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As long as you are shopping online, why not help yourself and get some cash back?  First step if you can is to use a reward type credit card and pay it off in full each month.  Many pay up to 1% or more in points that can be redeemed for cash, gift cards, etc.

Next step is to go through a trusted portal in order to earn some extra cash.  All these programs are free to join.  I generally only sign up for the big ones that are easily researched to make sure they are legit.  Here are a couple I like:

Ebates:

I have just joined Ebates and it looks pretty good.  Use my referral link below and you get a $5 signing bonus and then must make a purchase through them of at least $20 within a certain period (I think it’s 90 days)  to activate that bonus.    They currently have this offer running through 9/30/10.  They issue rebate payments quarterly for amounts over $5.    There are lots of common sites to buy from, including Ebay.  Standard disclaimer:  I do get a referral bonus for people who sign up through this link and who make a minimum $20 purchase.

http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=dIDl1sLnkzhPN4y%2BNdQqZA%3D%3D

Upromise:

Another site I like is Upromise.  Even if you don’t have a kid heading to college one day, you can still collect the savings for yourself.  Or link to the account of a friend or relative and contribute your savings for their kids.  You get cash into your account several ways.  Shop through their portal at various sites and get a % of your purchase deposited into your Upromise account.  Register your credit cards and grocery store/drugstore cards and you automatically get bonuses for buying certain items or eating at certain restaurants if you sign up for their restaurant program.  Lastly, you can load grocery coupons onto your account through their website that, when you buy that item at a store using one of your registered store cards, puts the amount of the coupon into your account rather than taking it off your purchase.  The only thing I don’t  like about Upromise is that it is a bit of a hassle to empty your account (you have to write them a letter and then wait quite a while for your check), so I will just let mine build up for a while.

http://www.upromise.com/welcome

Credit Card Sites:

Another way to get bonus cash back is through your credit card’s website.  They sometimes offer extra bonus cash back if you shop from their site.  I know Discover Card has this program.

So next time you are shopping online, make sure you are signed up for these programs, then take a few minutes to check each and find which one has the best deal.  I have found, for instance, that ordering from someplace like 1800flowers.com, you can get different deals from each site.  Some also offer coupon codes for things like free shipping.  Pick the best one, also considering which program will give you the quickest easiest option for actually getting your cash back.  It doesn’t help you to get a 2.50 cashback bonus on your Discover Card if you don’t use it enough to hit the threshhold to redeem!

Best regards and happy shopping,

Lynn

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