I've provided a Cashback Comparison of the Top Cash Back Sites available online, and the one's that I use. Don't know what Cashback websites are? This is when you get some of your money back after shopping online. This is what these wonderful programs that I'm about to tell you about do. They are also sometimes called Rebate Programs or Rewards Programs -- either way, they benefit us, and put money back into our pockets.
I only promote the absolutely FREE programs here, because I don’t advise that you pay anyone to get Cash Back - it would defeat the purpose. I do advise that you sign up for all of these programs (like I have), for three reasons: (1) you can use the sign-up bonuses (free cash) to increase your savings on purchases; (2) some offer different Retailers to shop from than others; and (3) the percentage of cash back offered sometimes varies between websites (see below).
Here’s how it works:
These websites are paid commissions by the Retailers/Stores to get us to shop with them (except eBay Bucks). The websites keep a portion of the commissions and pass a portion onto us. It’s a win-win-win situation! All 3 of us make money. These Retailers may of course be jacking up their prices to account for these commissions (sometimes I’m too smart for my own good). But, better to take advantage of it, than to not! (Most people don’t even know about these sites). Plus, with our Discount Fanatics motto of combining savings, we’re going to double or triple-up our savings methods on their butts anyway, and also use a coupon on the purchase, and/or get free shipping, or not pay sales tax, etc., etc. (So there! Booyah, baby!).
The Retailers range from huge to small. You’ll be able to shop at the online stores of WalMart.com, Target.com, Sears.com, Macys.com, Lowes.com, eBay.com, Staples.com, SnapFish.com, GNC.com, ABCDistributing.com and thousands more. And, you shop directly off of the retailers own websites like you normally would, you simply follow the ‘special link’ to get there so that you’re credited with your cash back.
Most websites offer different cash back percentages for the same Retailer. For instance, if you were shopping at OfficeMax.com -- MrRebates might offer 1%, GreenBackStreet might offer 1.998%, but Ebates might offer 3% -- so in this instance, you would want to shop through Ebates. But, if you wanted to shop at 1800Flowers.com -- MrRebates might offer 15%, while Ebates only offers 5%, and GreenBackStreet doesn’t offer them at all, so you would want to purchase through MrRebates! So you might want to check 1 or 2 cash back sites prior to purchasing to see who is offering the highest cash back. A new comer to the cash back game has managed to trump pretty much everyone, so I will tell you that they are now the first website that I go to - and they are TopCashBack. They are offering the highest cashback percentages by far!!!
Now, be sure not to use your main email address for these sign-ups, because they will periodically send you account balance emails, as well as their own promotional emails. From what I've read, I don't believe that they sell your email address to others. You must use an email address that is or will be linked to your PayPal account, since the majority of your payouts will be linked to your PayPal account. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you probably want to open one. Most will also mail you a check if you choose that method of payout. After setting up you account, you should go into Email Options and uncheck all the boxes that allow them to send you tons of promotional email.
Another great thing is that these websites offer not only Cash Back, but also Coupons on some purchases for your discount shopping. You’ll see the offerings just before clicking the link to shop, so be sure to check them out. On some, you’ll need to write down the Coupon Code prior to clicking the link. You’ll be able to search by Store or by Category on all of these websites. Remember that with all of these sites, shipping and taxes will not be included in their calculations, and typically, neither will coupon deductions. In other words, if the transaction looks like this (Sale of $100.00 - $20.00 Coupon = $80.00 Net Sale + $5.60 Tax + $5.00 Shipping = $90.60 Total), the Cash Back percentage you receive will normally be based on the Net Amount of $80.00. This may vary depending on the website’s policy. Keep in mind that a bonus of online shopping is sometimes zero sales tax, and our goal is to get Free Shipping, but this is for example purposes only.
Don't forget our motto when you shop at these Top Cash Back Sites...Which ‘Ways to Save’ Can I Combine On This Purchase?
You're already using one (the Cash Back Shopping) -- what else you got? Coupon, Clearance Sale, B1G1 Sale, Free Shipping, Zero Sales Tax, Gift Card?
In addition to the companies shown below, there are additional ways to get cash back on the exact same transaction! That's right. I did it just today, which is what prompted me to inform you about how to do it. It's called Card Linked Offers.
