Cashback Holics still best despite lousy name

Yesterday I published a competition called “The best portal finder” in which I compared a number of sites that aim to help you identify which portal to go through to get the most points or cash back when shopping.  I also asked readers for suggestions of other portal finders.  Based on their input I added RewardsDB, CashReporter, Webflyer’s Mileage Mall, and CashBackMonitor to the competition.  I ran the experiments again and then edited and republished the results in the same post as before.

The result is the same.  Cashback Holics consistently found the best deals with one exception.  In the rare case where a mileage portal other than Chase was arguably the best, Cashback Holics didn’t find it because it doesn’t list mile/point portals.

So, what to do?  For now my strategy will be to start with Cashback Holics and occasionally check with Ev’reward or Nerdwallet Shopping just in case.  Intriguingly, Jake from NerdWallet wrote in the comments of the post “We’ll touch base again soon and see if we can’t change your mind.”  Good luck Nerdwallet!  I hope you do change my mind because I’d love to have a single go-to portal finder that works well for points, miles, and cash back!

Comments

  1. Hey FM, do you (or a reader) have idea on how the cash back can vary so much? I look at Target and the cash-back ranges from 7.1% to 1% all at cash-back sites.

    Is this how they make money? By having some really good deals and some mediocre ones?

  2. Frequent Miler still best blog on Boardingarea despite lousy Boarding Area policy that makes posts by “featured bloggers” bubble up higher. :)

    • Travel Abstract: Yeah, I would like Nerd Wallet’s site better too if it was faster (and returned better results). Here’s to hoping that they will make it the best! I also really like ev’reward. I like the UI. I like it’s speed. I just wish they would keep it more up to date.

      Greg Z: There are a number of reasons why the cash back portals differ so much. For one, they have affiliate relationships with merchants via affiliate networks and may get different payments depending on the network they use, the volume of sales they pass through, etc. Also, each cash back site decides how much of their affiliate payments to pass on to the consumer. Pass back more to the consumer and you may have happier customers, but then you make less money as a business. I’m sure there are dozens of other reasons but I bet those are the top 2. I will be highlighting one soon that has an original business model and may become a real game changer altogether.

      John W: If you’re reading this, thanks for bringing CashBackHolics to my attention! Between this and tipping me off about ShopAtHome rates, you’ve made a huge contribution to this blog!

      HikerT and MommyPoints: Wow, thanks!

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