which reimburses you 4% on restaurant and bar purchases, 3% on hotels and airline tickets, 2% on online purchases (including Uber journeys) and 1% for everything else . There are no annual costs.
Uber Visa card
Those points may not sound like much, but it is true. Suppose your monthly credit card bill is $ 2,000. Assuming you always pay in full, and you only get 1% back, that's an extra $ 20 in your pocket every month – or an additional $ 240 a year. To do nothing.
If you are a frequent Amazon customer, I strongly recommend that you sign up for one of the company's credit cards. Each offers 5% money back on almost every Amazon purchase. There is the Amazon Store Card, which is only good at Amazon and offers interest-free financing for various purchases. (At the moment you can also get a $ 60 gift card when you sign up.) Then there is the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, a more traditional credit card that also gives you money back for non-Amazon purchases.
Cashback for online purchases
Rakuten (formerly Ebates) offers money back from a large number of online stores, but also has a number of options in the store.
Screenshot by Rick Broida / CNET
Here's a hypothetical one: you need a new refrigerator. You do some research, find a model that you like and then go shopping online for the lowest price for that model. Turns out it's with JCPenney.
Then, recalling the wise advice of a Rick "The Cheapskate" Broida, go to the cash-back service Rakuten (formerly Ebates), where you discover that you can get a 3% discount on JCPenney purchases. So you click through from Rakuten to the JCPenney online store and order your fridge as you normally would.
Not long after, you get a $ 51.42 credit. You will then receive an actual check (or PayPal deposit). Do it for almost nothing.
Complete openness: that was not a hypothesis. It happened to me. And that is why I have been in favor of online money-back services for years. They are easy to use and secure without obligations. (Actually, I think there is one string: Rakuten and similar services collect data about where you shop and what you buy. Some people are bothered by it. I don't.)
I have hundreds over time dollars I otherwise had forfeited. Small purchases here, large purchases there. That's right. Here are two services that I recommend to check out:
Rakuten: Rakuten is perhaps the best-known service of its kind – or at least before the inexplicable name change. I like it because of its simplicity and reliability. The browser plug-in makes it easy for me to check if there is a cash-back option for a particular store, and the apps support mobile cash-back shopping. (Many, if not most, money-back services require a desktop browser.) The service is also one of the few that also supports money-back shopping in the store. Every 90 days, Rakuten pays out your discounts in the form of a check or PayPal deposit.
Honey Gold: Built around a browser plug-in that finds discount codes on store checkout pages and keeps track of price history in stores such as Amazon and Best Buy, Honey Gold has a different approach. "Every reward is a surprise," it says, meaning that the cash back rate remains a mystery until after the purchase. For example, it could be 1-5% on eBay, 1-10% on Walmart and so on. However, this is not cash back. Points can only be redeemed for gift vouchers, and only at around a dozen stores. Only use Honey Gold if you cannot find a cash-back option from one of the other services.
One important thing to note: if you use one of these tools in a desktop browser, make sure you deactivate any blocking of ads – at least for the service itself and the store you visit. The use of an adblocker can make the required tracking more difficult, which means that you may not receive your discount.
Cashback services for credit card purchases
A growing number of services offer a computer-free way to score cashback. By linking your credit card, you can get those extra savings by just shopping as you normally do. Go to restaurants, book hotels and buy things as usual, and presto: money back. And yes, they work even if you already get money back from the card provider. Double dip, anyone?
The only catch is that you don't get rewards everywhere, only from stores that participate in the given program. So you may have to recon a little in advance.
Dosh and Yelp Cash Back link to your credit card to automatically give you extra money back savings at participating stores, restaurants and services.
Screenshot by Rick Broida / CNET
Here is a look at three of these services, which I have all tried and can recommend.
Dosh: Dosh was launched in 2017 and has become one of my favorite money-back services. Simply link one or more credit cards to your account and then browse through the available offers. These are usually not only local restaurants and companies, but also national chains (such as 5% at Sam & # 39; s Club) and online stores (for example, 3% at Old Navy). The app has also recently returned money for hotel reservations. Withdrawals can be donated to a charity or sent directly to your bank or a PayPal account.
Drop: Similar to Dosh, but with a system of points-for-gift cards instead of real money, Drop works on a combination of current and one-off offers. You can choose up to five "favorites" that earn you points with every purchase, from places like Starbucks, Walmart, Whole Foods and Uber. Regarding the one-time offers, these include things like "30 points for every $ 1 you spend at Zenni" and "15 points per $ 1 spent at Apple." Generally I don't like this kind of structure, but it's so easy to automatically earn points (and therefore rewards) by shopping at your favorite stores, I definitely recommend Drop.
Yelp Cash Back: I would call this "Dosh for restaurants" because it works about the same: linking a credit card, eating out at selected restaurants, earning money back. Unfortunately, a single credit card cannot be linked to both Dosh and Yelp, as both use e-commerce company Empyr for the actual payments. And that explains why I saw a lot of overlap between the two, both in restaurants and in amounts of money. As a result, you can save more by using Dosh, but if restaurants are your focus, Yelp Cash Back is definitely worth viewing.
If you are not crazy about giving your credit card number (s) to services like this, I can certainly understand that. However, keep in mind that your numbers are encrypted, all credit cards are protected to protect you against fraud, and your card is already registered in any number of stores and services. So what else is it, especially if there is money in it for you?
Cash-back services after purchase
There is another option to dive into the cash-back until. Post-purchase services offer discounts afterwards – usually by looking at your coupons. (And if that raises privacy issues, I'm pretty surprised you even got it that far. But keep reading.)
Let's look at two notable options, starting with one that can score your price match without reimbursements. that you raise a finger.
You can use an app such as Receipt Hog to convert your receipts into cold, hard money (or gift vouchers).
Paribus: Many online stores offer price alignment and purchase protection. So if you buy something and the price drops, you can get the difference back. Paribus keeps track of your purchases and contacts customer service on your behalf to get that refund. There are no costs associated with using the service, but you must keep an eye on your e-mail so that the vouchers can be found automatically. Fortunately there is this big disclaimer immediately: "We do not sell or share your data with third parties."
Reception Hog: Do you want to share your paper receipts for market research? If not, scan them with Receipt Hog. Each yields you coins that you can ultimately redeem for cash or gift cards. You can also earn coins by completing surveys, connecting e-mail and Amazon accounts and playing the "hog slots". Frankly, I don't like this app, especially since it requires full-time location access. There are similar apps, such as ReceiptPal, that can also work with electronic vouchers. Yet I think it is too much work for too little reward. But it is another form of money back, and therefore worth mentioning.
If you wonder why I didn't include the popular Ibotta in this story, it's because the app requires a lot of hoop jumping. For example, if you want to get cash back for purchases at a supermarket, you must claim offers before you shop and don't forget to send your proof of payment. And to claim offers, you must answer questions about your household, education, and so on. You can certainly save money with Ibotta, it just takes more effort.
Similarly, there are many other tools and services that I have not covered here. If you use one of them and you think it deserves a mention, be sure to do so in the comments!
Originally published last year and updated with new information.