EBates compared to other Online Shopping Malls

After American Idol the local Fox news came on and they turned me on to a new web site for rewards. Ebates, an online shopping community, could get cash sent to you in a form of a check for using an online shopping site’s links instead of going to the site directly.  You can go shopping from this site earning money back and get valuable coupon codes and promotional offers.

When shopping online I normally use sites such as the AAdvantage Shopping mall. I then click on their links to get normally only 1 to 3% in AAdvantage miles which I can always use for travel. In comparison, Ebates vs. the AAdvantage version of the shopping mall there is not much difference but the cash vs. American Airlines Miles. It is probably more of a preference whether you want to wait on a check or get the miles credited to your account. With Ebates there is a minimum of $5 to be sent out so you might have to wait longer for your rewards.

One thing I did notice is that Ebates gives you savings at Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic Airways, and Mexicana Airlines which I have not seen before. This is only $1 to 1% but it adds up when you book big trips so I will probably keep my Ebates just for these bookings. Actually that is only $3 per booking on United and Delta, $1 Alaska Airlines, 1% on Mexicana Airlines, and 1% on Virgin Atlantic Airways and Air France.

I also noticed a rare entry in the Ebates rewards of a 1% savings at Sam’s Club. Too bad that is not for free shipping or something a bit more useful. But I did notice they had coupons for Sam’s Club among other retailers. If you buy software online you should definitely check out these shopping sites first. I saw the highest percentage cash back offers for the following:

Wal-Mart vs. Target
Well Target pays back 3% on the Ebates site and Wal-Mart is a measly 1%.

Ultimate Fighting’s UFC Store
Something for the young male demographic. Ultimate Fighting is huge right now and you can get paid 3% for shopping Skeletal Metal Surgical jewelry (octagon jewelry line from UFC) and other popular items such as the Hughes vs. Penn DVD, a military stars t-shirt, or a UFC official fight glove.

Online Ticket brokers
If you are like me and normally buy through your own affiliate programs then you will see that Commission Junction offers better pay on Stubhub at 7% and TicketsNow at 8%. Ebates only pays 4% and 6% respectively. But hey they gotta get their cut. I am sure it’s more than what I get for my sites.

Teen and Young Adult Trendy Retailers
This is who you mainly will not see with an exception of PacSun and American Eagle Outfitters. You will not see the up and coming MetroPark and will not see Abercrombie & Fitch or Hollister Co. on any of these dollar back shopping sites.

I am not all that impressed with Ebates.com. You can mostly get everything on this site from Chase Bank’s online rewards program Chase Rewards Plus or theBank Of America Add it Up program which basically works the same. Why would someone hassle with checks in the mail from Ebates when they can just get them credited on their BOA or Chase card or bank account? Even Paypal is in the online shopping mall game with all the same vendors. It looks like there are lots of malls but not enough real deals.

One thing I do like about Ebates is that they will send you the rebate via Check or Paypal which is convenient. The site is free to use and they have over 1,000 merchants on the site but it is mostly just like all the other shopping mall sites when you look closely with an exception of some airline and travel programs.

Chase Rewards Plus offers Rewardsplusshopping.com where they are offering some good travel names such as Holiday Inn, Choice Hotels, and Best Western at 3%.  The Delta and United Airlines payouts are $1 cheaper than Ebates though. Chase’s answer to the shopping bonanza online also gives you Budget Rent a Car 2%, Enterprise Rent-A-Car at 1%, and Thrifty Car Rentals for 2%.  If you are traveling to a hotel then the Wyndham Hotels & Resorts can earn a $4 per booking which can come in handy if they count Ramada hotels in that.  If you sign up for a program such as Wyndham Rewards you will not only earn points on your credit card but from their hotel points program.

Make sure you do searches on the web for coupon codes that offer things such as free shipping if you are buying from a retailer.  Ebags, hotels, and shoes, normally always have coupon codes and it is a no-brainer to search for these before making a purchase.

Keep in mind that when it comes to most travel cash back that you will only be credited when reservations have been fulfilled.  So do not expect immediate gratification when you book online through these links.  And please try to use our sites links first to support us before you throw money to a big corporation.  Don’t forget us little guys!