BeFrugal Review: Is it Better than Rakuten Ebates?
Online shopping has become an increasingly popular way to make purchases. In a world where everyone tends to be so busy, the ability to hop online to order what you need and have it delivered right to your door is priceless.
Not having to worry about a store’s hours or trying to squeeze a stop in between running kids to gymnastics class and piano lessons is truly a game changer, especially when the store is undoubtedly on the other side of town.
The only thing better than being able to hop online and order what you need, only for it to appear at your front door a couple of days later, is saving money at the same time.
Thanks to companies like BeFrugal, it’s totally possible to use coupons and get cash back on the very online purchases you’re going to be making anyway with little to no additional effort on your part.
This article explains how cash back sites work and how you can use BeFrugal to save extra money on things you already plan to buy.
- What is BeFrugal?
- How does BeFrugal work?
- BeFrugal Signup Bonus and Referral Program
- How to Earn Cash Back
- How do I get paid?
- Any BeFrugal Complaints?
- BeFrugal versus Ebates
- Additional BeFrugal Alternatives
- BeFrugal Shopping Tips
What is BeFrugal?
BeFrugal connects online shoppers with ways to save money when making purchases. Shoppers who use BeFrugal earn cash back when making purchases at over 5,000 online sites, including favorites such as Expedia, Groupon, Shutterfly, Amazon, and Target.
Additionally, BeFrugal offers coupons and deals at tens of thousands of stores with a guarantee that all BeFrugal online coupons will work. Coupons and cash back offers can be stacked, allowing you to put the most money possible back in your wallet.
With e-commerce making up just under 10% of total retail sales in the U.S. during the third quarter of 2018, chances are high that you and most people you know are making online purchases at least occasionally.
With companies like BeFrugal on the scene, you have the ability to earn cash back and use coupons you otherwise wouldn’t know about. These savings translate directly into more cash in your wallet.
How does BeFrugal work?
While BeFrugal may only be just shy of a decade old (they started in 2009), they have made huge strides in that time. BeFrugal has worked hard to develop close relationships with thousands of retailers who are looking for new customers.
BeFrugal is paid a commission by these retailers when consumers make purchases on their site through BeFrugal’s links as a thank you for directing traffic their way. BeFrugal then gives a portion of that commission back to you – the consumer – in the form of cash back.
BeFrugal Signup Bonus and Referral Program
BeFrugal is currently offering new members a $10 signup bonus.
- Click here for the new member $10 bonus.
The signup bonus is only available to new members. Once you have earned $10 in cash back from BeFrugal, your extra $10 bonus will be directly credited to your account.
You just need to remember to make an eligible purchase within one year from your signup date in order to be eligible to receive the bonus.
How to Earn Cash Back
To take advantage of BeFrugal’s coupons and/or cash back offers, you have three options: shop through links on the BeFrugal website, use a mobile app, or install the BeFrugal browser add-on.
Using the Website
To shop through BeFrugal’s website, head to the BeFrugal.com homepage, log in to your account, and search for the website you’re planning to make a purchase on. Click on either the coupon or deal you’d like to use or the site’s “shop now” button to be redirected to the site where you can make your purchase.
Any coupons or deals will be applied to your purchase, and any cash back will be added to your BeFrugal account. It’s as simple as going to the BeFrugal website to search for the retailer you were already planning to shop at instead of going directly to their site. Think of it as a sort of search engine that saves you money!
Earning cash back is not limited to just online purchases. BeFrugal offers a number of ways to earn cash back when shopping in person as well. The first in person option is using printable coupons from BeFrugal.
There is a dedicated coupon site within BeFrugal that offers regularly updated coupons that you can print out at home and bring to your local retailer.
The list of coupons regularly changes based on new promotions so its best to check that section of the site regularly so you don’t miss something you might be able to use.
