I don’t want to get paid for shopping?
Said, no one ever!
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.
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How to Earn Cash Back While Shopping
The way it works is that you go through a cashback site, or 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.
Now, to entice users like you and me to use their shopping portal, they share some of that commission with us, the shoppers, in the form of cashback.
Here’s how to get started:
- Step 1: Sign up for one the cashback sites listed below.
- Step 2: Login and click on the link to the store you want to shop from.
- Step 3: Shop as you would normally.
- Step 4: Your account gets credited automatically with the cashback amount for that store.
- Step 5: Get paid!
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. So make sure you check before signing up with them whether they work in your country.
Ready to get paid for buying everyday items?
Here’s a list of the best sites that pay you to shop on the internet
1. SwagBucks – $5 bonus
I am sure you have heard of SwagBucks 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, but you also get paid for taking surveys, playing games, signing up for websites, trying out products and so much more.
You earn what is 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 when you make purchases through it.
2. Rakuten (former eBates) – $10 bonus
Rakuten 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 Rakuten one of the standards, and if you are shopping around you should probably include checking it in all your purchases.
3. Coupon Cactus – $3 bonus
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.
Wanna earn cashback for shopping on Amazon? Mr. Rebates offers 8% cashback on Amazon purchases.
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.
7. Shop at Home – $10 bonus
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.
8. MyPoints – $10 bonus
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.
9. iBotta – $10 bonus
iBotta was one of the original apps that paid you for buying groceries, but they have since expanded and now offer cashback “everywhere you shop with offers at hundreds of stores”.
You can earn cash back at your favorite grocery stores, retailers and shops.
What I like about iBotta is that there is no points or credits. You get real cash! You can choose to get paid via PayPal or Venmo. Or if you prefer, you can buy a gift card with your earnings.
Wanna know how popular it is?
iBotta users have earned a combined amount of over $400,000,000 in cashback! Yeah, that’s how popular it is.
10. BeFrugal – $10 bonus
BeFrugal has over 5000 stores where you can shop and earn cashback from.
Here are a few examples:
- Earn up to 7% cashback at Walmart
- Earn 8% cashback on Groupon
- Earn 2.5% cashback on eBay
- Earn up to 5% cashback at Macy’s
They have pretty much any store most of us shop from in our daily lives.
They pay you via check, PayPal, gift card or direct deposit.
Cash back comparison
With so many price comparison apps and sites out there, it would be crazy not to compare prices before you buy anything online.
But with all these cash back shopping portals, it can be hard to know where you should go to get the best deals.
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 cashback 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.
What happened to … cashback site?
While there are a lot of sites that pay you to shop online, there were a few that had been around for a long time. They were the staple of the industry. Unfortunately, with the crazy popularity of bigger sites like eBates, some of them had to shut down.
So of those of you wondering what happened to sites like FatWallet and Big Crumbs, here is the update. The description for each site is left here for archival purposes.
Update: Unfortunately FatWallet has shut down. Seems like they have merged with their sister site, eBates.com
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.
Update: Unfortunately BigCrumbs has shut down.
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.
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.