Tag: Referral

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About MagnifyMoney

How This Site is Financed

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Fine Print Alert

MagnifyMoney is completely free to use. It does not charge a subscription fee. Our guides are free to download. Our tools are free to use. 

At MagnifyMoney, we’re committed to helping people save money. Our guides are written by true industry insiders, who really know how the system works. You won’t find amateur writers recycling generic tips in our guides. Instead, you will find experts who used to run credit card companies or have firsthand industry knowledge on a topic helping you understand the rules, tricks and traps.

Plus, we spend a lot of time developing financial literacy programs for our communities.

In this article, we will explain how it all works.

Yes, The Site is Completely Free

There are two really important things to know about us:

  1. We will never charge you, the user, for any of the tools on our site. We want to help as many people as possible. And we know that charging a subscription or service fee would limit the number of people we could help.
  2. We will never let a bank or financial company pay us to write a favorable review. The reviews are written by us. The blog posts are written by us (or by talented writers we hire. Want to apply: send us a note info@magnifymoney.com) The marketplaces are powered by us. If you see us recommending a deal as the best, it was because we made that decision – not because we sold that space on our website.

We launched the website in May 2014, and have been overwhelmed by the response. People pay too much money for credit card debt. They don’t earn enough on their everyday savings. And they spend way too much on fake “credit repair” and “credit score booster” books and services.

We have helped millions of people get out of debt faster, negotiate hard with collections agencies, earn 100x more on their savings account and build their scores the right way. And, based upon our growth trajectory, we will be helping millions more.

Along the way, we have had a lot of sketchy people already reach out and ask us if they can write a blog post, pay us for a link or pay us for a good review. The answer has been, and will continue to be: NO!

So how does MagnifyMoney Generate Revenue?

Banks and companies do not pay us for a position in our rankings. We have a team that is constantly looking for the best deals. Our goal is to find the best deals, and worry about the money later.

To find those deals, we look at the Top 100 Banks, the Top 100 credit unions and then a long list of start-ups and other challenger brands to see if we can find an even better deal. We regularly update the deals. If you find a better deal (or work for a company that is creating a better deal), just email Nick, our co-founder. He can be reached at nick@magnifymoneycom, and we’ll include it in our results if we agree that it is a good deal.

We then go out and see if any of the products we recommend have referral deals (or “affiliate links.”) That means they pay us a commission when a MagnifyMoney user ends up opening an account with them. We will only sign an affiliate deal if:

  • We have complete editorial control over our reviews. If taking a commission means we have to write a more favorable review, we won’t do it.
  • We can be completely transparent with you about when and where we get paid. We should never be afraid to tell you where and how we are making money from our partners. If we do this right – you will save more money while we make money in the process.

Doesn’t This Make You Biased?

We don’t think so. We believe in complete transparency, and will not be afraid to identify our partners. We will let math guide our recommendations.

Are You Different from Other Sites?

We think we are very different from most sites out there. Here is why:

  • We have a team of experts. And when we don’t have the answer, we look outside of MagnifyMoney to find the expertise. Our goal is to give you the best answer, and to do that we have the best people (not necessarily the best marketers)
  • Most websites will only display products that pay them. At MagnifyMoney, we look for the best deal. And we rank products based upon the views of the author, not the commission paid to us.

Because Of Our Approach, You Will Find Products Here That You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

When you visit our product pages, you will see names that you haven’t seen before. Not surprisingly, some of the best deals come from small, new and innovative companies that can’t match the marketing budgets of big banks.

We love when the challenger wins. And MagnifyMoney is a platform that will help the challenger win.

This Is Just The Beginning

We love saving people money, but nothing makes us happier than helping people transform their lives. When we can help someone come up with a plan to be debt free in 2 years (when they thought they were going to go bankrupt), we are thrilled. And, when a startup or a credit union provides the product that helps them get out of debt faster, we are even happier.

Banking is too expensive and too complicated. We want to make it easier and more rewarding.

Nick Clements
Nick Clements |

Nick Clements is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Nick at nick@magnifymoney.com

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Earning Cashback

Ebates vs Mr. Rebates Review: Which Cashback Site Puts More in Your Pocket?

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 3.35.54 PM

Side hustles, second jobs, moonlighting, there are plenty of words to describe the various ways in which people try to bring in a little extra cash. But regular online shoppers have found a unique way to fatten their wallets – referral kickbacks.

How it works

Ebates and Mr. Rebates are two of many referral (and coupon) sites that offer you a slice of the referral fee the companies receive from retailers when you click through their site. For example, if you click through Ebates to get to Amazon, Amazon will pay Ebates for bringing in business and Ebates pays you a portion of that referral bonus. It’s just like credit card companies using the interchange fee they charge merchants to give a slice back to the customer in the form of cash back or rewards.

But with plenty of referral sites to choose from, why would you pick one of these two? We put Ebates and Mr. Rebates in a head-to-head competition to determine which gives you the most value (well, cash back) for your buck.



Ebates offers coupons and cash back for a variety of retailers including Amazon, Macy’s, PiperLime, eBay, L.L. Bean, Nordstrom and Sephora.

Sephora Cash back EbatesHow to earn

If you plan to make a purchase on Sephora, you would go to Ebates first and click through Ebates to get to Sephora. This simple act will earn the user a percentage (at time of writing 8%) cash back on a purchase.

