Have you been hearing about cash back sites everywhere lately? Well, this is the sign, errr — blog post, you’ve been waiting for. It’s time to dip your toe into the rich world of cash back websites.
It seems like good deals are having their moment in the spotlight. And why shouldn’t they? Everyone has their go-to site, app, or browser extension. It’s smart and fashionable to save money or get paid in return for spending some.
You’re probably wondering exactly how cash back sites work — where does that money come from? And how can you tell which is the best cash back site? Keep reading to learn more about the different ways you can score great deals when shopping online.
How Do Cash Back Sites Work?
Think of cash back websites like a good old American shopping mall. You have to go to the mall before you can visit a store. From there you’re able to shop a number of brands and websites all from that one portal.
To use a cash back site, first you must sign up for an account. It’s free, easy, and doesn’t take much time to complete. D on’t worry, this won’t take up much of your valuable time, and it’s totally worth it.
Once you’ve registered, log on to your favorite site and search for the type of item you want to buy. Many websites allow you to browse by designer, collection, or product category. When you discover a brand or website you want to shop, make sure to click the link provided by the cash back website. This link tracks your buying activity. In order to receive your cash back, you must use the link provided. Without clicking the cash back site’s link, you won’t get credit for your purchase.
From there it’s online shopping as usual. You know the drill… Browse the online store and checkout as you normally would. As long as you are shopping via the cash back site’s link, your account will be credited once your purchase is confirmed by the retailer.
Where Does the Cash Back Money Come From?
You might be thinking this whole cash back thing sounds too good to be true. It’s not! As long as you’re shopping on a reputable website like Jewel — there’s no catch. Once you understand how it works, you’ll see why everyone benefits.
Most people don’t realize this: when you click a link that takes you to a product page, the website that sent you there will likely earn money if you buy that product. This happens all the time. It’s the business model most websites and blogs are built on. Think of this as a commission or referral fee.
When you shop with a cash back site the website earns a similar commission fee from each sale. The difference with cash back sites is they give, YOU, the shopper a part of that commission. Brands see the value that cash back websites bring them via new customers, so they’re happy to take part. Instead of spending money on traditional advertising methods, companies are using this referral model more often.
What Are the Best Cash Back Sites?
There are tons of cash back websites out there, so how do you know which one is the best? It depends on what you’re shopping for and what you hope to get out of this service.
If you’re looking to get cash back from more mainstream and big box retailers, Rakuten or BeFrugal may be your best bet. These cash back sites offer deals on everyday items and necessities from stores like Sam’s Club, Home Depot, and Wal-Mart.
If you’re a coupon clipper, check out Honey or Wikibuy. They both offer browser extensions to help you save money before you make a purchase. Just don’t forget to use them when you checkout. And of course, in classic 2020 fashion, there are some apps out there that will help you earn cash back or points in the form of gift cards to be redeemed on items from select retailers. Whatever you’re looking for, there’s likely a money saving tool for it!
Cash Back Sites vs. Coupons vs. Apps
So what’s the difference between a cash back site, a coupon finder, and a cash back app? Let’s take a look at some of the biggest cash back services available today, how they differ, and which ones may cater to your online shopping habits.
The Kings and Queens of Cash Back
Consider Rakuten the godfather of cash back sites. Formerly known as Ebates, this site has been around since 1998 and basically invented the cash back service model. You sign up for an account, shop through Rakuten’s links, and once you buy — your purchase is credited to your account.
Jewel* is different from the rest. As a luxury cash back website, there are no apps to download or complicated points to redeem. All you have to do to earn cash is sign up and shop through retailer links or with the Jewel Cash Back Extension. Jewel pays its members every 60 days too! If you’ve never shopped with a luxury cash back website before, you’re in for a treat…
This cash back site claims to offer the highest rates anywhere. It also has a browser extension and app you can download. BeFrugal has over 5,000 retail partners, one of the highest of any cash back service. This cash back site offers you 100% of the affiliate commission. Instead of making money through that fee, BeFrugal relies on advertising and promotional revenue to survive — so that means more money in your pocket!
While this cash back site has a distinctively retro feel, it’s also a major player in the cash back game. Like the others, all you have to do is sign up, shop through their links and you’ll automatically receive cash back in your account. Download the smartphone app or Google Chrome extension to bypass Mr. Rebates’s dated website.
The Coupon Collectors
Honey started as a coupon finder website, but now it offers so much more. You might already be using its popular browser extension or app to save money every time you shop online. Honey also has a price comparison tool, so when you’re shopping with big websites like Target or Amazon, you can make sure you’re getting the best deal.
Like Honey, Wikibuy* is a browser extension that offers price comparison and notifies you when coupons are available. You can also set price drop alerts. The Wikibuy app has the extra feature of universal product search. Scan a barcode and the app will find you the best price on any product. You can also earn credit when you make a purchase using Wikibuy. Similar to Honey Gold, you won’t be able to get any actual cash by using this service. Your credits must be used towards gift cards or future purchases made with Wikibuy.
Cash Back on the Go
Dosh is a cash back app that’s easy to use. All you have to do is download the app and connect it to your credit cards. As long as the connected credit cards are used when shopping with one of Dosh’s partners, you’ll earn cash back without even thinking about it. Who doesn’t want money for doing almost nothing? One requirement is that you have to download the app on your smartphone.
Ibotta offers both a cash back app and a browser extension. You can also submit receipts from in-store purchases via the app. So wherever you spend money with one of their retail partners, you’ll get credit. Don’t forget to scan your receipts!
Get paid in gift cards for the activities you’re already doing online. Not just for shopping, with Swagbucks you can earn credit for taking online surveys and watching videos too. Add the Swagbutton to your Chrome browser to make it easy to earn Swagbucks. They also have several smartphone apps you can download.
Luxury Cash Back Websites: The Future of Shopping
While each money saving tool offers their own unique feature, Jewel offers the true luxury shopping experience that fashion and style lovers crave.
Jewel is like the high-end mall in your hometown. You know the one. It has that really cool fountain and the most delicious smell of hot pretzels. As soon as you pull into the parking lot, the luxury experience begins. You go shopping there when you want to treat yourself, or have a special occasion on the calendar. All the stores in the “fancy mall” are full of high-quality products and designer brands — so you know you’re getting the best.
Jewel is the modern-day, internet version of the high-end mall. Our website is easy to use and designed to look like your favorite premium shopping websites. Though we’re still working on our pretzel recipe…
Designer fashion, high-end beauty, luxury home products, and other lifestyle brands are Jewel’s specialty. If you need a toilet plunger or fishing supplies, check out one of the other cash back sites mentioned earlier.
The great part about shopping with Jewel is that you don’t have to wait until the end of the season for that dress you’ve been drooling over to hit the clearance rack. You can treat yourself right now, wear it while it’s still in style, and know you’re getting a great deal.
Should You Use a Cash Back Website?
Ok, so we may be a bit biased. But if you ever shop online, you should be using a cash back site. You may even want to sign up for a few different ones. And when you want to shop exclusive high-end brands, come check out our impressive collection of retail partners and shopping guides.
*Jewel and Capital One Shopping [Wikibuy] are affiliated companies.
Jewel does not provide, endorse or guarantee any third-party product, service, information or recommendation listed above. Except for Wikibuy and Capital One Shopping, the third parties named are not affiliated with Jewel and are solely responsible for their products and services. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
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