If you shop online at all, you must meet my good friend, Mr. Rebates. Mr. Rebates is a referral site that gives you cash rebates for shopping online. As you shop online through Mr. Rebates, your rebates accumulate. Then at the end of the month, quarter, or however often you redeem them, you get paid in cash by Mr. Rebates. They can either send you a check in the mail or give you a credit in your PayPal account (your choice) so you can shop some more online!
Rebates can really add up if you use Mr. Rebates every time you shop online. I joined Mr. Rebates in May 2005 and have been paid over $1000 in cash rebates since then. What’s even more impressive is that I lived in London for 3 ½ years of that time so I wasn’t doing much online shopping in the US (Mr. Rebates only works in the US).
No, I’m not a shopaholic, and I do a lot of my shopping on Amazon.com which doesn’t participate with Mr. Rebates. But I am diligent about checking Mr. Rebates every time I think of spending money online. I even put a Mr. Rebates link on my toolbar to help remind me that I need to click on the link first. It’s upsetting when you place an order and realize you missed out on a big rebate because you forgot to click through Mr. Rebates first!
For example, if I’m going on a trip, I will check Mr. Rebates to see which travel website (Expedia 2%, Orbitz 1%, Travelocity 2%, hotels.com 4%) is offering the better rebate that day. I won’t always go with which site has the better rebate, I look at the best deal/rebate combination. I also compare hotels directly through Mr. Rebates (Staybridge Suites, my favorite hotel, 5%) and check for rental car rebates (Avis 3%, Enterprise 2%) because that can add up too.
Mr. Rebates has hundreds of online stores, but some of my favorites are:
- Target 4%
- Nordstrom 5%
- Bloomingdale’s 4%
- Coldwater Creek 4%
- Macy’s 4%
- Home Depot 4%
- Vistaprint 6%
- drugstore.com 8%
- eBags 15%
Rebate amounts change frequently so make sure you check with Mr. Rebates before making your purchase decisions.
It’s easy to get started. You set up an account with Mr. Rebates by entering your email address. They even give you $5 to get started. Then whenever you shop online, go to Mr. Rebates first and check to see if the online store you want to visit is on Mr. Rebates.
First, Mr. Rebates will show the rebate offered (1%-30%) and then will show you if any special coupons are available for that site. Click on the link to the store in Mr. Rebates and you will go to the store’s website. Just be sure that when you actually make your purchase (just putting items in your shopping cart won’t give you the rebate) you have linked to the site from Mr. Rebates.
An added bonus is when your friends join Mr. Rebates through your email invitation, you will get a small rebate every time they use Mr. Rebates. It’s not much, generally pennies a purchase, but every little bit adds up.
I hope you get to meet Mr. Rebates soon and it’s the start of a beautiful friendship!
Have you tried Mr. Rebates? Do you like to save money online? Let us know in the Comments section below!
This article is part of The Wonder of Tech All Star series to satisfy your tech cravings while Carolyn is on vacation. This article is an update of an article that was originally published on The Wonder of Tech on February 8, 2011. You can access the article here if you would like to read the comments on the original version. You can leave comments below and Carolyn will respond after she returns from her vacation on August 20.