Websites I use: Ebates.ca

websites-i-use-ebates

This is the first post in a new series called “Websites We Use”. The idea is to show you the websites I use for my day-to-day savings, with a review of each one.

These reviews may contain affiliate links, but rest assured that I will only endorse websites I personally use. And you can be sure that I won’t be partial when reviewing these websites because I want to share my complete experience with them. I’ll also look at reviews from other people to compare different points of view.

So today, the first site for the “Websites We Use” series is (drumroll, please)…

Ebates.ca!

Ebates.ca is a cash back website. Cash back is when you get money back after you purchase something. The most common way to get cash back is probably by using credit cards, as a lot of them offer cash back programs.

Why should I use cash back programs?

Imagine you’re buying something online for $100. If you were to buy it straight from the online store, you’d pay $100 and that’s it. But if you buy it from the store’s website through Ebates, then after you pay the $100, Ebates will give you some money back (let’s say $2.50). It’s like getting a 2.5% discount, right? Since nobody should pay full price, 2.5% off is always better than 0% off.

How does Ebates work?

Many, many online stores work with what they call “affiliate programs”. When someone refers a customer to their website, that someone earns a small commission. This is what Ebates does: they refer you to online stores that offer affiliate programs. When you buy something there, Ebates will make a small commission on your purchase. The twist is that Ebates doesn’t keep the whole commission; they share part of it with you, the customer!

How do I use Ebates?

First, you have to create an account. If you don’t mind using my affiliate link, you can create one by clicking this button:

Ebates.ca

If you use my affiliate link, I’ll earn $5 from Ebates. It won’t cost you anything and I’ll be happy! ;)

After creating and verifying your account, you can visit Ebates.ca every time you want to buy something online. Search for the store you want to shop from and Ebates will redirect you there. There are more than 650 stores listed, so chances are your favorite store is there. After that, just shop as you normally would; they’ll know Ebates referred you, and Ebates will know you used their link.

You can also find a “Coupons and Deals” section there. It’s a good place to look for coupons when shopping online!

How much cash back can I make?

It depends on the store you’re buying from and the promotions Ebates has available at the time. Cash back values normally range from 1% to 10%, and sometimes even more. Note that the most common values are in the 2–5% range, so don’t get too excited about 10% cash back. From time to time, there are “double cash back” sales and the like, so be sure to subscribe to Ebates’ newsletter to be notified about these special deals.

The PROS

  • Free money! As I always say, why turn down free money? (Well, technically it’s your money returning to your wallet, but it feels like free money, right?)
  • Hassle-free discounts. Some people complain about having to search for coupons and trying them all with little success. I agree it can be a bit frustrating. With Ebates, all you have to do is visit their website and click the link to the store. That’s it!
  • Super fast and friendly customer support. I once needed to get in touch with them, and the service was top-notch.

The CONS

  • Sometimes the cash back is not correctly credited to your Ebates account. It happened to me once, but all I had to do was open the help section and fill out the “Where’s my cash back?” form. Some days later, the amount appeared in my account.
  • Sometimes the cash back you get from Ebates is less than a discount you could get with a coupon or sale. (Please note that Ebates cannot guarantee your cash back if you use a coupon not on their site.)
  • Some people claim Ebates takes too long to give you cash back. They pay you in cycles of once per month. It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth the wait or not. But every service under the sun will have a wait time, so you may just have to get used to it.

Also, pay attention when shopping at big online department stores like Amazon.ca. Different departments may offer different cash back rates, and some may not qualify for cash back at all.

Is Ebates.ca a scam?

Does Ebates look like a scam? I don’t think so. You can find some websites claiming that it is, but after researching them myself, I found that they’re a serious company established in the US in 1998. As I said, I use Ebates myself and it works like a charm for me.

So if you’re willing to give Ebates a try (and you should), please use the following button to create your account:

Ebates.ca

Do you use Ebates? Are you going to? What do you think about this series so far?