The current list of printable coupons includes:
- Dollar General
- JC Penney
Similar to the printable coupons, you can also search through a large database with over 250 popular restaurants. All you need to do is click through to the full restaurant list and select your restaurant using an alphabetical listing.
The coupons regularly change so you need to periodically check the database to see if there are discounts that you could use.
Many people use weekly circulars to collect coupons before a shopping trip. Rather than go to each store individually, BeFrugal includes the weekly circular ad for over 70 popular retailers and over 225 grocery stores.
If you don’t see a weekly circular for a store that you use, just email BeFrugal directly and they will add it.
Online coupons are different from printable coupons because you can combine the online coupon with BeFrugal’s cash back for that retailer.
For example, BeFrugal currently has an online coupon with CVS that offers a 25% discount on everything in the store. BeFrugal also offers 4% cash back on any online purchases made through CVS.
By combining the online coupon with BeFrugal’s cash back, you can really generate significant savings.
If you purchased $100 from CVS, you would save $28 by combining BeFrugal’s online coupon with the 4% cash back compared to just $4 of savings if you only used the BeFrugal cash back portal.
BeFrugal Mobile App
BeFrugal’s mobile app can be downloaded from both the App Store and Google Play.
Shop on your Apple or Android device through the BeFrugal app to have access to coupons and earn cash back for online purchases on the go.
Installing the BeFrugal browser add-on is the easiest way to save while shopping online. Once this BeFrugal button is installed, coupons and cash back will automatically be applied for you as you shop online like you normally would.
When you head to a website to make a purchase, the BeFrugal button will provide a list of available coupons as well as providing a cash back alert if offered for that site.
It’s as simple as clicking the coupon you’d like to use, activating the cash back alert, and saving money on your purchase.
How do I get paid?
When you’re ready to cash out your cash back, head over to the payments section of your BeFrugal account.
There are multiple options to get paid: an old fashioned check, direct deposit, PayPal, or you can even redeem your cash back in the form of an eGift card to your favorite retailers. Some eGift card options even offer a bonus if you cash out that way.
Cash back payments of any form are sent within an average of one business day from the time the payment was requested.
How Long Does it Take?
When you make a purchase online, your purchase will be credited to your account within 7 days. However, keep in mind that if your cash back appears on your account as Verified Cash Back, it won’t be available for you to withdrawal until 30 to 90 days from the date of purchase.
The reason for this is because your cash back is actually first paid by the online retailer to BeFrugal. Most online retailers don’t pay the commission until the return period has expired.
Most retailers have a 30 to 45 day return window, but a few can have return windows that extend up to 90 days from the date of purchase.
After the return window has expired, BeFrugal will receive the commission from the merchant and will then pay you the cash back from the purchase.
This is why it is very important to keep track of your account regularly to make sure that purchases you have made are properly credited to your account.
Using the BeFrugal mobile app is an easy way to regularly keep track of your purchases to make sure they were properly credited to your account.
Any BeFrugal Complaints?
BeFrugal has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. As of today, 63 customers have provided an average rating of 3 out of 5 starts for BeFrugal on the Better Business Bureau site.
Keep in mind, that happy customers generally don’t leave reviews, so 3 out of 5 stars is actually a very good customer rating.
The most common compliant that customers have is not receiving cash back on their account. The reason for cash back not getting properly credited to your account most often has to do with your browser extensions conflicting with BeFrugal’s shopping links.
The most common culprit tends to be ad blocking software on your browser.
Tips for Properly Tracking Cash Back
Before using the BeFrugal shopping portal make sure you do the following:
- Disable all ad blocking, shopping, coupon, and price comparison extensions prior to shopping online through BeFrugal.
- Verify that your browser is setup to accept third party cookies.
- Make sure you have an empty shopping cart at the retailer before using BeFrugal.
- After clicking a BeFrugal link, go directly to the online retailer and make the purchase. Don’t browse to other sites.
