Published on October 13th, 2014 | by William Charles21
eBates Credit Card Review (3% Cashback On Purchases Through eBates)
eBates (a cash back portal similar to topcashback) launched a credit card, at first I didn’t think much about it but a recent post on Maximizing Money made me think that made this new card was worth a further look. Here are the key details of the card:
- 3% cash back on all purchases made through the eBates portal. This is in addition to whatever cashback eBates is offering (e.g eBates is currently offering 1% cashback on American Express gift card purchases. If you used the eBates credit card you’d earn 4%)
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
- $10 sign up bonus
- No annual fee
As there are multiple cards that earn at a base rate of 2% cash back, it really only makes sense to use this card when shopping through eBates. To work out if getting this card makes sense, I’d recommend using the following formula
If Y * 0.01 >= X, apply otherwise don’t. X = the minimum sign up bonus you’d usually accept for a credit card (look at what cards are currently offering as a cash bonus as a guide) and Y = the amount you’d spend at eBates in a year. The idea is that you receive more in cashback from this card in a year then you’d earn from a regular sign up bonus.
When it comes to category spending bonuses, I never look more than one year in advance because the credit card game is constantly changing. To make things easier if your minimum sign up bonus is:
- $100 you’d need to spend $10,000 per year through eBates
- $150, spend $15,000
- $200, spend $20,000 and so on
This card really makes sense for those who spend a high amount at eBates. Unfortunately sites like Topcashback usually offer a high cashback rate which negates the 1% in extra cash back you’re getting from this card when compared to a 2% cashback card.
For example, let’s say your plan is to purchase American Express gift cards. eBates offers a rate of 1% currently and Topcashback offers 1.5%, this means that eBates is really only offering 2.5% cashback on eBates purchases rather than the full 3%. Considering other cards such as the Arrival offer 2.22% cash back (when redeemed for travel expenses) you’re only getting an additional ~0.3%. You’d need to spend $30,000+ to make up for a $100 cash sign up bonus.
Personally I think this card is a waste of time, if eBates rates were more competitive then I’d disagree. The other problem is that eBates will most likely exclude AmEx gift card purchases if they see people start to use this card for those purchases in a large way.