While I’m all for maximising your savings as much as possible, there are times when you just can’t avoid spending money.
I’m talking about food, by the way. Not Target.
(Ok, sometimes Target)
So why not actually benefit from this spending through some of the amazing cash back websites that allow you to earn money back!
Using these sites, you’ll earn points for every dollar you spend at eligible stores – both online and in-person.
And while the exact amount varies from site to site, any points you earn are then paid to you either as gift cards or as money straight into your account!
Points can be earned on almost any type of purchase: groceries, clothing, electronics, restaurants, travel…the list is endless.
One of the sites discussed below has the tagline: “Rewards for all the things you already do online”. It’s 100% accurate – in fact, that’s what’s so brilliant about all of these sites!
Even when you’re in a committed relationship with your budget, you still have to buy food and drinks and housing items and (some) clothes and anything else you can think of. So, with very minimal effort, you can continue to do the same things and be rewarded for it.
Not only will you make cash back at the tens of thousands of stores that these sites collectively feature, but most of these sites also offer discounts for you to further reduce your spending.
Don’t want to spend hours searching all of these sites for these deals?
You don’t have to! Cashbackholic is essentially a search engine for many of these sites. Just search the shop you want and it will tell you the best deal available.
As an example, at the time of writing, BeFrugal is listed as the top deal for Macy’s with 10% cash back. And then when I click through, I see that I can also get 20% off on certain products!
Want to make a whole lot of money before even starting to shop?
Signing up for these sites is totally free – AND most of them have sign up bonuses. I have listed each bonus below but if you simply sign up for all of them using the links below, you can get $58 cash back!
Not bad for about 20 minutes work!
Ebates has more than 2,000 stores in its system that offer up to 25% cash back, although the majority are around the 2% to 6% mark.
It’s super easy to use: simply go to the Ebates website and search for the store from which you want to buy something.
As mentioned, each store has different rates of cash back available. For example, at the time of writing, Ulta offers up to 6% of your total purchase price while Walmart only has 2% cash back.
And there’s an even easier way to make sure that you’re taking advantage of all of the deals that are available!
Once you’ve signed up for Ebates, install the “Ebates Cash Back Button” as an extension in Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. You can find a link to this at the very end of the Ebates homepage or as a popup at the bottom of your screen when you click through to their website.
Once this has been added to your extensions toolbar in your browser, which you can see through the addition of a small “E”, just make sure you activate the button.
You will then automatically be told when a website that you’re on is offering cash back.
It’s perfect for making sure you’re making as much money back as possible!
Sign up bonus: Sign up with Ebates for free through this link and receive a $10 welcome bonus.
Ibotta claims that its members have saved over $27 million, so it’s definitely an app that you need to get into.
Cash back is available for a wide range of items such as groceries, restaurants, electronics, travel and clothing.
Most of the deals are for shopping in-store, but there are also a number that are available for online purchases.
There are a few different ways to receive cash back through Ibotta, as explained in this video.
I like to do this while writing my shopping list – I add an item to the list, press play on the “video task” and then let it run (it usually only takes about 15 seconds) while adding other items to the list.
Once you get home, simply scan your receipt with the Ibotta app and your rebates will be verified and added to your account.
To maximise how much you’re getting back, make sure you sign up through Facebook. You can then create “teams” with your Facebook friends who also use the app. The more the team earns, the more cash back you all get!
Sign up bonus: Sign up with Ibotta for free through this link and receive a $10 welcome bonus if you redeem your first offer within two weeks.
Swagbucks is also one of the major players in this field, having paid out more than $227 million to its users.
It allows you to earn points called “SBs”. You’ll earn approximately 1 SB for every $1 you spend at participating stores and, for 100 SBs, you’ll be paid out at a rate of around 100 SBs for $1.
Points are earned in a variety of ways – not only through shopping online, but also by completing surveys and watching videos.
As above, the rate of cash back can vary. At the time of writing, Amazon is offering up to 7% cash back, Expedia is offering up to 10% cash back while Gap provides an astronomical 20%.
SBs are paid out through gift cards for stores like Starbucks, Walmart, Target and Amazon. You can also get PayPal gift cards, which is fairly close to receiving your points as cash.
While you can simply log in to the site and select which store you want to shop at, a far easier way is to add the Swagbutton to your browser after you’ve signed up for Swagbucks so that you can be automatically told when you’re on a site where cash back is available.
Sign up bonus: Sign up with Swagbucks for free here and receive a $10 welcome bonus.
SavingStar is a bit like a combination of Ibotta and Ebates, in that it has both more ‘standard’ cash back shopping as well as cash back from grocery shopping using an app.
In the case of the cash back aspect, the rates are excellent, often better than many of the other sites.
For example, at the moment, you receive $4 back for every $12 you spend on Enjoy Life products. That’s 33% cash back!
