Ebates Review: Is Ebates a Scam or Legit?

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I am always looking to find new ways to save money. One of the most popular money saving tools is Ebates so I decided to write about it. In this review we will break down the details of Ebates to determine 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.

Ebates
4.5

Summary

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.

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.

The other option is to use the Ebates browser extension. With this installed, you can skip the step of visiting the Ebates website. The extension will show a popup whenever a website you visit is eligible to earn you cash back on your purchase. All you have to do is click the button in the popup to active Ebates and earn cash back.

Which Stores Does Ebates Partner With?

Honestly, I was amazed at the number of stores I could shop through on Ebates. They have partnerships with over 1,800 stores.

Some of those stores include:

  • Nordstrom’s
  • Kohl’s
  • Macy’s
  • Walmart
  • Amazon
  • Turbotax
  • Ace Hardware
  • Aeropostale
  • Barney’s
  • Bath and Body Works
  • Cabela’s
  • Justice
  • 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 Ebates.

Pros

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

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.

Founder of Well Kept Wallet’s Thoughts on 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.

Conclusion

In my opinion, Ebates is not a scam and it does 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?


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25 COMMENTS

25 responses to “Ebates Review: Is Ebates a Scam or Legit?”

  1. Kenny says:

    I’ve used it, but I’ve actually settled on BeFrugal.com, whose cash back rates are usually higher. Once you reach the minimum threshold, you can request your cash back at any time. It is my default portal, except when trying to earn frequent flyer miles.

    • Deacon Hayes says:

      That is interesting, I am familiar with Be Frugal, but I did not know that they had better cash back rates. I started using Ebates because we were not currently getting any cash back at all. I will look into Be Frugal as we do a lot of shopping online these days.

    • Laurie Blank says:

      Thanks for sharing, Kenny! I wasn’t aware of that site!

  2. Latoya @ Life and a Budget says:

    I love the ease of use. My only complaint is that sometimes if a new tab opens on your browser, you have to make sure that the ebates icon on the toolbar is still active for the session.

    • Deacon Hayes says:

      That is good to know. I wondered how I can tell if it is going to count the purchase for the cash back. I will definitely keep an eye out for that!

    • Laurie Blank says:

      That’s interesting! Thanks for pointing that out, Latoya. I haven’t had that happen before.

  3. DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    This is yet another reminder that I NEED to start using Ebates! I keep hearing about it and I keep putting it on my “to check out” list, but I never get around to actually getting my account set up. Today is the day!

    • Deacon Hayes says:

      Haha. That is exactly what I told myself: ‘it sounds like a great idea, so I will sign up for it one day.’ Well, I signed up for Ebates recently and earned cash back on something I was already going to buy – checks for my business. I’m glad to hear you are ready to give them a shot. So far I am very pleased with the results.

  4. Rosemary says:

    Thank you for the information on eBates. I chose the cashback program offered at moneybackplus.com because it pays more in the long run. There’s an amazing video on the compensation page of the site comparing it with eBates.

  5. Darrell W Wright says:

    I have been an Ebates subscriber for 3 years, and the last 4 months it will not let me open or log in. It tells me that my server is not allowed. I have had the same online account forever. I tried to contact Ebates online, by email, and by phone with no response from any of my attempts. I have money in my account, but no checks. I’m frustrated!

    • Deacon says:

      That stinks. Have you tried reaching out to them on Facebook or on Twitter? Sometimes doing so publicly will elicit a response from them.

  6. Bob says:

    I found it was a scam. I make a lot of business purchases and was scheduled to get a large check. They cancelled my account without explaining why despite repeated customer service emails. The customer service representatives were rude in responses and inconsistent. I’m very disappointed!

  7. Rhonda Lugenbeel says:

    I must have hit the right pay out period for Ebates, because I received my check within a week of my purchase. I am new to Ebates and curious about using the “in Store” Ebates app. I see that it requires you to enter your method of payment, either a credit or debit card. Then, from my understanding, you make your purchase through Ebates using that information. How Safe is this? Aren’t we suppose to limit this information, or not give it out at all? I would love to use in store Ebates, but……

  8. Phạm Công Hoan says:

    I’m drop shipping and make money by Ebates. Ebates made a payment to me one time. When I was working, I made $300-$400, but now my account is BLOCKED.
    I cant login. I have read the terms through Ebates. The message I got was: “Termination – We reserve the right, at any time, to modify or discontinue offering the service at our sole discretion. If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of the service at any time, your sole and exclusive remedy is to cease using the service. You agree that we will not be liable to you or to any third party for any modification, suspension, or termination of the service.”

    • Deacon says:

      You did not mention whether you contacted them about this or not. If you haven’t already, I would contact them and ask why they terminated you. Perhaps you could make whatever changes they suggest to modify your account, or what you’re selling, to meet their requirements. Then they might re-establish your account so you can go on selling. Good luck!

  9. LT says:

    Is ebates using/saving your credit card information when you go through this site? I would be nervous that it is taking your information and then if they were to terminate your account unexpectedly, do they save any information of yours?
    If not, then I’m definitely going to sign up and use this.

    • Deacon says:

      One way to find out some of those types of questions is to check out their policies, terms, and conditions pages as well as FAQ’s (frequently asked questions). This may tell you what you want to know. If not, try contacting them directly via their contact information to ask before signing up. Good luck!

  10. Joshua Macain says:

    Ebates is kind of fake. Cashback is randomly guaranteed, particularly for the expansive order like the Bloomingdales’ one. I almost never got back the money that was originally guaranteed. Also, there are many exceptions, so I encourage you not to waste your time logging in via Ebates.

  11. Sherry says:

    Most people fail to read the “fine print” when they go to Ebates for online purchases. For example, when you go to Amazon through Ebates, it will pull up a list of “exclusions” as well as what percentages you can (or not) expect on your purchase. Once you start checking the “exclusions” you will know whether or not you qualify for the cash back. I have been a member for a couple or so years now and have been perfectly satisfied with the service (& checks) I have received. Ebates does pay quarterly and, if you search your account, you can find what you “made” on each purchase. Also, if you know you made a purchase & didn’t get credit, you just send them the required info from your receipt. I love Ebates!

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