Stacking rewards

Combine Ebates cash back with a cash back credit card, and you can stack your earnings. For example, Ebates currently offers 8% cash back on Amazon purchases for Black Friday (but normally is in the 4% range). If a customer clicks through Ebates and then uses an Amazon credit card at check out, that tacks on additional 3% cash back on the purchase. Discover cardholders could get 13% because Discover is offering 5% for Amazon.com purchases this quarter.

Ebates also offers their own credit card to enable users to stack rewards. The Ebates Cash Back Visa offers 3% cash back on qualifying Ebates purchases and flat one percent on all other purchases.

Cashing out

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 4.20.24 PMEbates pays out earned cash back once per quarter, but you can keep track of pending cash back by simply clicking on your account. An Ebates user needs to accrue $5.01 in cash back before Ebates will send a cash back check. If a you don’t hit $5.01 in a quarter, your outstanding balance is simply rolled over to the next quarter.

Cash back can be claimed in three different ways:

  • Big Fat Check: Ebates mails you a physical check.
  • PayPal: Ebates deposits your payment into your PayPal account.
  • Charity/Organization/Family Member: Ebates will mail your Big Fat Check directly to a person or organization of your choice.

Fine Print Alert

There is a catch though, Ebates only offers the cash back on specific types of Amazon purchases including fashion, Amazon local and sports and outdoor gear. You also need to click back through Ebates for each individual purchase in order to get the cash back. If you are paying for tax and shipping each time, it may not be worth multiple transactions.

Mr.Rebats cashback shopping


Mr. Rebates falls in the “same, same, but different” category. The site functions quite similarly to Ebates, but with a less appealing interface. User experience aside, Mr. Rebates gets the job done and during non-season shopping often offers higher rates than Ebates, according to other reviews and pre-Black Friday research.

Mr. Rebates offers access to deals at over 2,000 stores and there are no limits how much you can earn through a referral bonus with Mr. Rebates.

All Stores

Stacking Rewards

Just like with Ebates, users can combine Mr. Rebates cash back with a cash back credit card to stack earnings. For example, at publication, Mr. Rebates offers 6% cash back on Amazon purchases for Black Friday and holiday shopping. If a customer clicks through Mr. Rebates and then uses an Amazon credit card at check out, that tacks on additional 3% cash back on the purchase for a total of 9%. Discover cardholders could get 11% because Discover is offering 5% for online purchases this quarter.

We’ll continue with the Amazon example and Russell.

Russell clicked through Mr. Rebates to Amazon’s Women’s Fashion section. Russell clicks on the jewelry option and finds a nice bracelet for Alexandra, which costs him $78.

At this point, he’ll be earning $4.68.

Russell proceeds to check out and pays with his Discover It credit card, which at this publication earns 5% cash back on online purchases.

  • Mr. Rebates = $4.68
  • Discover = $3.90
  • Total = $8.58

Cashing out

You need $10 in rewards to get paid and can receive earnings through PayPal or a check in the mail. You have the option to cash out monthly.

Fine Print Alert

You also need to click back through Mr. Rebates for each individual purchase in order to get the cash back. If you are paying for tax and shipping each time, it may not be worth multiple transactions. Also be sure to check if your purchase is in a cash back category. For example, beauty products are not receiving referral bonuses through Amazon at the moment. So don’t buy body wash expecting to get 6% cash back. 

Head-to-Head Comparison: Ebates vs Mr. Rebates

User Experience: Ebates takes the cake in this category. It’s clean, simple and easy to navigate.

Best Rates: In a random sampling of frequently shopped stores, Ebates currently wins. However, seasonal promotions could be impacting these rates. Be sure to shop around for large purchases. You can also compare deals for yourself with sites like Cashback Monitor and Cashbackholic.com.

Cashing Out Offers: Mr. Rebates offers the opportunity to cash out more regularly. While Ebates provides a lower cash out minimum at $5.01 instead of Mr. Rebates $10, it’s nice to be able to have access to the cash 12 times a year instead of four (assuming you hit the minimums).

Number of Retailers: Mr. Rebates states the site offers deals from over 2,000 retailers, while Ebates claims 1,700+. Swagbucks offers less than 1,000.

Winner:  A draw. But we’ll give it to Ebates for currently offering the best rates.

Test Drive: The slightly convoluted ways to find a deal and stack rewards

I decided to head down the rabbit hole of finding a deal and using one of these sites to earn cash back.

The quest started at coupon site RetailMeNot to see which websites were offering deals this week. This led me to Amazon’s Pre-Black Friday Lightening Deals.

I found a perfect Christmas present in the “Sports & Outdoor” section at $13 (normally $16, so a small mark down).

Instead of clicking directly on Amazon, I went back to Ebates. Through Ebates I clicked back on Amazon, found the Christmas present and purchased it with my Discover card.

  • Ebates = $0.52 (4% back at time of purchase)
  • Discover = $.65
  • Total = $1.17

$1.17 for about five extra minutes of time. Not a strong valuation of my time, however, if I know I’m going to buy an item on Amazon that would be eligible for cash back via Ebates, Mr. Rebates or Swagbucks, it makes sense to take 30 seconds to click through one of those portals. On larger purchases, say one of $100, I could earn $9 – $11 by simply clicking through a referral site.

Notable fact: I registered for Ebates using my work email, but I’m on Amazon with a personal email. The mismatched emails were not an issue for receiving cash back. It takes two to three days for cash back to post to Ebates.

Check out these other referral sites:

Dealing with debt? Download our FREE become debt free forever guide.  

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Erin Lowry
Erin Lowry |

Erin Lowry is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Erin at erin@magnifymoney.com

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