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Ebates: Earn Cash when you Shop!

Updated on June 1, 2016

Ebates does reward you for shopping

I am sure you have seen the Ebates television campaigns and wonder whether it is legit or not. You may wonder: How could it be? How can you shop and get rewarded for shopping? There has to be a catch somewhere, right? Well, there isn’t.

Ebates is a legitimate company that was founded in 1998 by two Deputy District Attorneys whose main purpose was to prosecute online fraud and identity theft. Their main motivation was to make online shopping safe for the consumer, and in doing so, they have taken a “pay it forward” approach to ensure just that.

Yes, it is true that they get a commission for purchases you make. Meaning: they make money when you shop; however, they “pay it forward” by giving you half of what they make. It’s not a lot of money; but in today’s economy, every little bit helps.

How it works

Ebates, not only supplies you with a plethora of stores, they provide you with coupons and fantastic deals, as well. Basically, they do the homework for you, so when you decide to make a purchase, you are ensured the best deal.

Here is how it works:

When you visit Ebates you will see a column that supplies you with numerous stores. They are categorized in alphabetical order, so you can easily scroll down, or you can type the name of the store into the search box. It is very user friendly.

Once you find your store, you will notice that there will be a percentage next to it in red. This number represents the amount you will receive as cash back. When you click the store, you will be taken to another page that will give you a referral tracking number. Ebates records this, so you don’t have to remember it; however, it is imperative that you receive a tracking number; otherwise, you won’t get paid.

Example of my Cash Back

  1. I went on a shopping spree at Ulta and the percentage listed as cash back was 4%.
  2. I spent $56 and received $2.24 for that particular purchase.
  3. Ulta had “Free Shipping” on purchases over $50 and they offered a discount of $3.50 on any $10 purchase.

So, on this one shopping adventure, I saved $53.50 from Ulta and received an additional $2.24 from Ebates. What a deal!


In addition to earning cash back through shopping, Ebates gives you the opportunity to earn bonuses for signing up and referring a friend. The amount differs each month, so you need to see what the offer is for that particular month. In order to get paid for your referral, you need to go through the Ebates site and create a referral tracking number or send your friend an email through Ebates. They, in turn, will need to join Ebates through your referral number and make a purchase of a $25 or more. Once that happens, you get paid. You can learn more about this in the help topics under Tell-A-Friend.

My earnings for signing up or referring a friend were as follows:

  • August, I earned $5
  • September, I earned $10
  • December, I earned $5

That’s an additional $20, and I did absolutely nothing but refer a friend.

Ebates Tools

The email alerts are a helpful tool. If you sign up for Ebates alerts, you will be emailed deals on certain store offerings. Some will be a percentage off a certain product, others will inform you of “Double the Cash Back” for your purchase at a particular store.

The “Cash Back” button is another useful tool. This feature is useful because if you forget to go through the Ebates site and go directly to the store, Ebates will present you with a banner that reminds you the store you are perusing is an active Ebates merchant.

Here is how it works.

One, let’s say you searched for vitamins, the participating Ebates stores will be identified in the search by showing the cash back percentage available.

Two, if you decide to go directly to the vitamin store, a banner will appear across the top of your screen that says “Activate Cash Back”. All you have to do is click to activate. This button is a bonus for me because I sometimes forget to go through the Ebates website to start shopping, and it ensures that I never miss a deal for earning cash back.

Note: In order for this banner to be applicable, you must make it active, it is not something that happens automatically when you sign up for Ebates.

Activating the “Cash Back Button” is simple:

Go to the “Help Topics” - locate the “Cash Back Button” section, and click. A new screen will open with directions on what to do next. It’s that stress-free. At present, the Cash Back Button is available for Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox; though, there are other stipulations with regard to your computer, so you may need to examine those first to make sure your computer is compatible. It appeared to me that most were, but go check it out to make sure. You can read about the other requirements on the Ebates site under the Cash Back Button section.

When you get paid

Ebates sends you a “Big Fat Check” every three months. Payout dates are:

February 15th

May 15th

August 15th

November 15th

If you don’t believe in Ebates yet, here is a copy of my last "Big Fat Check".

So, is Ebates worth joining? Absolutely. I have made $81.83 thus far and have been a member since August 2013. Remember the more you shop, the more you make.

Understand that this is a synopsis of what you can expect from Ebates. There are so many wonderful things about Ebates and I could go on forever; however, it’s best if you visit the site and read through all of the links.

Happy Shopping!

Disclaimer: I am not an employee of Ebates and I will not receive any compensation from Ebates for writing this. I am just an ordinary consumer who believes in Ebates because it has worked for me.

© 2014 bellartdesigns


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