Is Ebates A Legit Cash Back App? (And How To Actually Make $10 For FREE!)

Please Note: This post may contain affiliate linking. While these links don’t cost extra for you to use, a percentage of all sales made through these links will help fund future Side Hustle Mom content.

You've seen the commercials and have maybe noticed an ad or two for the cash back app Ebates... but is it real?

If you are reading this right now, you are either:

1. My mom (who reads all my articles... Hi/thanks, mom!).

2. A regular Side Hustle Mom reader.

3. A new reader who was searching the web for unbiased reviews for Ebates. 

Whether you identify as 1, 2, or 3, you have come to the right place, as I am going to tell you about my experience with Side Hustle Mom and whether or not I -- in my experience hustling -- consider it to be the best cash back app. 

Let's start with the basics: What the heck is Ebates? 

Essentially, Ebates is a middle man/affiliate marketing site that scours the web for the best deals/cash back offers, notifies their users of these sales/cash back offers, and then gives the user 50% of the commission made for using their referral link. 

"Since our founding in 1999, Ebates has helped its members — 10 million and counting — earn over $1 billion in Cash Back at their favorite stores," explains Ebates, adding that "By connecting these savvy shoppers with America’s best brands, we give them a hassle-free way to save money on the things they buy every day, while our retail partners find loyal new customers and drive record sales."

In the world of affiliate marketing, this is pretty ingenious. 

Now that you know the basics of Ebates, just how does it work?

Basically, all you need to do is go to their site/app, find the online store you're planning to shop with by either scrolling through their list or typing it in the search bar, clicking the link (which will instantly re-direct you to the Amazon, Target, eBay, etc. homepage), and shopping like you normally would. 

That is it. 

As you can see from the screenshot above, each box tells you just how much cash back you can receive through Ebates, but keep in mind that it may be subject to certain categories (like with Amazon, whose cash back is -- as of this writing -- only valid for Prime Apparel, Amazon Devices, Dash Buttons, etc.). 

Now for the Million Dollar Question: Is it legit? Do you really get cash back? 

It is! 

When you sign up for Ebates and spend $25 or more, you get an automatic $10 deposited in your account. (Free money, what what?!)

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Then the next time you shop through your Ebates link, you get that allotted percentage added into your account. 

As of this writing, I have made $50+ via two separate checks... and literally all I have done is added 5 more seconds to my shop time in order to access the website through the Ebates app. 

How does Ebates pay you?

This part is cool: You can either be paid by a physical check (which is my preferred method of payment, as I can take it to the bank to be cashed) or by Paypal, which has a quicker turn-around time than the former. (As far as frequency, Ebates pays quarterly, with the posting period of January 1st through March 31st being paid May 15th, April 1st through June 30th on August 15th, July 1st to September 30th on November 15th, and October 1st through December 31st going out on February 15th.) 

In conclusion, Ebates is a totally legit and totally free way to earn money back on stuff you were already planning to buy, which is why I recommend it to EVERYONE! 

If you are ready to get started on making easy money, follow my link, which will not only get you set up, but will give you a FREE $10 after you spend $25 online

Happy shopping/earning! 

The 15 Very Best Freebies You Can Get On Your Birthday

From the age of 3 (when you begin to realize what is actually happening) to about 22, your birthday is highly anticipated and somewhat magical...

...after 22? It begins to lose its novelty more and more with each passing year.

Should it be like this? NO! It’s your birthday — your time to celebrate you! 

The 15 Very Best Freebies You Can Get On Your Birthday.png

If you are looking to enjoy your birthday all the more and spoil yourself with all kinds of FREE goodies, check out this list I compiled of the very best birthday incentives, which include:

Applebee's: FREE birthday dessert

Redbox: FREE movie rental

Starbucks: FREE birthday drink

Red Robin: FREE birthday burger

Pinkberry: FREE birthday yogurt

The Melting Pot: FREE chocolate fondue for two

Olive Garden: FREE appetizer or dessert

Krispy Kreme: FREE donut 

Jersey Mike's: FREE sub and drink

Dunkin' Donuts: FREE specialty drink

Denny's: FREE Grand Slam

Cracker Barrel: FREE dessert

Tony Roma's: FREE entree 

Waffle House: FREE waffle

Sonic: FREE dessert

(PSST... do yourself a favor and set up a special birthday email account, so all of the birthday offers -- and other weekly emails -- are not crowding your inbox!)

