Many savvy shoppers love to shop at Amazon during the Christmas / holiday shopping season because of free super-saver shipping (or free two-day shipping for Amazon Prime members).  According to Kiplinger Personal Finance, Amazon underprices Walmart on several of the popular gift categories including video games and toys.

Getting a good price with free shipping is of course, much appreciated by frugalistas like me, but you can go one better when you earn cash back for shopping at Amazon!

Where’s the BEST place to get Amazon cashback?

There are only a handful of cashback programs that offer Amazon cashback, and Amazon only allows them to offer cashback on certain categories of products on their site, which change every couple of weeks.  These categories and rates are active as of this posting, but they may vary by the time you read this, so this is just intended as a guideline to let you know where to go to earn Amazon cashback:

MrRebates Cash Back Shopping and CouponsMrRebates:  In business since 2002, MrRebates pays cashback monthly.  You’ll earn a $7.50 signup bonus to join MrRebates when you join here.  This is my favorite of the sites below because, in addition to doing frequent increased cashback promotions on MANY of their stores, they also do frequent contests with big prizes like iPads…and just in general I prefer the layout of their site.  Coupons codes are easy to find and you can even click to see a list of all recently added coupon codes.  You can request cashback in the form of check or PayPal when you’ve earned at least $10 in cashback.  Their Amazon cashback rates are currently:

  • 6% on Fashion for Women, Men, Girls, and Boys
  • 6% on Sports & Outdoors
  • 6% on Amazon Local

Ebates - Where it Pays to  Shop OnlineEbates:  Ebates is my second-favorite site and it’s been around the longest:  16 years.  They pay cashback quarterly, about 6 weeks after the quarter has ended.  You’ll earn a $5 signup bonus when you join here.  You’ll need $5.01 or more in cashback to be paid, and you can choose to be paid by check, PayPal, or by Amazon gift card.  Their Amazon cashback rates are currently:

  • 8% on Fashion for Women, Men, and Kids & Baby
  • 8% on Sports & Outdoors
  • 8% on Music
  • 2% on Toys

FatWallet - Pocket the DifferenceFatWallet:  Owned by the same parent company as Ebates, FatWallet has offered cashback for over about as long as MrRebates, but their hugely popular deal forum is their main claim to fame.  It’s a good place to find deals, then I usually go elsewhere to actually place my order.  FatWallet pays by PayPal when you’ve earned $10 or more in cashback shopping rebates, with cashback eligible to cash out around 90 days after shopping.  They don’t offer any signup bonus.  Their Amazon cashback rates are currently:

  • 8% on Fashion for Women, Men, and Kids & Baby
  • 8% on Sports & Outdoors,
  • 8% on Musical Instruments
  • 5% on Amazon Local
  • 2% on Toys & Games

swagbucksfreeprizesSwagbucks:  Unlike the other Amazon cashback sites, Swagbucks rewards you in, well, Swagbucks…which can be cashed out for various gift cards.  One SB = 1% cash back when you do the math.  Also unlike the other sites, you can earn SB to help you get to the minimum cashout (of $5) faster by doing other things on their site like completing surveys and using their search engine.  They’re not currently running a signup bonus.  Their Amazon rates are:

  • 5 Swagbucks per Dollar (5% cashback) on Fashion for Women, Men, and Kids & Baby
  • 5 Swagbucks per Dollar (5% cashback) on Sports & Outdoors
  • 5 Swagbucks per Dollar (5% cashback) on Musical Instruments
  • 5 Swagbucks per Dollar (5% cashback) on Toys

extrabux175x80Extrabux:  Founded in 2006, Extrabux is kinda different because not only do they have great cashback rates, but they also have a product price comparison tool that will tell you the lowest price for an item factoring in cashback and any available coupon codes.  You can cash out for PayPal, credit card, or check when your account reaches $10 in cashback or more.  Their current Amazon rates:

  • 7% on Fashion for Women, Men, and Kids & Baby
  • 4% on Sports & Outdoors
  • 2% on Toys & Games

befrugallogoBeFrugal:  A relative newcomer to cash back, they have been offering it since 2011, though the site’s been live as a coupon and deal site since ’09.  You have to earn $25 in cashback before you can redeem it, then you can choose from PayPal, check, or various gift cards.  You can cash out after around 90 days after you shop.  They’re not currently running any signup bonus promotions.  Their Amazon rates are currently:

