Ebates Review – Is It Legit Or A Scam? An Honest Perspective

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Ebates is one of the most used and recognized reward websites on the internet. With perks such as forty percent cash back at over 2,500 stores including Amazon, Walmart, and a host of others, many people still want to know if Ebates is legitimate or if it is a scam. We launched an Ebates review to take a thorough look at the program and get to the bottom of the question.

What Is Ebates?

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Ebates is a website that pays cash back on money its members spend at a long list of retailers. The cashback rewards are offered through a large collection of loyalty websites. Over half of online shoppers worldwide take part in rewards programs.

Ebates has gained mainstream recognition as a longstanding reward website. At well over ten million members, online shopping and the use of rewards programs is no longer a mysterious or out-of-the-ordinary strategy when Ebates is involved.

Reward Websites

Internet reward programs are common, and the idea of making money by surfing the internet always brings a level of skepticism with it. With any online venture, a little skepticism can be wise. However, there are many reputable and honest reward sites on the internet.

Many reward sites will pay you for driving traffic to their partner sites. Often you are rewarded with points relative to a point system. When you accumulate a certain number of points, you can cash out and claim your rewards. Other reward sites offer cash back for making purchases with designated retailers.

Survey Options

Some reward sites also pay members for taking surveys. As opposed to driving traffic directly to a site where users may purchase products, survey rewards help retailers understand opinions about their products from a wide range of users. They can narrow down the feedback given by certain focus groups or demographics and make important marketing decisions based on the data.

In this situation, a reward site is paid by a large retailer who wants survey data. The reward site then offers a share of the payout to each user who completes the survey.

Many reward sites also offer rewards for referring friends. You get paid when your friend signs up, and you often earn a small percentage based on all your referral's future earnings.

While scams exist everywhere on the internet, there are unquestionably many reliable and professional reward sites available, such as Swagbucks, MyPoints, and Ebates.

How Does Ebates Work?

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One aspect of Ebates' popularity is its simplicity. Membership is free, and when you click on your Ebates link before shopping, your ensuing online purchases are eligible for cash back. Unlike some reward sites, Ebates does not have a complicated points system or rebate paperwork to be filled out.

Cashback payouts are rewarded quarterly. Some users have the money deposited into a PayPal account, and others choose to receive a check in the mail.

When retailers agree to become an Ebates partner, they pay a fee to Ebates for driving online customers to their e-commerce sites. Ebates then splits the fee received equally with the shoppers. Everyone wins.

Registration can be set up quickly using your Google or Facebook accounts, while others prefer to use a valid email address and password. Users may then create their personal Ebates account. As soon as your account is created, you can begin earning cashback rewards.

Under your "My Account" tab, you can trigger a shopping trip link to ensure your purchases qualify for rewards. After shopping, you will receive a notification on your "My Shopping Trips" page to let you know earnings have been credited to your account.

Many Ways to Earn

Cash back is typically earned through online credit card purchases. An up-to-date balance is also offered within your account information. When quarterly payouts are made, your payment history is updated so you can always review your payment history.

Retailers who are Ebates partners will have an Ebates page where you can find out how much cash back they offer. For example, if a store offers ten percent cash back and you spend $100 at that store, you will receive $10 in your Ebates account. You can earn rewards shopping everywhere from big box stores online, such as Walmart, to online travel booking agencies, to anywhere that accepts Visa.

Our Ebates review found that earning money by shopping online through the Ebates website is a consistent and guaranteed way to earn money quarterly. All Ebates emails also contain a link that can be used to start a shopping trip.

Many users take advantage of the Ebates app. It can be downloaded and used on any smart phone or tablet. The app allows you to start a shopping trip, select affiliate retailers, and be notified if you are shopping in a non-affiliate online store.

Fast Options

Our Ebates review found even faster cash options, such as the Ebates Cash Back Button. The button is automated and appears on any partner shopping site where cash back is available. It also finds coupons and sales to earn even more rewards.

Be sure you have downloaded the Ebates Cash Back Button in advance from your browser bar. The button will then appear when appropriate through a drop-down notification.

