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What Is Ebates?

Arguably the most successful and widely used cash-back website and app on the globe, Ebates allows you to earn up to 40% Cash Back at more than 2,500 stores. For maximum savings, you can combine your cash-back rewards with the special offers, hot daily deals, promo codes, and coupons that are listed on Ebates.

Ebates Overview

Increasingly more online consumers choose to recover a portion of their hard-earned money spent at various retailers via trusted, legit loyalty websites. Statistics suggest that 65% of online end-users across the globe are currently members of a rewards program.

ebates logo

Ebates, Inc. has been a household name in the global cashback & rebate industry ( estimated to be over $84 billion!) for so long that it needs no introduction. Our in-depth, objective 2018 Ebates review will cover the good, the bad and everything in between, so you can see if joining Ebates ( for free) is worthwhile for you or not.

More than 10 million online consumers have joined the well-established, fully legitimate cash-back shopping program to date. If you shop online anyway, then why not earn cashback on your purchases? Find out if you could use your free Ebates membership to your financial benefit, so you can make an informed decision.

Ebates Review – The True Facts

Ebates, Inc. has been enabling online shoppers to cash in on select cashback deals for an impressive 20 years now. The tried-and-true, free membership-based savings program has already paid its over 10 members a whopping $1 billion! in cashback on their online purchases. These figures alone speak volumes about the reliability, integrity, and popularity of the renowned rebate website operator.

The San Francisco-based savings program makes earning real cash back super easy and convenient for its members. Simply click an Ebates link in order to start an Ebates Shopping Trip before you make an online purchase.

Ebates has got your free cashback rewards covered. You don’t need to earn points or fill out forms – yes, you read that right. There are absolutely no points to count or rebate forms to mail in.

With Ebates, putting cashback in your pocket is as easy as clicking a link. You will get your well-earned cash back every 3 months, via either PayPal or a Big Fat Check. Ka-ching!

A Brief History of Ebates, Inc.

Keen on starting an online business that their “mothers would understand”, former deputy D.A.s Paul Wasserman and Alessandro Isolani founded Ebates in Menlo Park, San Mateo County, CA during the tech boom of 1998. The company is recognized as a trailblazer in the cashback-rebate shopping industry.

Foundation Capital, a venture capital firm gave the prosecutors $50,000 in seed funds. The Ebates website, built by a contract coding firm, was launched in May 1999 and initially offered up to 25% cashback at around 40 stores.

In 2000, Canaan Partners and August Capital co-led a $20 million investment round in the company, which continued to generate cash and grow slowly but steadily.

According to Foundation Capital partner Paul Koontz, the reason Ebates has been a viable cash rebate program is that the founders never gave up on the commitment to getting to cash-flow positive.

With a compound annual growth rate of about 50%, Ebates has acquired several online businesses since 2011, including Cartera Commerce and ShopStyle.

Ebates Rakuten logo and tagline

A Rakuten Company

Rakuten, Inc. acquired Ebates for $1 billion in September 2014. The all-cash deal represented an end of the road for the two founders. With a portfolio of 70+ businesses spanning e-commerce, fin-tech, travel, digital content, and communications, Rakuten is the largest internet portal in Japan and at once a global innovation conglomerate.

The group’s major services (e.g. Rakuten Viber, Rakuten Marketing, and Ebates) are available in 30 countries across the globe. The parent company to Ebates boasts over 1,2 billion members globally and is led by CEO and Chairman Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani.

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Ebates, Inc. is headquartered in San Francisco, CA, and has been a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited business since September 2016, with an A+ rating as of this review.

Ebates is a Rakuten company has not affected memberships, earning cashback, payments, nor any other functions. Amit Patel has served as the new CEO since May 2017. Ebates currently has 6,800 employees worldwide.

Ebates: Business Model

Ebates employs a very simple business model, which involves retailers paying Ebates a commission for sending its members to shop at their stores. Ebates splits this commission 50/50 with its members, in the form of cashback rewards.

Join Ebates For Free and Earn a $10 Cash Bonus

Getting started with Ebates is as easy and simple as it gets. Better yet, it is always free and you can start shopping online and earning cashback as soon as you sign up. All you have to do is submit a valid email address and a password to create a fully secure Ebates account. You can also sign up with Ebates using your Google+ or Facebook account – as easy as that.

