To follow up on my earlier post about receiving cashback or miles for travel bookings — something I try to remember to do for the myriad bookings I wind up making for other people especially — I surveyed the cashback offers at e-bates.
Some of them are pretty good, and several of them are ones I hadn’t realized existed.
For instance, I rent from Avis all the time. I book at their website, and never go through a portal. So I’m giving up my 3% cashback from ebates. (Dollar offers 3.5%, Thrifty 3%, and Enterprise 2% but I wouldn’t ever rent from Enterprise.)
I’m an Intercontinental Royal Ambassador member, I make my bookings on their website, and don’t go through the ebates portal — I’m giving up 5% cashback on Intercontinental/Priority Club family hotels. Wow, missing out bigtime. Marriott family properties offer 1%, not as generous but if I have to make a Marriott.com booking it’s better than a hole in the head as my grandfather used to say.
I can generally remember that the major travel portals (eg Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity) offer 1% cashback, so that’s my usual path towards making bookings for other people, at least I get something out of the deal. It’s almost like the commissions of old are back, albeit at a lower level!
And I love Pricelining (or booking via Hotwire) for other folks, because I’m earning 2% back on Hotwire via ebates and of course using someone else’s money for the booking. With Priceline, Fatwallet is the better value at 3% cashback.
Even packages are available through providers like CheapCarribean, a site I recently recommended to a junior employee in my office looking for a discounted beach package trip. It didn’t occur to me he could get 2.5% cashback…
And there are others too like Delta.com at 2%, Fairmont at 3%, and even stingy United.com kicks back two bucks for a booking.
Now, full disclosure, if you do use my link to signup for ebates we both apparently get $5 after your first purchase through their portal. Don’t want anyone unaware of that, disclosing potential conflicts of interest and all. And I still suggest checking out EV Reward to peruse potential better offers from any given travel provider that may come up. But the shocking thing for me is how many travel websites offer you a kickback, how many of them I use every week without taking cashback. I’m literally leaving money on the table.