Here's how: Some banks and Credit Card companies also offer Cash Back Programs for their ATM/Debit cards and credit cards. For instance, one of the banks that I bank with is Bank of America. Bank of America offers BankAmeriDeals - a cash back rewards program for account holders, where you can go and select from their available vendors/deals, then if you use one of those vendors and pay using your ATM/Debit card, you'll earn cash back.
Well, approximately once or twice per month, I go into their list of available vendors and deals and select any deals that I might use (note: you're not required to use them). I might select vendors like Sears, Popeyes, AutoZone, Five Guys, etc. The deals might state, "Earn 10% cash back on your Five Guys purchase. Expires ??/??/????"
Well, I had selected an offer that stated, "Earn 15% cash back on your Sears purchase." And, just recently, I made a purchase at Sears.com. But, instead of purchasing directly from Sears.com; I first logged onto TopCashBack.com (see them listed below), then clicked on the Sears.com link through them, so that I would earn 4% cash back on my apparel purchase. I then intentionally paid for that purchase using my Bank of America debit card and earned an additional 15% cash back on that same purchase, just for paying with my debit card!
As card-linked offers become more and more popular, you'll begin to see more and more of them available. Many companies are now beginning to offer them. It's similar to the Bank of America example, where they'll ask you to register your credit card, then if you happen to make a purchase at that vendor (it's not required), you'll automatically receive a credit (cash back) on your credit card statement. Sometimes you'll forget you even registered for that vendor and the cash back will be a surprise! I've had that happen a few times with vendors like Five Guys Burgers. I will begin to list these types of Card Linked Offers from trusted companies as I find them on our sister site, Couponing Fanatics here.
So, if you don't happen to bank with Bank of America, check with your bank to see if they offer a similar cash back program. If you do bank with Bank of America and have not yet signed up for BankAmeriDeals, sign up now! It's absolutely free.
More and more of us do the majority of our shopping online these days. It's a great way to research the products we're purchasing, and it's easier for most. But, there are still many reasons and occasions to go into a store. For groceries, clothes, some appliances, and darn near everything else. But, even if you wish to pick up an item in the store, many times, you can still purchase that item online first, then select in-store pickup while placing the order.
Why would you want to do this? Well for the cash back, of course! Because you've selected in-store pickup, you won't pay any shipping costs. And, you're not making a special trip, because you were going into that store anyway for groceries, or medications or whatever. So, it absolutely makes sense to earn cash back on your other purchases!
Here's some of the kind of stuff that you can purchase online first, then pickup at the Will Call desk at Walmart, Target, K-Mart or elsewhere AND EARN CASH BACK ON:
Get the point? The list is endless. I bet that this is all stuff that you've been purchasing in the store without earning the cash back for it first. Do you know how much money you've been missing out on?! Pretty much the only things that you can't pre-purchase and earn cash back on are perishables (meat, cheese, milk, eggs, etc.) and prescriptions. Anything that they sell on their website that you can place an order for - you can earn cash back for.
Now, regarding the groceries. Yes, you can purchase your groceries online and get the cash back, but you will not be able to use coupons. There's the trade-off. But for some, this is easier and less time consuming than coupons, plus the savings is across the board. For instance, let's say that you're getting 5% to 8% cash back for your purchase through one of the Cash Back companies below. Then that's a 5% to 8% saving on EVERY ITEM. When using in-store coupons, you may only have coupons for 1/4th of the items in your shopping trip. If you're an Extreme Couponer of course, then this 5% to 8% savings is nothing to you, but for people that don't bother with coupons at all, this will be a great deal of savings.
TopCashBack is listed first, because they are my absolute favorite! They pay more cash back than any other cashback site, and I use them the most!
TopCashBack Sign-up Bonus: $10 Credit
Additional Info.: Unlike other cash back sites, they say that they give you 100% of the commission back as a rebate. I know one thing, they have some awesome commissions! For example, they offer a whopping 12% Cash Back for Groupon purchases! eBates only offers 6%. Make them your first stop!
Payout: You can request a payout at any time. There is no minimum payout threshold.
Payment Options: PayPal or ACH-Electronic Funds Transfer
Ebates is probably the biggest and best known Cash Back Site, but they do not always offer the most money back for your purchase. Which is why I tell you to join multiple Cash Back sites and compare cash back percentages prior to making your purchase.
Ebates Cash Back Site Sign-up Bonus: Currently a $10 Gift Card bonus, but you must make a purchase of a certain amount within a certain period. Their offers change, so check their website.
