Ebates Review - Why You’d Be Crazy Not to Use it [Updated 2019]


Ebates has amassed $2.37 billion in rebates for its users from 2014 to 2018. Don’t you want in on that? You could be earning money and saving while you shop with little to no added effort.

While there’s no shortage of rebate websites today, Ebates is one the pioneers and has stood the test of time. Are they worth your effort, though? Can you trust them with your personal information? 

That and more is covered ahead in our Ebates review.

How cash back websites like Ebates help you make money

Whether you’re a bootstrapping student or seasoned career professional, we can all use the extra cash. That’s why you’d be crazy not to be using money making apps like Ebates.

Think about all of the shopping you do in one month. Clothing, electronics, groceries, and other purchases can really add up. Cash back websites help you earn some of that back, while also saving with the latest coupons.

You could be generating even more money if you stacked it with a cash back credit card, so keep that in mind, as well. Imagine if you used a platform like Ebates for the next year and the amount of cash you could build up.

That could be put towards a vacation, paying off debt, or contributed to savings.

What is Ebates?

Ebates is the world's largest cash back shopping website. You can shop from their directory of online stores and receive a commission for making a purchase. That’s right. You will get paid for shopping online.

This is awesome because you’re going to buy things online anyway, whether it’s for holidays or alike, and you get to earn extra money. Ebates themselves has connected with all of these companies and earns a commission when you shop through their links, but instead gives you the money. Kudos to them.

The company was launched by two former attorneys, Alessandro Isolani and Paul Wasserman, with the help of the venture capitalist firm Foundation Capital. They later acquired FatWallet and AnyCoupons in 2011, and Ebates was bought by Rakuten in 2014 for $1 billion.

How does Ebates work?

After you’ve signed up for Ebates, which you’ll be learning shortly, you can shop through their website and visit over 750 of your favorite stores. There is a red “Shop Now” button you click when you’ve decided which shop you’d like to purchase from.

Then, you just go about your business as normal. Find the products you want, add them to cart, and check out. Ebates will track your purchase and calculate how much cash back to appoint to your account. No hassles!

Special access to coupons and promotions

Not only are you going to earn extra cash, but there are coupons, promo codes, and more deals you can gain special access to before most people will find them.

Ebates lists new offers on their site daily, so make sure you check it often so you don’t miss out on the latest promotions. You can also filter coupons by specific stores or categories if you’re interested in a specific brand or product.

All in all, you can save money and make money while shopping online. You can’t beat that.

​​​​​Hotel and vacation discounts

Planning on a weekend getaway or vacation in the future? Then you’ll love this feature of Ebates. You can get discounts and cash back rewards on hotels, flights, car rentals, and vacation packages.

ebates travel and vacations

Users are able to filter this section by a hotel, check in and check out date, location, and more. Seeing as traveling can be rather expensive, a few percents off or as cash back can be serious money, especially for those that travel often.

Now that you’re itching to use Ebates, follow along as we show you how to register and navigate their website.

Signing up for Ebates

You can start reaping the benefits of Ebates by signing up on their homepage from the top right. Click the “Join Now” button, and register with your Facebook account or email.

ebates sign up

The top navigation contains all of the stores, deals, and coupons you can take advantage of. Begin by selecting the “All Stores” drop-down menu and choosing one of the cash back options.

ebates menu

You’ll be taken to a page detailing the brand and offering. Click the red “Shop Now” button and continue your shopping process as normal.

ebates shop now

You will be paid within a few days after your purchase, and you can view your current and lifetime balance on the account page. Your total amount must be greater than $5 to withdraw it. As of 2019, Ebates offers a physical cheque mailed to your account address or PayPal deposits.

ebates cash back account

Other ways to earn with Ebates

You can also get a $5 welcome bonus if you spend over $25 before a specified date. Similarly, you will gain $10 for every friend you refer. Click the green “Add $10.00 to your account” button from the sidebar.

ebates refer a friend

Enter the email of your friend, or alternatively import it from Gmail if you can’t remember it. Type in your name and the automatic message will adjust. Hit the send button and enjoy the extra cash!

