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Secrets and Tips To Online Rebates and Cash Back Shopping

Updated on February 8, 2013

A Complete Guide to Saving Every Penny Possible with Online Shopping!

Everything you need to know about online savings, rebates and Cash Back Shopping: PROOF of my $2,000 savings / earnings, ways to avoid scams, information about Credit Card Cash Back Programs and why you should AVOID THEM... A total MUST READ!

- Written by Tori Thompson, former author-turned-retail-store-owner (

My online earnings and savings are the reason I was able to open my stores!

A Complete Guide to Cash Back Shopping: Tips, Tricks & Secrets - INTRO

I have been a member of numerous cashback shopping programs and I have found one that stands out as being superior to all others; as you will see from my screenshots, I have stuck with this program since 2009 (approximately 36 months as of the time of authoring this article and I have cashed out over $2,200 in earnings with another $214 “pending” and $16 ready to be cashed out (so I am averaging around a free $60 a month for doing…nothing.) - I think we all can agree that $60 a month is by no means "A Job" or even a means of "Work", BUT, heck, it's a tank of gas for my Hummer or a few bottles of wine!

Everyone from Avon to LOWES offers Cash Back!!!
Everyone from Avon to LOWES offers Cash Back!!!


As I recall, "Cash Back Shopping" became a "new, cool thing" in about 2008/2009. At the time, few truly understood what it was - now it's February 2013 and it seems that everyone is involved with some kind of "cash back shopping"; I now see banks even offering it!

So, let's talk about what Cash Back Shopping REALLY is and how it REALLY works:

MYTH: "Cashback Shopping is a SCAM; Nobody is going to actually pay you to SHOP!"

TRUTH: I own a retail store. Obviously, my store needs customers who purchase merchandise. Of course I can get customers by buying advertisement space, handing out flyers and so on. But a great way, for me, as a business owner to encourage product sales is for ME to work with a company that promotes MY business (AKA: Cash Back Shopping Sites). So lets say I, (the business owner) tell the Cash Back Shopping company that I will give them 10% of every sale they bring me. Meaning, when one of the Cash Back Shopping sites registered users makes a purchase through my company, I give the Cash Back Shopping company a "10% Commission" on that sale, per say; free money for the Cash Back Shopping company, right? And more business for my company, right? So far, both the business and the Cash Back Site have "won".

But in order for the Cash Back Site to be successful, they need to have people who use the site. So instead of the Cash Back Site keeping the whole 10% commission I give them, they offer YOU (the "Cash Back Deal Seeker), 3%, 5% or even 8% to motivate you to make the purchase which triggers the Cash Back Site making money as well as youu2026and me too (the business owner)!

So the MYTH of "Nobody is ever going to pay me to shop!" has been BUSTED. You indeed can, and WILL be paid to shop! So the next questions are obviously about pay and scams too!



Before I SHOW and tell my earnings, let me first provide a word of caution; very few companies I have personally experimented with are truly "legit". I am not going to call them "SCAMS" but I will point out a few MAJOR things you must keep an open-eye to:

1. "CASH OUT TRIGGERS"; this can be called a lot of different things; "Payment Trigger", "Payment Requirement"…some places even dupe you by making it sound fun by calling it a cool-Casino-like-name like "BONUS RELEASE!!!" - don't be fooled by trickery. A "Payment Trigger" means you cannot access ANY of your earnings until you have earned X-Amount. This is total BS!!! Would you ever accept a real-life-job that says "You can't get your paycheck until you have made $100." - In "real life", this would be illegal for an employer to do. The goal of the vast majority of shady "trigger" companies is to set your payment "trigger" so high that you will ONLY EARN MONEY FOR THEM THEN QUIT. Simple solution: work with companies that have no payment trigger (or only a buck as the trigger; a buck is easy to hit).

2. No referral program. There's nothing "wrong" with not having people YOU know that you can/want-to refer to the program, BUT a referral program is of huge benefit to you financially and costs you nothing as well as saves your friends/family/coworkers/readers money. As you will see from my SHOW and TELL, out of my earnings, I personally have gotten back over $500 off my own purchases. My referrals have earned me an additional $1,932. Even without referrals, I would be happy to have the "free $500", but with referring people, I have no complaints over the bonus $2,000!