Other users take advantage of the Ebates Cash Back Visa Credit Card. It is available with no annual fee and offers unlimited bonuses. Just use the card for your typical Ebates shopping and earn an extra three percent on your purchases.

Even More

If you still need other ways to earn money, you can add rewards while shopping in brick-and-mortar buildings by activating the offer and using your Ebates Cash Back Visa Credit Card to complete the purchase.

By referring friends you can add even more rewards. You can send potential members a link through the referral section of the site and earn cash back when they sign up and when they make their initial purchase. There is no limit on the number of friends you can refer.

Is Ebates Legit or a Scam?

Ebates has served customers for over twenty years, and many would say its longevity shows its legitimacy. In fact, our Ebates review discovered the program has distributed over $1 billion in rewards.

The idea for Ebates was conceived in 1998, and by 1999, the site was launched. Investors continued to get involved as the site grew, and eventually Ebates acquired other businesses, such as ShopStyle. In 2014, Rakuten, Inc., the largest Japanese internet portal, purchased Ebates for $1 billion. Rakuten has over a billion users of its own.

After the purchase, Ebates remained headquartered in its birthplace of San Francisco. Currently, rebranding is underway to change the Ebates brand to "Rakuten Rewards."

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

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At the end of the day, Ebates is based on affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a legitimate way to earn money or rewards in our technological age. Individuals or groups partner with e-commerce businesses to refer customers to their websites to do business. The more web traffic that is created, the more money affiliates can make.

Many individuals attempt to use affiliate marketing to earn money. For example, bloggers will often write about a product and provide a link where readers can buy the product. If a reader joins the e-commerce site from the blogger's link and makes a purchase, the blogger receives a fee.

Of course, the blogger has to have a sufficient number of individuals reading his or her blogs and write well enough to entice them to investigate the product by clicking on the affiliate link.

Ebates as an Affiliate

At the opposite end of the spectrum from an individual blogger is a program such as Ebates. Rather than an individual affiliate, Ebates is comprised of over ten million users who purposely use the affiliate links to shop through Ebates. Whereas an individual blogger seeks ways to encourage online activity through his or her affiliate links, Ebates has millions purposely seeking them out. Why is that?

Our Ebates review concluded that e-commerce retailers want to partner with Ebates because of its large pool of potential shoppers. Therefore, partners pay a large affiliate payout to Ebates, and Ebates splits the payout with the buyers.


  • Free membership with easy sign-up and account creation
  • Begin earning rewards immediately after sign-up
  • Cashback rewards up to forty percent
  • A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau
  • Choice of Paypal or check payouts and low $5 threshold for payouts
  • Established credibility with over ten million users and over $1 billion in payouts


  • If you forget to start your shopping trip through an Ebates link, there is no way to validate your purchases and earn rewards
  • You cannot purchase with most gift cards and still receive cash back rewards
  • It may not be worth it for people who do not like to shop online

Tips for Making Fast Money With Ebates

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Ebates members have a desire to earn money. What are the best ways to make that happen? Certain methods of earning cashback rewards are better for some users than others.

You already know about Ebates' website, downloadable app, Visa card, referral programs, and other money-making opportunities. But what about those who want to earn a little more money quickly?

Ebates offers a Daily Double feature every day by designating one store that will give double cash back for purchases made on the designated day. For example, if Walmart offered ten percent back, on a typical day you would receive $7.50 back on a $75 purchase. However, if Walmart was featured on a Daily Double, you would receive $15 on your $75 purchase that day.

In this scenario, you can earn twice as much money in the same amount of time. Those looking to add to their Ebates balance quickly can also take advantage of Ebates coupons. When you complete your shopping with any Ebates partner retailer, be sure to check for coupons. In addition to the standard cashback rewards, you can add to your savings with related coupons.

Offline, Too

Don't forget about offline shopping opportunities as well. If you link your credit card to your Ebates account, you can make purchases in person to earn Ebates cash back. Because Ebates was created and remains a primarily online concept, it is easy to forget about chances to earn extra when you are in a store.

