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Ebates App Review: Are Store Cash Back Rewards Legit? How Does it Work?

Jordan Beaumont
Financial Guru
Updated: 6/2019
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EBATES REVIEW

Ebates

Why Ebates?

  • They have over 25,000 retail partners and you can get up to 40% cash back on purchases.
  • It is free to join and you can instantly get $10 signup bonus.
  • They have a low payment threshold at $5 so you can get your money when you want to.
Try Ebates

We are witnessing some hard times economically. We have more college debt, credit card debt and the most trouble affording all of lifes expenses now more than ever.

Anyone and everyone I know wants to bring in all that they can get whether this be money or free resources of any sort.

Table of Contents

Background

If you are anything like me, you want to utilize all the tools you can in order to save money without having to do a lot of work. Truthfully, I used to want to be an extreme couponer like you might’ve seen on TV, but I’ve never had the patience to collect, cut and organize hundreds of coupons. No, thank you.

Instead, I’ve turned to technology, which has given me the savings I never would have had before. I want all the rewards without having to do any of the work.Ebates App Review Is the Cashback Rewards Legit

Fortunately, we’ve got resources these days to help out with that! My saving graces are Ibotta, Checkout51, and more recently, Ebates.

Ebates: Too Good to Be True?

Ebates has existed for quite some time, but isn’t extremely popular among internet users and couponers. With it being somewhat unheard of, it’s easy to assume it’s a scam or a waste of time. We’ve been conditioned to mistrust websites and apps like this – plenty of times, things have been described as simple and easy, but you don’t get much out of it. Let’s analyze this a little further with Ebates.

Ebates is free to use and it advertises bonuses you get just for signing up. After you sign up, which only takes a couple of minutes, you get $10 either in the form of cash back or gift cards – you get to pick. Once you’re signed up, you’re off to the races. Ebates then promises cash back or discounts for your purchases at over 2,500 stores. Too good to be true?

It’s easy to question sites and apps like this because oftentimes, they’re either scams or don’t live up to their promises. Don’t count Ebates out just yet.

How it Works

Let’s dive in a little deeper. When you sign up on Ebates, you will be able to choose the affiliated stores you want to shop at online. There’s some good news, too. Recently, Ebates has upped their game a little bit, now making it possible to earn cash back from shopping in store, too.

To do this, you would need to link your credit or debit card to Ebates. When you shop in store, you would need to access Ebates and select “in-store cash back”, find the offer(s) you want to redeem and click “link offer”. By doing this, you’ve essentially activated these rebates on your card and your earnings will roll into your Ebates account just like that. This might seem a little tedious, but this has allowed those shoppers who prefer to shop in store to also benefit from Ebates.

Here is the process for online shoppers. After choosing your store on Ebates, you will be sent directly to the store’s website to shop and earn. For example, if you choose Target, Ebates will send you to Target’s website. Now, let’s say you’re shopping for clothing. If you spend $100 on clothing and there is an offer for 5% cash back that day, you get $5 back. This is put directly into your Ebates account, which is why it’s important to access any stores through Ebates.

Boom. Done. Money (almost) in your pocket. It’s that easy.

In fact, it probably seems too easy. How could it be this simple? Is this legal? Where is this money coming from? No worries. It’s totally legal. Retailers actually pay Ebates commission for bringing in customers. Then, when you make a purchase, Ebates cuts you a part of that commission. Ebates acts as a middleman to connect customers with deals that they might miss otherwise. It’s a win-win-win. We get discounts/cash back, Ebates earns commission and retailers get the gift of more customers.

Ebates App Review: Is the Cashback Rewards Legit?

Many Stores

There’s not enough time or space to list all the stores Ebates partners with. However, it more than likely partners with any store you’re looking for whether it be Walmart, Old Navy, Bath and Body Words, Ace Hardware, and so on. However, it may be worth mentioning that Ebates and Amazon aren’t the greatest business partners, meaning you’re unlikely to be able to earn cash back when shopping on Amazon.

Let’s talk products. It’s quite possible that you won’t find any rewards for all the products you’re looking for. If you could pull that off, it would be amazing. That said, you might find more than you think if you take a moment to shop around. If you’re looking for a specific lotion or beauty product, you can look at Ulta and see what you could earn back.