Cash Back Shopping programs that don't offer Referral Programs simply make it more difficult for you to earn. I have referred everyone I know (even my own parents!) and every penny counts. Best of all, the people you refer don't lose a penny out of their earnings, your "commission" is taken out of the Cash Back companies earnings!

3. COMPARE EARNINGS!!! I have done this for years and the company I use, Mr. Rebates is by far the best. While 2 companies offer slightly higher payouts, they lack in every other area and force "Payout Triggers".

You may have even noticed that your Credit Card or Bank has began offering Cash Back Shopping - and this may work ok for in-store purchases, such as Home Depot, BUT the percentage is usually microscopic. Here's a great example, my bank, CHASE offers 3% for purchases made online (I can also purchase online and pick-up in-store to earn the 3%). BUT, Mr. Rebates offers me 4% cash back PLUS a full list of CURRENT coupons and additional rebates. The 1% difference may not seem like a lot, but it does add up!!! Just by using Mr. Rebates instead of Chase, I can buy a $2,000 refrigerator online, pick it up in the store and get a free $20 through Mr. Rebates, plus a coupon for Free Delivery and find another Rebate I can mail in for an additional $300 off my appliance.

In addition, if you are using a credit card to earn cash back; STOP!!! Unless you are paying off your balance EVERY MONTH, without any interest every incurring, you are beyond throwing away the money you THINK you are earning; its all an illusion!


Alighty, it's time for my "Show and Tell"; I know its easy for anyone to SAY they made money through a program, but here's my REAL earnings screenshots from Mr. Rebates (these are my actual Pay-Pal-Cash-Outs, I had to divide it into two screenshots due to length):

MR. Rebates Cashout Page 1 -

Screenshot Part II: -

HOW to Join Mr. Rebates

Simply use the link below and sign up. DON'T WORRY ABOUT SPAM. I have been with Mr .Rebates since 2009 and I have never had an issue; PLUS they send awesome Christmas Gifts! This year I got a Christmas Card with postage stamps, business cards and post-its!

Something Awful Rebate Form
Something Awful Rebate Form


The awesome thing about Mr.Rebates is that, although the companies name is "Rebates", there is a general difference between Cash Back Shopping and a Rebate.

CASH BACK SHOPPING money is "earned" as soon as you pay for your online purchase. Lets say I use Mr. Rebates to buy a Victorias Secret bra and pantie; I instantly earn 2% of however much I spent.

A "REBATE" typically requires "work" (and if you are like me, your time is money, and unneeded work is wasted time). A Rebate usually makes you copy a receipt, cut out a barcode, fill out forms, mail stuff...sheesh; all that work to get $5 back?!?!? That's not even worth the hour I have to spend jumping through the hoops of the rebate (plus cost to Xerox, cost of postage, cost of the envelope UGH!!!)


If you see "PENDING" earnings - don't stress!!!! A "Pending Earning" doesn't mean you're getting gypped! As I mentioned earlier; the whole CASH BACK SHOPPING PROGRAM involves 3 key players:

The Retail Store -> Mr. Rebates -> You (And your Referrals)

Let's say you (or a referral) get a big raise at work and decides to go bananas and buy $500 worth of items from Bath & Body Works through Mr.; you suddenly see your free $9 in earnings appear in your Mr. Rebates account….but you can't cash it out because its labeled "PENDING" - well this is simply because, what if your Bath & Body Works items arrive and you decide to return them? Or, what if you bought a purse, a $300 Calvin Klien Jacket and a piece of jewelry from through Mr. Rebates and the jacket was "Out of Stock"; it wouldn't be fair for you to earn $15 for your purchase or $9 for the Bath & Body Works purchase when you are getting refunded / not charged by Bath & Body Works for your return or by Macys for the Out-Of-Stock coat, right? So to keep things operating smoothly, earnings become available AFTER the purchase is complete. With Mr. Rebates it's up to 90 days (which coincides with the majority of companies Return Policies or Credit Card Disputes).


The list of stores through Mr. Rebates which you can earn money for shopping at is so mammoth that I'll place it at the very bottom of the page; but here's a few highlights: - Earn 4%!

