Rebate Sites That Pay You for Shopping Online

Man in living room using laptop and holding credit card smiling
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By Karla Bowsher

If someone offered you a few pennies for every dollar you spent online, would you say "no" to the free money?

That would be silly, right? But that's what you're effectively doing every time you buy something online without going through a cash-back portal.

These websites receive a commission from merchants ranging from Amazon (AMZN) to Zales, and the websites pass some of it on to you when you purchase from partner merchants. A few dollars here and there might not sound like much, but it adds up -- especially if you use it wisely by putting it toward an interest-earning investment or toward debt, for example.

You can also increase your return when shopping via a cash-back portal by paying with a cash-back or other type of rewards credit card. (Visit our Solutions Center for help finding a new or better rewards card.)

To take advantage of cash-back portals' offers for free money, choose one (or more) and sign up. All of the portals listed below are free to join.

The next time you make an online purchase, visit the portal's website first and click through to a retailer. (This step is critical to getting your cash back.) Then, make your purchase as you otherwise would.

Once you've accrued a certain amount of cash back, which ranges from $5.01 to $25 for the sites below, you can collect your free money. Some cash-back portals automatically send it at set intervals, and others send it whenever you request it.

All of the following websites offer the option of a check by mail and most offer other payment options.

The following websites also partner with more than 1,000 merchants, have been around for at least several years and have an A+ rating from the nonprofit Better Business Bureau.

BeFrugal
  • Partner merchants: More than 4,000
  • Payment frequency: Upon your request
  • Payment minimum: $25
  • Payment types: Check, PayPal, gift card
Coupon Cactus
  • Partner merchants: About 4,000
  • Payment frequency: Four times a year (Feb. 15, May 15, Aug. 15, Nov. 15)
  • Payment minimum: $10
  • Payment types: Check, PayPal
Ebates
  • Partner merchants: More than 1,800
  • Payment frequency: Four times a year (Feb. 15, May 15, Aug. 15, Nov. 15)
  • Payment minimum: $5.01
  • Payment types: Check, PayPal, third party (charity, organization or family member)
Mr. Rebates
  • Partner merchants: More than 2,000
  • Payment frequency: Upon your request
  • Payment minimum: $10
  • Payment types: Check, PayPal
ShopAtHome
  • Participating merchants: Nearly 3,000
  • Payment schedule: Monthly (see schedule for dates)
  • Payment minimum: $20
  • Payment types: Check

What types of cash-back offers do you take advantage of? How do you spend the free money? Share your thoughts in our Forums. It's a place where you can swap questions and answers on money-related matters, life hacks and ingenious ways to save.

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