How I use Ebates To Help Me TravelThursday, November 12, 2015
I wrote an article a couple months ago about the ways I save money to travel more often. One of the easiest things I do throughout the year is use Ebates. Have you guys ever used it before? Well, if you ever shop online you NEED to. It's free money for everyone who shops on line-at virtually any store.
What you do once you're signed up as a member, is visit www.ebates.com first, before you know you're going to buy something. "Search" for the store you're planning to shop at, and then just follow Ebates link to your store.
(or just download their handy dandy toolbar that has a little E blink in the top corner of your screen to let you know if you're about to buy something you can save on--then you don't have to visit Ebates website at all, which is what I love and use)
Then, when you make a purchase, they give a certain percentage of that money back to you! I think of it as like using a promo code or getting a coupon for the items I shop for (which by the way, you can totally still use promo codes and ebates for higher savings!).
Ebates pays out once every 3 months to your paypal account (or you can get a check). When you first sign up, they give you a $10 bonus once you make a $25 purchase from any store through them- more free money!
Now that we know how it works, this is how it helps me with my travel budget.
Whenever I get a payment from them, it goes straight to my "travel money". Some months it's not much, because I didn't do much online shopping- but even $15 is a meal or entry into a cool historic attraction somewhere we visit- all just for buying things online that I was already going to do.
But some other months, it's much higher- especially around now when I start doing all of my Christmas shopping. I try my best to avoid malls and stores, especially this time of year. So, all of my Christmas shopping is pretty much done online- that always adds up to a big Ebates payback for me the first part of the year! And that can pay for hotel stays or whatever else we want to spend it on.
But besides being diligent about only spending the money on our travels, Ebates is great for additional savings on all of the travel websites I use anyways! I always use it for:
Priceline- I usually book hotels and car rentals through Priceline to get a good deal, so any additional savings that Ebates wants to give me back is awesome. It even works with Priceline's Name Your Own Price deal. You can usually find me on their website before any trip we take- big or small, lol.
Bookit.com- Is another site I use if I ever want to book an all inclusive hotel deal (especially to Mexico- they've got great AI prices!). Bookit also does cars and cruises, but I've found the best savings on hotels, myself. We used it when we went to Playa del Carmen, Mexico a few years ago. We got a great deal for a week all inclusive.
Any airline's website- If you prefer to book directly with the Airline itself- pretty much all of the airline's are partnered with Ebates. Discounts on airfare?? That can add up!
Travel Gear- If I need something like a new backpack, outlet converters, a new camera- anything for my trip- I make sure to go to an Ebates affiliated store to save even more. REI, even Target, Amazon--really anywhere you can think of.
My favorite stores to use Ebates at (besides my travel "stores") are Living Social, Groupon, Target, and ThredUp.
Don't forget, if you haven't signed up for Ebates yet, they're giving you a $10 bonus when you spend your first $25 at any affiliated store! Just make sure you go through them first! (*I can't tell you how many times that's happened to me. Where I made a purchase but forgot to go through ebates first--that's why I downloaded the little toolbar to alert me, lol.)
Where do you use it at? What do you like to do with your savings? Tell me in the comments!
*Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you use them to make a purchase, the company may give me a small amount of compensation AT NO COST TO YOU. Thank you for supporting the blog in this way.