Ebates is advertised as an easy way to save money and receive cash back when you shop online with thousands of retailers. Sounds a little too good to be true. Is there an Ebates con? Or is it a legitimate way to save a little money as you buy the things you were already looking for?
Ebates works as a middle man, offering a portion of it’s affiliate fees to it’s users – sort of a internet Robinhood, taking from the big companies and giving back to the common shopper. Large companies offer Ebates a percentage of every sale they refer to their site, and Ebates then thanks it’s users by giving back some of their earnings to their users in the form of cash back. You can claim your cash back via a check in the mail, Paypal, or credit to other purchases at your favorite stores online.
Is Ebates Real?
After hands-on research and receiving our own real checks for the last 6 months, Ebates IS real, and the time to sign up was yesterday. Ebates has been around since 1998, which makes us a little upset we haven’t been using it all along.
Many people become nervous or skeptical when they haven’t received their ebates check yet, but it’s important to remember that ebates pays on a quarterly basis, meaning every three months. Yes, it’s a bit long to wait, but much like your tax refund, it means that the money you get back will be a noticeable sum, rather than a couple dollars here and there. Be patient, and thou shalt get paid!
How Safe is Ebates?
Ok, so it’s real, and it sends you money for shopping at your favorite stores. GREAT. But considering all of the data breaches and identity thefts these days, is ebates safe to use?
Because ebates is the middle step in the equation, no credit card information ever enters their hands. All they know is that you’ve activated the Ebates cash back prior to continuing on to the retailer of your choice. This retailer, such as Macy’s, Amazon, Target, etc., then relays your final purchase amount back to Ebates using a tracking cookie to determine their (and your) cash back amount.
The only sensitive data that Ebates asks for (which is optional) is your mailing address to send your physical check. However, if you’re worried about it getting lost in the mail, or prefer not to reveal that info, you can use a Paypal account instead.
It’s hard to accept that businesses in this day and age are giving money back to people. But once you understand that Ebates shares their affiliate fees with it’s users (in order to increase their popularity), it’s actually pretty smart for both parties. Thankfully, there is no “Ebates con”. Yes, they make money, but YOU make up to 10% back on purchases you were already shopping for. It’s safe to use, and you can expect your payment coming back to you in under 90 days.
If you decide to use Ebates, create your account using this link, you’ll get an additional $10 the first time you shop using the program!