  • 8% on Fashion for Women, Men, and Kids & Baby
  • 8% on Sports & Outdoors and Luggage
  • 6% on Amazon Local
  • 4% on Toys & Games

 


No matter which rewards program you decide to use when you shop at Amazon, any cashback is always better than NO cashback! 
Choose a rewards program that fits well with the amount of shopping you do (their minimum to cash out), the types of rewards you can choose (if you’d prefer a check or if PayPal is okay), and your preference for the overall look and feel of the site!

Keep in mind that these categories and rates change often, so this is just meant as a snapshot as of this posting, and a guideline of what to expect at the different programs.

Enjoy your holiday shopping with a little extra cashback from Amazon!

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Plink Has Closed Down

September 11, 2014 · 2 comments

Plink has shut down, according to an email to members tonight.  It cites an inability to acquire funding as the cause.

plinkI think one of the things that held this program back was its requirement that members give the company their login and password to the bank where their credit or debit card was issued, in order to receive points for shopping at one of their participating merchants.  The program was legitimate, it’s been around since January 2012 and had a great pedigree, founded by some of the staff of Memolink, which is an old-timer in the online rewards program space.  I know that I was personally paid, and quickly, each time I cashed out.  But convincing people to trust Plink with their credit/debit card login and password was something that I know MY readers and commenters here to my original Plink review had a difficult problem with.

What I liked was that they intended to push text offers to users of their cellphone app when they were in the area of a participating Plink merchant.  I thought that was a fantastic idea (though it can be overdone — Shopkick’s push notifications whenever you’re near a Best Buy or Target can be pretty annoying).

Always sad to see a rewards program close, particularly one that had so much promise.  RIP, Plink.

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Ebates has been sold to Tokyo-based Rakuten for one billion dollars in cash, according to a press release today.

This is a very interesting development, as Rakuten also owns LinkShare, which is an affiliate network.

Affiliate networks, like LinkShare and Commission Junction, act as intermediaries connecting merchants (like Barnes and Noble and Macy’s) with websites (like Ebates, MrRebates, or your favorite blog or website) for the purpose of advertising.  If one of those website’s users clicks on the ad and makes a purchase, the website earns a sales commission.

Your favorite blogger would keep that commission.  That’s how he monetizes his time in writing up awesome blog posts and sharing sales with you.

Your favorite cashback site would share a portion of their commission with the shopper in the form of cash back.  (Of course they keep a portion for themselves.)

The purchase of Ebates by Rakuten is interesting, because now, that portion that Ebates would keep for themselves, is eliminated.  They’ve cut out the middleman.

Ebates is the biggest US cashback site (at least according to the press release, citing $2.2B in member purchases made through Ebates in 2013).  Theoretically, Ebates could offer higher cashback rates for Linkshare merchants now.  And now Rakuten, as the owner of a “super-affiliate,” now has a very nice bargaining chip to try to woo away merchants who currently do business with Commission Junction, to c’mon over to LinkShare instead.

This also gives Ebates the moolah to further expand into other markets outside of the US.

Congrats to Kevin Johnson and the whole Ebates team!

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Ebates as Seen on The TalkIf you’re just hearing about Ebates from their segment on The Talk, and you’re wondering, is Ebates really legit?  YES.  You can read my Ebates review here, or go ahead and join Ebates here.

I’ve been a member of Ebates since 2000 and have earned over $4,000.   They do pay, they have great cashback rates, and they will send you a Big Fat Check (or PayPal deposit, or Amazon gift card) each quarter your cashback earnings are over $5.  They offer coupon codes to help drop your out of pocket costs when you shop, and they share info on sales in emails and on their blog.  They have frequent increased cashback special offers and they also have two increased cashback merchants of the day (one you’ll find on their website and the other on their Facebook page).

If you’re shopping for Back to School, Ebates is a great cashback site to use!  But don’t take my word for it — see for yourself when you join Ebates here!

