ebates pays you to shopEven with all the holidays within the holiday season, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the money flows out of your wallet quickly. There’s an easy way to earn some cash back for all your shopping. Ebates is a great way to put extra cash in your wallet now and year round.Disclosure: All opinions in this post are my own based on years of consumer experience. This post contains an affiliate link, which means I am compensated if you decide to use the service mentioned below.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” That’s the saying I repeat when I suspect a ripoff. However, there are those few times in life when something sounds too good to be true, and it is true. Ebates is one of those rare instances.

Ebates offers cash back at over 2,000 stores. You can earn an extra $10 back through my Ebates referral link. The offers are typically between 3-6%, but are higher at some stores. Here’s the catch: your shopping trip starts at Ebates. Then you link to the store where you want to make your purchase. Your shopping is obviously tracked to earn the cash back reward.

If you’re ok with a company tracking your shopping habits, you’ll earn cash back. I’m all about privacy, but online you lose so much of it anyway. I think it’s worth the price. I like getting my cash back for shopping items I’d buy anyway.

You can save in stores too. You have to add your credit and debit cards to your account, and link a store cash back offer to your card. Sharing your credit card information tiptoes on privacy issues for some shoppers, but I know others that will freely give that up to save money. It’s a personal decision. Hopefully in the future, Ebates uses a barcode you can scan in store for cash back.

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There are other sites, like Mr. Rebates, that work the same way. More than 2500 stores offer cash back through Mr. Rebates. Read the fine print before signing up for any service.

It’s all about finding a site that works for you.  It shouldn’t be too cumbersome to use, and should not take a lot of time to navigate.  Also, read the site’s privacy policy.

While you’re earning cash, your shopping habits are also being tracked. You earn money based on the size of your purchase.  The sites know how much you spend and where you spent it.  The sites use tracking cookies to follow your purchase. They’re commonly used online, it’s just that you don’t know you’re being tracked. You leave behind a digital footprint wherever you go online, so you need to also look into erasing your digital footprint.

If you’re concerned about your privacy, cash back sites are not for you. If you’d like to make some easy money, give it a try.