There’s a simple and proven way how you can save as much as 70 percent on every single purchase you make. Sounds like a scam? It really isn’t. The concept is called cash back shopping, and everyone with an Android device can instantly reap its benefits. The goal of this article is to introduce to you the top 3 best rebate cash back apps and mobile sites that can help you earn extra money just for shopping online.
How Does Cash Back Shopping Work?
First, cash back companies negotiate attractive cash back rates with individual retailers. The rates are usually set somewhere between 1 and 30 percent. When a customer makes a purchase through a cash back website, he or she earns a portion of the cash back rate. For example, a $50 purchase at 10 percent cash back rate would net the company $10. The company would then give $5 to the customer who made the purchase and keep the other $5.
Why would retailers sell their products through cash back companies for cheaper prices, instead of selling them directly? Because of the extra exposure they get. These affiliates do a very good job of promoting the retailers they partner with, and they usually cost them considerably less than what they would have to pay for a similarly effective advertising campaign.
Here are our favorites:
Started in 2005, Swagbucks has a coveted A+ rating with BBB, which shows they are a legitimate business. They also have over 2.2 million facebook fans, so they are obviously doing something right. Of all the cash back reward sites and apps we have tried, Swagbucks is the easiest of all “freebies” app we have come across.
Swagbucks’ rewards program allows users to earn points, which they call Swagbucks (SBs). Once you accrue enough SBs, you can browse through their catalog to convert the SBs into gift cards from places like Amazon.com. For most people, Amazon.com credits are as good as cash. Each SB point is worth about 1 cent, so that will give you some perspective when you look through their offers.
Users can earn SBs from a variety of ways, such as taking surveys, view short video clips (including movie trailers), playing online video games, print grocery coupons, or even simply just doing a search in their search engine that’s powered by Yahoo. But the biggest earner is to shop online using their links. If you were already planning on buying from retailers such as Walmart.com (up to 7% cash back) or book a hotel on Hotels.com (up to 8% back), you should find Swagbucks’ links first and click thru before making your final purchase. After Swagbucks recognizes the purchase, they will credit your account after a week or so.
With access to over 2,000 stores and A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Mr Rebates is a serious competitor to TopCashBack. We should warn before we go any further that you really shouldn’t judge the quality of the site by its design. Outdated looks aside, Mr Rebates is fully optimized for mobile devices, which is a nice compensation for the absence of a dedicated Android application.
The biggest difference when compared to TopCashBack is the fact that Mr Rebates offers outright cash rewards in addition to percentages of cash back. This can be advantageous with low-value purchases that would otherwise earn you only a very small commission. Another difference is the minimum payout and payment processing. You have to earn, at least, $10 before you are allowed to withdraw your funds via PayPal or check. Not only that, but the company processes payments only once a month and it takes 90 days before accrued cash back is eligible for withdrawal, so you might have to wait for quite a while.
What’s nice is that you earn 20 percent cash back on everything that your referred friends earn. If you manage to invite a wide network of people, you can quickly start looking at a pretty substantial income without even buying anything by yourself.
The only thing to watch out for with Mr Rebates is whether the product you intend to purchase is in a cash back category. Some categories, such as beauty products, don’t receive any bonuses at the moment, so don’t be surprised when no funds are added to your account. Overall, Mr Rebates is a very solid alternative to TopCashBack, and it could even take the number one spot, if they just updated the outdated website.
The last cash back site on our list is called Ebates. It was founded back in 1998 by two former deputy district attorneys, and it’s currently headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Members of the site spent $2.2 billion in 2013, which should tell you a thing or two about its position on the market. Ebates was since then acquired by Rakuten, inc. for $1 Billion.
Percentage cash back rates vary by merchant, but they usually fall between 1 and 30 percent. The company pays their clients every 45 days, and the minimum payout is $5.01. Don’t ask us why the one extra cent – we would like to know as well.
Their selection of retailers includes such big names as Amazon, Macy’s, PiperLime, eBay, L.L. Bean, Nordstrom and Sephora. Many of their deals are stackable with a cash back credit card, so, for example, you can save extra money if you use Amazon credit card at check out, which adds additional 3% cash back on the purchase.
The company offers a well-designed Android application, which has an amazing rating of 4.5 stars by almost 25,000 users. It’s designed to help you save money on all your online shopping and eliminate the need to switch between apps or browsers. It really works flawlessly, with the overall user experience far exceeding that of TopCashBack’s Android application.
Based in the UK, TopCashBack is known as the USA’s most generous cashback site. Indeed, their cash back rates often reach as much as 70 percent, and customers can easily earn extra $10 just by referring their friends.
The company was founded in 2005 and was heavily promoted as the only 100 percent cash back website on the market. Yes, you’ve heard right. With TopCashBack, you get to keep everything you earn from your online purchases. That’s because the site is funded by advertising revenue, unlike most other cash back websites in existence. They currently have partnerships with well over 3,500 stores, including Best Buy, Walmart, Staples, Amazon, which guarantees that you always find the deal you are looking for.
By far the easiest way how to start with TopCashBack is to download their dedicated Android application. Once installed, you can register a new account or log into your existing TopCashBack account. Then it’s time to search their vast list of shops and look for great discounts.
You can also view featured merchants, browse through your recent transactions, save your favorite merchants so you can conveniently access them later, and even view offline coupon codes on a map. Essentially, the TopCashBack’s Android application can become your new shopping companion.
When you finally make a purchase, you can withdraw your funds either via PayPal or direct deposit. There’s no minimum payout and all payments are immediately processed upon request.
Is there anything negative about TopCashBack? Not really. Some users complain about connectivity issues, but we suspect that those will be sorted out with an upcoming update, if they are not already.
No matter which application you ultimately go with, we highly recommend you not to jump around on multiple different sites at the same time. Instead, stick with one site and accrue cash back from one or two of their favorite apps.