American Airlines (and almost every other airline, hotel and rental car place!!!)

Bass Pro Shops

Bath & Body Works


Home Depot


Victorias Secret


Betsey Johnson


Circuit City

JC Penny




The list goes on and on and on -

The easiest way to Shop is to use the Search Box and type in the store you wish to shop at OR "Browse by Category". I can't even express how many times I have used this site to buy office supplies for my store, car parts or even order sports tickets online!

So lets say I want to purchase a Wholesale Lot of items to resell through All I need to do is log into my Mr. Rebates account, click on and shop the results!

After picking out the Wholesale Lot you want (or whatever it is youre looking to buy) simply complete the Checkout process THROUGH AMAZON and youre done! Youll see the earnings appear in your Mr. Rebates account shorty!

Sign up for Mr. Rebates; 100% FREE!

Simply copy and paste this link to become a Mr. Rebates member... 100% FREE of charge!:

Take a Moment and VOTE: Which Are You Most Likely to Buy? - HELP US DECIDE! Click the green icon next to the one you like to VOTE!

Looking to make money as an entreprenuer? Which are you most likely to purchase from (You will NOT be redirected by voting!) - My article continues below!


(As of Feb 2013)

Store Name Coupons Rebate

# Back to Top

1 Sale a Day Restrictions 2%

1 Stop Florists 8%

1&1 Internet Restrictions 15%

1-800-Bakery 6%

10 Minute Trainer $10.00

100 Percent Pure 5% 15% 4%

123InkJets Restrictions 20%

123Print 8%

1800AnyLens 6% 15%

1800Contacts 5% 12% Restrictions 15%

1800Lighting 5% 6% Restrictions 10%

1928 Jewelry 10%

1st Wishes 7%

1StopLighting 4%

20x200 8%

24 Hour Fitness Restrictions 5% 3%

2Modern 5% 6% 5%

3balls Golf 3%

3D Laser Gifts 10%

3Gorrillas 3%

4 Wheel Parts 3%

48HourPrint 10%

4AllMemory 5%

4Checks 15%

4ElectronicWarehouse 3%

4imprint 2%

4Inkjets Restrictions 20% 3%

4WD 4%

5.11 Tactical Series 4%

6 Dollar Shirts 6%

6pm 5%

7 For All Mankind 3% 8%

80s Purple 4%

911 Health Shop 6%

A Back to Top

A Candy Store 1%

A Happy Deal 6%

A Pea in the Pod 3%

A&E Shop 3%

A-Thread Apparel 3%

A1Supplements 4%

aBaby 5%

ABC Distributing 1%

Abe's Market 3%

Abe's of Maine Restrictions 2%

AbeBooks Restrictions 5%

Abt Electronics Restrictions 2%

AC Hotels Restrictions 3%

AC Lens 7%

Academic Superstore 2%

Accessory Geeks 10%

Accorhotels Restrictions 6%

AccStation 3%

Ace Hardware 5%

Acronis 10%

Addition Elle 4%

Adidas Restrictions 5%

Adidas Golf 4% 6%

Adobe 5%

Adorama Restrictions 1%

Adorama Pix 6%

Advance Auto Parts 6%

aerie 3%

AeroGarden 6%

Aeropostale 3%

Affliction Clothing 3% 6%

AFG Fitness 5% 3%

AG Jeans 5%

Ahalife 8%


Ahnu 5%

Air-N-Water 3% Restrictions 5%

Airsoft RC 6%

AJ Madison Restrictions 2%

Akademiks 4%

Alamo Rent A Car Restrictions 2%

Alaska Airlines Restrictions $1.00

Alex and Alexa 6%

Alex and Ani 7%

Alibris 3%

Alienware 4%

All About Dance 5% 10%