Recently Ebates also kicked it up a notch and started offering in-store cash back rewards. Now you don’t have any excuse not to be generating extra money and saving at the same time.

Simply navigate to the in-store offers page, and ensure that you have a credit card linked to your account. Then, click the “Link Offer” of any deal that catches your attention.

ebates in-store cash back offers

Visit the store’s physical location and make your purchase as normal. You must use the same card you linked to your account, though. If you follow these steps, cash will be headed into your pocket.

We recommend installing the Ebates Chrome extension, too. This is a lightweight extension that will notify you of the latest deals, displays your balance, and makes referring friends even easier.

ebates chrome extension

As fantastic as Ebates is, one drawback of their platform is the payment schedule. Cashback that is greater than the minimum is paid out every 3 months.

Here is the exact schedule below.

ebates payment schedule

That means while you will gain easy cash from shopping through their website, you won’t be having it in your hands for a long time.

Who is Ebates for?

Ebates is made for anyone that shops on a regular basis and wants to earn or save money with little effort. Most of us order from Amazon or stores at some point throughout the year, so it’s nice to earn a little cash for doing so.

This platform is also ideal for those interested in saving money, as you will have access to coupons and the latest promotions you might not find elsewhere.

Furthermore, individuals that travel will find the hotel and vacation section very useful. Since hotels, car rentals, and other vacation expenses are costly at times, cash back rewards and discounts can make a big difference.

Is Ebates legit?

While Ebates has gained a majority of its popularity in recent years, they were launched back in 1998, making them officially over two decades old. During this time, they have racked up tons of positive reviews and a great track record. Let’s see what previous users have to say about their experience.

ebates review

This good review from Trustpilot backs up Ebates customer service and the user’s excitement to get their first cheque. We also liked that the Ebates team replies to almost all reviews, good or bad. This is a great sign that a company cares about their customers and wishes to genuinely help.

But, you can’t please everyone. This is one poor review that stood out to us during our Ebates review.

ebates review

This user experienced the complete opposite of the above. They referred three friends who made several transactions, yet the cash back reward was later removed from the account.

Their profile was also closed and later reopened, with no earnings at all being available. It appeared to be some kind of technical error, and clearly, the Ebates customer service team tried to help.

Now, let’s sum up the pros and cons of using Ebates.

Advantages of Ebates

  1. Refer a friend: You can gain an easy $10 for sending out emails to your friends and having them register through your affiliate link.

  2. Welcoming bonus: If you spend more than $25 before a specified date after registering, you’ll be awarded an extra $5.

  3. Tons of offers: Besides cash back rewards, there are coupons, promotions, and other deals that you can use to save money.

Disadvantages of Ebates

  1. Slow payments: The payment schedule is set to every three months. While the minimum threshold is low at $5, you will be waiting a long time to get your cash back reward.

  2. Category exclusions: Ebates has a large variety of categories to choose from, but certain ones on Amazon aren’t available for example, so you wouldn’t be able to earn cash back on everything.

  3. One account per IP: You can only have a single account per IP address, meaning that family won’t be able to sign up and enjoy the benefits of Ebates.

Other money making apps like Ebates

Wrapping up our Ebates review

Ebates is easy to sign up for, has a large selection of cash back opportunities, extra coupons, and a convenient Chrome extension. The new in-store feature and travel section are also awesome reasons you should be using their platform.

There are some small drawbacks, such as the long wait time and single account per IP, but there’s no reason not to be using their website. You’re going to shop online anyways, so you might as well make some money and save while doing it.

With that being said, we highly recommend that you sign up for Ebates today. If you’ve used their service already, what did you like or not like about it?

Anything else you'd like to see included in our Ebates review? Let us know in the comment section!

About the Author

Hello, I'm Ryan Rollins. I've been passionate about personal finance and entrepreneurship for as long as I can remember. After earning my Bachelors of Science in Business and Marketing, I soon found myself at my first software start-up. That experience led to me earning my MBA in Entrepreneurship from the University of Louisville, and eventually to a career in the fintech industry focusing on educating consumers about the importance of being financially resilient. Learn more about me here, and you can also follow me on twitter @TMPF_Ryan and Linkedin.