Then you can head on over to Sephora and see what they’re offering if anything. This might feel a bit redundant depending on how many items you’re looking for, but always an option if you’re looking to save even more.

Remember earlier when I mentioned that the money is almost in your pocket? Let me talk more about that. Rewards will be credited to your account within 5 days of your purchase, assuming there are no issues. Perhaps the worst part of Ebates is the waiting period between money getting put into your account and when you can actually get paid out. Are you sitting down? Here it is.

Ebates requires you to wait 60 days. Yep, you heard me right. You have to wait 60 days to get your money so that way you can’t cheat the system by buying items for the rewards and then returning said items right away. This might be somewhat annoying, but it’s a fair way to keep everyone honest.

After those 60 days, that money is all yours, as long as it’s $5 or more. Ebates pays on the 15th in February, May, August, and November. If you have less than $5 in your account, it will roll over to the next payment date until you have enough to be paid out. You can decide whether you want a check sent to you or if you want payment through PayPal.

Even though you have to wait 6 days, if you use Ebates consistently after getting started, you can easily have extra money rolling in each pay period, no questions asked. It’s just a matter of how often you’re shopping online and whether or not you’re shopping through Ebates.

Other Offers

There are a couple of ways to maximize your earnings using Ebates. First and foremost, refer your friends and family. Refer your kids, refer your wife. Refer Facebook friends. Refer strangers! Once your referrals spend $25 through Ebates, you get a $25 bonus.

Think about this for a minute: You refer 5 friends. They each spend $25. That’s $125 of easy money! You’re rewarded with this each time a referral spends $25. You’re not limited to a certain number of referrals.

Another way to earn a little more would be to check Ebates for coupon codes as it often offers coupons for its affiliated stores. This works both ways – you would also want to be aware of coupons offered directly from the manufacturer (Target, Walmart, etc.) to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Ebates App Review: Is the Cashback Rewards Legit?

I recommend installing the Ebates extension onto your browser. It only takes a minute or two to install, and it’s incredibly helpful because it ensures you’re always using Ebates when you shop. Imagine spending $100 shopping at Target online. You submit your order and receive your confirmation receipt and then you realize that you forgot to open Ebates.

You can choose to lose out on potential savings, or you can go through the hassle of canceling your order, getting your money back, and then doing it all over again specifically through Ebates. With the extension on your browser, that will never become a problem. Ebates’ extension has your back.

What’s the verdict, you ask?

Well, here’s what it comes down to.

Ebates is a free, legitimate way to save money. It’s not very complicated to use, simple to navigate and offers a great deal of cash back opportunities.

As with anything, there are cons. You’ve got to wait 60 days to get your money. This isn’t ideal for anybody who needs instant gratification. Sometimes the products you want aren’t eligible for cash back. Perhaps the worst con is that sometimes pay-outs get missed or rewards don’t appear in your account.

Generally, a quick call to customer service can clear up any issues and Ebates appears to be good at working with users. While not my personal favorite app/site to use, it has provided me with around $30 cash back in the last few months. This is pretty good for someone who doesn’t online shop too often.

This can be dangerous if you don’t have self-control. When I first got my Fuel Saver card with HyVee, I made some rookie mistakes by talking myself into buying things just for the fuel-saving benefits. A container of protein powder to put into shakes for $10 with 50 cents off per gallon? Well, I’ve never used protein powder before and I rarely drink shakes, but hey, maybe I’ll start!

Nope.

You know how they always say not to shop for groceries when you’re hungry? That concept definitely applies here. Make sure when you’re scrolling through what may feel like endless amounts of cash back offers that you’re only picking out offers for items that you truly need or were initially looking for. It’s easy to be blinded by those beautiful cash back offers.

Do you REALLY need paper products from Office Depot? Do you really want to get a new chainsaw from Lowes? No, you probably don’t. Don’t let that 10% cash back reel you in. You will find yourself unnecessarily spending more money for the rewards on something you THINK you could use. Be mindful on what you’re shopping for to really maximize your savings.

Ebates App Review: Is the Cashback Rewards Legit?