All4Cellular 2% 6%

AllData 6%

Alldatadiy 18%

Allen Edmonds 5%

Allergy Be Gone 3% 3% 10%

aloft Hotels Restrictions 2%

Alpha Dawg 6%

Alpha Industries 5%

Alternative Apparel 4% 7%

Always for Me 4% 4%


American Airlines Restrictions $1.00

American Airlines Vacations Restrictions 2%

American Bridal 7%

American Diabetes Wholesale 4%

American Eagle Outfitters Restrictions 3%

American Express Gift Cards Restrictions 1%

Americas Best Value Inn Restrictions 2%

AmeriMark 7%

AMI Club Wear 3%

Amrita Singh Jewelry 4%

Amsterdam Printing 6% 3%

Andrew Marc 5%

Andy's Auto Sport 4%

Angara 6%

Angie's List Restrictions 30%

Ann Taylor 3%

Ann Taylor LOFT 3%

Ann's Bridal Bargains 6%

Anna's Linens 4%

Anne Klein 3%

Annie's 6%

Anthony Robbins Restrictions 3%

Anytime Costumes 6%

Apothica 10%

Apple Store Restrictions 1%

Appleseed's 3% 4%

Appliances Connection 2%

Aqua Supercenter 3% 6%

Aquasana 6%

Aramark Uniform 6%

Are You Game 4%

Arhaus Jewels 4%

Art of Tea 8% Restrictions 10%

Artistic Checks 15%

Artistic Labels 8%

As We Change Restrictions 5%

Ashford 6%

Ashley Stewart 4% 3%

Ashton-Drake Galleries 10%

Ashworth 4%

Asian Food Grocer 5%

ASOS Restrictions 3.50%

Astro Gaming 3%

AT&T High Speed Internet $15.00

AT&T U-verse TV $20.00

AT&T Wireless Restrictions $5.00

Athleta 5%

Atlantis Restrictions 3% Restrictions $3.00

Austin Reed 5%

Auto Anything 4%

Auto Parts Warehouse Restrictions 5%

AutoCheck 12%

Autodesk 3%

AutoSport Catalog 5%

AutoZone 5%

Avanquest Software 10%

Avenue 7%

AVG 15%

Avis Rent A Car Restrictions 3%

Avon Restrictions 7%

AW Direct 3%

Axl's Closet 6%

Azalea 3%

B Back to Top

B&T Factory Direct 3%

B2C Jewels Restrictions 3%

Babies R Us 1%

Baby Gap 5%

Baby Shower Stuff 6% 3% 4%

BabyLegs 3%

Back in the Saddle 1% Restrictions 8% 6%

Bag Inc. 7%

Baghaus 6%

Bagsbuy 15%

Bake Me a Wish 6% 6%

Balsam Hill Restrictions 1%

Bambeco 3%

Banana Republic Restrictions 5% 4%

Bare Necessities 6%

Barefoot Tess Restrictions 6%

bareMinerals 5%

Bargain Catalog Outlet 3%

Bargain Cell 2%

Bargain Outfitters 4%

Barneys New York 3% 5%

Baseball Express 2%

Baseball Rampage 8%

Baseball Savings 3% 5%

Bass Pro Shops Restrictions 4%

Bath & Body Works 3% 10% 7%

Bauble Bar 4%

Baymont Inn & Suites Restrictions 2%

Beach Body 4%

Beach Camera 1% 7%

Beaches Restrictions 3%

Beadroom 6%

Bealls 4% 7%

Beauty Bar 4%

Beauty Bridge 8%

Beauty Collection 6%

Beauty Encounter 4%

Beauty of a Site 8%

Beauty Store Depot 10% 8%

BeautySage 6%

BeautyTrends 4%

Bebe 3%

Becker Surfboards 5%

Bed Bath & Beyond Restrictions 2% 3% 5%

Bedding Style 10%

Bedford Fair 6%

Bedhead Pajamas 10%

BedLounge 8%

Bedroom Furniture Mart 4%

Bellacor 6%

Belle & Clive 6%

BelleChic 3%

Belt Outlet 6%

Ben Meadows 3%

Ben Minkoff 5%

Ben's Outlet 3%

Bench Prep Restrictions 10% 6%

Bender Ball $5.00

Bergners 5%

Best Bully Sticks 5%

Best Buy Restrictions 1%

Best Deal Magazines 10%

Best Insoles 3%

Best of Orlando 2%