Photo by Flickr user Paul Bica – https://www.flickr.com/photos/dexxus/

6 Comments

  1. I LOVE using ebates! I’ve been a member for 2+ years now. It’s so simple. Like you said, typically you don’t save a lot, but I figure 1% – 5% (usual amounts where I shop, depending on what I buy and if it’s double cash back or not) is still 1%-5% saved off the purchase. Best thing I love is free shipping on any order at Walmart (yes, any! I’ve purchased a bag of plastic forks for $1 and still got free shipping) and then the cash back. I see ebates as using a cash back credit card (even though I combine them for optimum results!!), so it’s nice to get a cheque every couple months from them. It’s a rebate on stuff I was already going to buy, so I put the cheque’s from them into my “fun fund” for vacations and whatnot.

    Any issues I’ve had with ebates itself (and I think there’s been only a couple) are handled quickly and professionally by their customer service, so I have no complaints.

    For someone really wanting to get serious with ebates, I’d check out Great Canadian Rebates too, as its ebates really own major competition in canada. Check both before shopping, cause one may have a higher cash back percent at the time than the other (although typically, ebates does win!).

    Btw Dan, thanks for commenting on the most recent B&E blog; that’s how I found you! :)

    Reply
    • Hi, Eric!
      That’s what I always say: it may be only $0.50, but hey, it’s MY $0.50! Walmart free shipping is something from the heavens, indeed :) And it’s good to know that your Ebates customer service experience has been good! I’ve read some reviews online saying they were bad, but my experience has been great so far.
      The idea of putting this cash back money into something “fun” seems interesting. Mine goes towards retirement or my safety net.
      Thanks for commenting!

      Reply
  2. It’s a scam! They will nickle and dime every transaction and then cancel your account for no reason when it comes to cheque issuance. Looks good at first glance but don’t expect to see the money you are owed because you never will!!

    Reply
    • It sucks that you had a bad experience with them. It’s been working for me, if anything goes wrong on my side I’ll let you all know for sure!

      Reply
  3. This is my recent email conversation with Ebates.ca customer service. Please start at bottom for full conversation.

    c********6
    May 17, 17:07 PDT

    Member Id : 591558
    After doing some online research, I have concluded that Ebates.ca has a BAD reputation for NOT paying. Below outlines my “NOT PAID” conversation which matches many others online. I will have to start blogging about my personal Ebates.ca experiences.

    c********6@*****.com
    May 16 (1 day ago)

    to Ebates.ca
    Thank you for telling me what I already know. BEFORE May 15, 2017…..Ebates.ca stated I was getting a “Big Fat Payment of $42.?? (something cents) on May 15, 2017” and NOW my “Big Fat Payment” has been PUSHED BACK TO AUGUST 15, 2017……WHY?

    If you cannot answer this truthfully, please forward to someone who can or I will take this further on my own.

    Respectfully,
    R*******

    On Tue, May 16, 2017 at 2:59 PM, Ebates.ca support@**** wrote:

    Member Services (Ebates.ca)
    May 16, 14:59 PDT

    Hello Valued Member,

    Thank you for contacting us. After review, we see that you were sent a payment on 5/9/17 for $16.62. Your next $46.40 Big Fat Cheque will be sent by 8/15/17 via PayPal.

    May payments include Cash Back that posted to your account between January 1 and March 31. Cash Back that posts to your account between April 1 and June 30 will be included in your August payment. Take a look at our payment schedule:

    Cash Back Posting Period Payment Send Date

    January 1 – March 31 May 15
    April 1 – June 30 August 15
    July 1 – September 30 November 15
    October 1 – December 31 February 15

    Feel free to reach out to me if you still have any questions. Thank you.
    Robert A.
    Member Services

    c********6
    May 15, 08:15 PDT
    Member Id : 591558
    A “Big Fat Payment” of $42.?? was supposed to be issued to my PayPal account today, May 15, 2017 and now I see you’ve pushed it ahead to August 15, 2017. WHY?

    Reply
    • This sucks, indeed, Rachelle!

      Reply

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