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Save Money on The Large Majority of Internet Purchases

It is possible to save money on the large majority of Internet purchases by signing up for the companies below.  Then, whenever you want to purchase something online, simply go to their website, click on the merchant you wish to buy items at, and you will get back a certain percentage of what you spent in cash back!  A company that offers these services is Ebates.  Signing up is free, and Ebates will never take a penny from you as a customer, ever–the company makes money from the advertisers on its website, not from customers who sign up for its service.  In fact, there is a way to get c. 4% back on almost all purchases you make, whether on the Internet or not, using Ebates:  click here to find out how.  Furthermore, if you sign up with the button below, you will get a $10 gift card just for joining.  I have had a positive experience with Ebates for a number of years and have received a large amount of cash back simply for clicking through their website and purchasing what I would have purchased anyway.  You can get cash back at stores such as Amazon.com, Walmart, Macy’s, Barnes and Noble, and hundreds and hundreds of other major merchants.  They also keep track of coupon codes for the merchants so you can easily find out if, say, your favorite store has a special 50% off deal that you would not know about otherwise.  Ebates is also a high quality business;  they have treated me well personally as a customer and they have been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 6/2000 and earned an A+ rating.  Start saving with Ebates today by clicking on the icon below and then clicking on the “join” button on the top right of the page:

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

A second company that does the same thing as Ebates, but that also has online coupons, is Be Frugal.  Be Frugal is also BBB accredited since 7/2011 and has an A+ rating.  You can sign up for Be Frugal by clicking on the banner below–they will give you $5 just for signing up:

BeFrugal.com Members

A third company that does the same thing as Ebates and Be Frugal that you can compare with them is Mr. Rebates.  Since all these companies compete with each other for the best rebates, and nothing negative happens to you if you sign up for all of them, you ought to consider signing up for Mr. Rebates also.  Sometimes one or more of these companies offers rebates on products that the other companies do not.  For example, some of the companies below offered discounts when signing up for cheaper cell phone plans while Ebates and some of the others above did not.   Mr. Rebates is accredited by the BBB since 5/2011 and has a B+ rating.  You can do sign up with the button below:

Mr. Rebates

Fourth, Top Cash Back is a company that tends to have very high cash back rebates.  I would suggest signing up for all four companies and then seeing who offers the best cash back on something you were going to purchase anyway.  Top Cash Back is not BBB rated and it has a B rating.  Their rating used to be much lower–a D+–but they are working on improving, and now they are a B, which is much better.  When I have used them I have not been aware of any problems.  The Top Cash Back welcome e-mail states the following:

  • Dedicated customer services team – who will endeavour to answer all enquiries by the next working day.
  • We will chase untracked transactions – Simply let us know about any transactions that don’t track we will chase on your behalf.
  • Transactions normally take 2 or 3 months to become payable – We invoice the merchants on your behalf for your cashback – as soon as they send us the money, you can have it sent to your bank or PayPal account.
  • 92% of enquiries and manual claims get resolved
  • 97% of our members would recommend us to their friends and family

You can use the link below to sign up:

 Click here to sign up for Top Cash Back

Fifth, Simply Best Coupons is another company that you can compare with the ones above.  I cannot find a BBB rating for them, but I have had no problems with the company.

Click here to sign up for Simply Best Coupons

Sixth, IConsumer is a company that does the same thing as the other ones and that often has good cash back rates.  I cannot find a BBB rating for them, but I have had no problems with the company.

Click here to sign up for iConsumer

Seventh, a company that does the same thing as the ones reviewed above is Main Street Shares (Big Crumbs until early 2015).  Main Street Shares often has slightly higher cash back amounts than Ebates, but not as many companies are part of its network (although one can still get cash back on popular companies from Ebay to Best Buy to Walmart.)  It is also entirely free to you as a customer, since its business model is similar to that of Ebates, Mr. Rebates, etc.  However, it also offers special profit-sharing potential that creates the possibility for significantly higher cash back with the company than with Ebates (find out how by clicking on the banner below.)  You can probably save the most money by joining all the companies and then comparing them to see which gives you the best deal when you want to purchase something online.  Main Street Shares (formerly Big Crumbs) is not BBB rated.  I have had no problems with them and have received lots of cash back, but if lack of a BBB rating is an issue for you, I definitely understand.  You can join Main Street Shares using the button here:

MainStreetSHARES

I asked Main Street Shares (formerly Big Crumbs) about the BBB issue, since I was concerned about what the BBB website said about their company.  I received a reply, most of which I have reproduced below, from Big Crumbs customer support.  It somewhat alleviates my concern about the matter, although I cannot say I am on board with their view of the BBB.  I personally have used Big Crumbs (and am now a Main Street Shares member) since June of 2013, have received large amounts of cash back, and have not had problems with getting cash back or with their customer service, which has been prompt and helpful.  However, I obviously cannot speak for all customers, and if someone does not find their explanation below convincing, I certainly understand; I would recommend that such a person save money with Ebates but pass on Main Street Shares.

