How cash back sites Shop at Home and Ebates work

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ll see I frequently mention Shop at Home and Ebates when I feature online specials. I’ve gotten some questions before about what these sites are and how they work, so I thought I’d take the time to explain.

What are “cash back” sites?

Shop at Home and Ebates offer you cash back on your online purchases. You’ll want to start by creating a free account with each of them (I’ll tell you why I have both accounts in a minute). When you’re ready to make an online purchase, simply visit Shop at Home or Ebates FIRST. Log onto your account, search for the retailer, and click the link provided. If your retailer appears (and there are hundreds), you’ll note how much cash back to expect. It is usually a percentage. Then, make your purchases as you normally would. A few days later, your Shop at Home or Ebates account will be credited the appropriate cash back amount.

Will I see a discount at checkout?

No. You won’t notice anything different while shopping or checking out. However, when you click on the retailer link from the cash back site, you should see a “tracking ticket” pop up briefly before being redirected. Your cash back will be credited to either your Shop at Home or Ebates account.

How do I get paid?

Both cash back sites require you have a minimum balance of $20 to receive payment. I really like Ebates because they pay you via your PayPal account once a quarter. I’ve recently signed up with Shop at Home and it appears they’ll send you a check 60 days after the end of every month, provided you’ve met the threshhold.

How else can I save through these sites?

You can often find coupon codes at your favorite retailers through cash back sites! AND you can use these in conjunction with the cash back you’ll receive! Think of it like using a coupon and getting a rebate. I’ve learned to NEVER just head to an online retailer and start shopping. I ALWAYS check for coupon codes and cash back offers. You can also install a free toolbar at Shop at Home to make sure you automatically get any cash back available.

Why should I sign up with both Shop at Home and Ebates?

The cash back will generally differ between both sites, so having a free account with each one gives you the greatest opportunity to save. I always check to see who is offering the best offer before proceeding. If you’re new, Shop at Home will add $5 to your account. In checking Ebates, looks like you can opt to receive $5 cash, OR a number of gift card options, including a $10 Home Depot gift card.

My thinking is this: at some point, you’re likely to need to buy something online. Why not save some money in the process?

What have your experiences been with either of these sites? Have another cash back site you’d like to share?


  1. Elise says

    What is the “catch” with these sites? Don’t they force you to download “spyware” which they use to watch everything you do online? That was my understanding from when I researched it. I could be wrong, but I wasn’t comfortable with that.

  2. Feona says

    The basic procedure is same for almost all cash back websites. They differ only in the percentage of cash back they offer for different online stores. Along with Shop At Home and Ebates, I also like to recommend FatWallet, AAfter Search and Bing,
    However, thanks for this nice article.

  3. says

    have had SERIOUS problems with Shop At Home and it’s not due to tracking/cookie issues. I used them to do most of my Christmas shopping with their “special” extra cashback bonus offers. I’m talking several stores/purchases. 9 times out of 10 I have had to submit an inquiry and request the correct rebate%. They refuse to honor most of them… I never get an email response from them. I just keep checking my cashback account and “may” see a slight adjustment. (i.e. Walmart purchase should have been 10% on Black Friday – I initially received 4% cashback on my purchases – after I submitted an inquiry they gave me a whopping 2% extra cashback…soooo instead of 10% I got 6%.) I’ve had the same problem with purchases I made thru them at Sears, Victoria’s Secret, Avon, Lane Bryant, JcPenney, LeapFrog, Avon, etc.) I followed the cashback rules for each transaction, theefore, I should not have had these problems. This site is very guilty of false advertising. Beware! Use Ebates or Mrrebates. I’ve used both of these cashback programs and have never had such issues. They stand behind their advertised cashback percentages! Something needs to be done about Shop At Home’s failure to provide the correct cashback amounts. If it were just once or twice…fine…mistakes happen. However, it is starting to appear on purpose.

