Shopping online is becoming the norm nowadays, often even outmatching in-store sales. Competition for online shoppers is becoming steeper each passing day. Thus, many storefronts are now considering employing cash back incentives to entice customers to shop with them online. How most cash back programs generally work out for the merchant is that instead of passing the entire advertising budget into traditional methods like commercials and Internet advertisements, storefronts are now even considering sharing part of the pie with consumers in hopes that they will acquire new customers and convert them. Without further or do, here are nine practical ways I still to this day use to achieve the most cash back for free.
The cash back program by Ebates is probably the most popular one on the market in 2017. Not only do you get a potential $10 welcome bonus for signing up with Ebates, the cash back program supports over 2,000 online stores. If you are an online shopper, big or small, you are bound to benefit from the cash back program. To name a few, popular stores like Nike, Ebay, Macy's, Amazon, and Walmart are even on there. Getting cash back from Ebates is simply clicking a button that pop-ups from the chrome add-on before checkout. And voila! - you made your first cash back eligible purchase with Ebates.
The ShopYourWay program recently partnered with Uber so if you are a frequent rider of Uber, you are eligible to earn $4 in points for each ride you take with Uber. The points can then be redeemed for any item from Sears, Kmart, Lands' End, or ShopYourWay for clothing, electronics, entertainment, and much more. I personally use my points for socks I basically get for free every month thanks to the program. Getting started with the program is as simple as linking your Uber account to a ShopYourWay account. Once that is set, within 24 hours after each ride, you will receive $4 in points for each ride with Uber.
If you are a mobile shopper, you are in luck. Ibotta is a cash back mobile app made for consumers that shop in-store. How ibotta works is that you clip coupons or cash back offers from stores you are shopping at in-person on the app. After you have checked out from the said store, you simply scan the receipt with the Ibotta app to receive your cash back. Although ibotta also offers cash back for online stores, the selection is limited. I recommend using this app if you frequently grocery shop or go to eligible stores in person to take advantage of the Ibotta cash back offers.
Raise is a mobile friendly, discounted gift card marketplace. Raise makes it easy to purchase several discounted gift cards from various retailers, which may save you up to 15% at the end of the day. The only drawback from using gift cards over a credit card as a payment method is the trade off of return and price protection credit card benefits. Thus, I highly recommend thinking twice if the discount doesn't outweigh the benefits of a credit card before committing.
Yelp's cash back program is as simple as linking your debit or credit card with Yelp. Now, when you use your credit card to dine at an eligible restaurant, you are granted cash back automatically from Yelp. The program is really self-explanatory and easy to enroll. The only drawback is that the program is still relatively young, thus the selection is somewhat limited. However, free cash back is still free money so why not right?
6. Amazon Smile
If you shop at Amazon, I highly encourage you to bookmark the Amazon Smile link and shop through that portal instead whenever you need something from Amazon. The selection and price you get from Amazon is the same. The only difference is that 0.5% of the price of your merchandise will be donated to an eligible charity of your choosing. Although you won't directly benefit from this, you are indirectly donating to a cause that may make worlds of difference.
Before I make an online purchase, I often check American Express offers to check if I can make a great deal into an amazing deal. American Express offers is basically like free coupons or saving codes that American Express exclusively offers cardholders to save even more money at various stores for limited periods of time. An example is a $25 off $125 offer from Levis or $25 off $250 from BestBuy. Combining American Express offers with Ebates and regular credit card cash back is one of the best feelings in the world. If you don't have an American Express credit card, I would personally recommend applying for the no-annual fee, American Express Blue Cash Everyday for the American Express offers benefit and much more.
If you know me, I frequently browse SlickDeals. The website is basically a huge community dedicated to finding the best deals on the market each passing day. The benefit of checking SlickDeals frequently is that you are highly likely to find a deal on something you are looking for. In essence, you are saving lots of money in the process. Chances are when a big cash back opportunity is out on the web, it probably has been discussed by the regulars of SlickDeals. In summary, SlickDeals is a great resource if you are searching for a deal or in doubt if you have a good deal or not.
9. Cash Back Credit Cards
Last but not least, credit card cash back. Nowadays, many credit cards offer some sort of cash back in form of points or statement credit. I highly encourage obtaining one of these credit cards because not only do you get purchase protection, you will most likely get cash back from the credit card on top of other cash back incentives.
Now you know the nine ways to shop online and get cash back without breaking a sweat. I have tried and tested many other cash back programs in the past, however, nothing has compared to these nine methods that I currently still use to this day in terms of convenience. Do realize, that some of these cash back incentives are even stackable with one another. For example, American Express Offers - Ebates - Cash Back Credit Card. The cash back possibilities are endless and will change how you approach online shopping forever.