Something else worth taking notice in is the fine print at the very bottom of the Ebates website. No problem, we all always read the fine print, right? Anyway, Ebates actually has a cap on what you can earn back on each purchase. The maximum cash back for one purchase is $50. This means if you made a purchase worthy of $55 cash back, you would only get $50 back. Split up your purchases to make the most of it, if need be.

Another factor to be mindful of is account inactivity. Ebates lets you get away with a whole year without using it, but anything further, they start withdrawing a couple of bucks to pay for accounting and such. Make sure you remain active or cancel out your account altogether.

I want to stop here for just a minute to talk about the elephant in the room. Anybody doing research on sites like these generally read many different articles and reviews about it. We all know you’re going to go read other reviews after reading this – as you should. You should absolutely find out all you can about things you’re unsure about before using them.

What People Say

Let me help you save some time. You’re going to read reviews that say Ebates is great, some reviews that say Ebates sucks, and some in the middle. You’re going to read about people who claim they never got paid, or that they were only credited a few cents. You’re going to read about people who have never had any problems and basically live their lives through Ebates.

Let’s be real about it. You’re potentially going to access a resource that can put money back into your pocket. This isn’t available everywhere with everything – it’s a nice bonus when you make purchases. Furthermore, we’re talking about a website online and/or an app on a phone. Technology isn’t fool-proof. Sometimes websites crash and things can go wrong.

It’s possible you might have a different experience than someone else does. It’s possible you might have a really good day earning back cash, and the next day might be a really bad day. Your account might get credited right away after one transaction and after the next you might have to reach out to customer service to find out where it’s at.

A lot of people become frustrated in the amount of money they spend through Ebates and how they feel they get little back in return. This is a reminder to stick to buying only things you are looking for or things that you need. You shouldn’t have those negative feelings about Ebates if you’re not spending any more money than you would if you were shopping anywhere else. Overall, if you are realistic with your expectations and understand that this isn’t an instant gratification, get rich quick scheme, then I predict your interaction with Ebates will be more of a positive one.

Final Words

Ebates is a legitimate, solid resource. No scams to worry about here. The website isn’t out to trick you or make you spend your money for nothing. However, it’s up to you to decide if it’s something that’s going to work for you. The feel of Ebates is that it’s wildly convenient for online shoppers, and slightly less convenient for those who prefer to shop in a store, but still possible.

If you’re motivated whole-heartedly to save those extra dollars, this won’t stand in your way. At the end of the day, you won’t get rich, but I don’t think anybody would object to earning a few bucks back from items they already need to purchase. If you can get into the habit of shopping through Ebates, you’ve got nothing to lose – only money to gain.

If you want to try other Rewards Apps, there’s ShopkickMyPoints, and Dosh. You can also earn a decent amount of money by doing various online activities with Swagbucks and Inbox Dollars. Read our Swagbucks review and Ibotta reviews to learn more. 

 

FAQ

Ebates General Information

Ebates prides itself on protecting customers and their information. It is a real company offering legitimate and valuable services to its members.

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What is Ebates?

Ebates is cashback website situated in San Francisco, California. Consumers that shop through Ebates are offered a portion of their revenue for clicking and making a purchase through their affiliate link.

How does Ebates work?

Ebates is associated with thousands of stores.  So, when an Ebates link is clicked, and you are led to a retail store, you receive half of the commission that Ebates receives for their participation.

Who owns Ebates?

Ebates is owned by Rakuten Inc., which is a Japanese electronic commerce and Internet company located in Tokyo.

Is Ebates legit?

Yes, Ebates is a legit company. Every three months a cheque is received through the mail for your participation on their website.

Is Ebates worth it?

If you are an avid online shopper, you will find shopping on Ebates to be beneficial as you will earn money overtime as you shop.

Is Ebates a good deal?

Ebates is always offering good deals. If you wish to access these deals and earn rewards, you can sign up on their website for free.

When is Ebates birthday?

Ebates birthday is during the month of May. Ebates celebrates with their shoppers during the birthday week by offering a discount from participating retailers.

Is Ebates real?

Despite what some may think, Ebates is not a scam. It is real company that offers cashback to online consumers that shop through their site.

Is Ebates secure?

Yes, Ebates is secure. Members can feel safe shopping through the site as they are keen on safeguarding members’ information.

Is Ebates free?

