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?!
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.
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!
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