Do you know of another freebie that everyone should have? Let a mamma know in the comments! 

Hacks for Flying Free, Dining for Less, and Saving More on Vacation

Late last year, I published a survey asking what it is you want to see more of on Side Hustle Mom and what I can do more of to benefit you! 

Much to my surprise, one of the biggest responses was that you didn’t want generic daily remote job listings, but instead more money saving tips that are easy to apply to your every day life.

I heard you loud and clear, which is why I have been trying to share deals that I have run across, as well as brainstorm topics that would be most beneficial to other busy parents! If your family is anything like mine, you LOVE to travel and LOVE to get a good deal, which is why I wanted to share a few of our money saving tips and tricks that nearly anyone can use!

Without further ado, I present to you our Secret Hacks for Flying Free, Dining for Less, and Saving More on Vacation!

Travel Diaries.png

To give you a little background, my husband and I love to travel (it is seriously our love language... which I guess would translate to quality time?), and are always planning our next vacation. With my husband and I both being cheap — err, I mean thrifty — we are always looking for ways to save. 

A few little snippets from our 3 nights in Vegas.

A few little snippets from our 3 nights in Vegas.

This year, we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary and went back and forth on where we wanted to go. Since my parents volunteered to watch the boys for 3 nights, we decided to opt for somewhere close by, which is why we decided on Vegas! While we did do a little splurging (we set a couple hundred aside to gamble with, saw a show, ride the open bar High Roller, and my hubby surprised me with a helicopter tour of the city), we also did some serious saving.

Without further ado, here is how we saved on our trip to Vegas (and got both a free flight and hotel!):

1.) Rewards Credit Card: Okay, I am a HUGE follower/fan of Dave Ramsey and I know he hates credit cards and advises against ever having one, but... we have a Visa Sapphire Preferred card, which we charge literally everything on and pay off multiple times a month (it’s linked to our bank account, so we treat it like a debit card and only spend money we actually have). The reason we decided on this card in particular is because your money back can all be applied toward 25% more in travel redemption, so we were able to get both a free Southwest flight (to and from) and a free 3-night stay at Planet Hollywood with lots of points left over to go toward our trip to Disney later this year! Now, I know that method isn’t for everyone, but if you are good about paying off your card each month (which can be easier said than done, I know), we highly recommend looking into the Visa Sapphire Preferred.

2.) BYOB: I’m not necessarily proud of this one, but I am going to share it anyway, as we saved a lot by bringing booze in our checked bag. As you probably know/figured, alcohol in Vegas is EXPENSIVE (but totally worth it, as where else can you carry an open can of beer down the street?), especially in restaurants or from vendors who sell the colorful mixed drinks in souvenir cups. While buying your drink of choice from one of the Strip CVS’ or Walgreens will save you a buck or two, hitting up your hometown discount liquor store before the trip (and then packing it securely in your checked bag) will literally cut your bill down by at least one-third. 

We brought a few bottles to make mixed drinks with, made the drinks in our room, and then took them with us  down the Strip.

Trashy/sketchy/ridiculous? Totally.

Worth it? You betcha.

3.) Groupon: Does anyone else go a little crazy with the Groupons whenever they go on vacation?? One of our favorite ways to use the discount site -- whether we are at home or on the road -- is on food, so be sure to check out any available deals before you go! (Tip: ALWAYS read the fine print before you buy, as some deals may only apply on certain days.) For our last two Vegas trips, we have taken advantage of the 1/2 off Pampas Churrascaria Brazilian Grille (inside Planet Hollywood) Groupon, which comes with not only an all-you-can-eat spread brought right to your table, but also bottomless mimosas, beer, and/or sangria. Cheers! 

4.) Opt for the free memberships: Free is good... especially when it comes with something beneficial! It seems like every casino has a special member's club they want you to join, boasting free play, drinks, buffets, etc., so be sure to sign up! (It really wasn't much of a hassle; we simply went up to the pay-out counters to sign up... it took maybe 3 minutes and we got free table play.)

Obviously, some of these hacks apply more so toward Vegas than anywhere else, but I will plan to make another post in the future with any other tricks I pick up along the way! In the meantime, what do you do to save on vacation?