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How Do I Use An Online Cashback Shopping Portal?

January 15, 2018

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For those of you not familiar with online shopping portals like Ebates, TopCashBack, or Active Junky (to name a few), I'll give a quick tutorial on how to use them. It's pretty simple once you get the hang of it and it will save or make you a ton of money in the long run. 


First thing you'll need to do is sign up for the portal you plan to shop through. Here are the ones I tend to use most often for no other reason then they have the best return rates. 

1. TopCashBack

2. Ebates

3. Active Junky

4. BeFrugal

5. IConsumer  - This portal pays out in Bitcoin and shares in the company which is riskier in my opinion but worth looking at. 


To quickly see which portal has the best payout, go to CashbackMonitor.com and search for the store in which you plan to shop. CashbackMonitor shows you what every cashback and points portal pays out for that particular store. This should be your first stop whenever you are about to shop on a website. 


If you are interested in reselling, I highly recommend you signup for The Frequent Milers Portal Alerts. They provide a daily email summary of changes to any stores best portal payout. This is a part of my daily routine and makes for some great portal payouts on inventory to resell. 


No matter what Portal you end up shopping through, you'll either need to make an account if it's a cashback portal or you'll need to make an account in the respective reward program for that portal if it's points or miles. For example, for Ebates you need to make an account, for American Airlines, you need to have an American Airlines Frequent Flyer Mile account. 


Once you've decided on what portal to use and created the right account. The next step is to search the portal for the store you're looking for. Once you find it, select it and it should bring you the portal's page for that store. Here you should see what their rate is for that store. It should match what you saw on CashbackMonitor, but there is a lag sometimes between changes in the portal and CashbackMonitor updating, so make sure you double check it's what you expect. 


If everything checks out, you click on the link on the portal page that takes you to the store's website. The portal will track any purchase you make and add it to your account based on the advertised rate.


To make sure you get credit for shopping through a portal, do the following: 

  1. If you have an adblocker, make sure you exclude the portal so it can track your purchase

  2. Make sure you enable cookies in your browser

Many of the portals will show you your recent store visits even if you don't make a purchase. So you can check to make sure your visit is being tracked. Most portals will also show you your purchases made through the portal.


Your cashback or points/miles should post anywhere from the next day to a few weeks. If something is missing, get in touch with the portal to see if they have record of your visit/transaction. They MAY still give you credit if you provide the receipt, but this isn't guaranteed so make sure you are 1)signed in to the portal, 2) don't have an adblocker on, and 3) have cookies enabled. 



Interested in more specific shopping pointers?

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