    • arussell says

      Tammy, thanks for taking the time to explain this. I do have a couple direct contacts at Shop at Home. Do I have your permission to inquire personally on your behalf about this issue?

      • dee says

        I know this post was made 3 years ago, but here we are in 2013 and I’m having the same problem with ShopAtHome. Was this ever resolved?

        ShopAtHome is saying I never even went through their site to make my purchase and are denying my earned cashback. (A hefty amount, I might add) However I did use them for this purchase, in fact their tracking records indicate that I did in fact enter their site.

        Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

  4. says

    I’ve been a big fan of cashback programs. Last fall I signed up for They advertise great cashback percentages and I was really excited to get the extra savings. ONE HUGE PROBLEM….when I checked the cashback amounts on my purchases, 9 times out of 10 they shorted me on my cashback! Even after escalating the issue, they STILL did not get it right. Just a warning to everyone, if ShopAtHome advertises 6% cashback, make sure they are crediting your account with 6%. Many times I found they were only giving me 1% cashback. I never had this type of problem with other cashback programs, but it appears to be they way ShopAtHome operates, which is nothing short of false advertising.

  5. says

    I’ve used cash back sites for years now and never had problems until I started using ShopAtHome. This site is crooked. You follow their procedures exactly and if you are lucky enough to receive any cash back for any purchase, it is only the very small ones that they honor. And these are usually under a dollar.
    I have used eBates for years and never had any problems. But with ShopAtHome I’ve had to submit complaints trying to find out why I haven’t received the cash back. Also, they very seldom even respond to your emails.

    Right now, I am missing over $35 of cash back.

    Everything Tammy says is spot on. arussell, if you really do have direct contacts with people at ShopAtHome I would appreciate it if you could get them to honor their cash back.

    • arussell says

      I do and I spoke with them yesterday. I will be forwarding these comments to my contact today. Thank you.

    • arussell says

      Ps if both you and Tammy can provide me with valid email addresses (send them to me at thecouponproject at hotmail dot com) I will put you directly in contact with someone to help.

    • Tricia says

      DId you get an answer or figure out how to apply purchase to your ebate account if you forgot to go there first? I too am kicking myself after spending a bundle this morning on the Disney Store and forget to to through ebates first. UGH!

  6. Michelle says

    I have used Ebates for the past year and so far have received over $800. I use it for person and business use. If we travel I go to ebates first and head out to either the airline/hotel site or use one of the travel sites like – I do NO online shopping until I check to see if it’s on Ebates. Cost me nothing and I make money. My last purchase was printer ink. I usually get it from 123Ink and recently they had double cash back so I got 26% back and 123Ink had a nice sale as well. I made out really well. I recommend this site 100%!!

  7. James says

    Great article, I never tried ShoppingAtHome, nor ebates, been always on and

    Both are great sites worth checking.

  8. Monica says

    Does anyone know if the rebates issue with shop at home were fixed? I just did a purchase and got less than 1% on a $161 at Macys . I was supposed to get 6% which is why I used them. If this keeps up Ill stick with upromise. They have yet to short me once.

  9. Sue says

    I know this is an old post but I am researching why I have not been getting my rebates on both Shop At Home and Ebates. I have never had a problem till recently. Even though I have track back information they still want all kinds of information that requires lengthy research on my part. I am very IRRITATED. Please let me know if you know of any reasons why this might be happening. A friend suggested perhaps some security setting on my computer but I have not changed anything.

    • Angela Russell says

      Sue, unfortunately I don’t promote either site for various reasons, but SAH in particular turned out to be such a rotten egg. I had several readers complain to me and I took it to my contact at SAH only for them to condescend to me that my few readers didn’t matter. I can no longer in good faith recommend them.

      • Andrew says

        Angela – same here.. after trying a number of other sites I settled on Been great for the last 9 month at least.

        Pretty responsive customer service. They don’t have every store under the sun mind you, but most of the bigger ones.

