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Earning cash back is one of the best things about online shopping. There are so many cash back websites and apps to choose from. They are totally free and easy to use.
You simply use these sites and apps to look for retailers you plan to shop at. Then you’ll earn a percentage or dollar amount of cash back on your purchases. It’s really as easy as it sounds.
One very popular cash back portal is BeFrugal. It’s one of my personal favorites, and there are many reasons why. As a shopper, you want to earn as much free cash back as possible. So you’re likely wondering if BeFrugal is one of the best cash back sites. Find the answer by reading this in-depth BeFrugal review.
A Bit About BeFrugal
Established in 2009, BeFrugal started out as a very helpful free coupon site. The company started offering cash back for online shopping in 2011. The concept is very similar to eBates, one of their popular competitors. Users join for free and earn free cash back through BeFrugal’s website.
The platform expanded quickly after adding their cash back feature. Many of their coupon and money saving services grew, too. To date, BeFrugal partners with more than 5,000 retailers.
The company launched an iPhone app in 2013 and an Android app in 2016. There is also a browser extension that notifies you about cash back offers for any retail website you visit.
BeFrugal has a great reputation across the board. The platform has been featured in pieces by CBS News, USA Today, The New York Times, and more. User reviews are generally very positive, too. If you want to read more about their history, explore the About Us section of the website.
BeFrugal Pros and Cons
Every cash back portal has unique features. Naturally, they usually have their pros and cons. Below you’ll find the positives and negatives of BeFrugal. The list is based on user feedback, comparison to other cash back sites, and my own experiences.
- BeFrugal offers a $10 Refer-A-Friend bonus for every referral you make.
- BeFrugal offers a $10 signup bonus for new users.
- The cash back offers are typically higher than what eBates offers.
- The offers go as high as 40% cash back.
- BeFrugal has a Best Cash Back Rate Guarantee, which I’ll highlight later on in this review.
- The ‘Deals’ section of the website features a combo of price discounts and cash back.
- There are frequently bonus opportunities where cash back rates increase for a period of time.
- BeFrugal has many helpful coupons and coupon tools to increase your savings.
- You can instantly get customer service by using the Live Chat feature.
- You only need $0.01 in your account balance to cash out via PayPal.
- Sometimes there are long wait periods between shopping trips and cash back access. I explain this further down in my review.
- The website design is less sleek and user-friendly than eBates.
- You need at least $25 in your account balance to cash out via check or direct deposit.
As you can see, there aren’t many BeFrugal cons at all. Occasional long wait periods are fairly common for cash back portals. Other websites and apps are definitely more modern looking.
This doesn’t bother me personally, but it’s worth noting overall. If you plan to cash out through PayPal, the minimum account balance isn’t an issue.
How Does BeFrugal Cash Back Work?
If you’re like me, you may believe that something like BeFrugal is too good to be true. That is how I felt about every cash back portal at first. It seemed like there had to be a catch since I basically got paid to shop.
There’s no catch though, and the explanation is actually pretty simple.
BeFrugal is paid a commission by all of the retailers they partner with. Retailers pay BeFrugal for increasing sales for their website. BeFrugal gives a portion of their earnings to users in the form of cash back.
Here’s an example of how it works. Let’s say that Retailer X pays BeFrugal 10% commission for every sale made using cash back links. BeFrugal can then offer you 5% cash back for Retailer X. BeFrugal keeps the remaining 5% of commission earnings. This benefits everyone and it’s how you get free cash back.
How To Start Using BeFrugal
Signing up for BeFrugal is a quick and easy process. It only took me a minute or two to sign up and start using the site. Here’s what you need to do.
- Visit BeFrugal.com and choose whether you want to sign up via e-mail, Facebook, or Google.
- Follow the steps for the method you choose. I used Google to easily connect my Gmail account. It took a minute or less to follow the steps.
- Create a unique username and password for your BeFrugal account. Once you do this, you are redirected to your BeFrugal dashboard on their website.