In addition, they have a great list of deals in their “Weekly Healthy Offers”, including fruit and vegetables, which most sites on this list don’t include.
They even sometimes have offers allowing you to redeem the full purchase price!
For the grocery stores in which you can take advantage of SavingStar’s offers, there is a massive list of participating stores. This includes large companies such as CVS and Duane Reade.
Claiming back through the app is super easy as well. Simply link your store loyalty card to SavingStar then, before going shopping, select the offers you wish to redeem. These are then added to your card.
When purchasing the item, make sure your store card is scanned so that SavingStar knows that you have actually “sealed the deal”. They’ll then use that information to give you your points.
Sign up bonus: Unfortunately not. But it’s arguably made up by the higher rates of cash back, so I’d sign up anyway.
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That’s right – Groupon isn’t only for doing things, but also for buying things!
If you click through to the “Coupons” section of the website, there are, at the time of writing, over 90,000 coupons redeemable at over 12,000 stores.
And many of these will look like the following:
That is, not only can you get some amazing discounts, but you can earn Groupon points with your purchases as well!
Groupon Bucks can only be used to purchase other Groupon deals, but as there are literally hundreds of thousands of those available, this should not be problematic for you. Especially when these deals themselves help you save even more money!
Sign up for Groupon here to get started!
Sign up bonus: Not currently available 🙁
Not only are the cash back rates fairly impressive on this site, with up to 40% cash back at over 5000 stores, but you can also combine the cash back deals with the coupons that BeFrugal makes available to really maximise your savings!
In addition, if you find another site that has a higher cash back rate, they will match the higher rate AND add an additional 25%.
Also, have you found one of their coupons that doesn’t work? They’ll give you $5 for your trouble!
There are some seriously good options on this site to make a ton of cash back. And, once you’ve earned enough, payment is either through gift cards, PayPal deposits or cheques.
Sign up bonus: Sign up with BeFrugal for free at this link and receive a $10 bonus when you earn $10 in cash back.
CouponCactus has some crazy generous cash back options. For example, at the time of writing and in addition to the more ‘standard’ offers, AT&T is providing $75 cash back if you sign up to a certain one of their packages.
It also has excellent search options. Not only can you search by store, category etc. but there are also filters for you to find those stores that offer the biggest discounts, free shipping or that are currently the most popular.
It also caters well to international customers, not just those in the US, by making their deals available to people worldwide.
Payment is by a cheque or PayPal every quarter, so no having to worry about which gift card is the best to select for cashing out.
Sign up bonus: Sign up with CouponCactus at this link and receive a $3 welcome bonus if you like their Facebook page.
Extrabux states that its members have earned a whopping $50,000,000 cash back at more than 2,500 stores.
Better yet, you can receive up to 30% cash back on your purchases. From a quick look through many of the offers, a significant amount are between 5% and 10%, which is pretty good!
And many are even higher – for example, Bloomingdales offers 12% cash back and Amazon has up to 16%.
Any cash you earn is paid out in a variety of ways – PayPal, cheque or credit card payment – or you can elect for the money to go to the charity of your choice. Cheap and charitable!
Sign up bonus: Sign up with Extrabux at this link and receive a $5 bonus.
This site has over 6,000 listed stores offering up to 30% cash back. It also has weekly “double cash back” deals where certain companies provide double rebates!
As a bonus for our international readers: this is available to customers in a massive range of countries, so there’s no reason why some of these deals won’t work for you as well.
Sign up bonus: Sign up for Panda Cash Back at this link and receive a $5 bonus.
10. Mr Rebates
I’m not sure if the best part of this site is the fact that they offer up to 30% cash back, that they have bonus deals such as free shipping, or the fact that the mascot looks like a cartoon I used to watch in the early 90s.
(Can I pick ‘D’: all of the above?)
With over 2,000 stores and a very reasonable cash out limit of $10, it’s definitely worth taking a look at this one.
Sign up bonus: Sign up for Mr Rebates here and receive a $5 welcome bonus.
This site markets itself as the “most generous cashback site”. It potentially deserves that moniker, given that it pays back ALL of the commission that it earns from the 4,300+ stores to which it directs customers.
In addition, it has no minimum pay out threshold, so you can just ask for your money to be paid to you as often as you like!
Sign up bonus: Sign up with TopCashBack for free here. Welcome bonuses are available during promotions – for example, it frequently has deals where if you spend $10 at a certain online store, you will receive a bonus $10. Check the link for more details.
This is very similar to Ibotta in that it allows you to earn cash back when you shop for groceries – including fruit and vegetables, which is rare to see in other apps!
Simply check the available weekly offers every Thursday, purchase any products that are in the list of offers and take a picture of your receipt. They’ll pay you out once you reach $20.
Sign up bonus: None available, unfortunately!