Shopping online can be a daunting experience. How do you know if you're getting the right deal? Is there more cash back you could be saving? Are you leaving points on the table? We love using Cashback Monitor to help us make the right choice when making an online purchase. Cashback Monitor works with most of the major shopping portals to aggregate all of the reward rates into one easy place for consumers, helping people like you make smart shopping choices. The best part is they run the service based on advertising revenue. There's no cost to you and it's not even necessary to create an account. Cashback Monitor is simple, find the item you want and the store of your choice, then navigate to CashBackMonitor.com to see what shopping portals are offering the best deal on your purchase. Once you find the deal you want, you simply follow the steps below:
1. Navigate to the portal offering the best rewards rate for the store you'll want to make a purchase from.
2. If the portal you are going to use is new to you, you'll need to create an account. These may add a few steps to your process the first time you go to make a purchase. We recommend sticking to a few staples so you don't end up with 100 logins and have cash back scattered everywhere. For example, Ebates and Upromise are our go-to cash back portals. American Airlines is our airline carrier of choice and Chase is where we stash our bank rewards points. This keeps a process that could create a lot of wormholes fairly clean.
3. Once you're in the portal, navigate to the retailer where you'd like to make the purchase. The shopping portal will direct you to the retailer of your choice, and your reward offer will be enabled when you check out.
4. Sit back and wait, and be patient. Rewards can take a week or two to post to your account. The actual rewards are reliant on some technology happening when you make your purchase and everything tracking correctly. This can be buggy, so we always grab the URL from the purchase screen so we can share that with customer service if we have to fight for points. This is very rarely an issue, but we like our points. They are worth fighting for.
5. Keep in mind Cashback Monitor is not providing you with any cash back, it is just an aggregator. Each portal will be responsible for recording the points you earn.
This is a great question. Retailers don't actually work with CashBack Monitor directly. Instead, each points shopping portal provides Cashback Monitor with a list of points or cash back offers that the shopping portal has available. It's easy to find which portal is offering the best deal to get Macy's cash back, or how you can earn the most airline miles on your next hardware store purchase. We routinely use Cashback Monitor to decide whether to use Lowe's or Home Depot based on the additional points we'll earn for a purchase (assuming that the price is relatively the same on the item we need to purchase).
After you decide what shopping portal to use, and whether you want to earn cash back through a portal like Ebates, or go with points through Chase's Ultimate Rewards Portal, make sure you don't forget to use a cash back or rewards credit card when you make your purchase. The best part about using a shopping portal is that the rewards stack with any rewards you earn through the credit card you use to make your purchase. Take Orbitz for example. In this example,Ebates is offering up-to 10% cash back when you click through to Orbitz from the Ebates website. When you check out at Orbitz using your Uber card, you'll earn an additional 3% cash back on travel. Boom, you just earned 10% + 3% cash back on your next flight. You can also switch it up. Use the United portal to earn an additional 1 united miles per dollar paired with your Uber card for 3% cash back + 1 united mile. It's like one of those choose your own destiny books, only in this scenario your character doesn't die.
The service is free. All you are losing here is your time. If there are specific portals you like to toggle between and specific stores you like to watch, you can create a free account to monitor those specifically and cut down on some of the clutter. It's also a great way to help make sure your points don't expire in any rewards program. Have points expiring with American Airlines soon? Just top off your account using their rewards portal and reset that expiration date.
If you have the time to shop, we say shop smart. Bank those points where you can and you might find your next trip or impulse buy might be a little bit cheaper.