Yes, Ebates is free.  Shoppers benefit from their site as it does not cost any money to use their services.

Do you have to pay for Ebates?

No, Ebates is a free service. Users of the site do not have to pay to access the website or benefit from its services.

What's the catch with Ebates?

With Ebates there is no catch. The site is free to use but to benefit and receive the rewards that are offered, individuals must access online retail links through the website.

Does Ebates actually work?

Yes, as an affiliate company, Ebates receives commission when members shop through the affiliated links. Commission is provided to Ebates and members receive half of that commission.

Is Ebates publicly traded?

Yes, Ebates is publicly traded on the JASDAQ securities exchange. It was once a privately-held business but it is no longer considered as such because it is publicly traded. 

Is Ebates safe?

Yes, Ebates is safe. Consumers that find pleasure in shopping online will find this website valuable for their time and money.

How to join Ebates?

You can join Ebates by visiting their website and signing up. Once your account is complete, you can begin shopping through their affiliated links.

Should I join Ebates?

Yes, if you are an avid online shopper, you will find Ebates to be beneficial. It enables you to earn money as you spend.

Does Ebates sell your information?

Ebates will never sell or distribute any of your information. However more information regarding privacy can be reviewed here.

Is Ebates a safe site?

Yes, Ebates is a safe site. The company is committed to the privacy of their members, so any personal information of its members is safely guarded.

What is wrong with Ebates?

Ebates is a harmless website. It offers more benefits for consumers than any other website due to its cashback features.

How to use Ebates?

By accessing Ebates’ website, shoppers can scroll through online retail stores to shop from that are affiliated with Ebates. Once they find a suitable store, they click the link to take them to the store and are provided commission for shopping.

How does Ebates make money?

Ebates makes money through affiliate marketing, which involves companies paying Ebates money for referring sales.

Earning & Receiving Pay-Out for Cashback

Making money on Ebates is simple and receiving the money that is earned is as well. Ebates members can expect to acquire money once a specified cashback balance is earned.

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How long does Ebates take to show up?

If you are awaiting a check from Ebates, understand that members are paid every three months once their balance exceeds $5.00.

Does Ebates cash back expire?

No, Ebates cash back do not expire, because they are paid out to members quarterly. However, if you have received a check and the time for depositing it has expired, you can contact Ebates to re-issue another check.

Where's my cash back in Ebates?

Cash Back is received once the amount earned exceeds $5.00 and it is sent every three months to the shopper.

When does Ebates send out checks?

Ebates sends out checks to members four times for the year. So, every three months members can anticipate a check in the mail.

Are Ebates Checks taxable?

No, cashback from Ebates behaves like a discount that is received when you use a coupon in store. Therefore, tax forms are not sent out to consumers.

How to redeem Ebates cash back?

You can redeem your cash back via Paypal or Check. This can only be done once your cashback amount is over the amount of $5.00.

Can I get Ebates after purchase?

Before you make a purchase, you must use one of the links provided through Ebates to earn your cashback rewards. You will not earn anything after your purchase if Ebates was not used.

How does Ebates pay you?

Ebates pays you through your method of choice, such as through Paypal or Cheque. However, cheques are paid out to customers quarterly.

When will I get my Ebates check?

After your cash balance has reached more than $5.00, you will paid out. However checks are distributed every three months to members.

How often does Ebates send checks?

Checks are sent out quarterly. Members will receive a check four times during each year of their membership.

How to cash out on Ebates?

Paypal or through checks are the two ways to cash out on Ebates. By choosing one of these options, you can expect you receive your cashback rewards once it is issued.

Where does Ebates money come from?

Ebates money is earned when you shop via the affiliated retail links. Half of the commission that is earned based on this affiliation is credited to you.

How does Ebates tell a friend that it works?

An assigned link is provided to members. By spreading the word about Ebates to friends, members and their friends can both receive a reward.  

How long does Ebates take?

Cashbacks are typically earned in 48 hours. However, in some instances it takes up to 30 days for stores to verify and to confirm your order. 

Will Ebates reissue a check?

Yes, Ebates re-issues replacement checks on the grounds that it was misplaced, lost, or expired checks. Ebates is adamant on ensuring that members receive their money.