- If you use Chrome, click the Add To Chrome button. This is on the right-hand side of your dashboard. The extension automatically shows you BeFrugal offers for any site you visit.
Now you can start earning cash back through BeFrugal. If you installed the Chrome extension, simply visit any retailer’s website. A notification will appear if there’s cash back or coupons available.
Click the green Activate Cash Back button, and you’re all set. I recommend the Chrome extension; it’s reliable and easy to use.
Alternatively, you can access all of the cash back deals through your BeFrugal dashboard. The search function is the quickest option if you want to find deals for a specific retailer. You can also browse cash back offers by category. Coupons are divided into categories, too.
When you find a cash back deal, click on it and you’ll be redirected to the retailer’s website. You’ll instantly earn cash back when you make your purchase. This process also works if you want to use coupons for a retailer.
I’ve never used the BeFrugal Android or iPhone apps. But reviews I’ve read show that the steps you take are pretty similar. Open up the app, find cash back deals, and click on them to shop. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
When Do You Receive Your BeFrugal Signup Bonus?
You’ll automatically have $10 added to your BeFrugal account when you sign up. However, you can’t redeem this bonus right away. You need to earn at least $10 in cash back to redeem your bonus.
You have 365 days from the day you sign up to earn the cash back minimum. Click the Cash Back & Bonuses link under the My Account tab for full details.
When Do You Receive Your BeFrugal Cash Back?
After you shop, cash back earnings show up as Pending in your BeFrugal account. Your earnings will stay in the Pending section until the retailer confirms your purchase. This part typically doesn’t take more than a few days.
Then your earnings show up in the Verified section. Your cash back stays in this section until the retailer pays BeFrugal their commission. It can take retailers 30 to 90 days to pay BeFrugal.
That means your cash back will stay Verified for 30 to 90 days. You cannot access it during this time period.
The waiting period can be frustrating, but it’s a necessary step for BeFrugal. If customers return items or cancel orders, retailers cannot pay commission.
This means BeFrugal wouldn’t get paid, and then they couldn’t pay shoppers. Every retailer has specific policies about paying commission; some pay quickly while others take up to 90 days.
Once the retailer pays BeFrugal, your cash back is moved to the Payable section. That means you have received your earnings and they’re all yours. You’ll use one of the payment options in the next section to access your money.
BeFrugal Payment Options
BeFrugal offers four different payment options – check, direct deposit to a bank account, PayPal, and e-gift cards. Each option is a bit different, so here’s what you need to know:
- Check – A paper check in the mail is only available in the United States. Checks require a minimum account balance of $25.
- Direct Deposit – Direct deposits to a bank account are also restricted to the US and require a minimum $25 account balance.
- PayPal – No location restrictions are listed for PayPal. PayPal payments require a minimum account balance of only $0.01.
- e-Gift Cards – All e-Gift Cards are delivered via e-mail. You can use them for both online and in-store purchases. A minimum account balance for gift cards is not listed in the BeFrugal FAQ section.
I personally use the PayPal payment option because it’s so simple. It’s free to create a PayPal account and link it to your bank account. If you want to get paid quick, it’s also the best choice. Gift cards are a close second because they can save you a lot of cash when you shop.
There may be a short time period between when you cash out and when you receive your payments. BeFrugal states that it can take up to 10 business days. It’s usually faster than this for me, and I’ve read user reviews that it was also quick for them.
Your results may vary depending on the payment method you use.
BeFrugal Cash Back Versus eBates Cash Back
I mentioned above that BeFrugal users can earn up to 40% cash back. This is definitely true, but cash back offers are typically lower than that. They’re still pretty impressive though.
Below you’ll find some real BeFrugal cash back examples. I also listed eBates examples so you can compare the deals. Please note that these are the cash back amounts featured currently. They’re always subject to change, so you may see different amounts listed by BeFrugal and eBates. Still, these examples give you a great idea of how much you’ll save:
- 4% cash back for Forever 21 versus 2% cash back through eBates.
- 2% cash back for Target versus 1% cash back through eBates.
