Monday, November 26, 2012

Earn Money on Your Christmas Purchases

Ok, let me start by saying this post is sponsored by no one.  These are my opinions and experiences.  I'm just a girl who believes that when you find something good, you share it with people so they can benefit too.

Many of you are going to be making a lot of purchases in the next month (or maybe you're nearly done with your Christmas shopping).  I wanted to share two ways you can earn money back on your purchases.  These are things I already do when I make online purchases, so I can vouch that they are legit.

1.  Ebates and Shop At Home

These two websites pay you cash back for shopping online through their sites.

How it works:  First, go to the Ebates or Shop At Home website.  Then search for the store/website you will be purchasing from.  Click "Shop now" and the store website will open in a new tab.  Then you just complete your shopping and check out as usual.  You will then be awarded the appropriate percentage of your purchase total into your Ebates or Shop At Home account.

Ebates sends you cash back payments ("Big Fat Checks") quarterly as long as you've earned at least $5.01 in rewards.  You can also choose an alternate payment method, such as direct deposit into your PayPal account or an Amazon gift card.  You can even choose to send your payment to a charity or family member.

Shop At Home send payments monthly as long as you've earned at least $20 in rewards.

An additional benefit to using these websites is that you get coupon codes for discounts on all your shopping.  For example, if I go to Ebates and click on Toys R Us (or any other store site), I can see a list of all current sales and several valid coupon codes.  I still always check for coupon codes before I make online purchases.

My experience:  I have had accounts with both of these shopping sites for nearly a year.  I am already very careful about my purchases, and I wait for sales and use coupon codes for additional savings plus free shipping.  So, I'm already getting great deals on everything I buy.  Once I have my online shopping cart how I want it, I just open a separate tab with Ebates or Shop At Home and complete my purchase through their link (using my coupon codes).

I used to check both Ebates and Shop At Home every time I made a purchase so I could see which offered higher cash back.  Eventually, I started just using Ebates most of the time so I could maximize my cash back with their site.  My quarterly checks from Ebates have been $25-30 each.  That's pretty incredible when you consider that I already whittled down my purchase totals as much as possible and then got cash back after the fact.

I haven't quite reached the minimum for payout from Shop At Home, but I am very close.  I just haven't used their site enough.  I did remember to check them a few weeks ago when I ordered from Oriental Trading (when they were running a free shipping promotion) and Ebates didn't offer cash back for Oriental Trading.  Now that I remember their site, I will at least use it enough to earn my $20.

The bottom line:  This system really works for me.  I do a lot of my shopping online.  I am already a savvy shopper and would make my purchases with or without cash back.  So I get great deals at the time of my purchase, and then I receive around $100 per year just for clicking a few extra times before finalizing my purchase.

Added bonus:  Both of these websites offer extra rewards for telling friends about their sites.  I can assure you that my motivation for sharing all this with you is simply to help you earn money the way I have.  But if you choose to sign up with one of these sites, it would be awesome if you could use my link so I can get the tell-a-friend bonus.  The new member (you) also gets a bonus.

For Ebates, click on my referral link:
*You must create an account and make a purchase over $25 within one year.

For Shop At Home, click on my referral link:
*You must create an account and make any size purchase within 30 days.

2.  Earn Amazon Rewards

Jared and I both have Amazon Rewards Visa credit cards.  We use these cards as the payment method for all of our Amazon purchases (we use Amazon fairly regularly for online purchases).  Once we discovered that we were earning rewards (like cash back, but money to be used on Amazon), we started using these credit cards for lots of daily purchases. 

The rewards add up as follows:
  • 3 points per $1 spent on
  • 2 points per $1 spent at gas stations, restaurants, drug stores, and office supply stores
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Every 100 points = $1 in rewards to be spent on Amazon
It may not seem like much, but our rewards add up eventually.  Every few months, we are able to use our rewards to buy something for ourselves that we wouldn't otherwise spend money on.  We have also used our Amazon rewards to purchase gifts for others when we just didn't have money in the budget for extra expenses. 

We have been generally satisfied with Amazon and can find all sorts of items on their website.  Examples of items we have purchased on Amazon include:  toys, shoes, Halloween costumes, diapers, batteries, toiletries, electronics, and even food.

Again, I am not being compensated by anyone to say these things (I wish I was!).  I just always appreciate when other people share deals with me so I can use my family's money in the smartest way possible.  I want to pass along any deals or tricks that I find.

Happy Christmas shopping!


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