If you make a lot of online purchases, you should check out the cash-back online website EBates.com.
The free service rebates a percentage of your purchases at more than 1,200 online stores and collects your savings into an account and then sends you a "Big Fat Check" in the mail. It's super convenient and easy. After using the site for several purchases, I got a check for $52.75 for buying things I was going to buy anyway.
Here's how it works: Register with an e-mail address, browse the 1,200 online retailers (like iTunes, Orbits, Sears, Barnes & Noble, Target, QVC). When you make a purchase, a percentage of it is posted into your EBates account after you pay for the item. After the money collects, you decided when to request a check. The site also offers deals of the day and coupons and sometimes can be combined with the rebate offered.
I recently was interested in buying an 80-hour iPhone battery for $79.95 from Brookstone.com. First, I logged into EBates, clicked on Brookstone, made the buy and received 6 percent cash back on the purchase. $4.79 was deposited into my account. Plus shipping was free.
There are more ways to get bucks, too. If you refer friends, Ebates.com gives you and your friends $5. There also are “Featured Coupons.” Today, Shoes.com offers 15 percent of your entire order and 8 percent cash back on your purchase. (As if I needed a reason to buy more shoes!)
-- Doreen Christensen