Centsible Saver

Centsible Saver: Cash in on cash-back rebate websites

adunn@newsobserver.comJune 21, 2014 

Editor’s note: For daily tips on saving money, check out the Centsible Saver blog on newsobserver.com. Amy Dunn writes every day about coupons, saving money and frugal living. Below are recent excerpts from her blog.

If you’ve done any amount of online shopping over the years, you’re probably familiar with Ebates.com – the site that gives you cash back on your Internet purchases.

The granddaddy of rebate sites, Ebates.com is probably best known for its “Big Fat Checks,” which it mails out on a quarterly basis to folks who use the site as a launch pad to online shopping.

But just as it pays to shop around for the best price, it also pays to shop around for the site with the most generous rebate checks.

Thanks to a tip from the penny-pinching author of TheFrugalGirl.com, I’ve recently started doing some of my online shopping through TopCashBack.com.

Instead of splitting commission fees with shoppers, as most rebate sites do, the TopCashBack site says it makes its money on advertising and incentives from retailers so the rebates, in most cases, are bigger.

That’s good for consumers like you and me who are paying attention to the bottom line.

I recently compared rebates at both sites and found that some rebates were as much as double at TopCashBack.com.

If you’re an online shopper and haven’t yet tried Ebates, TopCashBack or another rebate site, you’re leaving money on the table.

The sites are easy to use and require almost no effort on your part. Instead of going directly to the online retailer to make your purchase, start at Ebates or TopCashBack; choose your retailer and the site will automatically take you to the retailer’s website. Your purchase information is electronically reported to the rebate site.

Both sites are free to join and offer referral bonuses when friends sign up and use the sites.

How you’re paid is a bit different on each site.

Ebates issues old-fashioned checks – mailed to your home – four times a year, if you’ve earned $5.01 or more. PayPal is also an option.

At TopCashBack, once the rebate has been deposited in your account, you can request a payout – no minimum is required. The company doesn’t issue checks but will deposit rebates into your bank or PayPal account. If you’re an Amazon shopper, you can choose to be paid in Amazon credit and receive a 5 percent bonus through mid-July. Beginning July 14, the Amazon bonus will drop to 2.5 percent.

Giveaway for everyday heroes

The good folks at Kangaroo Express are offering up free Roo Cups again.

But instead of the cups going to Centsible Saver readers, they are seeking your help in treating a local group of everyday heroes.

It could be a particular department of teachers or nurses, or a unit of firefighters or police officers – any group you think goes above and beyond.

Email me your nominations at adunn@newsobserver.com. Please put “Roo Cup Hero” in the subject line and include a line or two about what makes the group special.

You have until noon June 24, to enter. One entry per person. I'll choose a winner randomly and announce it on the blog soon after.

Each member of the winning group will receive a Roo Cup, which can be refilled with 25-cent soft drinks and slushies through Sept. 30.

Dunn: 919-829-4522 or adunn@newsobserver.com; Twitter: @amygdunn

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