Best of Vegas 3%

Best Offer Buy 4%

Best Western Restrictions 3%

BestBuyEyeglasses 5%

Betsey Johnson 6%

Better World Books 3%

Betty's Attic 6% 6%

Beyond the Rack 5%

BH Cosmetics 8%

Biblica 6%

Biblica Direct 6% 3%

Bic Warehouse 5%

Bicycle Card Games 10% 3%

Big Al's Online 3%

Big Dogs 6%

Big Fish Games Restrictions 6%

Big Mans Land 5%

Bigelow Chemists 7%

Bigger Bras 5% 3%

Bike Nashbar 4%

BikeBandit 3%

BikeSomeWhere 4% 3%

Bionaire 6%

Biotherm 7% Restrictions 5% 6% 4%

Birthday Express 7%

Birthday in a Box 6%

Bistro MD Restrictions $15.00 6%

BitDefender 25%

BJ's Restrictions 1%

Black & Decker 6%

Black & Decker Appliances 10%

Black & Decker Outlet 4%

BlackHeart Lingerie 3% 6%

Blessed Herbs 8%

Blinds Express 3% 5% 4%

Blindsgalore 4%

Bliss 10%

Bloomingdale's 3%

Blue Nile Restrictions 6%

Bluefly Restrictions 7% 5%

BNYC Online 5%

Boating Savings 6%

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics 7%

Bocce Ball Sets 6%

Boden 3%

Bodhi Shop 3%

Body Guardz 10% Restrictions 1%

Bogner 3%

BOMC2 Restrictions $8.00

Bon-Ton 5%

Bonsai Boy 10%

Book Cases Galore 6% 3%

BookCloseouts 6% 1% 5%

Books A Million 3% 1%

Boost Mobile Restrictions $6.00

Boot Barn 6% 5%

Bosch Outlet 3%

Boscov's 4%

Bostitch Outlet 4%

Boston Proper 2%

Boston Store 5%

Botanic Choice 12%

Boutique to You 5%

Bowflex 4% 5%

Bradford Exchange 10%

Bradford Exchange Checks 15%

Brazil Butt Lift $10.00

Breadman 8%

Brenthaven 6%

Brick Harbor 6%

Brickhouse Security 10%

Briggs & Riley

British Airways Restrictions 1% 8%

Brooklyn Industries 5%

Brooks Brothers 5%

Brooks Running 5%

Brookstone Restrictions 12%

Brylane Home 4% 3%

Budget Rent-A-Car Restrictions 2%

Budget Truck Rental Restrictions 3% 5% 6%

Buffalo Jeans 4%

Build a Sign 3%

Build-A-Bear Workshop 4% Restrictions 3%

BuildDirect 2%

Built 3%

Bulb America 5%

Burke Decor 5% 7%

Burt's Bees 3%

Busted Tees 7%

Butterfly Photo 2%

Buy Entertainment Centers 4%

BuyBuy Baby Restrictions 2% 8%

BuyDig 1%

BuyOnlineNow 3%

C Back to Top

C&C California 7%

C. Wonder 7%

Cabela's 3%

Cache 4%

CafePress 12% 12%

Callaway Golf 6%

Callaway Golf Pre-Owned 6%

Calphalon 4%

Calvin Klein 5%

Cameta Camera 3%

Campbell Hausfeld Outlet 4%

Camping World 4%

Campmor 6%

Campus Book Rentals 4% 6%

Candlewood Suites Restrictions 7%

Candy Crate 6%

Candy Warehouse 5% 4%

Canon 3%

Canopy Center 6%

Canvas on Demand 3%

Canvas People $4.00

Canvas4Life 10%

Capalbos Gift Baskets 4%

Capitol Supply 2%

Carbonite Restrictions 5%

Cardstore 15% Restrictions $35.00

Carlos Shoes 6%

CarMD 3%

Carol Wright Gifts 7%

Carol's Daughter Restrictions 4%

Carolee 5%

Carolina Rustica 5%

Carousel Checks 18% 6% Restrictions 4%

Carrot Ink Restrictions 15%

Carrot-Top 6%

Carson's 5%

Carter's 4%

Cartoon Network Shop 4%

Casa 1%

Cascio Interstate Music 4%

Case-Mate 10% 6%

Casual Male XL 4%

Catalog Favorites 1%

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