Usually I’m met with eye-rolling when I talk about cash back sites with friends.
I think it’s because we’re so used to websites and rewards programs over-promising and under-delivering.
But let’s see which ones are actually worthwhile:
What Are Cash-Back Sites?
They’re the Robin Hoods of our generation. They steal from the rich and give to the poor.
Meaning, they put some of our money back in our pockets whenever we make qualifying purchases.
Some of the best out there are:
How Are You Rewarded?
This is pretty straight forward for most sites given the type of website they are.
You’re getting a certain percentage of cash back on your purchases. But it’s not always in a way you’d expect.
Some sites offer this cash back in points, like Swagbucks. You can then use those points to buy all kinds of gift cards.
Other sites literally will send you cash back.
Also consider the frequency of your cash back rewards.
Most of these sites wait until they’ve received the commission from the retailer before passing on that cash back to you, understandably so.
However, that timeline varies.
And sometimes a cash back site will require you to get to a certain threshold of cash back savings before cashing out.
But we’ll get into those details soon enough.
How Are Cash-Back Sites Able To Give Us Cash Back?
These cash back sites are able to do this because they take the time to create relationships with retailers that are willing to pay big bucks to get in front of us (the consumers).
These cash back sites get paid to refer us to the retailers, basically. And the retailer and the cash back sites split the referral revenue… and then the cash back sites split it with us.
Like I said, Robin Hood.
What Are The Best Cash-Back Sites?
Now to get into the reason you all are here!
Our top picks for the best cash-back sites:
TopCashBack originated in the UK and expanded across the pond in 2011.
They have over 4,000 retailers available for cash-back rewards. This includes Amazon, Groupon, Overstock, and other popular names.
TopCashBack is probably offering the highest rates when it comes to cash-back rewards, which makes it a fan-favorite.
TopCashBack will have you feeling like a rich b*tch, for sure.
You’ll first sign into TopCashBack and search within their portal for the retailer you’re wanting to buy from. Then you’ll click-through to the retailer and continue shopping as usual.
Once TopCashBack receives the commission from your transaction, they’ll apply the credit to your account.
One of the best perks about TopCashBack is that you don’t need a minimum dollar amount before cashing out. I’ve seen people cash out at like, two bucks.
I, on the other hand, like to set and forget. I usually don’t cash out of any of these sites until I’m around $20 (at the bare minimum).
If you know me, you know I love me some Swagbucks.
They have fewer retailer partnerships, about 1,500, but they’re still with big names like Target, WalMart, and Starbucks.
You just have to sign up for a Swagbucks account (use my link and you’ll get a free 300SB) basically follow the same steps that you did for TopCashBack.
Although Swagbucks doesn’t always have the highest cash-back percentage, I like the way things are “gamified.”
For every $1 spent, you get 1SB, so basically 1% cash-back always.
But they very frequently have higher percentages available for certain retailers.
Like recently, I was given 2% cash-back on a pair of Aerie leggings I bought online. And at checkout, the Swagbucks extension also found (and automatically applied) coupons to my order, too!
It’s really easy to use Swagbucks, in my opinion. And I’ve even outlined all the ways you can earn Swagbucks— you’re welcome.
Swagbucks is known for giving their payouts in the form of gift cards. You usually have to have around $5 before you can cash out, though.
And if cash is more your speed, you can redeem your rewards in the form of a PayPal gift card. But that’s about as close to cash as you’ll get with Swagbucks.
So, ibotta is a little different.
This is the way you can earn cash-back from in-store purchases. More specifically: grocery store purchases.
One of the best perks is that you’re able to connect your loyalty cards to the app. This will help streamline the process because it’ll automatically scan for savings.
However, be mindful that you have to look through ibotta (and sign up) for the rebates you’re wanting to use. Otherwise, it won’t get you your savings once you scan your receipt.
So this one requires a little more effort on the user side, but ibotta does come with a search bar. So if you’re prepared and have a grocery list pre-made, you can search for everything in ibotta to see if there’s anything available pertaining to your list!
As for payouts, ibotta pays through PayPal, gift cards, and I think even Venmo. However, unlike TopCashBack, ibotta requires you meet a $20 threshold before cashing out.
That can be annoying, but there are also worse things in life.
Like not saving money.
I’m not the biggest fan of Mr.Rebates.
But it does have some perks that set it apart and are worth mentioning.
So, Mr.Rebates has been around since 2002 and has upwards 2,500 retailers available to get cash-back rewards from.
Although you use it basically the same way you use all these other sites, it’s not nearly as aesthetically pleasing as TopCashBack.
Sometimes it’s not even intuitive.
But the huge variety of retailers kinda makes up for it.
And it also has this awesome refer a friend program. And it’s not like your typical refer a friend rewards program.
Mr. Rebates lets you earn 20% of whatever cash-back your friends earn (before you ask: your referral bonus doesn’t affect their cash-back)
That’s kinda awesome, especially if you have a friend (like me) who eats up these cash-back services.
And one last thing about Mr. Rebates, it does have a threshold before you can cash out… But it’s only $10. So a lot better than ibotta, if you ask me.
So Which Cash-Back Site Should You Pick?
I mean, it all depends!
Do any of these sound like they’ll fit into your lifestyle easily?
If you don’t shop online a lot, maybe opt for ibotta.
If gaining points motivates you, try Swagbucks out.
But no matter which cash-back site you decide to go with, make sure you’re doing your best to always use it to your advantage.
I’ve seen people try and optimize several of these at a time, and that can be enough to drive you mad.
There are times that it’s easy to maybe upload a receipt to both Swagbucks and ibotta in order to get cash back for different items, but don’t bend over backwards in the name of saving $1.
I’ve found that I’ve gotten the best results when I just double down on a cash-back site that works for me and that I simply enjoy.
It’s Your Turn
Let me know what your favorite cash-back site is in the comments! Maybe your fave isn’t on my list (and that means I’ll have to try it out!)