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Ebates Review: Get Cash Back for Shopping

There are a number of credit card reward program [3]s that allow you to get cash back when you spend money using your card. While these programs can be a good way to make the most out of a credit card, they are inaccessible to those who don’t want to use credit.

If you don’t like credit, you can still earn cash back, though. Ebates [4] is one of the most popular online shopping rewards web sites. This site provides you with an opportunity to earn money — just for buying what you normally would.

How Does Ebates Work?

Ebates is easy to sign up for. You enter your email address, and start shopping. Right now, Ebates has a sign up bonus: You can choose a gift card from preselected retailers. As soon as you make your first $25 purchase, you receive the gift card.

Once you are signed up, you can log in to your account and start your online shopping from the Ebates web site. When you make a purchase from a retailer on the site, you are credited cash back. Ebates also offers coupon codes that you can use to get free or reduced shipping, as well as discounts on what you buy.

You regularly receive cash back, and you can choose to receive your cash back through PayPal or by paper check. Another option is to have your Ebates cash back sent to the designated charity of your choice, or to a friend. Ebates pays quarterly, whether you receive a check or a PayPal [5] payment, as long as you have at least $5.01 in cash back earned. In order to receive payment through PayPal, though, you need to go into your account and verify your name and address.

It costs you nothing to sign up for Ebates; the company earns a sales commission from retailers when you buy something. Your cash back comes out of the sales commission paid to Ebates.

Is Ebates Worth It?

As long as you are only buying what you would normally purchase anyway, Ebates is worth it. You don’t pay anything to participate. You should also double check to make sure that you are still getting a good price. In some cases you might get a better price from one web site. Getting cash back at Ebates may not make up for the price difference. It’s not worth it to pay more just to get a little bit of cash back. You aren’t truly saving in those cases.

If you don’t mind doing your shopping from an online portal, Ebates can be a good way to earn rewards for making purchases of things you would normally buy anyway. You are paid for shopping — and you don’t even need a credit card. However, if you do have a rewards card, you can increase your cash back by using your rewards card and shopping at Ebates. It’s a great way to maximize your rewards without spending extra. Just make sure you pay your balance off each month so you aren’t seeing your rewards erased by interest charges.