Ebates—like many things we cover on this site—is a tool that by design is meant to save/earn you money. It’s the largest cash back site out there, meaning you get cash back for shopping through the Ebates portal at any of more than 2,000 brand partners (like Walmart, Macy’s, Hotels.com…). With its new Travel Thursdays series, it’s taken another great leap forward in the travel sphere. Once each week, it’s offering additional savings on travel bookings (hotels, cruises, more…) for minimal effort.
It’s still free: It’s still free to use and earn with Ebates.
What are Travel Thursdays?
Every Thursday from February 22 through March 29, travel deals will get the spotlight for a full 24+ hours, from 9pm PT the Wednesday before through 11:50pm PT on Thursday. For that whole time:
- Bookings at more than 280,000 hotels will earn you up to 10% cash back in your Ebates account. According to Ebates’s data so far, that works out to an average of $40 cash back for a three-night stay or $70 cash back for a five-night stay.
- Up to 50% savings and cash back and special pricing will be available on airfare, rental cars, cruises, and activities—all related to that week’s theme (see below).
Here are the weekly themes (past and future), with today’s theme—”Disney: Orlando, Anaheim”—in bold:
March 1: “Europe: London, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Barcelona”
March 8: “Beach: Rio de Janeiro, Cancún, Cabo San Lucas, Jamaica, Aruba”
March 15: “Big Cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas”
——————————> March 22: “Disney: Orlando, Anaheim“ <——————————
March 29: “Resorts: Miami, San Diego, Maui, Ft. Lauderdale, Phoenix”
A full list of cash back deals is available each week on the Travel Thursdays homepage.
How to use Ebates to save on travel
If you don’t already have one, you start by signing up for a free Ebates account. By signing up with my referral link, you’ll earn a bonus $10 in cash back after your first purchase of at least $25.
Once you’re logged in, you simply peruse the site’s Travel & Vacations section for deals you like as you would with any other booking or shopping tool. You can search for options (hotel rooms) with your travel dates, by brand (InterContinental), by category (Hotels, under Travel & Vacations), or by letting Ebates’s recommended stores guide you. Here’s what’s recommended at the time of this writing:
The percentages listed above refer to the percentage of your purchase you’ll receive as cash back if you use that coupon. It’s pretty intuitive. You look for the highest percentage cash back relevant to your travel search—or simply the best deal, as prices also get low compared even to other booking engines—and click your way through. If you find a better deal somewhere else, you skip Ebates and try again next time. Because an account is free, there’s no real downside. The idea is that if you’re going to buy something (like a hotel room or spa package) anyway, why wouldn’t you want to earn cash back for buying it? At the end of each period, you receive your aggregated cash back in the form of a check—they call it a “Big Fat Check”—or a PayPal deposit.
Here’s a quick video on it:
The Ebates Chrome extension arguably makes it even easier. You still have to create an account (still free), but once you’ve downloaded and logged into the extension, you’ll automatically be notified in the extension icon when you have the opportunity to earn cash through Ebates on what you’re about to buy. Coupons, where applicable, are automatically applied.
And for an extra $10…
Click my referral link to get a $10 welcome bonus after you sign up and make a purchase of $25 or more.
Tried Ebates? Tried Travel Thursdays? Share your experience in the comments below!
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.