If you're planning on shopping online today to take advantage of some of the great deals available this Cyber Monday, make sure you maximize your savings by earning cash back on your purchases by shopping through any one of the sites I've listed below.
FYI, I am a HUGE fan of shopping online and have been for years because it is so.darn.easy. From 2000-04, we lived in a very very very small town in Illinois where I had very few shopping options (unless I was willing to drive 50-60 miles). Couple the facts of our geographic location with having two babies in less than two years and I simply didn't have time to shop for gifts in traditional brick & mortar stores. Online shopping saved me time & money.
Now that I know about all the great sites where I can earn real $$ back for doing something I've been doing all along - saving time by shopping online - I rarely do any in-store shopping at all for gifts, clothes, etc(even though my part of SW Ohio offers many brick & mortar store options).
I so value the time I save when I shop online and there is the simple fact, too, that it's just plain easier to control that "impulse shopping" desire (both mine + the requests of my kiddos) when you're not face to face with the overwhelming amount of stuff in any given store. When I shop online, it reduces what I'm doing down to a "task" which keeps me focused on finding the best deals possible. Too often, shopping in stores can become an "outing" or - worse - a "recreational activity." When shopping becomes a sport, it can be very hard to keep your budget in check.
Ok, so there you have it - my thoughts on online shopping vs. traditional shopping. Take 'em or leave 'em. ;-)
Now, onto what you really need to know - the BEST sites for earning cash back when you shop online! I've ranked them in order of my favorites - read on to learn why!
1. Mr. Rebates.
This one is hands down my favorite, my tippity-top site for earning cash back. Why? Well, all of the cash back sites I've listed here today offer (2) ways to earn cash. One - you earn cash back when you shop through their site, a certain percentage per each retailer that can vary from 3%-20% or more cash back.
The other way you earn cash in your account is by referrals - you can refer your friends, family, readers, whomever to each of these sites with a personal referral link that's provided in your account. Every person who signs up for an account & makes a qualifying purchase will earn a $5 sign up bonus, too. Nice!
What Mr. Rebates does that is UNIQUE for referral bonuses is this: rather than paying you a one-time referral fee (ie: $5) for each person you refer who opens and uses an account, they pay you a LIFETIME bonus every single time someone you refer makes a purchase through Mr. Rebates. The lifetime bonus you earn is equal to 20% of that person's rebate.
While this may not seem like much up front, believe me, it ADDS up over time. And there's no cut off date or time limit - lifetime truly means lifetime.
You can request your account balance to be sent via check or via PayPal; it does take 90 days from when the rebate/bonus hits your account to when it's eligible for you to request payment.
Hands down, Mr. Rebates is my fave because it offers you the ability to earn residual income over the long-term from the referral bonuses.
Click here to start your own Mr. Rebates account.
2. Shop At Home.
Shop At Home is my second favorite cash back shopping site for one simple reason - their refer-a-friend bonus differs from Mr. Rebates above.
While you still earn cash back for shopping online through Shop At Home - and while sometimes you actually can earn a greater percentage cash back on your purchase shopping via Shop At Home vs. Mr. Rebates - the referral bonus is a one time flat fee of $5 per each friend/referral that signs up AND makes a qualifying purchase within 60 days.
One thing that nice, though, is that you aren't the only one who earns that $5 bonus for referring your friend. Your friend/referral will earn a $5 bonus in their account, too, for opening a new account AND making a qualifying cash back purchase within 60 days. The sign up bonus for your friends/referrals is similar to Mr. Rebates (see above).
Payment of the cash back balance in your account is made every 30 days (monthly) if/when your account balance is over $20; payment is made by check.
One other thing I do like about Shop At Home is the downloadable toolbar. I can easily see from the top of my screen new alerts or hot deals as they go live using the searchable tool bar.
Click here to start your own Shop At Home account.
Ebates is very similar to Shop At Home. Again, you earn cash two ways - through cash back on your own purchases as well as by referring friends.
Like Shop at Home above, Ebates will reward your friends/referrals with a $5 sign up bonus for opening a new account and making a qualifying cash back purchase. You earn a $5 referral bonus as well.
One thing I do like that Ebates does during the holiday season (right now) is the referral bonus you can earn. Right now, if your friends/referrals open up (5) new accounts with Ebates, you earn $10 per referral instead of $5 per referral which is a nice incentive.
Ebates pays by check or by PayPal once you have $20 or more in your account. They also have a nifty feature where you can opt to donate your account balance to a charity (think ongoing school fundraiser opportunity) or send it to a friend (kinda cool!).
Click here to open an Ebates account.
One last note - I think it's wise (as I do this myself) if you are a diehard online shopper to have all three of these different accounts live and active. Why? Because the percentage of cash back per different retailers can and does differ between these three sites. Before you click & buy, you can compare each site, find the best deals, coupons, and cash back percentages, and then maximize your total savings & earnings.
There you have it - my three fave cash back shopping sites to use year-round, not just for Cyber Monday. Are there other cash back sites out there? Sure. The one's I've listed here are simply the ones I use consistently and can therefore whole-heartedly recommend.
And one last FYI - all links to the sites are my personal affiliate links. If you do sign up through those links, THANK YOU! I much appreciate your support of this site!
And remember - once you have your own account, be sure to share your referral link with your circle of family and friends. You'll be helping them save more money while earning those referral bonuses yourself - what a win-win! ;-)