- 4% cash back for Children’s Place versus 1.5% cash back through eBates.
- Up to 10% cash back for Wal-Mart; eBates also offers up to 10% cash back.
- 5% cash back for Sephora versus 4% cash back through eBates.
- 7% cash back for Bloomingdales versus 2% cash back through eBates.
It’s easy to see that BeFrugal usually offers better cash back rates. Additionally, BeFrugal has over 5,000 retail partners while eBates has 2,500. Your chances of getting a cash back deal are literally doubled with BeFrugal.
BeFrugal Refer-A-Friend Program
BeFrugal has an excellent referral program, and it’s very easy to use. You earn $10 for every friend you refer to BeFrugal. Additionally, your friends get a $10 welcome bonus. Make sure to let your referrals know about the great incentive.
There’s no limit to how many times you can earn this bonus. Your $10 reward is accessible if a referral clicks your link, joins BeFrugal, and earns $10 cash back within one year. It’s pretty easy for them to earn this much because of the high cash back offers.
Once you create your account, you’ll see a Refer-A-Friend button at the top of the BeFrugal site. Click this to get your referral link. There are also convenient options for posting your link to Facebook and Twitter or sending an e-mail. If you have a website, you can even use a clickable banner.
BeFrugal Cash Back Rate Guarantee
One of my favorite BeFrugal features is the Cash Back Rate Guarantee. This guarantee happens if you make a cash back purchase through BeFrugal and find a higher cash back rate elsewhere. BeFrugal will match 125% of the higher cash back rate.
This guarantee is pretty simple, and it ensures you’ll always get as much cash back as possible. There are certain factors that apply to the Cash Back Rate Guarantee. You can view them in the BeFrugal Terms and Conditions. A link to this information is at the bottom of BeFrugal’s website.
BeFrugal Bonus Cash Back
At the top of your BeFrugal dashboard, you’ll see a Bonus link. This link takes you to a page featuring limited-time bonus cash back deals. The retailers and bonus cash back amounts change often. Below I’ve listed some of the deals currently offered.
- 12% cash back at Macy’s – formerly 3% cash back.
- 8% cash back at HP – formerly 2% cash back.
- Up to 15% cash back at Amazon – formerly up to 8% cash back.
- 7% cash back at Ralph Lauren – formerly 5% cash back.
- 4% cash back at Lowes – formerly 2% cash back.
- 15% cash back at Shoe Carnival – formerly 5% cash back.
These are just a few examples, but they show just how impressive these bonuses are. You can get up to four times the cash back you normally would.
And there are several dozen more bonuses like these listed. Keep an eye on the bonus cash back section around holidays. I’ve noticed that this is a good time to find the best deals.
BeFrugal Coupons And Deals
BeFrugal features a Coupons section along with a Deals section. I really like them both because they help you find great online shopping discounts. Compared to other cash back portals, I find that They’re pretty convenient and easy to use, too.
The Deals section is pretty straightforward. It displays specific items from different retailers. These items have a discounted price and a cash back amount. Currently, a three-piece cookware from Macy’s is marked down from $49.99 to $13.19. This price discount is combined with 15% cash back from Macy’s.
The Coupons section is a bit more in-depth. It’s divided up into different categories – online coupons, restaurant coupons, grocery coupons, printable coupons, and weekly ad circulars.
Many of these coupons are promo codes you use during online checkout. If you have the BeFrugal extension installed, you’ll automatically see coupons for the site you’re visiting.
More Cash Back Sites And Apps
Overall, BeFrugal is definitely one of the best cash back sites. It has high cash back offers and partners with thousands of retailers. With additional perks like coupons and referral bonuses, there’s no reason not to check it out.
If you want more free ways to make money, check out additional cash back apps and websites. We regularly review them at Frugal For Less to find the best offers. Read the posts linked below to start earning cash back in every way possible!
- 18 Best Cash Back Shopping Apps (Updated 2018)
- TopCashback Review: Earn Cash Back From Your Online Purchases
- 12 Apps That Give You Cash Back At Restaurants