April 6, 2014

Comparison of Cash Back Bonus Programs for Select Major Merchants

I decided to buy a Groupon deal today and I shopped around the different rebate sites I've used to see which had the best rebate for Groupon.   Turns out the winner was Discover card.   I decided to do a quick sample of major retailers to see where the best rebates were.  

I compared the following sites :

Citibanks Citi Bonus Cash Center
Discover cards Shop Discover
Chase's Ultimate Rewards Mall
Fatwallet Cash back shopping
Ebates


For Citi, Discover & Chase you need to have credit cards with those companies to use their online discount sites.   For Ebates & Fatwallet anyone can sign up on those sites.


I found a list of the largest retailers in the US and grabbed the top few stores excluding grocery.   Each of the sites has several dozen if not hundreds of merchants signed up so thats way too much work for me to sort through and list all of them.  

Here is the comparison :



Discover Citi Chase Ebates FatWallet
Amazon n/a n/a n/a 0-3% 0-3%
Apple 5% 2% 1% 1% 1%
Best Buy 5% 1% 1% 1% 1.5%
Home Depot 5% 2% 2% 2% 2%
iTunes n/a 4% 4% n/a n/a
Lowe's 5% 3% 3% 2% 2.5%
Macy's 5% 3%* 3% 3% 5%
Rite Aid n/a n/a n/a 4% 2%
Sears 5% 3% 3% 3% 3%
Target 5% 2% 2% 0-2.5% 0-2.5%
Walgreens 5% 4% 4% 4% 8%
Walmart 5% 2% 1% 2% 1%


Discover is the clear winner with only a few exceptions.    7.5 of the 12 merchants have the largest rebate at Discover.   FatWallet has 2, Ebates got 1.5 and Citi and Chase only share the last 1.

 Note: the rates above are what I found at the time of writing.   The rates do change and each site might run temporary bonus offers.

One thing to keep in mind is that with Citi, Chase and Discover the bonus above stacks with their normal cashback amount.  Ebates and Fatwallet would also stack with the normal cash back on whatever credit card you use.    Sometimes the way this stacks can change the better choice.   For example, right now Citi has 5% discount at Macy's.  So stacking their 3% bonus above with the promo 5% rate makes them 8% and they win right now due to the extra cash back 5% promotion.


Standard Ebates blurb:
To get the cash back you need to be signed up with Ebates.  Then simply go to Ebates to get the referral to the the store before you do your shopping.  I also get a referral bonus if you use my links to sign up with Ebates

--This article may contain referral links which pay this site a commission for purchases made at the sites.

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