Friday, April 14, 2017

Earning Cashback Online and In-Store Like a Pro

No savvy shopper heads to the store without their coupons (or coupon app), so they also shouldn't shop without redeeming the hottest cashback offers as well. Cashback websites and apps are available everywhere you look. Some offer points, others offer percent back and others offer dollars back. Some trade out to gift cards for future purchases, others to PayPal. There are so many cashback sites available that it's silly to shop without them, but how do you keep them straight and find the best offers? I've test driven a few of the hottest sites to find out who has the deepest pockets and the best turnaround. Here are my favorites. Sign up now using my unique referal links to earn us both bonuses when you complete your first purchase! When you fall in love, pass your referral link onto your own friends and family for more bonuses!


TopCashback is super user friendly and more often than not offers the highest percent back at popular retailers. (For instance, they are currently offering 8% back at Macy's, Ebates is offering 3%.) Simply head to TopCashback, search your retailer and follow the link to their site. Shop as usual and complete your purchase. Within several hours, you will receive a confirmation email from TopCashback verifying your purchase. Your money will be available for payout within 8-12 weeks depending on the vendor. Payouts are available through PayPal and gift cards, no minimum required. Be sure to check out their "Red Hot Offers" featured on the home page...a competitor may have a phenomenal cashback offer, making the minimal price difference irrelevant.


Honey is more than just a cashback's also a coupon hunter. Gone are the days of an open Retailmenot tab and trying code after code until one works. Honey is a plug-in for Google Chrome that opens itself up at checkout and lets you know there are so many coupons available for the website you're cruising. Like any savvy shopper, Honey plugs in all available coupons for you and keeps the one with the deepest discount. Upon completing checkout, Honey also offers a surprise cashback bonus for featured retailers. A great double feature. Once you have earned $10 in cashback, you are eligible for a payout.


Ebates is much like TopCashback. Ebates is a service that offers a percent back at retailers when you follow the link from their website, app or Google Chrome button. I have found that Ebates tends to have lower percentages available than TopCashback, but the Google Chrome button pops up anytime you visit a vendor website and displays the percent available...a great reminder to check other websites or activate the Ebates offer. Once you complete your purchase, it sits in limbo while the vendor verifies it and is available for payout after several weeks. Once you have at least $5 earned in cashback, you are eligible for the next mass payout (payments are made to all eligible members once per quarter). Since payouts are quarterly, shoppers are on Ebates' schedule to receive their money back, they cannot request a payout when convenient.

Although some offers are not as hot, always be sure to check out Ebates Hot Deals and Double Cash Back Stores for more earning potential...maybe what you're shopping for is available elsewhere.

Ebates also offers in-store proof of purchase necessary. Simply link American Express or Visa cards to your Ebates account and activate in-store offers. Once you make a purchase on a linked card, Ebates will see the qualifying activity and cashback will post to your account. Be sure to reactivate that offer before shopping again. In-store merchants include Macys and Bed Bath and Beyond, just to name a few.


Anytime I shopped, until installing Honey, I kept a RetailMeNot tab open for coupon codes. No stress about finding that email from Kohls with this weeks coupon code (because of course, I can only find last years, wtf, why is that here?). Recently, RetailmeNot has launched a cashback program. Like TopCashback and Ebates, click the link through their website and complete your purchase. Within 1 month the specified amount should be deposited directly to your PayPal account. In the event of an error, the RetailMeNot team is great about helping resolve issues (hold onto receipts from cashback purchases, just in case). They have limited cashback offers, but these are the most convenient. Thanks to the PayPal deposits, there is no minimum amount needed to withdraw, there is a short wait time and the cashback is real cash.



Ibotta is a mobile app, generally offering grocery cashback for purchases on featured brands and products. Similar to the Target Cartwheel app, you check out available offers before heading to the store and activate those that you are interested in (except that there is no maximum offer limit, like Cartwheel). Once you have completed your purchase and are back home, you hit the "verify purchases" button on the homescreen of the Ibotta app. You select the store you just shopped at, select the offers that you used, scan any items necessary (as proof of purchase) and then upload your receipt. Cashback usually posts to your account within 24 hours, which is the beauty of Ibotta (they work hard and fast for their users). Once you have $20 earned, you can withdraw to PayPal, Venmo or a handful of gift cards.

Have you tried out these or other cashback services? How was your experience? I'd love to hear!