I mentioned to my brother that I would be posting about cash back sites and apps today. He’s generally pretty savvy, so I was surprised that he didn’t know about any of these cash back programs. If you didn’t know you could get cash back on nearly every online purchase and some in-store purchases too, don’t feel bad– my cool little brother didn’t know either!
While there are tons of rewards programs around, I want to focus on the programs that give you cash back. Of all the prizes and rewards available, cash is universal and useful to everyone. You can get cash back from credit card points, taking surveys, online purchases, grocery shopping, and more.
Before I buy anything online, I always check to see what cash back is available. Each site has a different list of online stores that give a cash back incentive. The cash back percentage varies on different cash back sites, so it’s nice to have an account with all of them to compare the offers, especially if you’re making a larger purchase. If you make online purchases, get in the habit of going through a cash back site every time. Every little bit adds up!
Ebates is the cashback site I use most often. They have over 1,800 online stores to choose from. They regularly have double cash back specials on popular stores. I’ve been using Ebates since 2009. I love that the minimum payout is only $5.01. They payout once a quarter via check or PayPal. When you sign up and make a $25 purchase, you’ll get a bonus $10 gift card or $5 credit in your Ebates account.
SmarterBucks is a cash back program for people with student loans (or friends or family who want to support them). The SmarterBucks Marketplace has links for lots of popular online stores where you get a percent of your purchase as SmarterBucks cash back. You can also do surveys and other online activities to earn cash back.
Cash back that you earn will be applied directly to your student loans. When you sign up, you link your SmarterBucks account with your federal student loan account. We have used it and can vouch for it being legit. I love that the money goes straight to our loans!
ExtraBux is a little different than other online shopping rebate sites. You can search by the store or the product. If you search by the product, you can use their compare tool to compare the prices at stores across the internet and factor in the cashback rebate as you compare prices. They start you out with $5 when you sign up. The minimum payout is $10 and is paid through credit card, PayPal or check.
Topcashback claims to give the best payout of all cashback sites. Instead of taking a cut from the commissions that retailers offer, they just earn money from the ads on their site. They often have “free after cashback” deals when you sign up. You can get your payout as cash or as an Amazong gift card (you get a 5% bonus with this option).
Cash back on online purchases has been around for years, but cash back for in-store purchases, credit card benefits aside, is relatively new. In-store cash back is more limited than online shopping cash back, but I expect that it will expand as time goes on.
Checkout 51 offers cash back on grocery items. Each Thursday Checkout 51 gives a list of cash back offers that are good through the next Wednesday. Some are for name brand products, while others are general, like any brand of milk or fresh tomatoes. After you purchase the items, you take a picture of your receipt and mark the offers included on the receipt. You’ll receive cash back when your total reaches $20. Checkout 51 works on a smartphone or on your computer. You can use regular coupons in conjunction with Checkout 51 cash back.
Ibotta is a free app for your smartphone or device. You can see the offers available at over 50 popular retailers. When you find items you’re going to buy (includes both brand name and generic), you scan the bar code with your phone, then upload a picture of your receipt. There are other bonus activities you can complete as well. You can cash out anything over $5 through PayPal or Venmo. If you prefer a gift card, they’ll do that too. If you use my link or enter WQIYXFA when you sign up, you will get a $10 welcome bonus after you redeem your first rebate!
What other ways do you earn cash back? What are your favorites?
Note: Some of the links in this post are my referral or affiliate links. For more info see my disclosure policy.
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