The Easiest Way to Save on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

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A happy man celebrates making an online purchase
Dean Drobot /

Sure, there will be deals galore to seize on Black Friday and Cyber Monday — the biggest retail holidays of the year. But shrewd consumers won’t stop there.

In addition to taking advantage of the best deals, savvy shoppers will get cash back on everything they buy over the holiday weekend. The savviest shoppers of all will even double up on cash back, earning it from both their credit card and their favorite cash-back portal.

However you do it, earning cash back is about the easiest way to save money during the holidays or any other time of year. It’s like getting paid to shop.

Not earning cash back, then, is like passing up free money. So, here’s what you should know about cashing in on cash back before you start shopping this weekend.

Cash-back credit cards versus cash-back portals

There are two main ways to earn cash back: cash-back credit cards and cash-back portals.

Cash-back credit cards aren’t for everyone. Using one is only shrewd if you pay off your credit card bill in full and on time every month, thereby avoiding interest charges and late fees.

Cash-back portals, on the other hand, are a savings tool that everyone can and should harness. That’s especially true this time of year, when some of these cash-back websites, like Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) and TopCashback, run promotions involving higher percentages of cash back than usual.

Current cash-back promotions

A Rakuten spokesperson tells Money Talks News this week that the portal will offer up to 15% cash back on purchases from more than 700 retailers — from Walmart to Neiman Marcus — on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

TopCashback says it will offer up to 10% to 20% cash back at certain retailers on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

How cash-back portals work

When you do your shopping through a cash-back portal’s website or app, you earn cash rebates on purchases from retailers that partner with that portal.

Basically, cash-back portals earn a commission from retailers for referring online shoppers to those retailers’ websites, and then the portals pass some or all of that commission on to shoppers.

It’s free to sign up for a cash-back portal like Rakuten or TopCashback Just visit their website and provide your email address to get started.

Rakuten is among the oldest and best-known cash-back portals, but it’s not alone. In addition to TopCashback, others include Swagbucks Shop. Additionally, the free app Ibotta enables you to earn cash back on in-store, mobile app and online purchases.

Even if you already have an account with one portal, you might want to check out others because different portals often offer different cash-back percentages for a given retailer.

What’s your favorite way to earn cash back? Share it with us by commenting below or on the Money Talks News Facebook page.

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