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Ask the Readers: Ebates or Swagbucks?

Today’s question is from Katie:

I was wondering if you or your readers had a preference for online shopping using either Ebates or Swagbucks? I usually go through Ebates to get the cash back, but it is more profitable to go through Swagbucks and earn the points?

I understand it varies depending on any special points/percent back, but I was just looking for opinions. Thanks!

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  • Tina says:

    I use both. I just figure out which has the better cash back for the place I am shopping and use that one 🙂

  • cheryl says:

    I hate to confuse you even more, but I like to use myself. they usually give the same or even higher rebates.

  • Analisa says:

    I’ve had great experiences with both shopping through Ebates and Swagbucks so I continue to use them both. Before I make a purchase, I check each site to see what the offers are. Swagbucks makes it easy to compare the cashback equivalent and will say something like “Better than ___ % cashback”. If the cashback offers are similar I decide which to use depending on how much I’m spending. If I’m spending more than $20 I usually go through Ebates. Anything less and I go through Swagbucks. The only time this changes is if I’m right under the $5 mark for getting cashback on Ebates. Then I’ll shop through them until I hit the $5 mark so I can get my check. I think they’re both great websites, but Swagbucks seems more immediate to me so I tend to use it more often. Hope that helps!

  • Allison says:

    I use both, but generally I prefer swagbucks because you don’t HAVE to purchase something to earn points so those seem to add up quite a bit faster 🙂

  • KT says:

    I use both, but prefer Ebates. Sometimes I feel like Ebates is just more straightforward – I NEVER have trouble with my account getting credited, whereas I *occasionally* have had points not credit on Swagbucks. I also think Ebates has incredible customer service, which I like for reassurance in case my cash back doesn’t credit, I know it will be a painless process to get assistance.

    I also like how Ebates will sometimes offer me a *bonus* on top of my cash back earned if I take my rebate in the form of an Amazon gift card. Little things that Ebates does to go above-and-beyond really make me prefer them. 🙂 But I’ve definitely had success with both sites!

    • Amy says:

      I didn’t know that you could be paid in Amazon cards on Ebates! I just looked at my account and didn’t see that option. How do you choose that? Thanks!

      • KT says:


        I am not always given the option… Ebates randomly will offer it to me. Seems to happen a couple times per year. And the times they have offered it, they’ve tacked on an extra $1 or $2 from what my normal payout would be (so if my payout was going to be a $12.50 paper check, they’d offer me $13.50 in an Amazon gift card code). I’m assuming this is to try to entice me to take the electronic code option to save them postage. 🙂

        I can’t figure out what triggers them to offer me the gift card instead, but it seems if I let a couple months of accepting a paper check go by, they offer it to me… almost as if to say “Can you save us postage and take an Amazon gift card code?” But of course, that is just an observation on my part, and there may not be any rhyme or reason why they offer me that option. 🙂

      • melissa says:

        They will email you right before they mail your check each quarter and give you that option. The first time they offered me an extra $1 to choose the Amazon gift card. This time around, though, there was no bonus incentive.

  • Sandy says:

    I like to use the whatever site gives me the most cash back at the time. I have been doubling my cash back by using digital gift cards from to pay for my online purchases.

  • Sarah says:

    I use both actually I use a third my points as well whoever pays more that’s who I choose.

  • margaret says:

    I too use both but must admit find that neither rarely compares with Shop Discover (if you have a Discover credit card). They are most often the best bet for us since we do have a card. I just compare like all others have said. Ebates is better often for online travel purchases however.

  • I prefer Ebates over Swagbucks because like someone else mentioned, I’ve never had issued with being credited for my purchase. But if you do a lot of online shopping I highly recommend ShopatHome. They usually have higher cash back amounts than Ebates or Swagbucks. The downside is, their payout limit is higher. But if you don’t mind waiting a bit longer it’s worth it!

  • Kellie says:

    You should checkout It works the same way as Ebates but they offer a 110% guarantee. If you find a higher percentage of cash back somewhere else, you can provide the information about where you found it and once they verify it, they will match that cash back percentage at 110%. So if Ebates (or another cashback site) is doing 5% for a particular store, ShopAtHome will match it at 5.5%, if someone else has has 6%, ShopAtHome will match at 6.6% etc.

    This seems to work out the best when I check first because you can type in a specific store and it will tell you what percentages the various cash back websites are offering so once I figure out which one is the highest, I send that information to ShopAtHome and they go even higher. It’s worked out well every time I’ve tried it.

    Hope this helps!

    • Ashleigh Hall says:

      Thanks Kellie for the tip on CashBack Holics!! What a great site!

    • Jessica says:

      After you send the info to shop at home, how do they arrange the cash back to change, is it something that you do after you make the online purchase and then they change your cash back , or is it something you do before you make the purchase and they give you some kind of link?
      How do you get the info to them?