All new Ebates members who place an order totaling at least $25 within 90 days of signing up qualify to receive the $10 Welcome Bonus offered by Ebates. To receive your cash bonus, you can shop at any store on the Ebates website or on the Ebates mobile app, or even at participating Ebates in-store cashback retailers. You will receive a confirmation email that notifies you when you’ve qualified to receive your $10 welcome cash bonus.

Ebates Cashback Tracking

Once you’ve signed up, tracking your cashback is super easy. “My Account” boasts several features to help you with that, including:

1. My Shopping Trips

Starting an Ebates Shopping Trip qualifies your purchase for cashback deals. Once cashback has been added to your Ebates account, you will see a check sign in the Cash Back section on the “My Shopping Trips” page. Note that your Shopping Trips are separated by month.

2. My Cash Back Balance

Your Cash Back Balance reflects your earned cashback from credit card purchases, online orders, in-store cashback, and other offers available on Ebates. Your balance is updated each and every time you earn cashback. When your cash payment is due ( in accordance with Ebates payment schedule, i.e. every quarter) your balance in excess of $5 will be cleared and transferred to your Big Fat Check History.

3. My Big Fat Check History

You can view all of the cashback that you have received in your Check History. Keep in mind that there’s a 45-day window between the end of the payment period and the time when payment is delivered to you. Any cashback that you earn after the end of a cash-back posting period will be added to your next Big Fat check.

Multiple Ways to Earn Cash Back as an Ebates Member

The dedicated cash-back program provides its members with an impressive array of tools and features for added convenience. As an Ebates member, you are given the opportunity to earn your cashback rewards in the ways that best work for you. These include the Ebates website, mobile app, Cash Back Button, in-store cashback, email, refer-a-friend, and Cash Back Visa credit card.

Shopping online through and putting cashback in your pocket is easy-breezy. You know you will earn cashback on your online purchases when you click on any Ebates link ( found in-store links, coupons, banners, buttons, and more) and you get a pop-up confirmation that you’ve activated an Ebates Shopping Trip. You will be then sent to the online store to start shopping.


You can also start a Shopping Trip by following any link from Ebates’ emails. A new window will open, letting you know that cashback on your purchases has been activated.

Ebates Mobile App

Be sure to visit your app store to find the 4-star Ebates App and download it onto your Android or iOS mobile device. Then you are able to activate a Shopping Trip as mentioned earlier, simply by clicking an Ebates affiliate link. A new pop-up window will open and will direct you to the store. In case that store doesn’t offer cashback through the Ebates mobile app, you will be immediately notified.

Ebates Cash Back Button – The Shortcut to Cash Back

This automated, handy tool offers extra convenience to earning cashback with Ebates. The Cash Back Button automatically pops up on any of the 2,500+ shopping sites where Ebates cashback is currently available. These include major retailers such as, Walmart, JCPenney, Priceline, Macy’s, Ebay, Kohl’s, Groupon, and many more.

Even better, the Ebates Cash Back Button finds discounts and coupons for you, making it much easier for you to earn cashback. With this Button, you can earn your cashback without even going through Ebates first. Voila!

In order to activate this button, all you need to do is visit your browser store, find the Ebates Button and then download it – you will see it in your browser bar. Next, when you go to a store’s website, you will receive a drop-down notification of the coupons, deals, and cashback offered by that store. Start earning cashback simply by clicking on the drop-down, with no disruption to your shopping whatsoever.

Alternatively, you can activate your cash rewards via the Cash Back Button icon on your browser bar by clicking coupons, special offers, store cards, etc. You will receive a notification in both cases, letting you know your cashback rewards have been successfully activated. If for some reason, a particular store doesn’t offer cashback through this Button, no notification will appear.

Ebates Cash Back Visa Credit Card

With this feature, you can earn unlimited extra cashback bonuses, with absolutely no annual fee!!credit-card-cashback

To activate Cash Back, be sure to use your Ebates Visa credit card when you shop online or anywhere it’s accepted. Orders placed via Ebates online are eligible for an extra 3% Cash Back. All other orders are eligible to earn a 1% Cash Back.

Note that certain limitations and exclusions apply. These include travel-related purchase exclusions. You’ll earn 1% cashback on most travel purchases ( e,g, airplane tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, vacation packages, etc) charged to your Ebates Cash Back Platinum or Signature Visa card, unless the travel purchases were made via Ebates Hotels.

