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When I am in travel shopping mode, I am obsessed with finding a good deal. I put on flight alerts, subsribe to deals newsletters, and go to several different websites to make sure that I find that absolute best price.
I do this because I want to fully enjoy my trip. Which means I want to stay in the best possible hotel, have the best possible flight times (and the least amount of layovers), and eat the best food. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) I also want to take as many trips as possible. Which means I need to stretch each travel budget as far as it will possibly go.
Which is where Ebates come in. If you’ve spent any time on the Internet, you have probably heard of Ebates. Promoted as a company that gives you cash back when you shop online, it is a favorite financial tool of many a financial-savvy shopper.
While you many know that Ebates is your friend when you shop at a department store, did you know that it can also save you on your travel? Here’s a quick look at how I use Ebates to score incredible travel deals.
That’s right. Ebates is not just about getting you cash back when you buy clothes or toiletries (though it can definitely help you save money when you are shopping for your next vacation!). It’s also about helping you save on the actual planning of your vacation, including flights, hotels, and cars.
So how do you score these deals? If you sign into your Ebates account, one of the options that you will see on your menu is “Travel & Vacations.” When you click on that, you will be taken to a page that gives you the options of looking up “Hotels and Rentals”, “Cars”, “Flights” and “Packages.”
Let’s say I’m looking at booking at hotel. I have the option of looking through Ebates (aka “Ebates Hotel”) which is currently offering 5% cash back. After I put in my information (in this case, a hotel in Chicago in December), I am taken to a page that shows me hotel deals with that 5% cash back.
However, I am not limited to just looking through Ebates. I can also look through some of my favorite travel sites, such as Expedia (which offers 6% cash back) or Priceline (5% back). I just have to choose that site and then put in my information.
When I push search, I will be transferred to that travel site (you’ll see below I chose Expedia), and my Ebates offer will be activated.
Using Ebates to book your travel gives you endless opportunities for saving. Once you have your hotel booked, you can use it to save money on your flight. You can even use it to save money booking a cruise!
All it takes is signing up for a free Ebates account (which takes approximately 10 seconds – they’re even currently offering a $10 bonus just for signing up!) and heading over to the Travel & Vacations tab. Once you book your different travel deals, the companies will hold your reservation. The cash back will be processed after you have finished your travel (i.e. the reservation is complete). While it can take a moment for it to process and show up in your account, the amount can be significant (and oh so welcome). You can then choose for Ebates to send you what they call a “Big Fat Check” or they can put it into your PayPal account.
And who knows? With all the money that you save, you just might have something left over to do an extra attraction that wouldn’t have been in the budget otherwise or splurge on a killer souvenir. Or, just maybe, it will be the seed money to fund your next vacation.
Ready to get started! You can sign up for Ebates here!
Do you have any tips to get the best deals on your vacations? Share them in the comments below!