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Two years ago, Superpoints — home of the insanely addictive Superlucky Button — shut down abruptly when the company managing the site went out of business.  I’m pleased to announce that Superpoints is back!  Scam or legit site?  Here is my revised review:

Superpoints is an invitation-only free-to-join points-based rewards program that allows you to earn points, redeemable for free gift cards and other merchandise prizes, in various ways:

  • superpoints invitation click hereCompleting surveys
  • Completing offers on the Trialpay offer portal such as downloading apps, joining websites, and entering contests
  • Winning random points through clicking the Superlucky Button
  • Referring friends (both when they join and as a percentage of their Superlucky Button wins)
  • Sponsoring people who come to the site without an invitation…they become your referral, too

Membership is by invitation only:  here is my invitation link to join Superpoints.

As you earn points, you gradually increase your XP level.  That’s a good thing, because when your XP level goes up, you get more clicks of the Superlucky Button each day, and more opportunities to sponsor new members.

superpointsinvitationlinkAbout the Superlucky Button:  In order to increase your daily available clicks from 10 to 100, you’ve got two options:  refer five friends and sponsor one more…or just pay $14.95 a year.  This optional paid membership gives you a couple of other perks:  no ads during Superlucky Button play, and priority in processing your points redemptions.

Another interesting twist at Superpoints is something called Karma, which is a ranking of 0 to 5 depending on the type and frequency of activities you do on the site.  If you’re more active, you’ll have more Karma, and that unleashes a multiplier effect on the points you earn.

Use my Superpoints invitation link to sign up if you’re in the US and you’re 18 or older.  Limit one membership per household.

Please note:  Superpoints is VERY vigilant about monitoring accounts for fraud.  You can’t refer your toddler, your dog, and your dead grandma.  They will find out, and you’ll lose ALL accounts.

I’ve been a member of the new Superpoints for two weeks and have already earned enough almost enough for a $25 GC…could have cashed in at $10 but I wanted a bigger reward!  I’m excited to see Superpoints return, and so far, I’m lovin’ the new site!

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extrabux173Extrabux has been sold to Ebates, according to an Ebates press release issued this morning.  Founders Jeff Nobbs and Noah Auerhahn will work to develop Ebates’ Chinese cashback program.

I’ve been a long-time member of both cashback programs and am absolutely tickled pink at this development.  I would love to see Ebates incorporate the unique price comparison tool that Extrabux developed — search for a product and it would tell you where to find it for the cheapest, taking into account available coupon codes and cashback, and factoring in shipping and tax.

Not sure if Extrabux will close altogether, if cashback earned will be rolled into Ebates accounts, or what.  If you’re an Extrabux member, I suggest you keep your eyes peeled for an email from them explaining what to expect from here.

Congrats to Jeff and Noah, and Ebates:  congrats on making a great cashback purchase!  ;)

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Make $5 in Sears ShopYourWay Rewards Points Instantly

September 11, 2013

ShopYourWay Rewards members, heads-up for an email they sent out this morning:  click through it to sign up for Lands’ End emails, and you’ll receive $5 in SYWR points instantly!  You can use these like store credit for anything you may want to buy, online or in-store. Share this:

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Welcome, Tribune Readers!

August 11, 2013

If you’re visiting CompareRewards today after reading Gregory Karp‘s great Spending Smart article, “Portals open path to back to school savings” in today’s Chicago Tribune…thank you for stopping by!  You can read more about my credentials on my About page but in a nutshell, I’ve been using cashback sites, points-based rewards programs, paid survey sites, [...]

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Comparing the Programs Mentioned in the Tribune

August 11, 2013

Here is a summary of the programs mentioned in the Tribune and how they compare: Ebates FatWallet MrRebates Upromise Founded 1998 Founded 2002 Founded 2002 Founded 2001 1,600+ stores 1,000+ stores 2,500+ stores 950+ stores $5 signup bonus No signup bonus $7.50 signup bonus No signup bonus Check, PayPal Check, PayPal Check, PayPal Deposit to [...]

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Back to School Increased Cashback Promotions

August 7, 2013

It’s that time of year again…back to school shopping!  And lucky for those of us who shop online through a cashback program, our favorite cashback sites are offering increased rates and special promotions in order to get our business.  And, as always, these cashback sites also provide coupon codes where available to lower your out-of-pocket [...]

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