Have you ever wondered how does Ebates work?  Or maybe you just want to know what is Ebates?  Don't worry I've got you covered and will explain it all to you in this Ebates tutorial.

Most of us are using online shopping more and more every day, right? Why not use cash-back sites like Ebates to make some money while you do it?

One of the ways that I earn extra cash for our family is by using Ebates every time that I make an online purchase. Whether the purchase is for Amazon inventory or for personal use, I always use Ebates to make sure I get a little money back.

As you'll see in this Ebates review, a little bit here and there can really add up!

Curious how does Ebates work? See how we've used Ebates to earn over $11,000 in cash back for online purchases! It's super easy.

Since opening my Ebates account in 2012, I have earned over $11,800 in cash back! This is money I would have been spending online anyways, so why not get money back that I can use for other things?

Screenshot of my lifetime cash back on Ebates for $11,873

How Does Ebates Work? A Simple Breakdown.

Using Ebates to earn cash back is really easy! When you are making a purchase through an online retailer, you first go to and search for the store you want to shop at.

When you find the store, you click through to that store from within your Ebates account. This creates a tracking cookie, which is how you get the credit for the cash back.

Most stores offer between 1%-3% in the form of cash back. Other stores offer much more!

The best thing about Ebates is that it's free for shoppers to use. The reason that Ebates can offer cash back is because they are an affiliate for the stores they partner with. Ebates is paid by the stores and they share some of that money with you in the form of cash back!

For example, if you use your Ebates link to go to the Target website, then Target will pay Ebates a percentage of the total amount you spend on the order.

Basically, Target pays Ebates a commission as a “thank you” for sending shoppers their way. In turn, Ebates offers you a percentage of what they get from the store. So they keep some and you get some back.

Sounds like a win-win to me!

The Ebates Button Browser Extension

The only thing that can go wrong with Ebates is if you forget to use their special tracking link (talk about user error!). Luckily, there's an easy way to ensure that you never miss getting your cash back.

All you need to do is install the Ebates browser bar/button. The Ebates Button is a free extension that you can install on your internet browser (I recommend using either Chrome or Firefox for this).

This will install a reminder bar on your browser that will light up either green or red depending on if you have the cash back cookie being tracked at the moment.

Sometimes when you switch to a different browser tab you lose the tracking, so I like this as a last minute reminder that I am good to go before clicking to check out.

See how we've used Ebates to earn over $4,000 in cash back for online purchases!

Once you finalize an order on a website, you can't go back and add the cash-back tracking. So make sure you do it ahead of time.

It may take a few days for your cash back to show up in your account, but you can see the click tracking right away. You can even get an email alert letting you know when you've successfully earned some cash.

Coupon Codes

Although cash back is their primary offering, Ebates also shares coupon codes on their website. This saves you time from hunting for coupon codes on different retailer websites.

An example of how the coupons display on the Ebates website

Let's say I'm about to go shopping at Kohl's. If I’m already on the Kohl’s page on Ebates, I can also grab the 20% off coupon before I click through for my cash back link. I’ll just enter that code when I check out and that way I’ll get the discount and the 3% cash back!

I have found that the Ebates coupon codes are always up-to-date, so it's always worth checking for more discounts!

Double Cash Back (And More!)

One of my favorite things about Ebates is that they frequently offer double cash back. When you’re on their homepage, you’ll see the sites that they’re featuring for double cash back.

They rotate through these stores pretty regularly, so you can always check back daily if you’re waiting to shop at a certain store.

But for holidays and other special occasions, Ebates will really go all out and offer 10% cash back or more on certain sites. This is a great time to do some serious shopping!

For example, Ebates celebrated their “Birthday Week” this year by offering 15% cash back on a large number of retailers. That means that $100 of online shopping would quickly amount to $15 cash back in your balance. Not bad!

Ebates for In-Store Shopping

Now if you shop more in person than you do online, Ebates still has something for you. Ebates has partnered with select retail stores so that you can earn cash back while you’re out shopping.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Add an eligible Visa or American Express credit card to your Ebates account online
  2. Link available In-Store Cash Back offers to your credit card
  3. Use your linked credit card in local stores and receive cash back in your account within 7 days

There's no fee for this and no need to upload receipts. Here's a 1-minute video from Ebates that shows how it works!