      • Lindsey says

        I have never had a problem with Shopathome. I have been a member for 4 years and have received over $400 back. I also love that they have a 110% cashback match. So I go to and check which site has the highest cash back, submit to SAH to match and than shop as normal. They have always price matched and anything missing they have always credited. There was a time there was not a trackback and they didn’t credit me but it was my fault because I opened a different window to complete the purchase.

  10. says

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    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and I must
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  1. […] For Cyber Monday (today), books are discounted 30% off AND free shipping. The Pierce County Book is currently $24.50. So if you purchased that, you’d pay $24.50 today, but then receive $12.50 in your Ebates account in a couple days. If you’re new to Ebates, you’ll receive an additional $5 just for signing up! That means you could score an Entertainment Book for as low as $7.50 after cash back!Then, you’ll receive the cash back via PayPal on their next payout day (my account is showing that as being February 15, 2011). For more information how Ebates works, read this post. […]

  2. […] If you FIRST start at Shop at Home, you’ll earn a whopping 11.5% cash back on your Snapfish purchase! To do this, you’ll want to create a free Shop at Home account (it just takes a couple minutes). Once you’ve done that, search for “Snapfish” in the search bar. Click on the “shop now” button and proceed as you normally would. You won’t notice anything different at checkout (no discounts), but 11.5% of your purchase will be credited to your Shop at Home account. This will then be paid back to you at a later date. For more information on how this works, please read what I’ve written on how cash back sites work. […]

  3. […] I just checked, and Shop at Home is offering 10% cash back on JCPenney purchases! I am thinking that this would include outlet purchases since you start at, though I am not certain. However, I definitely think it’s worth a try. Just create a Shop at Home account (it’s free), then search for JCPenney and click on through. Shop as you normally would. A few days later, you should see the cash back in your Shop at Home account. (For more on how this works, please read my post about cash back sites.) […]

  4. […] To sweeten this deal, you can use Shop at Home to earn 10% cash back on your Macy’s purchase. Signing up with Shop at Home is free and easy. It’s like an online rebate program. Start at Shop at Home, create a free account, and then shop as you normally would. You’ll receive the 10% cash credit to your Shop at Home account, which is paid out in cash to you at a later date. (For more on how this works, please read my post on how cash back sites work.) […]

  5. […] Want an even better deal? Start at cash back site Shop at Home and you’ll earn 12% cash back on your Snapfish purchase! Using Shop at Home is simple if you haven’t before. You simply create an account using an email address and password you create. Then you search for Snapfish and click through. Shop as normal. The 12% will be added to your Shop at Home account within a few days and the cash is distributed via PayPal quarterly. (For more information, read my post on how cash back sites work.) […]

  6. […] To make this deal a lil’ sweeter, start at Shop at Home and you’ll earn 1% cash back on your Babies ‘R Us purchase. All you need to do is create a free account (or log onto an existing one) and then search for/click through to Babies ‘R Us. Shop as normal. A few days later, the money will be credited to your account. (For more information, please read my post on how cash back sites work.) […]

  7. […] Start at Ebates or Shop at Home and you’ll earn 4% cash back on your purchase today. If you’re new? You’ll also get $5 cash added to your account (this is true for both Ebates and Shop at Home). Once you have your account set up, you can then search for Ace Hardware and click through their link and locate this item (8296592 – Merry Garden Reclining Adirondack Chair). You won’t notice anything different at checkout.  Log onto your cash back account a few days later to confirm that the cash has been added to your account (along with the $5 new customer bonus). You will receive the money via PayPal when you’ve hit their threshhold (about $20-25). For more information, read my post on how cash back sites work. […]

  8. […] To make this deal even hotter, you can start at Ebates where you will earn up to 5.5% cash back! All you need to do is create an account (it’s free) using an email address and then a password you select. You can then search for in the search bar and click on their link. Shop as normal. In a few days, the cash will be credited to your account. You’ll receive all the cash you earn from online purchases started at Ebates once a quarter. (For more information, see my post on cash back sites.) […]

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