Does Ebates deduct returns?

Yes, exchanged orders may cancel your cashback from that store. Also, depeding on that retailer’s policy, it may also be deducted from your balance.

What to do if I forgot to use Ebates?

Unfortunately, if you forget to login into Ebates before making a purchase, you cannot access you will not be able to obtain cashback. Remeber it even works for delivery food near me.

Can I add purchases to Ebates?

No, you cannot add purchases to Ebates. Cashback is earned only when purchases are made through Ebates.

How to add Ebates after purchase?

You cannot add Ebates once a purchase has been made. You must commence and complete your online shopping through Ebates. Once a purchase has been made, you are then eligible for cashback.

What happens to Ebates when you return?

When you return a purchase that you have made through Ebates, the cashback rewards you have received is deducted from your balance.

What is Ebates double cash back?

Ebates double cash back enables members to earn 2x the cash amount on a specified purchase. This feature accelerates earnings hence allowing members to receive more in cashback in a short period.

How to add Paypal to Ebates?

Under account settings, you can connect your Paypal to your Ebates account by simply following the prompts.

Can you have multiple Ebates accounts?

Yes, you can. However, if you happen to have multiple Ebates accounts you cannot associate a single Paypal email address with all of them. A different one must be used.

Removing/Deleting Ebates Account? 

You can remove the Ebates App from your computer or browser at any time. You can also delete your account if you are unhappy with the service.

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How do I get rid of Ebates?

If you wish to get rid of your account with Ebates, you must do so through your account. After signing in, you can request that your account be deleted through the “Help” option.

How to delete Ebates account?

You can delete your Ebates account by signing into your account. Click “Help”, “Contact Us”, then “Email address/Profile Change from the drop-down menu” Next, request that your account be deleted.

How to uninstall Ebates app?

If you wish to uninstall the Ebates app from your web browser, you can do so by accessing, preferences to remove or uninstall the application. If you are looking for another coupons app we review several others.

How do I remove Ebates from my computer?

If you wish to remove Ebates from your computer, you must remove it by accessing your applications. You can either drag the application to the “Trash Bin” or right click and press delete.

Companies & Rewards That Work with Ebates

Ebates is affiliated with many stores. However, only Ebates cashback offers can be used with associated stores. Other deals may not be applicable.

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Does Ebates work with Amazon?

Yes, Ebates works with Amazon. However, only with their Home services. Consumers must click the link through Ebates to earn money on Amazon.

Is Best Buy on Ebates?

Yes, Best Buy is on Ebates. If you are avid shopper of Best Buy, you will find it rewarding to earn cashback on the purchases you make via Ebates on their site.

Can you use Ebates and Swagbucks at the same time?

No, the two are different offers and must be used separately. They cannot be used at the same time.

How to use Ebates in store?

Before purchasing anything in stores, you can click on the “In-Store Cash Back”, follow the link for the store you wish to shop at and it is applied to credit card. As you shop in store you gain cash back rewards. 

How does in store Ebates work?

Before purchasing anything at the store, you can log into your profile and add the in-store rewards onto your card. The card can then be used in store for discounts and rewards.

How to use Ebates cash bonus?

Ebates cash bonus or gift card is given to new members. It can be used online with Ebates, through their mobile app, or in participating stores that accept in-store Cashback.

What stores use Ebates?

Over 2000 stores are affiliated with Ebates. Some of the stores that use Ebates are Best Buy, Macy’s, Guess, Shutterfly, Holiday Inn Express and so much more.

Can I use Ebates and Ibotta together?

No, Ebates and ibotta are two different reward programs. They prove to be more beneficial when they are used separately as they are distinct.

Does Ebates work with gift cards?

No, Ebates does not give cash back on a purchase made with gift cards or certificates, but cashback can be earned on gift cards that are bought via Ebates.

What is Ebates buy now?

Ebates “Buy Now” is an option that is used to earn cashback rewards online by purchasing through the affiliated store.

Jordan Beaumont

Jordan Beaumont

Financial Guru

Jordan's work focuses on helping people reach their financial goals so they can spend more time with family and friends and less time worrying about their budget. After finishing college with a degree in Accounting and Communication, he realized that these are the most important things in life and that people shouldn’t miss out because of money.

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