If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for ways to save money, and shopping online can get you some great deals.
But it’s possible to go one step further and actually get paid for the purchases you make.
It can add a little time to your shopping, but you’ll probably find it worthwhile.
How cash back shopping works
The way it works is that you go through a shopping portal, a website that has an affiliate arrangement with a number of stores, which means they get paid a commission when they send someone to the site to buy something.
They then give you some of that commission as a reward in the form of cash back.
Now, there are a number of shopping portals, so I picked out some of the better ones to list here.
As they each have individual negotiations with the stores you’re buying from, and will have different incentives at different times, you might want to go to the different portals to check on the rate of cash back before deciding where to buy.
As an example, at the time of writing eBates was offering up to 7.0% on purchases from Amazon while SwagBucks was offering 8% for Amazon purchases.
These sites are mostly based in the USA, and may accept members from the UK, Australia, and Canada.
Make sure you check before signing up with them whether they work in your country.
I am sure you have heard of SwagBucks a lot here on MP and other sites.
And while most people think of SwagBucks as a survey and rewards site only, it actually has a huge shopping portal where you can get cashback for shopping from hundreds of thousands of online stores including all the major brands like Target, Walmart, and even Amazon.
With SB not only you get paid to shop online, you also get paid for taking surveys, playing games, signing up for websites, trying out products and so much more.
You earn what are known as Swag Bucks which are basically points.
You can redeem your points for various things, including gift certificates.
Again, SB is not strictly a cash back site, but it has the same outcome for you when you purchase through it.
eBates is probably the most well-known cash back site, and has done a lot of television advertising.
It is certainly a major player, and claims to have rebated more than $100 million so far to its users.
All reports about it seem to be good, and it has deals with many different stores giving you the choice you want.
I consider eBates one of the standards, and if you are shopping around you should probably include checking it in all your purchases.
Coupon Cactus boasts arrangements with more than 18,000 stores.
As you can tell from the name, it is similar to Fat Wallet in that it has coupons as well as cash back. In fact, it has coupons for the UK, Australia, Canada, and Germany.
Coupon Cactus offers you three dollars for signing up, and will pay out when your total reaches $10, either by check or directly into your PayPal account.
If you refer your friends to the website, then you can receive 25% commissions on the cash back they earn, too.
4. Mr. Rebates
Mr. Rebates is another strong competitor in the realm of cash back sites.
Currently it is offering a sign-on bonus of five dollars, as well as cash back on your purchases made through its portal.
It holds on to your money until it amounts to $10, then it sends out a check through the mail.
Quick Rewards offers a variety of ways for you to receive cash and gift certificates.
It has a good user interface which includes a deal-finder tool.
It also offers ways other than simple cash back for you to make money.
It is currently restricted to the USA, UK, and Canadian markets only.
Pennyful may be of interest to you if you don’t shop often.
Instead of waiting for a certain balance to be built up, Pennyful will pay you out anytime you have cash back.
It also offers you a five dollar cash bonus just for signing up.
You can even make money by persuading friends to sign up for it.
The origins of FatWallet go back to 1999, when it was launched as a coupon website. However, it soon got into providing cash back as well.
It counts 1600 stores as its partners, giving you plenty of choice for your purchases.
FatWallet claims to have 3 million users, and has paid out a total of $45 million so far.
As a slight twist on the cash back model, Big Crumbs offers you not only cash back, but also commissions.
The cash back part works the same way as any other site, and if you will change your shopping habits a little bit then you can also take part in the commission program.
Once again, this is a major shopping portal with deals with thousands of outlets, and it is well worth checking into when you are shopping online.
9. Shop at Home
Similarly, Shop at Home gives you five dollars when you sign up.
With this website, you have to wait until you have built up $20 in cash back, and you receive it in the form of a check through the mail.
However, they offer you five dollars for each friend you introduce.
Like Swag Bucks, MyPoints gives you points for shopping through them.
When you accumulate enough points, you can exchange them for gift cards, travel miles, cash back, or even donate them to charities.
This is great if you want a choice in how you receive your rewards.
Once again, it is a major shopping portal, listing many stores and brands for you to choose from.
Cash back comparison
With so many cash back shopping portals, it can be hard to know where you should go to get the best deal.
Fortunately, someone has already figured out that you might need help and has created a site called cashbackholic.com.
Here’s how it works…
- Visit cashbackholic.com
- Enter the name of the store you want to shop from.
- The site will then give you a list of all the cashback sites along with how much each one will pay you for going through them.
It is an easy and quick way to find out which website has the best cash back deals for the merchant that you are interested in.
Here’s how to get cash back and save money…
What would be better than getting paid for online shopping?
Saving money on your purchases, of course!
I am talking about using coupons and promo codes.
Nobody said you can’t use coupons when you are shopping through cash back sites.
Before you do any shopping, be sure to check out a few coupon sites like RetailMeNot to see if they have any promo code or coupon for the store you are about to shop from.
Everything stays the same, except when you get to your checkout screen, you enter your coupon code and save some money.
It’s a double win–you make money for shopping online while at the same time saving money on your purchases.
The bottom line
Getting cash back for shopping is like getting free money for doing nothing.
I mean, if you are going to buy something no matter what, you may as well get paid for it.
All it takes is just a few extra seconds to login to the cashback site and shop through them.
For the sake of a few extra minutes, your online shopping can be much more rewarding.
Start by registering on the sites above and see how much you can save.