take advantage of this generous reward a couple of times, after which you will get $5 per friend.
Pros of Ebates:
• Who doesn’t want to earn money just by shopping? Seriously, all you have to do is log in before you make a purchase. It does not get easier than that; you barely even need to think about it. And the fact that they partner with more than 1,500 stores means that you can earn cash back practically everywhere you shop.
• According to Ebates reviews, you do not need to give more than your name and an address where the company can mail your check. You are not asked for credit card information. This is very reassuring for those who wonder if Ebates is legit.
A lot of survey sites are pretty dubious from a privacy standpoint, but on Ebates you do not even need to give out potentially compromising information.
• You know exactly what you can expect when you head to any store to shop. When you go through the portal, you will see a message which clearly displays the exact percentage of cash back you will be paid for your purchases. You will also see which departments are offering the cash back (more on that below).
Cons of Ebates:
• While you can get cash back at more than 1,500 stores, you cannot get it in every category. So for example with Ebates Amazon, you might be offered cash back in the shoes department, but not the electronics department, and so on.
• Cash back percentages can be quite low, around 2-3% on average according to Ebates.com reviews. So for every $1,000 you spend, you might get $30 back. Still, $30 for free is very nice, even if it takes ages to accumulate.
• If you have seen people titling posts “Ebates scam,” most of these Ebates complaints seem to involve missed payments. Ebates only pays out quarterly (which is not so annoying when you consider how long it takes to accumulate earnings), but still manages to screw up sometimes. We have seen more than one Ebates review however which indicates that the company went above and beyond to resolve the issue fast.
So Is Ebates Legit?
Is Ebates a scam? Definitely not! Ebates is one of the oldest and largest affiliates on the web. Think about all the companies that rise and fall year to year online. It takes a lot for any business to survive as long as Ebates has.
Ebates thrives through its clever business model, one which benefits the company itself, the merchants it partners with, and shoppers alike.
Conclusion: Established, Reliable, Profitable
We can conclude our Ebates.com review by giving this website a strong recommendation. No, you will not be paid a huge sum of money in a short time for shopping on this site, but what can you expect?
Remember, Ebates has to pull your percentage out of the percentage that it is paid to Ebates by each merchant. Payouts to affiliates are already a tiny percentage of sales, so you are being paid a fraction of a fraction.
Still, over time it will add up. Even if you are quite a frugal spender, over the years you will certainly accumulate enough points to convert into a payout that is well worth your while. Not signing up for Ebates is like throwing away free money. So go for it.
There are no tedious surveys, no dubious trial offers, and no demands that eat away at your privacy or time. All you do is shop and make money!