Just to clarify, EBATES does not actually pay people to shop. Or does it? As I’m about to share with you, signing up for EBATES may be the smartest thing you do if you shop online. Read on to find out why.
Earlier this Summer, I stubled across a site I wasn’t really familiar with, EBATES. I may have seen it before, but I don’t think I ever really investigated it. I thought it was worth exploring this time.
So what is EBATES?
Ebates helps its members earn Cash Back at their favorite stores. It does this by connecting these shoppers with popular stores to save money on the things they buy every day. It’s been around a long time now, since 1999 according to their website.
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So how does it work? The first thing you do is sign up for a free account on their site- ebates.com. Now, are you ready to make some money? They’ll credit your account $10 just for signing up!
Notice that these are mostly stores and brands that you probably already know?
One of the cool things about EBATES is you can use this site to book travel. When I signed up, we already had a trip planned over the Summer. I had already booked my airfare and car rental, but we still needed a hotel. So I hopped on the EBATES site, and clicked on Travel and Vacations.
Booking Travel through EBATES
I used this page to search for a hotel in our destination city, Columbus, Ohio.
Just a side note, I lived in Columbus for about eight years. So I’m pretty familiar with the different parts of town there. And since my husband used to travel frequently, he’s pretty familiar with most of the hotel chains that are available.
The first thing we noticed about EBATES was that the search results included hotels we would normally consider when travelling. These weren’t dog hotels, run down or crime infested. These were nice hotels in the part of town we wanted to stay in.
The second thing we noticed is that the rates were pretty good. As you can see in the results, the very first Hotel that popped up was the Blackwell Inn. This is a high-end business class hotel right on the campus of Ohio State. Through EBATES, you can select to stay at this hotel for a very reasonable $131 a night, after the rebate.
That’s pretty good.
For our trip, we ended up staying at a Fairfield Inn and Suites not too far from the Blackwell. This put us somewhat centrally in town, close to the highway, and convenient to all the places and friends we had planned on visiting. Our rate was about $80/night, and we got cash some cash back in the form of a rebate after completing our visit.
Trust but Verify
Now, my husband can be kind of a penny pencher sometimes, and he gets into that Trust but Verify mentality when it comes to these types of things. So while I was on EBATES searching for the Hotel, he was browsing other travel sites to get comparison rates.
What he found was amazing. First, not all of the hotels on EBATES even show up on the other sites, like Expedia and Hotels.com. So we were seeing deals on hotels on EBATES that we weren’t even available on the other sites.
He also noticed that the rates we were seeing on EBATES were almost always better than what we could find for the same hotel elsewhere. We only spot checked a few, but that was all it took to be convinced. EBATES is a good deal.
Making Money Shopping
I don’t recommend going to EBATES and buying stuff just to get the rebates. That’s not going to help you make money. But if you need to buy something online, try shopping through EBATES. If what you are looking for is available at a partner of theirs, you’re likely to get a better rate, or at least get some sort of rebate by doing this.
Why not do this and get a little cash back for doing what you’d be doing anyways?
I’ve only brushed the surface on what all you can do with EBATES, so I’m going to keep playing with it and seeing what more I can do. I’ll report back as I get additional rebates on stuff I’m doing.
After doing nothing more than signing up, and staying at a hotel that we were going to stay at anyways, I already had over $26 in my EBATES account. That’s as good as getting paid to shop.