Thanks for your interest and for your very astute question [about the lack of a BBB rating]! In fact, the mismatch between your experience with BigCrumbs and our BBB rating is precisely the reason we don’t “cooperate” with the BBB! The explanation requires a bit of detail/background, but please bear with me…

Contrary to popular belief, the BBB has no ability or authority to regulate or rate businesses. Many people think that the BBB is affiliated with the federal or local government, however, this is not the case. In fact, their “rating” system is self-serving and we find that the BBB’s practices border on extortionate. If you search the Internet, you will find many businesses that have made similar observations, as well as 20/20 and other investigations into their practices.

Essentially, it comes down to this: Consumers complain to the BBB, frequently believing that the BBB wields some type of regulatory or arbitration authority. But, the BBB simply demands that businesses respond to these consumers using the BBB’s own system, or face a negative rating, thus further contributing to the BBB’s perceived value in consumers’ eyes. Yet, the BBB has no knowledge of how the business functions and is not in a position to make a judgment as to whether the customer was treated fairly.

So, the BBB’s rating system has absolutely nothing to do with whether the business has earnestly attempted to satisfy customers or treated them fairly. Instead, it frequently rates primarily whether the business allowed itself to be coerced into replying to the BBB and increasing the BBB’s value. Any business that does not cooperate with the BBB’s demands, thus risks earning an “F” rating. That’s exactly what happened to BigCrumbs.

Worse, the BBB has a “Reliability” or “Accreditation” program in which the business can pay to be considered reliable by the BBB and, further, for the honor of participating in the BBB’s scheme to cooperate in increasing the BBB’s perceived value. The 20/20 investigation found very strong evidence that low-rated companies suddenly received high ratings upon paying to be members of their “Reliability program”. Of course, that makes sense. How can any company that is being paid to “rate” other companies possibly be objective?

And, when we received our first complaints (along with threats by the BBB to respond via their system or face a negative rating from them), we earnestly responded and attempted to resolve the matter. However, we later realized how naive we were and that the BBB had no idea how our business operated. So, when a member attempted to use the BBB’s system to place unreasonable demands on our business, we decided that we would no longer cooperate in the BBB’s scheme as a matter of principle.

Still, in over nine years in business and millions of dollars in cash back paid across millions of purchases, BigCrumbs has received only ten or so complaints to the BBB, with five of these coming over the past three years. So, the overwhelming majority of members have had the same positive experience that you have. Yet, in spite of all of this, there we stand with an “F” rating from the BBB! This, when we never agreed to be rated by them or have them act as an intermediary between BigCrumbs and our valued members.

That  in itself shows that the BBB has virtually no value as an objective rating authority. In our estimation (and that of many others), it serves to promote its own interests, using the notion of assisting consumers as a thinly veiled tool to coerce businesses into participating in, and paying for, their programs.

I hope this long-winded explanation helps! It’s really a story that all consumers should know[.]

There are websites that compare the cash back that the sites above offer, such as Cash Back Monitor and Cash Back Holic.  You can visit these sites to see where you can get the best deal on cash back, so you can save the most and be the best steward of the financial resources God has given you.  I know that there are a lot of companies listed above, but it is probably worth signing up for a good number of them so that you can see which one offers the highest cash back. Furthermore, many of these companies give you some kind of bonus just for signing up.

How to Increase the Likelihood Cash Back Will Register From These Shopping Portal Websites

First, using a reliable portal with good customer service is important.  I have more confidence in one that has an A+ rating with the BBB than one that has a much lower rating.  Second, make sure you read the fine print; vastly different amounts of cash back may be available on a hotel stay versus an airline flight from a single merchant, for example.  Third, start your shopping trip with an empty cart, and add items in only after going in through the shopping portal you want to get cash back from.  If you already have items in a shopping cart, open up a different browser, click through the portal, and put the items in fresh.  Fourth, make sure javascript, popups, and cookies are enabled and any ad blocking software is disabled.  If you do not have cookies enabled, the shopping portal will not be able to track your purchase.  It may even be a good idea to have a separate browser you use just for shopping through portals in which you clear your cache and cookies to make sure you start with a clean slate before you click through a portal.  Fifth, click through the portal to the merchant you want to use.  This will add the tracking cookie you need to your shopping session.  Sixth, make your purchases with the window you clicked through to the merchant with rather than opening many new windows.  Seventh and last, keep records; do not delete your receipt or e-mail confirmation, at least until you have physically received your cash back.  If, for some reason, the cash back does not register, and you have used a reliable portal with good customer service (see #1), you will be able to contact the shopping portal and they should credit you the cash back.

 More Resources on Biblical Financial Stewardship

Note: After being a happy member of both companies and getting thousands of dollars in cash back by simply clicking in the right place, I decided to become an affiliate of Ebates, Main Street Shares, Mr. Rebates, Top Cash Back, Be Frugal, and the other companies recommended on this page.  If you use the buttons on this webpage, I will receive financial compensation for helping you to save money.  I can in good conscience say that there is nothing on this website that I would not have said were I not an affiliate of the companies, and I believe that it is appropriate that we both benefit from the information I have put together for your betterment (1 Timothy 5:18).  However, if you are bothered by the fact that I will be compensated if you use these buttons to sign up, you can sign up on the webpage of either or both companies without clicking on these buttons, and I will get nothing.  If you choose to use the buttons on this webpage, I offer you my sincere thanks.