Rebate Sites That Pay You for Shopping Online

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Cash-back portals will cut you a check just for shopping online. Here's what you need to know to begin collecting your cash.

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 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 per 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 per 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.

Stacy Johnson

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