- Only use BeFrugal coupons on your account. If you use coupons from other sources, it may disqualify the cash back from BeFrugal.
- Carefully read the BeFrugal retailer terms before using a merchant gift card. Some merchants will allow you to use a gift card to redeem cash back, but others may not.
If you made a purchase through BeFrugal and were not properly credited with the purchase, you can submit a missing cash back claim directly to BeFrugal.
Just remember that you must submit a claim to BeFrugal within 60 days of purchase.
BeFrugal versus Ebates
BeFrugal certainly isn’t the only company of its type on the scene. Perhaps the most well-known competitor is Ebates, another site that works very similarly to BeFrugal.
BeFrugal offers cash back with over 5,000 retailers while Ebates offers cash back at over 2,500 retailers. BeFrugal also offers additional options for redeeming cash back and allows you to get paid as soon as you’ve reached the minimum for your payment method of choice.
Ebates only offers payments once a quarter by check or through PayPal, and you must have earned at least $5 to get paid.
While both BeFrugal and Ebates work virtually the same, and both offer mobile apps and a browser add-on button, BeFrugal offers more flexibility when it comes to getting the cash back you’ve earned back in your wallet.
Additional BeFrugal Alternatives
TopCashback includes over 4,000 stores on their site (and counting) and allows users to redeem their cash back at any point.
TopCashback also offers coupon codes and has a mobile app for users.
Mr. Rebates partners with over 3,000 stores on their site, as well as providing a mobile app and browser button.
Mr. Rebates sends cash back payments once a month, per your request after reaching a minimum of $10 cash back balance, in the form of either a physical check, PayPal deposit, or gift card.
BeFrugal Shopping Tips
- Installing the BeFrugal button is the easiest way to save while shopping online with virtually no effort on your part. Instead of having to go through the BeFrugal site or app to apply coupons and earn cash back, the button will alert you to coupons or cash back offers upon navigating to a site to shop.
- Make sure all Shopping and Ad-Blocking extensions are disabled on your web browser of choice to ensure you earn cash back.
- If you do happen to find an online BeFrugal coupon that doesn’t work, be sure to reach out and let them know within 24 hours – they’ll credit your account with five bucks as part of their coupon guarantee.
- Heading out to eat? Check BeFrugal’s printable restaurant coupons before going! BeFrugal offers coupons for more than 250 restaurants across the country. Coupons are available for restaurants ranging from fast food to fine dining and everything in between. The BeFrugal blog is also a great place to check for each weekend’s top restaurant offers, which can be helpful for answering the impossible “where do you want to go for dinner?” question.
- BeFrugal also offers printable grocery coupons and compiles weekly circular ads from various stores, all in one place.
- Download the BeFrugal app to check for coupons or cash back offers before making a purchase in store. If you can save money by purchasing the item online instead, great! Be sure to check on shipping costs to confirm it’s truly a savings before deciding to purchase online through your BeFrugal account instead, though.
- BeFrugal also offers other tools to help you save money, like the Fly or Drive Calculator which helps you determine the price difference between flying or driving to your destination. BeFrugal’s site also offers a calculator for helping you decide how much you can afford to spend on a car or whether or not purchasing an electric car is the right decision for you. These calculators all take a number of factors into consideration and are a super handy tool when considering these decisions.
- Occasionally, you can earn bonus cash back at various retailers. If bonus cash back is available, that may mean it’s a great time for you to make a larger purchase for that higher dollar item you’ve had your eye on and have been saving up for.
- Follow BeFrugal on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see the day’s biggest deals as you scroll through your feeds. BeFrugal’s Pinterest account is a great follow for tips on living frugally and saving money in other areas of your life besides just online shopping.
- BeFrugal sometimes offers sign up bonuses or bonuses for referring a friend. Earning the referral bonus when it’s available should be a piece of cake – once you’ve told your friends about the money you’ve saved using BeFrugal, they’ll be eager to sign up and start saving themselves!