Get Cash Back When You Shop Online
Published 10/1/07 (Modified 3/22/11)
Did you know that for the vast majority of purchases, it's almost always cheaper to buy online? The internet is full of great online deals. I've pretty much stopped buying anything at brick and mortar stores aside from groceries and basic day to day personal items. Even for groceries I've lately been researching and investigating how to buy them cheaper online. I'll write a post about buying groceries through the web when I have accomplished something to write about!
Use Shopping Portals Like Ebates, Jellyfish, and FatWallet to Save Money
If you're going to shop online, don't forget to use cash back shopping portals like Ebates, Jellyfish, or FatWallet (formerly known as FatCash). They offer links to everyday stores such as Priceline, Expedia, Target, Macys, and Dell Computers, but best of all they give you a percentage back as a cash rebate for shopping through their links.
How Do I Earn Cash Back Or Points?
Here is how the shopping portals work. You sign up and register through the portal of your choice. If you're like me, you sign up with all three of them and comparison shop between the portals every time you're about to order something. This is because the portals offer slightly different cash back percentages for different store links.
Next you browse around an online store's website until you know what you want to order. When you're ready, you sign into your shopping portal account and locate the store's corresponding link on the portal's store listing. To have the shopping portal log your cash back purchases, be sure to click on the store's tracking link via the shopping portal before you buy. In a few days your savings will be added to your shopping portal account and the company will issue you a check when you have accumulated a predetermined amount. I've received cash rebate checks with no problem. Some like Ebates send the checks out quarterly, while others like Fatwallet send them out immediately upon online request regardless of the amount.
The average cash back savings you'll earn via the shopping portals ranges between 3% and 10%. If you're serious about saving and maximizing your money, then I encourage you to take advantage of shopping portal savings. Buying online will always yield a much better bargain than buying at a brick and mortar store.
There are other shopping portal options such as MyPoints, Citibank's ThankYou Network, and airline affiliated mall sites, but instead of cash they offer you reward points or frequent flyer miles for shopping through them. Reward and airline miles have their purpose but I personally prefer to stick with cash back when I shop online.