A cash back site is a website shopping portal (online mall) where you can earn cash back on your spending.
Typical deals are anywhere from 1% to 5% cash back, with some retailers offering more than that.
So how do these online malls offer this cash back?
Well, they actually get a commission on the sale of the merchant’s product. They then turn around and give you a cut of that commission.
Plus, they sometimes list coupons for you to use to couple with your cash back. To earn your cash back you just have to remember to shop through the cashback site’s portal.
The word on the street is that there are a lot of cash back sites around today. How do you choose which one to use if you are trying to earn the most cash back on your online shopping?
In my opinion, if you’re going to take the time to go through the process of using a cash back program, then you need to make sure the company will be around a while.
The last thing you want is the company closing up shop and you losing your cash back rewards. With that in mind, here is my list of the best cash back sites:
The Best Cash Back Sites
EvoShare offers an innovative twist to the well-worn idea of cash back for everyday purchases. Instead of sending you the money directly, EvoShare automatically deposits your earnings into a retirement or student loan account, meaning your cash back actually helps you to build a better future. The program also allows users–known on the site as “EvoSavers”–to transfer their cash back earnings to a family member’s retirement or student loan account.
With favorite merchants like Target, Kohl’s Ebay, Walmart, and Macy’s among their 300+ online retailers, and cash back percentages that range from 1% all the way up to 22.5%, EvoShare makes it easy for users to earn money for their retirement or student loan payoff goals while making their usual purchases online. In addition, some select brick-and-mortar stores in the San Francisco bay area also offer cash back percentages through EvoShare. EvoSavers in the San Francisco area simply need to use one of their linked credit cards at a participating local business to earn the cash back.
EvoShare is easy to set up. Users can sign up in as little as two minutes, and link as many debit cards and/or credit cards as they wish. You can take advantage of EvoShare’s cash back rewards in addition to any rewards on your personal credit cards, so rewards hackers can get even more out of their shopping by using EvoShare. To earn your cash back, just begin your shopping by logging onto your EvoShare dashboard and clicking onto any of the partnered retailers where you’d like to shop. Though it is not currently available, EvoShare plans to soon offer a downloadable chrome extension to notify users when they are visiting a participating online store. For now, you will have to go through the EvoShare dashboard, which unfortunately does not allow you to search retailers—you must simply do a scan through the images to find your preferred retailer.
EvoShare does not store any of your credit card data, and instead outsources its credit card linking to Yodlee, a leading data aggregation and analytics platform, which means you can rest assured that your credit card information is secure.
Ebates is my number one choice for getting cash back online. They have been around a long time (Since 1998. I joined in 2006.), and they offer a huge selection (hundreds) of stores to choose from. They also give you $5 just for opening an account. Once you get into their program, you can start earning $5 on every referral you make too.
But Ebates isn’t around just because they have a good referral program. They actually have the best cash back site, in my opinion. Easy to use and understand, with a ton of merchants. They have a great blog as well where they key in on some of the bigger cash back offerings. Finally, the have a Daily Double program where you can earn 2x the points on one specific merchant. You can elect to receive your payment by check, PayPal, and soon-to-be, direct deposit. Read my full review of Ebates.
I don’t think about these guys being a cash back site, but they are. I use their forums (along with SlickDeals.Net) when I’m trying to find good deals on a big online purchase. In most cases, I’m not already married to a particular merchant, I’m just looking for an overall deal. If you’re looking for the best insider deals online and off, then look no further than the FatWallet.com forums.
But their cash back program is no slouch. Like Ebates they have hundreds of stores to chose from. They are free to sign up and offer payment by check or PayPal. If you want a cash back program coupled with one of the best deal forums on the web, then this is your best bet.
Upromise, the college savings reward program, is actually an extension of the cash back model if you think about it. In fact, in some ways it’s better than a cash back site in that they offer rewards for using your credit card offline at places like the gas pump and at grocery stores. See my full review of Upromise.
This was a popular program for some time. However, the Bing cashback program has actually shut its doors. The last day to earn cash back on your Bing Shopping purchases was July 30, 2010. Luckily, Bing is backed by a pretty big company, Microsoft, and can afford to finish paying out all of its program members.
More Cash Back Sites
Other sites that I’ve found online that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend are MrRebates.com, BigCrumbs.com, Cashbaq.com, and Spree.com. I just don’t have any experience with these programs. If you do, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
Do you use cash back sites?