In-Store Cash Back

With Ebates, you can earn cashback even when you shop in a physical store. Simply link your debit or credit card to your Ebates account. When you find an in-store offer you’re interested in, just activate the offer and shop in the brick-and-mortar store with that card. Ebates cannot guarantee that you will be able to receive cashback rewards if you choose to use special offers and coupons not listed on Ebates.

Refer a Friend and Earn Cash Back ( Both of You)

Ebates Refer-A-Friend program pays both you and your friends in cashback. Each member is assigned a unique link, which you can find by visiting the Refer-a-friend page. Just send your link to your friends through social media, email or text.

If a friend you refer signs up with Ebates via your unique link and makes a qualifying purchase within 1 year of joining, then you both earn a cashback reward (typically more than $25). You also qualify for your refer-a-friend cash bonus if your friend provides the email address used on your Ebates account when signing up.

You can invite as many friends as you want and you can expect to receive your referral reward within 60 days of your friend’s qualifying purchase. Note that any friends that you invite have to be new to Ebates.

Ebates’ M.O.: Mo’ Money Back In Your Pocket in 3 Easy-Breezy Steps

With more than $1 billion in cashback paid to its members, as of this review, the dedicated and trusted cash-back platform operator represents a viable, foolproof solution. With Ebates, getting retailers to start paying you for every online purchase is as easy as 1-2-3. So Ready, set, go!

Step #1 – Get ready to shop by activating an Ebates Shopping Trip

Whenever you want to purchase something online, going through Ebates first ensures that you will effectively earn cashback on your purchase. Starting an Ebates Shopping Trip is the only way to get cashback. All you have to do is click the Ebates link to the store of your choice before you make an online purchase.

Step #2 – Validate the Shopping Trip

You will see a pop-up confirmation when you click an Ebates link. This lets you know you’re good to go shopping and earn cash back at that retailer.

Step #3 – Go purchase the items you want

Be sure to complete your purchase online just as you normally would. Your Ebates Shopping Trip will also be completed at this point.

And that’s it.

It usually takes anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days for the store to confirm your purchase. This depends on the store. Once confirmed by the retailer, Ebates adds your cashback to your account. You will receive an email confirmation. Every three months, you get the cashback that you have earned via PayPal or in a Big Fat Check.

Catch Cash Thrown Back To You – No Catch, No Fees, No Hassle

With Ebates, you can re-route a percentage of each purchase in free cashback to your wallet – Your well-earned money that otherwise would have gone into the retailer’s pocket. In addition, using various coupons and hot deals listed on Ebates allows you to treat your pocket to even more ca$h money.

On the retailer’s Ebates page, you can see exactly the amount of cash you will receive, as well as coupon/promo codes and any limitations & exclusions. This gives you a clear picture of the sum you stand to earn. For instance, if you spend $50 at JCPenney or Walmart ( both offering a percentage of the purchase price, say 10%) by going through Ebates first, you will get $5 cashback.

If you are a travel enthusiast and you typically book through Priceline ( which offers a flat amount for each booking), then you get paid (e.g. $10) for each and every flight booked, hassle-free, at no extra cost to you.

With Ebates, there’s no limit to how much you can earn. You can always choose to hack your cashback earning potential. You can do so by cashing in on discount gift cards, featured daily deals, using cashback credit cards, offering to be someone’s personal shopper and earning cashback on their purchases, cashing in on Ebates Hotels, and many more. E.g. At the time of this review, you can benefit from over $6,600 in instant savings, in addition to cashback when you shop at Sam’s Club through Ebates.

Ebates Daily Double – Double Cash Back Every Single Day

Every day, the rewards platforms chooses at least a store and doubles the cash back on purchases from that store for 24 hours. To be eligible for double cash back, your purchase needs to be made during this period of time.

Ebates Cash Back Payments – Methods and Schedule

Ebates members have 2 different payment methods to choose from – via PayPal or a Big Fat Check. Regardless of your preferred payment method, it doesn’t cost you a thing – you pay nada to receive your well-earned cash back. Isn’t this cool?

1. Big Fat Check

This first payment method involves an actual check that will be mailed to you with your full name and valid mailing address in your ” Account Settings” if you use the Ebates website or in your ” Choose How to Get Paid” if you use the Ebates app. Make sure your information is accurate and up-to-date. An Ebates Big Fat check can take up to 3 weeks to reach your address and is valid for 3 months, plus an extra 30-day grace period.