  • Kristine says:

    I had a better payout success rate with ebates. Was only 80% for Swagbucks over the Christmas season. I got all my points, eventually, after opening tickets, but it was time consuming. I shopped three weeks ago through ebates, and for the first time I wasn’t credited! But, their CS was instant when I sent a help request. For that reason, I prefer ebates.

  • Karen H in NC says:

    It really depends on where I’m shopping. Amazon is restrictive as to what points system they’ll use and/or what rebates they’ll give. Sometimes, you need to shop certain departments to get any bonuses. That said, I wanted to get a set of sheets through Groupon. Before I bought, I checked eBates, Swag Bucks, My Points and Retail Me Not. I ended up using Swag Bucks for a $25 Groupon purchase, I’ll get 175 points for the purchase. I paid for my purchase using my Amazon Credit Card (which I pay off every month…no interest paid, ever!) and get 1 point per dollar spent. With Amazon Credit Card, the purchase points you earn can be redeemed for cash or used to reduce the purchase price of an item from Amazon. So I consider this a triple savings.

  • Lety says:

    I have never shopped through swagbucks. I have yet to warm up to that site. However, I just want to add to what others have mentioned. I have had no problems whatsoever with Ebates. They are quick to respond to questions and concerns. I once misplaced a check and it was expired by the time I found it. Ebates had no problem with replacing it. They are great.

  • Therese says:

    I prefer

  • Sabrina Kollmann says:

    I’m currently using both. I like I can earn points on swagbucks without shopping however, I am not always getting the points promised on certain actions which feels like a huge waste of my time. I’m not sure if you can do anything about that or not but I’m thinking about giving up on trying to get those extra points.

  • Aura Yarusso says:

    I’m not familiar with the way all of these sites work, please explain. Are these sites only good for online shopping, do you need a special card ext. Thanks everyone

  • Katie D. says:

    Thanks for posting my question and thank for all the answers!

    I have been using ebates exclusively, but it sounds like it is valuable to compare between that and swagbucks when I shop!

  • Mary says:

    I discontinued using Swagbucks. I had multiple incidents of points not being credited for activities or purchases. One purchase went months and after creating a ticket I never heard back about it after a month. I cancelled my membership.

    • If you or anyone else has issues like this, email me and I can put you in direct contact with Swagbucks. They are usually really fantastic about taking care of any issues and glitches.

  • Amanda S says:

    I LOVE both. But I check each site out to see which has the better bank for your buck. If I am getting 2% back from Ebates but 8 swagbucks bag from Swagbucks then I will use Swagbucks to buy my products. And keep in mind some websites aren’t part of Ebates or Swagbucks. For examples Ebates doesn’t do Shutterfly cash back but Swagbucks does. I love both and use them a lot I just recommend you take a few seconds to compare prices before you buy!

  • I haven’t been too successful with Swagbucks, but Ebates has given me a ton of cash back in online purchases and referrals. I definitely prefer Ebates!

  • MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

    Since starting my Ebates account I have received $207! I have a check for $43.50 on its way and another $21 pending the next payout.

    I love them and the service is awesome. The only problem I have had stemmed from a company not paying out (don’t bother ordering from Omaha Steaks through them…actually don’t use them at all. I had issues with their delivery for the last 2 Christmas AND both times they made up a reason not to pay me or Ebates. Worst service ever).

    I have had issues getting swag bucks credited too and it’s hard to track what’s missing since your doing so much at once at in such small increments. I don’t want to spend an extra 10 minutes tracking down 2 points! I still use them but stick to Ebates for shopping!

  • Marcin says:

    If Swagbucks offers a higher cash back of more than 1 swagbuck per dollar i will go with them. But also i use Ebates for, where i can get cash back for textbooks i need to buy. Both are really great websites and i use them all the time.

  • Trina says:

    I use or shop discover card! Shop at home or discover card typically has the highest payout rates in my experience!

  • Amanda says: is another option. I like shopathome best, but have used FW when I couldn’t find cashback elsewhere. Bank of America offers cashback on some things too (I’d think other banks might too), so we used that and shopathome to buy a laptop recently, and ended up getting about $100 back total.

  • JoannaTopaz says:

    I type in whatever store I’m shopping at in and go with whatever is highest in percentage. They will give you the percentage for ebates, Swagbucks (they convert the points into percentage for you), MyPoints and more.

  • MJ says:

    I bought $404.96+ worth of Christmas presents through Swagbucks and only $2.62 (262 swagbucks) were put into my account after countless emails with little, automated response.

    I also, with others agreeing, have been kicked out of COUNTLESS surveys halfway in (or almost completed) for them to tell me “You’re not qualified to be in this survey” and it’s just is tiring.

    I don’t know what Ebates is like yet (after some more research I’m going to make an account with them), but I can tell you I’m not working through Swagbucks ever again.

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