Rebate sites are an extremely easy way to save money on online purchases. You can keep a bit more of your money in your pocket as you shop online simply by clicking through these sites instead of visiting the store directly!
Just like no grocery store always has the best prices, no rebate site always has the highest rebate for a particular store. It pays to shop around!
Which is why I'm proud to unleash my cash back comparison tool for you to use. With it you can compare rebates offered from the following rebate sites (more to come):
- Top Cash Back
- Be Frugal
- Coupon Cactus
- Mr. Rebates
- Mr. Rebates Canada
- Rewards Runner
- Panda Cash Back
- Active Junky
- Cash Back Cat
- Rebate Blast
- Dollar Dig
- Fat Wallet
Using the tool is easy:
- Start typing in the name of a store you're looking to shop at.
- After you get a few characters in, select the store from the list that drops in below where you're typing.
- In a couple of seconds, available rebates will appear, with the highest rebates on top.
- Click through to the rebate site, and you're on your way to spending less on that purchase!
Once you get to the rebate site, it's almost as easy:
- Sign up for the rebate site if you haven't. (They have to know who you are to pay you!)
- Sign in to the site after you've signed up. (They have to know that you're the one doing the clicking through to pay you!)
- Follow their rules to make sure that you get the credit you're due for the purchase. Though there are a lot of variations, it usually boils down to this: if they don't get paid, you don't get paid. The stores send them a commission after your purchase, and they share part of that commission with you. If there's no commission, there's no sharing for them to do.
Here's a summary of good rebating practices that will get you 90% of the way there without reading all of their instructions in detail:
- Make sure you're signed in. The rebate site will probably warn you that you won't get any cash back if you're not signed in, but why take any chance at all?
- If they offer coupons, use theirs with your purchase. Some of the sites reserve the right to not pay out rebates if you use off-site coupons.
- Click through their links to the store. This is the place that the rebate site tells the store that they're referring your purchase, so they can get paid for your purchase. You want to make sure that they get paid, because that's how you get paid.
- Look for a visual indication that they're tracking your purchase. This is usually prominent. If you're not sure, then learn how the site does this. Seeing nothing may mean that they're not tracking you, which means they won't get paid. Which means you won't get paid.
- Surf as little as possible until you pay for your stuff at the store. If you visit other sites in between, you may reset who sent you to that store: the rebate site. If they don't get paid, you don't get paid.
- Shop reasonably quickly. Not “leave the engine running” quickly, but within an hour or so. I wouldn't start your purchase one day and finish it the next, because the tracking session could expire. If they don't get paid … 🙂
- Look for the rebates in your account. There's usually a waiting period before you can cash out. Further, it may take weeks for the rebate to post. If it goes beyond the time that they advertise, ask them what's happening.
- Make sure that your payment information is accurate and up-to-date. I've missed some checks because I forgot to update my address after I moved. (Yeah, really.) If they don't know where to send your payment, you won't get it.
And finally, one more list with a few notes and points of clarification:
- The rebate sites are the ones that pay you. Mighty Bargain Hunter is not a rebate site. The tool on this site will help you to find which rebate site has the best rebate, but they are the ones that will pay you. (Having said that, if you have questions about how to use these sites, let me know and I'll try to help.)
- The links to the rebate sites may be affiliate links, which means I may earn commissions if you sign up through the links on this site. Doing this will not affect the rebates you earn. You'd earn exactly the same percentages if you signed up on the rebate sites directly. (Having said that, I do hope that you use the links on my site if you find the tool useful. Think of it as a way to say “thank you” that doesn't cost you a dime.)
- If your favorite rebate site isn't in the tool, please let me know. I've developed relationships with the site owners of the ones in the tool, and these take time. (As all things worthwhile do.) Please let me know of sites that you want to see in the tool, and I'll pursue getting them in.
- I welcome any feedback you have about the tool. Please let me know how it's working for you, what you'd like to see in it, and especially if you see something that isn't working. I want the tool to be useful to you!