There’s no mistaking the allure of getting paid to shop. So, you can certainly be forgiven for wondering, What is Extrabux? Are those promised shopping rewards real?
Anyone who does a lot of online shopping really owes it to themselves to investigate these types of programs. It also pays to perform comparisons to see which of many similar websites has the most to offer.
My mission today is to delve into the details of Extrabux, provide my personal opinion based on research and experience, and show you the most efficient way to compare cashback sites.
So, top off that coffee cup and let’s get to it, shall we?
What is Extrabux and How Does it Work?
Extrabux is a website launched in 2006 that partners with more than 7,000 vendors to offer coupons, promo codes, and an online shopping portal. Members can earn from 1 to 30% cash back on online purchases made through supported retailer’s websites.
Rakuten Rewards owns Extrabux, which is headquartered in San Diego, CA. Interestingly, Rakuten Rewards also owns Ebates, another well-known shopping portal. An online shopping portal site like Extrabux doesn’t sell anything. They just direct traffic through their links, thereby earning commissions.
Joining Extrabux is free and only takes about 30 seconds as it doesn’t require anything more than an email. When you sign up, you receive a welcome bonus of $20. However, be aware that you must earn that bonus over the course of your first 180 days on the platform.
As the image below explains, the Welcome Bonus is broken down into 4 separate awards of $5 each for a total of $20. Members earn their Welcome Bonus by making purchases through the Extrabux portal and accumulating cashback rewards of $100 in their first 6 months of membership. You can redeem a $5 bonus for each $25 of cash back earned.
Note that all cashback rewards earned with the Extrabux site are pending for 90 days before the cash becomes available for withdrawal. Your welcome bonus becomes available at the same time as your qualifying cashback. Rewards are held for 90 days to ensure that any return or refund periods lapse and the member has a verified purchase.
Coupon Codes and Deals
As an Extrabux member, you have access to thousands of coupon codes and money-saving deals that are readily available and organized by vendor. You can also choose Coupons from the menu bar to see the current top or recently added codes. Here’s a sampling of top coupon codes as of the date of this post.
If a sweet deal catches your eye, completing the transaction is quick and easy. Just click the orange Get Code button to be taken to a landing page that lets you perform one more click to copy the code and proceed to the vendor’s website. From there, simply shop as you usually would and be sure to paste your copied coupon code when you arrive at the checkout.
It’s also easy to search by your desired vendor or browse the alphabetically organized list of merchants. Let’s say you’re interested in purchasing an item at Best Buy. You can search for Best Buy in the list of available merchants and see all of the currently available deals.
Here’s a summary of Best Buy offerings as of this date. You can peruse a list of all 43 coupons and deals offered (as of this date) and select the one that works best for you.
Cash Back on Online Retail Purchases
I’m often asked, how can Extrabux (or any online shopping portal) offer cash back to users? Where does the money come from? Very simply, they earn advertising fees and (or) affiliate marketing commissions by directing consumers to online retailers. Subsequently, they share a portion of the revenue they earn.
These arrangements represent win-win-win scenarios which account for the proliferation of such websites. Merchants benefit from an increase in customers making purchases. Consumers score better deals on everyday purchases or perhaps coveted items from their wishlists. And, Extrabux is compensated as the middleman bringing everyone together.
Cashback rates will fluctuate by vendor and over time. In fact, rates may vary by department at a specific vendor’s site or exclusions may apply. So, you do want to check the terms very carefully to avoid unpleasant surprises. Rebates may be as high as 30% but are often considerably less.
What’s the number 1 caveat to ensure you earn cash rebates on your purchases?
Always start your shopping expedition on the Extrabux website, click their link to travel to the supported vendor’s site, and never close your browser window before the purchase transaction is complete It’s impossible to overemphasize the importance of this procedure.
Why is this so important?
Commissions are made based on the unique tracking codes that are embedded in the links on the Extrabux website. If you don’t use their link, their code isn’t captured, and they won’t get credit for the sale. Remember, they’re sharing their commission with you. Hence, if Extrabux doesn’t get paid, you won’t either!
Cashback Boost Cards
Extrabux periodically allocates Cashback Boost Cards to members that have to be used by a specific date. I currently have 5 cards in my account that must be used within the next month.
Applying a card to a given purchase will boost the rebate rate for that particular transaction. The “boost” varies by vendor. But here’s an example of how the use of one of my cards would benefit me if I decided to buy something from Walmart. I could increase my maximum cashback percentage by .5%.
