Using Ebates

Ebates is a great site that I use really regularly. The way it works is you sign up and then use their links to various online stores when you make a purchase. Then you get a percentage of your purchase banked in your Ebates account, and every 3 months they send you a check.

For instance if I buy something from Nordstrom I don't go directly to Nordstrom's site. First I log in to my account at, and then I select Nordstrom from their list of stores. pops up in a new window while creating a trackback to Ebates. I don't have to write down the trackback number or do anything special. Once I'm at I make my purchase as normal and a few days later I see a credit in my pending cash back.

I signed up for Ebates in January 2009. I wish I could remember where I first heard about it, but I was intrigued by the idea and they give a $5 bonus to new users. You can also now choose to get a $10 bonus if you take it in the form of a gift card to Barnes & Noble, Target, Home Depot or You have to make a qualifying purchase within 30 days of signing up in order to bank that bonus, so I immediately bought a $100 gift certificate to West Marine for my husband. Since West Marine credits at 5% another $5 was added to my pending cash.

Despite the fact that I really prefer online shopping, I didn't use Ebates again until September 2009. Since Ebates doesn't mail a check until you've received at least $5.01 in cash back (not including your bonus) I didn't get a check in the mail for a long time. I finally made a purchase at and at - this time for things I really needed. Since I made these changes just in time to qualify for the 3rd quarter of the year, my first check from Ebates was mailed on November 15th. See their FAQ for details on when checks are sent.

My first check was for $21.79 - a little extra spending money, and above all proof that the site actually pays. I love online shopping, and if I can get free delivery I'd much prefer to online shop than spend time walking into a store. Now I try to buy everything I can online through Ebates. I received another 4 checks through Ebates in 2010 and banked another $236.79! I don't know about you, but free money makes me really excited. I have another $56.55 waiting in my pending cash back that I should receive in February.

My favorite stores have been Nordstrom,, and Petco. I've also made some big chunks booking travel through Ebates sites such as Orbitz, Hotwire and Priceline. If I need to purchase anything, I do my best to do it online through an Ebates affiliated store. Ebates also offers $5 for every person you refer who also makes a qualifying purchase. Every once in awhile they also offer referral bonuses. If you want to help support PigPennies, get started on your own cash back, and maybe even earn some extra money by referring your friends, use this link to go to Ebates and sign up!

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