2. PayPal

If you select this uber-popular payment method, you will be asked for verification of your account with PayPal. Payments will be sent quarterly to the PayPal account of your choice. Fast cash back at your fingertips.

Any cash back earned in excess of $5 is sent on the following schedule ( valid for both methods):

  • May 15th for the posting period Jan 1st through to March 31st
  • August 15th for the posting period April 1st through to June 30th
  • November 15th for July 1st through to September 30th
  • February 15th for October 1st through to December 31st.

The GDPR and How It Has Affected Ebates

Implemented on May 25th, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a brand new regulation that replaces the Data Protection Directive (DPD) on personal data protection and privacy for all people residing within the European Economic Area ( EEA) and the European Union.

Since this date, Ebates services have been in compliance with these new standards, which means that EEA residents currently cannot use Ebates to earn cash back. However, EEA members can still access their accounts with Ebates, including their reservations and payment history.

Although they aren’t able to earn additional cash back, any cash back they have already earned will be paid to them on Ebates’ regular schedule ( i.e. every three months).

” Money is my military, each dollar a soldier. I never send my money into battle unprepared and undefended. I send it to conquer and take currency prisoner and bring it back to me” (Kevin O’Leary)

Now that you know all the facts and details, let’s briefly recap the good and the bad that Ebates brings to the table before we conclude our unbiased 2018 review.

Ebates: The Pros

  • Absolutely free membership – you don’t pay a dime to join Ebates; sign up free of charge and earn a $10 welcome bonus in cash
  • Earn up to 40% cash back on purchases at more than 2,500 online retailers, hassle-free
  • Ebates is the real deal – fully legitimate, BBB accredited business with an A+ rating ( as of this review) and fully compliant with all the regulations in different areas across the globe
  • Members get paid on time, every three months ( Ebates regular schedule) via PayPal or a Big Fat Check
  • Members don’t have to earn points or fill out forms to earn cash back when they shop online
  • Ridiculously low payout threshold – as little as $5 and cast-iron guarantee of payment as scheduled
  • With Ebates, there’s no limit to how much cash back you can earn – earn as much as you really want to
  • Founded by two deputy district attorneys, Ebates takes members’ security and privacy very seriously
  • Ebates has paid members more than $1 billion!! in ca$h back as of this 2018 review
  • Join one of the largest communities of smart online shoppers – more than 10 million members from across the globe to date
  • Plenty of features and tools at members’ disposal and many ways to earn cash back for added convenience
  • Cash in on plenty of bonus offers, hot deals, great discounts, promo codes, coupons and many more
  • Modern, up-to-date website design, easy-breezy navigation and dedicated customer support
  • It really pays to shop with Ebates – when stores pay Ebates, Ebates pays you in cash, guaranteed.

Ebates: The Cons

  • Ebates is not available to residents of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). The US, Canada, China, Japan, Singapore and South Korea are currently the only countries served by Ebates.
  • Earning cash back retroactively is not possible; members can only earn cash back by starting a Shopping Trip with Ebates first.
  • Taxes, shipping, Gift cards or certificates do not qualify for cash back rewards. However, Ebates does give cash back on select gift cards purchased at various stores through Ebates.

Ebates Review Conclusion – Boon Alert!

If you like your cash mostly back, then you will love Ebates. Becoming an Ebates member will be the beginning of a beautiful partnership for sure, with plenty of financial benefits for you. The conclusion of this up-to-date Ebates review is that the sought-after, tried-and-trusted cashback program represents a sure-fire way to get more than 2,500 retailers to PAY YOU real cash for every single purchase you make.

With Ebates, smart online shoppers across the globe can recover and put a good portion from their spending back in their pockets in the form of free, real ca$h. Ka-ching! It’s your hard-earned money after all. So what’s really stopping you from easily earning cash back every time you go through Ebates to shop at your favorite retailers?

Do yourself a favor for a change and bank on the opportunity to earn cash back on every purchase you make through Ebates, free of charge. Go ahead, jump on the Ebates cashback bandwagon and get paid for shopping, and then some.

Seize the Big Fat Check that’s rightfully yours, courtesy of Ebates. Join Ebates for free today and get a $10 cash bonus just for signing up!

You can join Ebates here!

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