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Ebates is a very well known cashback site here in the US and, alongside TopCashback, forms an integral part of a lot of people’s miles & points strategy – you can earn cashback though these sites while still earning miles and points for bookings with major airlines and hotel chains.
As useful as Ebates has always been, the site has just become a whole lot more interesting thanks to a linkup with American Express Membership Rewards.
Ebates & Amex Membership Rewards
If you join Ebates via this link you’ll be offered the chance to earn 1,500 Membership Rewards Points after making purchases totalling $25 or more within the first 90 days of membership.
Note: this program only appears to be available to new members for the time being – presumably it will be rolled out to everyone in time.
Earning Membership Rewards Points
Every 1% of cash back earned through Ebates is equal to 1 Amex Membership Rewards point so every dollar of cashback earned will convert over to 100 Membership Rewards points.
Ebates will transfer the points in your Ebates account to your Membership Rewards program account in accordance with the Ebates payment schedule….which currently looks like this (for cash back payments):
Don’t expect transfers to be instantaneous (far from it!) Ebates has said that “[t]ransferred points will appear in your Membership Rewards program account within 8 to 12 weeks after receipt by American Express of the points information from Ebates.”
That’s quite a wait!
A minimum of $5 cash back is required in an Ebates account before a Membership Rewards Points transfer will be made (500 points).
From anecdotal evidence passed on to Doctor of Credit it would appear as if only people with personal Membership rewards accounts are eligible to link their accounts to Ebates – those only holding Business Membership Rewards cards are not eligible.
This looks like a fantastic opportunity to rack up easy Membership Rewards points and, as I value each point at 1.5 cents, this also means that the rate of return from Ebates just improved significantly.
Ebates doesn’t always offer the best cash back around (I use evreward.com to check the rates before I choose a portal to use) but the fact that you can now earn Membership Rewards points though the site will often more than make up for any shortfall.
Just to give you an example of how good this can be just take a look at the current cash back on offer at Macy’s (a store at which a lot of people will shop):
6% isn’t a bad cash back rate but it looks even better when viewed as 6 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent….and that’s on top of whatever you’ll earn from whichever credit card you choose to use.
It’s a shame that existing Ebates members can’t make the most of this right now (you could try closing your Ebates account an opening up a new one) but I expect this to be rolled out to existing Ebates members given a bit of time.