Is Ebates A Scam? Legit But Can You Really Earn Money Just By Shopping Online?

ebates website

Welcome to My Ebates Review!

I have always been skeptical about apps that promise to help you make money, although honestly, I’ve never tried one. Perhaps it’s because most apps I’ve seen are just too good to be true and like other low-quality products, they will tell you that you can make money by watching short clips, clicking ads, etc.

Ebates Review Summary

Name: Ebates


Founders: Alessandro Isolani and Paul Wasserman (Acquired by Rakuten)

Product Type: Cash Back App 

Price: Free

ebates logo

Quick Summary: Ebates is an app that lets you earn through “cash back” system. All you need to do is download Ebates for free, shop with different merchandisers using their app, and earn cash through “a Big Fat Check” or via PayPal. This app seems exciting and it made making money sound easy; however, does this really work? Is Ebates a scam? Check out all the details you need to know BEFORE YOU DOWNLOAD by reading my full, honest Ebates review.

Overall Rating: 5/10

Recommended: Yes

However, when I found out about Ebates and how it was acquired by Rakuten, I got curious right away. I have written an honest Rakuten Marketing review and it was a positive one, so I gave this app a quick try.

Is it the same with this app or is Ebates a scam?

Find out everything you need to know. The good, the bad, exposed in this full Ebates review.

What Is Ebates About?

Ebates is a free app that is available on iOS and Android devices. It was founded by Alessandro Isolani and Paul Wasserman but was acquired by Rakuten five years ago. If you haven’t heard about Rakuten, it’s the biggest eCommerce website in Japan, and one of the most trusted Internet companies in the world.

Created in 1998, the app works through a system called “cash back”. You shop and they pay you money depending on how much the product is, which you can receive via PayPal or “Big Fat Check” every quarter. But how is this possible?

Basically, Ebates uses a business model called affiliate marketing. You follow a link from their website or by using the app and when you purchase an item, they will earn a commission for sending a buyer to their affiliated stores.

Ebates, which was over 20 years old, has partnered with the biggest brands known today such as Macy’s, Walmart, Holiday Inn, and a lot more but still, you may a few questions in mind especially if you’re not familiar with affiliate marketing. Is Ebates a scam? Does this really work? Or is it just another app that’s good at wasting time?

ebates brand partners

How Does Ebates Work?

In general, affiliate marketing is a legit business model that many Internet marketers (including myself) are using. The amount you earn depends on your affiliate store or companies and the number of people who purchased using your link. So basically, you’re earning a percentage or a commission for referring a buyer to the merchandiser.

what is ebates about

With Ebates, you either go to their website or app and shop as you normally would online. Once you buy anything from their partner affiliate stores, you will see a percentage of what you bought in your account.

Ebates is basically just sharing a part of their commission so it makes sense why you’re earning cash, too. This company works as a middle person, connecting buyers to merchandisers.

If you’re still confused about how Ebates works, here’s a walk through video:

And if you’re wondering how you can make money with affiliate marketing, too, you can check out my top recommended program.

Is Ebates A Scam?

No, it’s not. Ebates is 100% legit and many users have earned using this app; however, some have terrible experiences, too., such as the person below.

ebates testimonials

Apparently, he was earning around $80 dollars using Ebates already. However, his account was activated afterward. Other complaints include crashing on certain mobile devices, poor customer service, no record of the customer’s transaction, and a few more which you can check here.

But there are also positive Ebates reviews saying how they have been using the app for years and they’ve earned a good amount of cash out of it, such as the one shown below.

is ebates a scam


When you want to earn through Ebates, you can simply go to their website or download the app for free. You can even get a $10 bonus for joining. But is it really worth signing up with Ebates?

ebates price

The answer is: yes… and no.

Yes, because it does give you a cashback for purchasing an item, and the amount you can get depends on what you have purchased. You can get around 5% up to 40% on the average, although in some instances, you may only receive 2%. The cashback will show up in your account within a week and you can receive your earnings on a quarterly basis after you reach its $5 threshold. As mentioned, you can receive this via a paycheck or PayPal or, you can even send the check to any person or organization (a charity for instance) you want.

It’s also a YES because aside from shopping, you can earn through referrals. But, it’s more than just signing up, your referral should be able to make at least $25 and keep an active account for 90 days.

Another way to earn through Ebates is through Ebates Cash Back Visa Credit. You can earn an additional 3% when you purchase using this Visa Credit and the best part is, you don’t need to pay for anything to avail this credit card. However, you need to have a good credit remark.

And now, the “no” part. The concept sounds very appealing: the more you purchase, the more you earn through cashback. But, are you really making money? The thing with cashback is you’re tempted to purchase more than what you need, even what you can afford, just so you can get “extra cash”. However, you cannot really consider this app to create another source of income.

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It Is Legit

Ebates is legit and is owned by a reputable eCommerce company. Unlike other apps and websites that are only after your confidential details, this app does work. You can really get a cashback from what you’ve purchased.

Additional Info: It has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) which is a good indication of its legitimacy.


No complicated methods, although you need to complete the signup process for a few minutes. After that, you can shop normally as you would on other online sites. If you’re too lazy to type a few details, you can simply connect it to your Facebook or Google account.


Not A Money-Making Opportunity

To be fair, yes you can get a percent of YOUR MONEY back. This is your money in the first place and you are just getting a small percentage of it for purchasing an item. However, if you’re really looking for a legit way to make money online in the hope of replacing your day job or as a source of passive income, Ebates is not a good option. But, if you’re a big shopper or you just want to save a small amount when you shop online, that’s when Ebates becomes a perfect choice.

What you can do is check out my top recommended program so you can have one of the best alternatives when it comes to making money online.

Big Purchase Doesn’t Necessarily Big Cashback

There’s a cap of $50 per purchase so even if you bought a thousand-worth of appliances, you cannot get a hundred dollars.

Tempted To Buy More

With Ebates, the idea is to lure people to buy more so they can “ëarn” more but then again. So, if you’re after the cashback, you may be tempted to purchase more items just so you can get a few amounts of cash.

Complaints About Customer Service

When you download their app using your iOS or Android device or when you simply check Ebates reviews online, you’ll see more than a dozen complaints about the poor customer service they provide. Some of it includes not receiving any response even if you sent them a couple of emails and for most people, having bad customer service is a big deal, no matter how legit the company is.

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Who Is It For?

Considering the fact that it won’t really help you make a massive amount of money, rather receive a cashback for purchases, Ebates is ideal for big shoppers or those who purchase online. It somehow gives justice when you don’t want to go to the mall and you just want to order a gadget online or perhaps, book a hotel.

On the side note: you can still take advantage of the referral program.

Final Opinion/Verdict

Knowing the Ebates is not a scam is a relief. At least, there are a few apps you can rely on when you want to make or save a few dollars. It’s also a good alternative when you love to shop or book online because at least, you’ll get back a few percentages of what you’ve paid for.

However, if you want to earn extra cash online or you’re simply tired of your day job and you want to be your own boss, I’d like to invite you to my top recommended program. It’s one of the best legit ways to make money online and if you’re consistent enough in applying what you’ve learned from the free training, you can even score a source of passive income.

As always, I do hope that I have enlightened you with my Ebates review and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share it below.

Thank you!

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Caroline So

I'm a stay-at-home mom always on the lookout for ways on how to make LEGITIMATE money online. I also love to write; when not working as a content writer, I create blogs about skincare, makeup, motherhood, and digital marketing. I joined Vasiliy as a writer for Best Lifetime Income blog.

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