Finally, remember that cash back rewards are consistently fluctuating between stores. If you are disappointed with a reward percentage at a given store, you can always check back later for the possibility of a larger payout.

Who Is Ebates Ideal for, and Is It Worth Your Time?

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Because Ebates is free to join, it can be of service to anyone with access to the internet. The original Ebates founders joked that they wanted a system even their moms could understand.

Likely Members

Our Ebates review found the program to be more useful to individuals who prefer online shopping. There are often lower prices available to individuals shopping online, so many online shoppers are already deal-seekers by nature. Simply by quickly comparing the prices from multiple online stores in a matter of moments, you can narrow down the best deal quickly and without cost.

Tapping into Ebates only makes the chance for savings that much greater. While automated price comparison web tools can help you find the best deal, you will also want to take into account the cashback percentage offered by each Ebates partner retailer.

Online shoppers and deal hunters make perfect Ebates users, and coupons are also available to shoppers who love couponing. Hard-to-please shoppers can also make great Ebates customers because online shopping offers a greater variety at your fingertips than isolated brick-and-mortar stores.

The typical informed shopper is also a potential Ebates member because online shopping adds the ability to get details and specifications on any product that you cannot get from the average sales clerk.


In addition to these perks, online stores do not close. So shoppers who want to save money, enjoy variety, research products, and use coupons can find all these options at their fingertips with chances to save even more as Ebates members. As opposed to going out of your way to save a few dollars, online shopping with Ebates actually makes it easier to save money.

According to our Ebates review, some shoppers already spend thousands per year shopping online, so adding cash back rewards may seem like a no-brainer.

Less Likely Members

On the other hand, just as there are some who fit the online shopping and Ebates model perfectly, there are others who do not. At one time you could avoid certain taxes by shopping online, but some individuals point out that online taxes are now similar to all sales taxes in most states. And those who are in the market for a large item can often pay tremendous shipping fees when buying online.

Aside from such practical concerns, other people are still not comfortable with forced email sign-ups. The moment a website wants any personal information, they become suspicious. And there is some merit to this; after all, when you walk into Walmart you do not have to give the greeter any personal information, right?

They also have a fear that their email address, once disclosed, will become the recipient of unsolicited messages. Other times, emails are used to send unwanted follow-up evaluations and surveys.

Have you ever noticed that when you buy something online, similar advertisements show up on unrelated sites? Some people find it creepy that they can look at kitchen chairs on Amazon and have a kitchen chair add displaying later that evening on Facebook.

Hands-on Shoppers

Impatient shoppers simply do not want to wait on an item to be delivered. They would rather pull it off the shelf and have their hands on it the moment they get home. In addition to waiting for a product to arrive, many shoppers do not like having to anticipate its arrival condition. They cannot look it over in person before it shows up on the porch, and sometimes it shows up damaged or is not the right item.

In short, our Ebates review concluded that if you do not like to shop online, Ebates may not be worth your time. Earning a few dollars every quarter may not be enough to interest a lot of people.

Conversely, Ebates is also not worth your time if you are looking for a way to make a living online. Ebates allows users to save money and enjoy rewards, but it is not a self-sufficient business model. If your goal is to save money and earn extra with the online shopping you already do, Ebates may be perfect for you.

Summary of Our Ebates Review

Ebates is a twenty-year-old program with a track record of respectability that has paid out over $1 billion to its users. It is simple to use for members of all skill and technology levels.

When you are ready to shop online, simply activate your Ebates shopping trip through the Ebates link to the stores where you want to shop. After clicking the link, make your purchases. Be sure to validate your trip when the Ebates pop-up asks for confirmation.

Complete your online shopping and wait for confirmation of your cash back rewards. You should receive confirmation between a few hours and a few days later. When your shopping has been confirmed, check your account balance to see the added rewards. You will receive a quarterly payout for any balance above $5.

If you believe Ebates is right for you, consider opening your account today at https://www.ebates.com/signUp.do.


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