Mail-in rebates have been around for a long time. But, honestly, how many of us actually bother mailing them in by the deadline unless they are worth a significant amount of money? The good news is that’s there’s a new, faster, more convenient way to take advantage of rebate offers, and it takes place where many shoppers are finding themselves increasingly more at home, both figuratively and literally: the Internet.
Rebate websites may be an unfamiliar term if you are newer to Internet shopping, but are definitely worth considering for their money-saving potential. There are hundreds of rebate sites to choose from, many of which have been long-standing and are very reputable. Here’s how they work:
- Rebate sites are free to join. If they aren’t free, something’s wrong. Rebate websites make their money from the retailers they are promoting sales for, not their users. Often, sites will even offer initial bonuses just for signing up with them and referring friends because this increases their revenue.
- Rebate websites allow you to receive cash-back percentages or flat-rate rebates for purchasing items or services from online retailers they are affiliated with. Many sites offer anywhere from 5-30% or more off your purchases. Sometimes rebate websites also offer additional incentives for using links on their websites to purchase items from featured retailers. These deals tend to change regularly, so it’s a good idea to check out which rebates are being offered and where so you know where to shop for a particular item.
- Payments from rebate websites are made using either PayPal or check at regular intervals or whenever your rebates reach the minimum balance, usually between $5-$10. There aren’t limits on how much cash back you can earn, however. The greater your spending activity, the greater the rebates; just keep in mind that you are still spending money.
- Rebate websites feature many popular retailers, so you can choose a site which offers rebates on merchandise you buy regularly to increase your savings. If you are using rebate sites to shop for items you wouldn’t have purchased otherwise, it’s not helping you save money. Shop around for rebate websites, themselves, to find one or more which offer rebates for retailers you already frequent to truly increase your savings.
- There is no limit on how many rebate websites you can join. The more rebate websites you join, the more your savings potential, since each site features a different set of retailers. Many rebate sites send daily or weekly emails alerting you to the latest deals so you know when and where to shop to get the most savings. Again, you will only save money as long as you are still purchasing items you would otherwise.
If you are already a fan of online shopping, do a little research on rebate websites to see which ones offer the most cash back advantage to your shopping habits and start saving today. In a way, rebate website memberships are a little like ‘extreme couponing’ within the walls of your home, where there will be no one to criticize your crazy money-saving methods.