Get Your Big Fat Check from Ebates

Earning cash back as you shop is fun, but Ebates really gets exciting when it’s time to receive your “Big Fat Check” (this is what Ebates calls your payments).

Your “Big Fat Check” can be an actual check (sorry, it’s not a jumbo-sized one like on TV sweepstakes 😂) or a deposit to your Paypal account. I love to have the money deposited to Paypal because it’s so fast. But you can choose an actual check – it’s totally up to you!

Ebates will pay you four times per year, as long as your Cash Back Balance is above $5.00. You’ll be paid on the following schedule:

Ebates pays you 4 times per year in May, August, November, and February

Here is my 5/15/18 Big Fat Check (you’ll see that it actually hit my account a few days early on the 12th!).

Screenshot of my most recent Big Fat Check payment

This was cash back that I earned on purchases made between January 1 and March 31. The payment was sent directly to my PayPal account!

Is Ebates a Scam or Is Ebates Legit?

I totally understand if “free money” sounds too good to be true. A lot of people give me the look when I tell them how easy it is to get cash back through Ebates.  Many people have asked me straight up “Is Ebates a scam?”

And if I'm being totally honest, I also wondered is ebates a scam when I first started looking into cash back sites over 6 years ago.

I can say with confidence now that Ebates is legit and I have earned MANY “Big Fat Bonuses” from them over the years.

As I shared earlier, I’ve earned over $11,000 in cash back in my six years as an Ebates member. This is cash on purchases I would have made anyway and all it took was visiting the Ebates website (or, even easier, using my Ebates Button).

Remember, Ebates is paid by the stores they partner with, so they can give you your cash back and still make a profit as a business.

Ebates is a completely legit company and I have never had any issues with receiving my cash back. In fact, if something ever goes wrong and I don’t get the amount I was expecting, it’s really easy to get it corrected.

Who Should Use Ebates?

Ebates is perfect for anyone looking to make some extra money just by shopping online. Here are just some of the popular online stores that partner with Ebates:

  • Walmart
  • Macy's
  • Kohl's
  • Target
  • JCPenney
  • Walgreens
  • eBay
  • Amazon

As an Amazon seller, a lot of people ask me about using Ebates for shopping on Amazon. Ebates does not offer cash back on every Amazon purchase, but they usually do have cash back for certain categories. You can always visit the Ebates Amazon page to see what their current offers are.

Ebates isn't just for stores like Amazon and Walmart. Ebates even offers cash back for some services. I usually see good deals on magazine subscriptions, tax preparation services, and even anti-virus software.

Ebates also offers cash back for booking travel or experiences on sites like:

  • Groupon
  • LivingSocial
  • Expedia
  • Orbitz

Ebates currently has 2,500 stores on their site, so really there’s something for everyone! And since it’s as simple as setting up your account, there’s no reason not to check it out.

There you have it friend, a simple process of how to use Ebates.  Ready to sign up and try Ebates yourself?

Get your Free $10 Cash Bonus on Ebates

To sweeten the deal and encourage you to use Ebates, I have a special offer that will land you $10 cash in your Ebates account. If you sign up here for a new Ebates account, you can get a free $10 cash bonus. You just have to make a minimum purchase of $25 within the first 90 days of signing up for your account.

Ebates Refer A Friend $10 Bonus

Ebates isn't the only cash-back site out there, but it's definitely my first recommendation. My second recommendation is Swagbucks, which runs a little differently than Ebats.  You can check out our review of Swagbucks here. I've tried a few other cash-back sites but stick with Ebates because it's consistent and I've never had cash back not show up. Some of the other sites never completed the cash-back process so I missed out on it all together. So, even if other sites say they offer a higher percentage, I just stick with Ebates now.

Remember, you have to sign up for your new account through this link to get your extra $10 cash bonus. It's free to join so go ahead and check it out!

I can't wait to hear about how much cash you get on your first Big Fat Check payout after learning how does Ebates work. Feel free to brag in the comments below!