Every once in a while I’ll venture out to the stores to do some Christmas shopping, but it’s mostly to soak up the Christmas displays and piped-in holiday music more than anything else.
Online shopping is just too convenient.
And even though Cyber Monday 2013 is in the books, online shopping during the holiday season can still be a real money saver.
Of course there are great sales and free shipping and I take advantage of all of that. But I also boost my savings with a little extra cash back.
Here’s my tried and true method for getting the best cash back I can when shopping online.
1. Sign up for the major cash back sites. The three big ones are Mr. Rebates, Ebates, and Big Crumbs. I’ve used all of these with success. All are free to use and Mr. Rebates and Ebates will also give you a $5 bonus in your account to get you started when you sign up. (Note: These are my referral links. I earn a small referral bonus when I refer new people and you can too, once you’re a member.)
2. When you’re ready to make a purchase online, visit Evreward.com to see who has the best cash back. For instance, I did a search for JCPenney (where I recently did some online shopping) and got the following results:
(You can see the cash back rewards where my artfully drawn arrow is pointing.)
Of the big three savings sites, Ebates is offering the best cash back at 8%. I see I can also get 10% cash back through Upromise, a site I sometimes use. Further down (and not shown here) the results page will also give you points programs and hotel and airline rewards if those are something you use.
3. After deciding which cash back site you’re going to use, visit that site first and then click through to the retailer (in this case JCPenney) from there. The rest of your shopping experience will be the same as if you had visited the retailer’s site direction, except you’ll be getting cash back. Yay!
One more tip:
Sometimes using an outside coupon code will invalidate your cash back. However, the good news is that the three major cash back sites list coupon codes right on their site, like these coupon codes from Mr. Rebates:
So unless the outside coupon code I have would result in larger savings than the cash back I would receive, I stick with the coupon codes on the cash back site I’m using.
And that’s all there is to it.