Cash Back Shopping 101

Cash Back Shopping

FatWallet has already paid out $50 million to smart shoppers who take advantage of Cash Back  — Have you gotten your fair share? The majority of people who shop online aren’t taking advantage of this savings and end up paying more than they have to for the purchases they’re making.

If you’re not already shopping with Cash Back, start thinking about what you want to do with your extra money, because I’m going to show you how to get paid to shop on everything you buy from shampoo and toilet paper to gifts and gadgets!

If you’re already a seasoned pro when it comes to shopping online with Cash Back, don’t click away just yet! Chances are that you’re not taking advantage of all four ways you can be stacking up the savings on your purchases. I’m going to show you, with these simple shopping tips, how to save even more money. The savings you could be seeing is like taking your cash back and doubling it, twice!

So let’s get started maximizing your savings and making the most out of your free FatWallet membership and make sure to check out our free FatWallet App.

How does Cash Back Work?

We partner with 1600+ different stores to bring you cash back, coupons and deals. We publish the best deals and cash back amounts on our site. When you shop through FatWallet at one of these cash back stores your click is tracked. If you make a purchase at the store you click through to, FatWallet will earn a commission. We then share that commission with you in the form of Cash Back.  You can receive your Cash Back as a check, a PayPal deposit or Amazon gift card.

How to Shop with Cash Back:

Step 1: Always start at FatWallet

Always make FatWallet the first place you go before buying anything online. Before shopping, log into your FatWallet account. If you don’t have an account yet, you can get your Free FatWallet membership here.

Do you already know the store you want to buy from?

1. In the search box type in the name of the store where you plan to make a purchase.

FatWallet Cash Back Store

2. Stores that offer cash back will have a cash back amount and details regarding cash back listed on their FatWallet store page.  

3. Click through the blue Shop Now button on a deal or at the top by the store logo.

Target Coupons, Sales, & Deals page on FatWallet

Are you browsing for deals?

Check out the deals on our home page.

4. The deals that are eligible for cash back will be designated with a green  Cash Back symbol.

5. Click through the blue Shop Now button to go to the store to shop.

6. Or click the green text for more information on a deal.

Shop for Cash Back Deals on the FatWallet Home Page

Step 2: Make your purchase

1. When you click the blue shop now button you should see a page similar to this open in a new window.

You're On Your Way to Earning Cash Back!

2. The store’s web site will open in that window. Shop for what you want to buy on the store web site. Follow the store’s checkout process all the way to the end until you get an order confirmation number. Don’t click away from that window to another page in your browser or you could cancel your cash back tracking.

Complete the Checkout Process on the Cash Back Store

3. Go ahead and enter your order number and any details about your order in the FatWallet Shopping Details page.

Shopping Details for Cash Back Store

Step 3: Get paid!

1. FatWallet will email you as soon as your cash back is available. (The amount of time varies by retailer and can be anywhere from one week to 90 days.) Click on “My Cash Back” at the top of your page to access this screen. Then click on “Request Payment.”

Request Your FatWallet Cash Back

Choose how you want to be paid. We can process your payment via a deposit into your PayPal account, send you a check in the mail, or send you an Amazon gift card.

Choose How You Want to be Paid Your Cash Back

Your cash back request will be processed, and depending on the type of payment you requested your payment will arrive shortly.

Your Cash Back is Processed

When your cash back has been processed you’ll receive an email confirmation!

FatWallet Cash Back Email

If you would like more information on how Cash Back works, here is a link to the Introduction to Cash Back FAQ on the FatWallet website.

The More you shop the more Cash Back you earn!

One of the most common mistakes shoppers make is not checking FatWallet to see if they can get Cash Back on their purchase! I’ve been surprised myself at times, when I discover a new store on FatWallet I didn’t know we had–and I work here!

Lots of people use FatWallet to help them save on gifts, hotels, and bigger electronics purchases, but they’re missing out on a lot of every day savings!

Some of the most common overlooked places to earn Cash Back are:

Health and Beauty:

  • Drugstore items like cosmetics, shampoo, vitamins
  • Eye glasses and contacts

Anything you’d buy from a discount store like Target and Walmart:


School, Home & Office:

Common cash back categories many people overlook!

Become a Black Belt Cash Back Shopper!

Now that you’ve got the basics of Cash Back Shopping, let us show you how to really stack up your savings!

There are at least 4 ways to stack up savings in addition to the Cash Back you’ll earn from FatWallet!

  1. Store wide or % off sales that combine with coupons, promo codes, and/or free shipping codes
  2. Rewards from the retailer. Many retailers offer rewards to loyal shoppers, such as the Shop Your Way Rewards from Sears and Kmart
  3. Credit Cards that offer cash back or travel rewards
  4. If you’re booking travel arrangements, you can also stack travel deals on top of rewards for hotels, car rental companies, and airlines!

Common Cash Back Shopping Mistakes

Cash Back can be tricky from time to time. Here are some of the most common issues that can cause your purchase to be ineligible for Cash Back.

Interrupting Cash Back click tracking:

  • Having things already in the store’s shopping cart before you click through from FatWallet.
  • Comparison shopping online and accidentally making a purchase in another window instead of the window FatWallet opens for you when you click through to a store.
  • Closing a browser window and then coming back to make a purchase.
  • Not being signed into FatWallet at the time you click through to the store.
  • SOLUTION: Start every shopping trip at FatWallet going through the window that opens from our SHOP NOW buttons. Don’t click through to any other windows or tabs during the process of placing your order.

Items and Coupons that negate cash back:

  • Purchasing items that are not eligible for cash back.
  • Using a coupon code or promo code that makes the purchase not eligible for cash back.
  • SOLUTION: Shop the deals and coupons on FatWallet that have the Cash Back ($) designation.

Changing the order after the purchase has been completed:

  • Returning an item from a purchase that included multiple items.
  • Contacting the store to change anything about the order.
  • SOLUTION: If you are ordering multiple items, multiple gifts, or multiple sizes of an item and you’re not sure if you’re going to keep them all, put them on separate orders so if you return one and keep the others, you still get to keep the cash back on the items you’re keeping.

Congratulations! You’ve completed Cash Back Shopping 101!  Let the savings begin!


  1. says

    I have Amazon Prime. Which has discounts and free shipping on most of My dreams. If I become a member of fatwallet ? Can I also order an items, that qualifies as an Amazon Prime product? So I can still get my free shipping?

    • says

      Absolutely! Amazon has rotating cash back categories on FatWallet. If you shop through a category that offers cash back for an Amazon Prime item you’ll get cash back and the free shipping! You can even stack that purchase with a cash back credit card or a travel rewards credit card for another level of savings!

  2. says

    So the way I understand it. Fatwallet gets paid a commission, or finders fee from Amazon . Then in turn fatwallet pays me back part of the commission or finders fee . In the form of gift cards or a check. And that is how cash back works ?

    • says

      Hi Bridget,

      Yes, you are correct. FatWallet shares the commission we earn with our members in the form of Cash Back. You can choose to have your Cash Back mailed to you in the form of a check, sent to you through PayPal or as an Amazon gift card.

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