Please sign up for BeFrugal here.
Date Launched: November 2011 (as a cashback site; it’s been a coupon site since 2009)
Earn For: Online shopping at over 2000 merchants, referring friends
Cash Out For: Cashback by check or PayPal, upon request when your cash back balance reaches $25
Limit One Account Per: US resident 18 or older
1. BeFrugal is BBB accredited, with zero complaints (although, keep in mind, the cashback portion of the program has only been live for a few months).
2. Get $10 for signing up, and earn $5 for referring a friend who makes $25 in cashback-eligible purchases. Refer-a-friend bonuses do not count toward the $25 payment threshold.
3. Their 24 Hr. Flash Ca$h feature offers increased cashback on one featured merchant each day.
4. Cashback is pending until the return period has passed, usually 90 days. Payments will be received in 7 to 10 days following your request for payment.
5. As with all cashback sites, some products or product categories are excluded from cashback. See their site for details.
6. Cashback purchases made with a gift card are excluded from cashback.
I really like some of the features of this site, including live chat with member support, the printable retail and restaurant coupons, the weekly ads (courtesy of ShopLocal), and the Tools & Calculators section, which includes some neat goodies like their Amazon Free Shipping Filler. Along with their coupon code database, the site is a nice collection of useful info to save you money. It reminds me of a scaled-back version of ShopAtHome.
Their cashback rates are competitive — high for some, average for others. I looked at the rates for a few of their “Most Popular Cash Back Stores” for comparison:
- Barnes and Noble, at 2%, is lower than Extrabux, MrRebates and QuickRewards.net (3%), but ties Ebates, ShopAtHome, and Upromise
- eBags, at 8.5%, is lower than Upromise and MrRebates (14% and 10%, respectively), but higher than ShopAtHome (7.5%), Extrabux (7%), and Ebates (6%)
- Drugstore.com, at 8%, is lower than Extrabux and Upromise (11%, and 10%, respectively), ties MrRebates, and beats ShopAtHome and Ebates (6%, though Ebates has a 12% promo rate right now)
- Old Navy, at 3%, ties Extrabux and MrRebates for highest, and is higher than Ebates, ShopAtHome, and Upromise (2%), and Extrabux at 1%
- Kohls, at 3.2%, ties QuickRewards.net for highest, and is higher than Ebates, Extrabux, and Upromise (at 3%, so it’s not a huge advantage). ShopAtHome is regularly 2% (but has a 4% promo on now).
That being said, here are the negatives:
- No proven track record…yet. Cashback has only been at BeFrugal since 11/2011, and with a 90 day pending period, there’s not enough info out there on how promptly they pay and whether they’ll be consistent. Other programs have been around for years and we know they pay as promised and that they’ll be around in six months. That’s important, when you may not shop much online except for during the holidays, and you have a $25 cashback minimum to meet before you can get paid.
- Other programs have comparable or higher cashback rates AND a lower minimum required to cash out. The top three programs in my latest cashback rate analysis all had lower minimums to cash out: MrRebates and Extrabux are at $10, and ShopAtHome at $20. I think SAH’s $20 minimum is too high; that alone has kept me from using their program, despite their high rates AND a 110% highest cashback guarantee.
- Their refer-a-friend program has minimum activity requirements…both on the part of the referrer and the referee. New members have to place a cashback-eligible order of $25+ before you earn the $5 referral bounty, and you can’t cash it out without having $25 in personal cashback. While that’s on par with ShopAtHome, at least SAH has a slightly lower cashback threshold. And both BeFrugal and SAH are less appealing to referrers compared to many other programs. MrRebates gives you $5 per referral plus 20% of the referrals’ cashback for life and doesn’t require any personal cashback to cash it out. MyPoints and Upromise are more lucrative for hardcore referrers because they go through an affiliate network and don’t require any purchases on the part of the new member.
In summary — I think BeFrugal has potential, and I’m optimistic that with time they’ll prove themselves to be a program with staying power. They have a very communicative staff that seems receptive to suggestions, and I’m hopeful that they will consider tweaking their payout minimum and referral system to make it more appealing. I’ll revisit this review toward the end of 2012! If you’re interested in giving BeFrugal a try, please join with my link here. Thanks!