Payout: Ebates pays you every 3 months, May, Aug, Nov & Feb 15th.
Payment Options: Once you’ve opened an account, go into the Green “My Ebates” tab and enter your Name and Address Info, and select whether you want your money via Check or whether you want it deposited into your PayPal account.
Mr. Rebates Cash Back Site Sign-up Bonus: They put $5.00 into your account.
Payout: They don’t automatically send payments, you need to request your payments. If you request it one month, you’ll receive it the next month. You must have a minimum balance (available rebates) of $10.00 before you can request a payout.
Payment Options: You can opt to receive payments via PayPal or by Check. If you wish to receive your payments via PayPal, be sure to go into the “My Accounts” tab, click “Change Account,” go the bottom, and put in the email address associated with your PayPal account.
MainStreetSHARES Cash Back Site Sign-up Bonus: none
Additional Info.: You can earn a share of company revenues based on your total spending. When you’ve selected the Retailer that you wish to purchase from, you must make the purchase within 1 hour after you’ve hit the link. Their payouts for eBay purchases are different than other Retailers, so please see the specifics.
Payout: Payments are processed on or about the 15th of every month, if your balance exceeds $5.00. They pay one month in arrears, so you would not for example, receive February’s payment until April. This one month delay helps to insure that any purchased items and returns have time to be processed.
Payment Options: They offer two forms of payment, PayPal and a PrePaid Mastercard. I opted for the PayPal method, which is free. If you also choose this method, make certain that the email address that you use to sign-up with is linked to your PayPal account. Please be aware that if you choose the BigCrumbs PrePaid Mastercard that they will charge you a $1.00 monthly card fee.
Upromise Cash Back Site Sign-up Bonus: Offered a $5.00 Gift Card if I made a purchase through Target, CVS or Barnes & Noble online within 14 days of joining (this offer may change).
Payout/Payment Options: Earn 1 to 25% when you shop online through them. Eat out and earn up to 8% including tax and tip.
You can choose which way to use your earnings:
1. Start saving for your child’s College Tuition with a 529 Plan.
2. Earn interest on your Upromise Rewards by setting up a high-yield savings account by Sallie Mae.
3. Request a check once you’ve earned a minimum of $10.
eBay Bucks Top Cash Back Site Sign-up Bonus: none
Additional Info.: 2% Bonus. Shop on eBay as you normally would, and look for the green “Bucks” on items. Most items are eligible, except Real Estate, Vehicles, Gift Cards, Business & Industrial Capital Equipment, and Classifieds, which are not eligible.
Pay with PayPal (this is a requirement).
You’ll get 2% in eBay Bucks back on all qualifying items, and eBay will keep track of your earnings. The 2% is not applied to shipping, taxes and seller fees.
To check your eBay bucks balance, click “eBay Bucks” under the “Buy” heading in the left hand menu bar.
Payout: Every 3 months they will send you a Certificate to spend on eBay. They issue certificates in Jan, Apr, July & Oct. Certificates are good for 30 days after they’re issued.
Payment Options: Certificates can only be applied to eBay purchases, as long as the seller accepts PayPal. The eBay bucks amount will automatically show up in your checkout process, and you can choose which transaction to use it on.
This is a different type of Cashback Program, because this pays you cash back when you purchase groceries. We have (1) Sales/BOGOs/etc., (2) Manufacturer's Coupons, (3) Store Coupons/Loyalty Cards, and now we have (4) Cash Back for groceries! It's truly a great thing! Keep in mind, this cash back savings is "in addition to" or "on top of" any money you save with sales and other coupons! Also, as of the time of this writing, they are also offering a $2.00 Cash Back Sign-up Bonus that is applied to your first purchase! So let's say they're offering .50 cents cash back for the purchase of eggs. This would mean that you would receive $2.50 cash back for your purchase of those eggs! (for your first purchase only). I used my first purchase towards milk. It was on sale for $2.79 at Walgreens, so I really got it for $.29 cents! (It's so cool, because you never get coupons for milk anywhere else!)
Best of all, these are not additional coupons that you have to take to the grocery store and there's no stacking or match-ups involved. It's very easy. Plus, Checkout 51 can be used on your computer, tablet or mobile phone. And, they always offer cash back for items that you almost never get regular coupons for, like: fruits, vegetables, milk and eggs!