Cash Back Rewards Sites: A CEO Reveals What You Need to Know

Courtesy of Bigstock

Now that the holidays are just a few weeks away, you may be planning your holiday shopping budget. One way to keep some extra cash in your pocket this upcoming season is to purchase some of your items through a cash back site. The Cheat Sheet spoke to Jon Lal, BeFrugal founder and CEO, to learn more about cash back websites. Here’s what you need to know about how these sites work and how you can take advantage of all the perks they have to offer.

The Cheat Sheet: What is a cash back website?

Jon Lal: A cash back website allows shoppers to earn a cash back rewards on their online shopping. The cash back rewards can be significant. For example at, the average cash back reward is 7% of the purchase. Typically, a shopper signs up and creates an account at a cash back website. Then they can review the cash back offerings. For example, the cash back website may offer 6% back at Macy’s, 6% at Walmart, 6% at JC Penney, and so on. The shopper would click on the desired offer to activate cash back, and then complete the purchase at the chosen retailer’s website. Cash back earnings are deposited into the shopper’s account at the cash back website and can be redeemed in the form of a mailed check or electronically via PayPal.

CS: In general, how do cash back sites work?

JL: Online retailers pay commissions to cash back websites in return for driving business. Cash back websites pass this commission through to shoppers in the form of a cash back reward.

Source: Thinkstock

The Cheat Sheet: Tell us about the features on

JL: BeFrugal’s mission is to provide shoppers the best savings and the best user experience — quality, quantity, and service. Our features reflect that.

Quality: All of our online coupons are guaranteed to work. We back that guarantee with a $5 reward if a shopper finds any online coupon on BeFrugal that doesn’t work. Our average coupon saves $27 per order. BeFrugal’s cash back averages 7% and is the highest in the industry. We guarantee it with a 125% matching policy if a shopper finds a better cash back rate elsewhere. Our coupon and cash back offerings are designed to be used together, so shoppers can double up on savings by getting a discount via BeFrugal’s coupons prior to purchase and earning cash back after the purchase.

Quantity: We have the biggest selection of online retailers participating in our cash back program, including the most popular ones such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Best Buy. We also have coupons for hundreds of restaurant chains such as Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Outback Steakhouse. In addition, we offer an excellent selection of thousands of printable grocery coupons.

Service: To help shoppers with questions, BeFrugal offers live chat and email-based customer service.

CS: How does BeFrugal work?

JL: Our website is free to join; all that is required is an email address. Once a shopper becomes a member, they can browse and click on offers, coupons, or deals on to save money with coupons and deals and earn cash back. BeFrugal also offers printable restaurant and mobile coupons as well as grocery circulars for saving money on in-store shopping. Another way to earn money through BeFrugal is to refer friends. Our current program pays $10 for every friend referred.

CS: What are the best ways to maximize savings on a cash back site?

JL: Stacking savings by combining coupons and cash back is the best way to maximize savings. First, a shopper would log in to their free BeFrugal account, and then find an offer that appeals to them. The majority of online coupons on BeFrugal also earn the shopper cash back. So if a shopper clicks on such a coupon and completes a purchase, they will get both the savings — an average of $27 from the coupon, and an average of 7% from cash back.

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