Categories: Travel Hacking

Travel Hacking with Ebates

Ebates makes it pretty painless to save money when shopping, especially when booking travel that you would already do online.

Using sites like Ebates, you can earn cash back rewards with just a few extra clicks of your mouse.

What is Ebates? It’s an interesting concept. You sign up for an account and click through their site to their partner websites to shop online.

Haven’t used Ebates before? Sign up for Ebates using this link and get $10 bonus.

Ebates partners with a variety of companies that offer travel services. If you click through the Ebates  site to these partners you can earn cash back for each dollar you spend on flights, hotels and rental cars. Usually you can still earn miles and points on the sites’ loyalty programs as well. Sometimes there are restrictions, and I’ll explain some of those below.

Why is Ebates great for saving money on travel?

Let’s say you need to reserve a 2 week rental car for your upcoming trip. Most of the prices you found are around $120/week for a total of $240 spent. You’re also booking two weeks of hotels at $50/night, for a total of $700. With Ebates you could get up to 3% cash back on the car and 4% cash back on the hotels for a total savings of more than $35. Not bad for just a few extra clicks of your mouse. And guess what? There are a few additional hacks that could save you even more money. Read on!

Let’s take a deeper look at some of the special Ebates partnerships with travel companies. Be sure to read the fine print on all these websites as these rules and benefits could change at any time. Also keep in mind that Ebates is not available in every country and the rules may be different depending on where you live.

Ebates & Expedia

Ebates offers a range of cash back rewards on all Expedia shopping.

You can earn 7% cash back for cruise bookings, 4% back on hotels and 1.5% cash back on rental cars. Flights also earn $1.25 per booking.

Ebates credit will show up in your account about six weeks after the travel is completed, so don’t worry if you don’t see it immediately.

Bonus for Expedia:

Expedia also has its own point system. Sign up to become a member and receive 2 points per dollar spent. These points can be redeemed for hotel stays or car rentals at a rate of 0.71 cents per point or 1.42 cents for their “VIP hotels”.

Another way to save extra when shopping on Expedia is to book via their mobile app and earn 2x regular points.

Finally, stacking rewards is the ultimate way to maximize savings. Use a cashback or points credit card for this shopping and save even more.

Ebates & Hotels.com

Click though Ebates to Hotels.com and earn up to 4% cash back on your booking!

If you are a member of the Hotels.com loyalty program and want to earn rewards (see below),  you can still do so and earn 1% cash back.

Hotels.com often offers coupons and discount codes, if you use these you will not be able to earn any cash back through Ebates, so be sure to do the math to see which is a better deal.

Bonus for Hotels.com:

As mentioned above, Hotels.com also has its own loyalty program in the form of free hotel nights. Sign up and receive one free hotel credit for every 10 nights you stay. The average price is calculated and you get credit for one night equal to that average, plus taxes and fees.

There is another travel hack that you can use to save money on Hotels.com. Purchase discounted gift cards and use them to pay for your bookings. Check out this post to lean more about how to use gift cards to save money on travel.

And again, if you use a cash back or points credit card for the transaction you can save even more.

Ebates & Travelocity

Ebates offers a range of cash back rewards on Travelocity reservations. Get 7% cash back on cruises, 4% cash back on hotels and 1% cash back on car rentals. Flights also earn $1.50 per booking.

Ebates also offers special coupons and discounts for Travelocity so check the website for the latest deals.

Ebates credit will show up in your account about six weeks after the travel is completed, so don’t worry if you don’t see it immediately.

Ebates & Booking.com

Click though Ebates to Booking.com and earn 2% cash back per dollar spent on your hotel stays. This is a great option for those who prefer Booking.com over Hotels.com, Travelocity or Expedia for hotel stays. Sometimes it pays to shop around and see who has the lowest rates at a particular hotel. Also Booking.com is based in Europe and often has more lodging options in small cities and towns in Europe than the competitors.

Ebates & Hilton

Non-members can earn up to 5% cash back on hotel stays at the Hilton.  If you are a member with status you may prefer to earn points though the Hilton program but you can still get 1% cash back when booking vis the Ebates portal.

Ebates & Hertz

Click though Ebates to Hertz and earn 2% cash back on your car rental. There are some restrictions but luckily you can still earn Hertz loyalty points on your reservation.

Be sure to check out the Ebates site to see all the travel partners and deals. They have many more hotel, airline, rental car and even cruise deals. Sometimes Ebates will offer special deals like double cash back or extra discounts on your reservations.  You’ll need to sign up as a member to see all the deals, so use this link to sign up and get up to $25 credit! It’s my affiliate link so I’ll get some cash back too, so thanks!

How to redeem your Ebates?

So you’ve earned a ton of cash back credit from all your travels. How do you get your hands on the money? Ebates makes it simple without having to redeem points or purchase gift cards.

After you visit the Ebates website and click through to do your shopping you will see a pop up window confirming that you are ready to earn cash back. Complete your shopping then enjoy your travels. After the partner has confirmed that you purchased, paid for and completed the travels you will see the cash back credit in your Ebates account.

Every three months Ebates processes payments and can send you a check or deposit the balance into your Paypal account.

To receive the money via Paypal you will need a “verified” account with the same email address and name as your Ebates account. Paypal can be used for online shopping in many places so it is pretty useful. Your balance can even be transferred from Paypal into your local back account, usually for free.

The check would come to the address that is registered in your Ebates account. You can also ask Ebates to send the balance to another person or even your favorite charity!

Ebates vs Swagbucks

Have you already read our article about using Swagbucks to save money when traveling?

If you’ve read that article or already use Swagbucks you may realize that Swagbucks often gives a higher percentage in cash back rewards, sometimes 2x as much as Ebates offers. So why would anyone use Ebates over Swagbucks? Here are a few reasons.

  • Ebates website is simpler and less full of flashing text and offers to earn a few cents for playing video games or taking an online survey. This means the Ebates website is more pleasurable to use and usually loads faster.
  • Because the Swagbucks site is more than a shopping portal you also might run into problems using it when traveling if your IP address changes or you are abroad. This could cause your account to be deactivated and you’ll lose your SB points.
  • Ebates offers straight cash back rewards, rather than having to count up your Swagbucks to buy gift cards or save enough for the minimum $25 Paypal credit.
  • Ebates has more travel partners so if you like working with a specific brand of hotel or rental car then you might want to check Ebates too.
  • Sometimes the Ebates offer is the same as Swagbucks, like for Booking.com. The simpler interface would sway me to use Ebates over Swagbucks.

If you aren’t familiar with Swagbucks it is an excellent option as well, be sure to read our article about using Swagbucks for travel hacking.

I hope this article helped shed some light on how you can travel hack using Ebates. And check out this post to stack Ebates savings by using discounted gift cards to pay for your travels.

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