Cash-back sites promise to offer discounts on specific purchases. These programs are similar to the cash-back bonuses offered by rewards cards. However, you do not need to use a particular card to get the rewards from a cash-back site. These sites can help you stay within your budget or make occasional purchases at a discount.
Cash-back sites are mainly for online shopping, and they are generally straightforward to use. You will want to learn exactly how a cash-back site works before starting to use it.
Most require that sign up for a membership. Then, rather than going directly to the retailer’s website to shop, you use the cash-back site’s portal when making purchases. Some cash-back companies allow you to use a browser extension instead.
In exchange for using their site, you get a discount or cash back on your shopping. The amount of this discount may vary. However, for some purchases, the discount can be quite significant and save you a lot of money.
Some sites use the term cash-back, while others spell it cashback.
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Most cash-back sites earn a commission from partner stores when they refer customers. They then share a portion of that commission with the customer. TopCashBack gives the whole commission to the customer and earns revenue elsewhere. This arrangement makes them unique among cash-back sites.
The result is that you can earn a 3% commission on all your shopping at any partner shop. That cash-back percentage equals or exceeds what you would get with most credit cards. TopCashBack also has some special offers and coupons for better cash-back percentages.
- TopCashBack offers consistent cash-back percentages across all sites.
- They are known for quality customer service.
- You can occasionally get coupons for better deals.
- Cash-back percentage is lower than on other sites for some items.
Rakuten was formerly Ebates. Ebates was one of the first cash-back sites. Rakuten has some of the best cash-back percentages, with some offers providing up to 40% back. The actual cash-back amount varies significantly depending on the store and item.
With Rakuten, your cash-back reward comes by check or through PayPal. In addition to using the shopping portal, you can link a card to Rakuten and earn rewards when shopping at brick-and-mortar stores.
- You can earn high cash-back percentages on some items.
- Your rewards come via check or PayPal.
- You can use your card to earn rewards in physical stores.
- You have to link your credit card for brick-and-mortar purchases.
- The discounts can vary significantly from one store to another.
Ibotta offers a variety of ways to earn discounts. If you use the site’s shopping portal, you get automatic cash back. You can also scan and upload your receipts for physical purchases. Their app makes it particularly easy to do this.
The catch with this site is that you have to complete some tasks to claim your cash-back rewards. The options include voting in polls and watching videos.
On one hand, this makes redeeming your points somewhat more tedious than on other sites. On the other hand, if you don’t mind it, it’s a great way to earn even more points.
- You have multiple ways to earn points.
- You can get automatic cash back while shopping through the Ibotta site.
- The site allows scanning of receipts from physical purchases.
- You have to complete tasks to redeem cash-back points.
Swagbucks is a survey site that also offers cash-back rewards.
There are multiple ways to earn points through Swagbucks. Once you sign up, you get a daily email outlining the best ways to earn points, which they call, fittingly, “Swagbucks.”
You get Swagbucks by completing tasks such as signing up for an email newsletter, playing games, watching videos, or taking surveys.
You can also get a signup bonus. As long as you spend at least $25 in the first month after you register, you get a $5 bonus.
- You get a bonus when signing up.
- You can redeem points as money via PayPal.
- You have the opportunity to earn more points by completing more tasks.
- Swagbucks isn’t primarily a cash-back site.
- It takes a while to accumulate enough points to get a PayPal transfer.
MyPoints is another site that offers a variety of ways to earn points. If you use their shopping portal, you can earn points by shopping at their partner stores. You can also play games, watch videos, take surveys, and read emails to earn points.
You get a $10 bonus when signing up as long as you spend $20 on their portal within the first month. You can also earn points by referring a friend if the friend you referred spends $20.
- This site offers high sign-up and referral bonuses.
- You can earn points in different ways.
- It takes a long time to earn enough points through tasks.
- You cannot withdraw your points for cash like you can on some other sites.
Paribus is unique among cashback sites. First, you don’t get a guaranteed cash-back rate from everything you buy. However, when you shop at a partner site, you could get a discount if the price drops after your purchase.
Paribus will negotiate a refund on your behalf, and you’ll get some of your money back. This refund is contingent on the price dropping within a given timeframe after you make your purchase.
To make this possible, Paribus accesses your browsing activity and emails to track your purchases and determine whether the prices are dropping. If you download the app, you can scan receipts for physical purchases, which Paribus will also include in its search.
- The site helps you find price drops with no effort on your part.
- They help you negotiate to get refunds that you’d otherwise lose.
- The site allows scanning of receipts for physical purchases.
- Some users find it a bit invasive because you must provide access to your shopping history and emails.
- You are not guaranteed cash back on all purchases.
WikiBuy is very popular for its browser extension, which you can use when shopping at its many partner sites.
WikiBuy offers credits for items you buy from approved retailers, including eBay, Dell, Priceline, JCPenney, and Zulily. The discounts range from 1% to 9%.
There is also a section called “Local Offers.” This section offers an extra 3% off if you buy from local retailers and restaurants in your ZIP code.
- The browser extension is easy to use.
- The site is free to use, and you do not need to complete any tasks.
- It works in the background while you are shopping, so you do not need to purchase through a separate site.
- The site does not include some major retailers, such as Amazon.
- Many of the rebates are under 4%.
Mr. Rebates helps shoppers by advertising coupons and deals. The site has cash-back offers in addition to these upfront coupon discounts.
Mr. Rebates tracks purchases very quickly. As soon as you order a product, it appears in your “pending rebates” section. It may, however, take a few days to be confirmed.
You can cash out via PayPal.
- You get your rebates fairly quickly.
- You don’t need to earn much to cash out.
- Users can cash out via PayPal.
- Rebates may take a while to be confirmed.
- You can not earn cash back on physical purchases.
CouponCabin has special offers for different stores at different times, as opposed to a single cash-back percentage. You might, for example, get 10% off at Walmart at one time. However, this offer would disappear after a short period.
Though users can find generous cash-back bonuses sometimes, at other times, the discounts may not be useful.
- You can sometimes find deep discounts on this site.
- There are several different cash-out payment options.
- You can get offers from thousands of online partner stores.
- The deals may sometimes not be relevant.
- You may not find deals for specific stores that you shop at often.
BeFrugal has a very high cash-back rate on some purchases. You can get up to 40% back at over 5,000 partner stores. The site also helps you find coupons and exclusive deals.
You have to shop via the BeFrugal portal to earn the points. You can cash out your rewards via PayPal, check, or Venmo, and you can also get gift cards.
- Cashback rate is high on some purchases.
- The site has sign-up and referral bonuses.
- You can use the portal to find exclusive deals.
- The site only covers online purchases.
- Not all purchases have high cash-back percentages.
Upromise has cash-back rewards that you can contribute to a college savings plan or to pay off a student loan.
You can use your rewards for other things, but the site focuses on education. Linking your account to a 529 savings plan yields a 15% bonus.
The cash-back rates are competitive at 5% for partner stores and 2.5% for partner restaurants.
- The site is great for those trying to save for college or pay student loans.
- Competitive and consistent cash-back rates.
- You can apply for a MasterCard credit card to get cash back on physical purchases.
- Not all student loans or savings plans are eligible.
- You can only get the cash payouts via check.
- This service is not useful if you do not have a student loan or children saving for college.
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