The Broad Array of Travel Sites Offering Cashback via Ebates

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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. For any of the hotel bookings, if you are booking on the using a corporate or other ‘non-commissionable’ rate, you won’t receive any cash back.

    Other than that, thanks Gary– great info!

  2. You might want to disclose that you only get paid 4 times a year, and the next payment isn’t till August. Not very speedy return, but a return none the less.

  3. Is quidco practical for non-UK residents? Can they send the rebates to paypal or would it require a UK account?

  4. Bugger – I did my first purchase through ebates last night; missed out on snaring you $5 Gary.

  5. What happened to the idea that you are only supposed to book on the hotel or airline website because you supposedly got extra points for that? Does anyone still do that?

  6. Thanks for the info. Signed up for ebates through your link – appreciate the full disclosure, and this blog has given me far more than $5 in value, anyhow!
    When I book Priceline, I try and remember to click through from betterbidding.com, even when I’m not taking advantage of their boards for bidding insight. It’s a small gesture considering the tremendous value of the free service.

  7. @Lisa, you’re still booking the rooms through SPG.com or Hilton.com. You’re just getting to those sites through EBates or Cashbaq.com.
    Also, most airlines don’t give you bonus for booking online anymore.

  8. Non-UK residents can use Quidco by arranging to be paid by Paypal. However, BE WARNED. If your earnings break £50 in a month they insist on paying into a UK bank account. YOur earnings will be frozen until you have provided a UK bank account number (albeit the account can be in any name). As you can’t control how quickly or slowly merchants pay, a heavy stayer can easily hit £50 by accident.

  9. I know cash is king, but I’m still a fan of mypoints.com for all my bookings because I get points which turn into United miles. If you’re obsessed with collecting frequent flyer miles, click through mypoints.com – airmilesmart.com also offers rebates directly as miles and points with Delta/Starwood (and maybe another program), but I find they offer less miles than mypoints 90% of the time.

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