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How I use Ebates to save for travel

EBATES is a North American website which provides a percentage of cash-back (ranging from 2-10%) on your online purchases. If you are already an online shopper, this is the program for you! After all, you might as well get paid back for purchases you would already be making, am I right?!

Sign up to get a $5.00 EBATES credit!

How it works:

Simply navigate to your favourite stores through the Ebates portal and make purchases as normal. Ebates tracks your shopping history to calculate your cash back, which is then credited to your account! You can even receive cash-back by booking hotels and airfare through Ebates, which is amazing for travellers like you and I!

Most cash back rewards are credited to your account within 48 hours, but typically hotels and airfare will be credited after the stay/flight has taken place. Your cash back will be released to you every 3 months via cheque or Paypal, as long as your balance is greater than $5.00.

Bonus Tips:

1. Get the Extension Button

Never forget to use Ebates again with the ‘cash back button‘, available for chrome, explorer and firefox.

2. Watch for DOUBLE cash back deals

Periodically, Ebates runs promotions where you can get double the cash-back! If you are already making online purchases (especially around the holidays for gifts), than it’s a no-brainer to take advantage of double cash-back rewards!

3. Triple your rewards by shopping with a cash-back credit card

If you aren’t taking advantage of a cash-back credit card yet, you are seriously missing out! You might want to check out how I used cash-back cards to get a free flight to Iceland, or an $800 flight for $80.

Essentially, a cash-back credit card works the same way as Ebates; you get a percentage of money back on all of your purchases charged to the card. So, if you make an online purchase through Ebates with a cash-back credit card, you will get money back on a purchase you would already be making from two sources!

I prefer the American Express Cash Back Card because it has a zero annual fee, a decent cash back rate (5% for the first 3 months, then 1.25%) and it comes with comprehensive car rental insurance when you book a car rental on your card (this is super handy for any traveller out there!).


Let’s say I am doing some Christmas Shopping at Canada’s own Hudson’s Bay. I will wait for Ebate’s double cash back deal (right now it’s up to 7.5% back at Hudson’s Bay) and navigate to the online store through Ebates.

Then I will make my purchases with my AMEX cash-back card (1.25%). I will receive a total of 8.75% cash back on my purchase, plus my $5.00 welcome bonus for joining Ebates!

Is it Worth it?

So is it worth the trouble? In my opinion, yes – as long as you can remember to navigate to your website of choice through Ebates first.

Personally I prefer to shop online versus go out to a mall, so Ebates cash-back is like free money off a purchase I would be making regardless. I have earned over $120 in cash-back from Ebates since joining, and hundreds of dollars in cash-back from my Amex card since getting it earlier this year. I put both towards my travel fund!

Join EBATES today to get your $5.00 credit!

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Read next:

How I Afford to Travel (Debt-Free) while doing a PhD

How I Hacked a $800 Flight for $80

How I Hacked a FREE Flight to Iceland

The 7 Craziest Things I’ve Done to Afford to Travel

9 Travel Bloggers Share Their BEST Travel Hacking Secrets

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Jenn said:
I have been using Ebates for a month now! Wish I started sooner
November 10, 2017 at 8:19 pm
Brianna said:
This is awesome! I've heard of Ebates before, but I didn't know what the dealio was with it. I don't do much online shopping, but if it works with hotels and travel expenses, I may just give it a try!
November 10, 2017 at 7:25 pm
Jessica Flynn said:
I should have been doing this when I lived in Minnesota! Then again I've been a bit spoiled with my mother having her own travel company and allowing me to tag along. I really have to get crafty with saving these days though! Unfortunately, there's less options for saving for travel in Ireland.
November 9, 2017 at 4:23 pm said:
Definitely Kristi! I just started with their referral program so we shall see how it goes :)
November 9, 2017 at 9:37 am said:
Ahhh the extension is such a good trick, I should add that little tidbit :) Thanks for the comment Maegan
November 9, 2017 at 9:37 am said:
You're welcome! Thanks for stopping by Georgia :)
November 9, 2017 at 9:36 am said:
It is definitely worth while for those who actually shop online regularly.
November 9, 2017 at 9:35 am said:
I am assuming Ebates would receive some sort of commission for "referring" the shopper to the website and then Ebates gives the shopper a smaller cut of that as a 'cash-back' reward for using them. :)
November 9, 2017 at 9:35 am
Jenn - The Solivagant Soul said:
I wonder then from where does that money come from then. I am surprised that there is a website that gives you back money just because... I will look more into it!
November 9, 2017 at 3:50 am
Georgia said:
Looks like a great card to cater for online shoppers! Thanks for sharing your tips!
November 8, 2017 at 9:55 pm
maegan said:
This is a handy trick! I have ebates but have not really used it yet. I have the little extension that pops up in my browser when shopping online (like a Target). I didn't realize you needed to go to through Ebates first!
November 8, 2017 at 9:47 pm
Kristi said:
I used to use eBates quite a bit years ago. You can really earn back money especially through their referral program. I have since moved to MyPoints as it seems to work a bit better for the places in which I tend to shop.
November 8, 2017 at 6:36 pm
Abby Jo said:
This is awesome! I've heard so many good things about ebates but haven't used it yet!
November 8, 2017 at 3:34 pm
Lindsay said:
This is great information -- Thanks! We're always looking for ways to save money and this is great advice. I've heard of EBATES, but never really understood how it worked. ?
November 8, 2017 at 3:08 pm