At Well Kept Wallet we’re always looking to find new ways to save money. One of the money saving tools I’ve been hearing a lot about lately is Ebates so I decided to write this Ebates review. So we decided to do a review and see if it is a scam or actually a legitimate site.
Those of you who like shopping and like saving money may have heard of Ebates. It is a shopping rewards program, and today I’m going to go over the pros and cons of the program to help you determine if an Ebates membership might be beneficial for you. We’ll start with an overview of how the program works.
What is Ebates?
Ebates is a reward program that gives customers cash back of between 1% and 40% on almost anything they buy when they purchase it through their Ebates account.
The cash rebates earned through the program are distributed to customers via a check mailed to their home or through a Paypal payment. Ebates also offers coupons to customers on various items so that you can stack your savings.
How Does Ebates Work?
I found the system quite simple to operate. Customers simply sign up for an Ebates account, log in, find the name of the store(s) they wish to shop at by using the website’s alphabetical search system or store name search bar, click on the store and start shopping.
Because clients are directed from the Ebates site directly to the store website, shopping through Ebates is no different than if you’d gone directly to the store site – with the exception that you’ll receive cash back on qualifying purchases because you accessed the store through your Ebates account.
Which Stores Does Ebates Partner With?
Honestly, I was amazed at the number of stores I could shop through on the Ebates website. The Ebates rebate program boasts partnerships with over 1,800 stores. Some of those stores include:
- Ace Hardware
- Bath and Body Works
- Several Travel Sites
The sheer number of stores that partner with the program assures that there are rebates available at stores for most every person who likes or needs to shop.
I have to say that this was my favorite part of using Ebates. When I first considered looking into the program, I have to admit that I didn’t think that the program would do our family much good. As we work on our journey to get out of debt, we are keeping non-necessity shopping to a bare minimum.
However, Ebates offers rebate discounts at the stores we shop at for all of our everyday items as well as at specialty and gift stores.
Next, we’ll go over the main pros and cons of the Ebates program.
Pros of Ebates
There are a number of awesome aspects about Ebates. Some of my favorites are as follows:
- The vast quantity of stores that are available to shop at through Ebates. Some of the more popular stores that we shop at that are currently on the site’s rebate list include Amazon, Walmart, Target and Best Buy. They currently provide cash back from purchases at over 1,800 stores.
- The ease of using the system. Using Ebates is so simple! Customers simply sign in on the Ebates website, click on the store they wish to shop at, and are redirected to the store’s website, free to shop as they wish.
- Cashback!! Even as little as 1% cash back can add up when you’re shopping, however, many stores offer 10%, 20%, 30% and 40% cash rebates.
- Ebates also boasts a referral program for members. When you refer a member who signs up using your membership referral code, you get a $25 cash bonus. The caveat with this program is that in order for you to qualify for the bonus, your referral has to actually shop using Ebates and purchase totaling $25 or more during the first year. This makes sense: I’m sure the company doesn’t want to pay referral bonuses for false customers.
Cons of Ebates
There are a few things that can be considered cons when it comes to Ebates.
- The company only pays out cash back accrual checks on a quarterly basis. In other words, you shouldn’t expect a monthly payout on your shopping excursions.
- Impulse to buy things because they are “on sale.” For those not in control of their spending, it can be easy to buy things that you weren’t planning on buying because you “got it on sale”.
- Each store has some excluded products that do not qualify for cash rebates. For instance, at Walmart, there is no rebate given on cellular phone purchases, prepaid phone cards, pharmacy purchases, travel center purchases, financial center transactions, tires, optical purchases and gift cards.
While the exclusions may be a deterrent for some, I found it great that they offer cash back on the items that we buy most at Walmart: personal toiletries and clothing.
Because each store does have some excluded items, it might be a good idea before you shop at your favorite stores on Ebates to look through the exclusions list for the store you’re shopping at before you make your purchases.
Deacon’s Review of Ebates
When my son Finn became a toddler, we knew that we needed something for him to do outside but we were not sure what to get him. I researched outdoor toys and found a playhouse that looked awesome but it was a couple hundred dollars. I decided to search in Google for a better deal and found it at Kmart for a lot less.
I could have just bought it and called it a day, but here is the kicker.
Then I decided to open up Ebates and see if Kmart was one of their options and it was. Not only that but they were paying 6% cash back for these type of purchases! So I got $9 cash back on something that I was already going to purchase and I got it for a much lower price than what I originally saw on Amazon.
Note: it is important to keep in mind that not all purchases through a retailer will get you cash back. They typically only give cash back for certain categories. For instance, in this case, it was for ‘kids toys’ or ‘outdoor items’. So make sure that the item that you want to purchase is relevant to the category the retailer is offering cash back on.
See the full details of this savings from Ebates in the video below:
What Others are Saying
Although most reviewers have nothing but positive to say about the Ebates system, there were several complaints on the Better Business Bureau site. Most of the complaints I saw had to do with customers not getting a rebate that they felt they were entitled to. However, it appears that every complaint was addressed by Ebates and closed, with most customers happy with the resolution. I found it pretty impressive that Ebates worked in all customer cases to resolve issues that clients have had.
Ebates Referral Program
Another cool thing is that Ebates is willing to pay you cold hard cash for referring your friends. Currently, they will pay you $5 per person that you refer as long as they actually use Ebates to get cash back. Just signing up is not enough, they actually have to use Ebates at least once to buy something over $25 for you to get the commission.
Also, sometimes Ebates will run an additional promotion. For instance, they will give you $25 for each person you refer for up to 3 people. I don’t know about you, but that is motivation enough for me to start telling my friends about it. They get $10 for signing up and you get paid as well, not too shabby.
In my opinion, Ebates has something to offer for nearly every person that shops. Even for those who are, like us, keeping shopping excursions largely to necessities only, Ebates can help you keep more cash in your pocket and save money on the things you buy every day.
If you want to learn more about the Ebates rewards program or if you’d like to sign up, simply go to the Ebates website and get $10 from them for using this link!
Did you find this Ebates review helpful? Is this a site you’d use on a regular basis?