The Extrabux Browser Extension
Download the free Extrabux browser extension and add it to your Chrome toolbar to automatically earn cash back on individual online purchases without having to visit the Extrabux website first. The added convenience of a browser extension is that you get reminders.
When you perform searches in Google, Bing or Yahoo, you’ll see an Extrabux icon telling you that cash back is available. And when you go directly to an online retail vendor’s website, a button will pop up that you can click to activate. Without these visual cues, it’s really easy (and costly) to forget about the potential savings through Extrabux.
How Do You Get Paid by Extrabux?
If your Extrabux account reports available cash, you can request payment in one of the following ways:
- Your PayPal Account
- By Check (if you are a US resident)
- By Amazon.com e-card
- With a Donation to Charity
Within about 7 days of making a purchase that’s eligible for a cash rebate, cash should appear in your account with a status of “pending.” It will remain as pending for 90 days to allow for processing of any returns or refunds. Once the return window closes, funds become available.
The 90 day restriction period is relatively standard in the industry and understandable. Extrabux is sharing their revenue with members, and there’s nothing to share until they get paid. But they have additional payout requirements and minimums that make them more restrictive than similar shopping portals.
Extrabux has a minimum payout threshold of $25 regardless of your selected payment method, which is a high hurdle to meet. They also limit distribution amounts to $10 increments, which means you can’t necessarily withdraw your entire available cash balance.
Compare this requirement to the practices of both BeFrugal and TopCashback who both allow minimum PayPal distributions of $.01. Each of these competing shopping portals also allows for e-cards in smaller denominations. I know I appreciate more flexible distribution plans, and I think that’s true of most consumers.
Do Your Cash Rebate Comparisons
Given that cashback websites are free to join, it makes sense to become a member of more than one site. The list of supported retailers will vary, and rebates offered by the same vendors will frequently be different. For these reasons, I strongly recommend that you do some comparisons before choosing the portal to use.
Using a shopping portal aggregator like Cashback Monitor can help you quickly spot the best return for a given merchant. For example, I plan to make a purchase on Amazon. So, I just did a check of rebates available that you can see in the image below.
Notice that the best Amazon rebates (up to 10%) are available through TopCashback and BeFrugal. These top 2 contenders are followed closely by Mr. Rebates (up to 8%). I find it significant that Extrabux is not on the list.
The Extrabux Referral Program
Extrabux does have a referral program that allows members to earn a little income by referring family and friends to the platform. You will receive a $5 referral bonus for each person who joins by using your unique link. Share your link by email or through your social media channels like Facebook to earn rewards.
The $5 referral bonus becomes available cash 90 days after your referral makes his or her first purchase that’s eligible for money back. You then earn 5% of your referral’s earnings.
The Positive Features I Like About Extrabux
- The platform is free to join
- You can join regardless of your country of residence
- 7,000 plus participating vendors
- Sign up bonuses can potentially add up to $20 to your total savings if you earn the required cash rebates for purchases in your first 180 days of membership
- There are a lot of coupon codes
- You can deal stack by applying coupon codes and getting cash back on the same purchase
- The Extrabux browser extension is convenient
- Nice referral program
The Not So Positive Features
- A long wait for cash rebates to become available for withdrawal
- High minimums required for withdrawal (well in excess of competitors)
I sincerely hope you found my response to the question of what is Extrabux to be a helpful one. Programs like Extrabux represent a nice opportunity to save some money on items that you’re going to buy anyway. The savings can help to stretch your budget, which is always a good outcome.
Extrabux has been a player in the shopping portal industry since 2006. This is a legitimate organization that will eventually pay you rewards per their program terms.
But do I recommend them as a first choice?
No. I always investigate rebates available because it doesn’t make sense to pay full price for an item if I don’t have to do so. But, I think there are better programs out there as mentioned above where rebates are typically higher, and you don’t have to jump through quite as many hoops to get your hands on your cash savings
While cash rebates are great, opportunities to make money using an online shopping portal are minimal. If you’re interested in finding a way to earn a monthly income online, I encourage you to look elsewhere. My top recommendation is the online platform, where I launched my website and remained a premium member.
Over to You
Have you used Extrabux? If so, we would appreciate hearing about your experiences in the comment section below, both positive and negative. And, please let me know if you still have any questions about Extrabux that I can answer for you. I respond to every comment!