Get 8% Cash Back on every Ebay Item you Buy

First off, thank you to everyone who voted in my poll yesterday: What would you like to learn from an Ebay Master?  It is not a surprise to see “how to get 8% cash back on every Ebay item you buy” win.  I knew that would be interesting to most people.  I will release 1-2 days posts each day covering these topics, starting with the most popular choices.

reults from ebay poll

So without further ado, here is how you get 8% cash back on every Ebay item you buy.

Part 1: Earn 2% cash back on every Ebay item you buy

Ebay has a program called Ebay Bucks which gives buyers 2% cash back (in the form of Ebay Bucks) on all* purchases.

Earn ebay bucks

However, there are some restrictions to what earns Ebay Bucks:

  • All categories in eBay Motors (but Parts & Accessories purchases DO qualify)
  • Classifieds
  • Real Estate
  • Gift Cards & coupons, but only for eBay Gift Cards within that category
  • Coins & Paper Money, but only for Bullion within that category
  • Business & Industrial

To simplify, as long as you do not buy vehicles in Ebay Motors, real estate property, Ebay gift cards, bullion coins/metal, and items in the business & industrial category, you will earn your 2% cash back.  If you are unsure if you will earn Ebay Bucks, look for this logo on the listing.

ebay bucks logo

Joining the Ebay Bucks program is free to anyone with an Ebay account.  To join, you need to be registered with a US mailing address.  You can join here.

In March, Ebay discontinued their Ebay Bucks program for Canadian residents (statement).

No canada

Here is a screenshot of my current Ebay Bucks balance (as of 7/26/2013).  I earned 2% cash back on everything I bought except 2 things this month.  The first was an item listed in the Business & Industrial category and the second item was a refunded order.

As you can see, I earned $6.43 buying a Starbucks gift card for $321.25, which is 2%.  As long as you don’t buy Ebay gift cards, every other gift card purchase will count.

Current ebay bucks balance

This is my Ebay Bucks Certificate for all my purchases made from April 1 through June 30.  I only earned $7.28, which means I spent $364 during those 3 months.  Ebay sends you an email with a gift card code equivalent to the amount of Ebay Bucks you earned.

email ebay bucks

UPDATE 12/28/13 – new Ebay Bucks program rules:

New Ebay Bucks Rules


Part 2: Earn 6% cash back on every Ebay item you buy

Hopefully by now, you have already read $435+ Cash Back from Supermarkets.  If not, here is how it works.  Get the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card which gets you 6% cash back from supermarkets and grocery stores.

BCP Card

Go to the grocery store and buy Ebay gift cards.  You will earn 6% cash back.

lots of ebay gift cards


Part 3: Earn 8% cash back on every Ebay item you buy

After winning an Ebay auction or going through a Buy It Now listing, enter your Ebay gift card codes in the box at the checkout page.

Ebay Item Won

You can enter as much as $500 in Ebay gift cards on 1 order.  I had 2 small gift card codes available so I used them both on this transaction.

Ebay Item Paid

Sign into your Paypal account.

Log into Paypal

If you are using Ebay gift cards to pay for the entire order, the payment method will say “Gift Certificates, Gift Cards, Coupons, or Rewards cover your entire purchase.”

Confirm Paypal Payment

Congratulations, you have just paid your first Ebay item with Ebay gift cards!  You will get 2% cash back in Ebay Bucks and 6% cash back on your American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card. 

Paypal Payment Complete

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

P.S. You can also buy Amazon gift cards at grocery stores and earn 6% cash back.  Some office supply stores sell Amazon and Ebay gift cards, which you can buy with your Chase Ink Bold/Plus Business Credit Card and earn 5x Chase Ultimate Reward Points.

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About Grant

Grant is an expert in frequent flyer miles, hotel loyalty points, credit card rewards, and cash back deals. He also has a pretty cool travel blog. Find him on Twitter @travelwithgrant.

22 thoughts on “Get 8% Cash Back on every Ebay Item you Buy

  1. SSD


    I’m wondering if a individual can acquire Chase Ink Bold/Plus Business Credit Card? Or do they strictly limit it to incorporated businesses?


  2. reebs

    PayPal/Ebay limits you on how eBay gift cards you can use. I believe the maximum is $3000 per calendar year. Just an FYI…

      1. Jerry

        You wouldn’t be saying 8% anyway b/c the tax you have to pay to obtain the cards from store negates any savings you may have hoped for.

          1. Grant

            Otherwise you would be taxed twice, once on the gift card and then again when you used the gift card to buy something else. Hope that makes sense. Good night Jerry.

  3. shane

    i just looked into the card, and it has a $75 annual fee. which would mean you would have to spend at least, $1250 just to break even from having the card each year. With a $6000 limit for the 6%, you would make $285 actual money from it. Does this sound right to you?

    1. Grant

      That sounds right to me. There is a max amount you will earn cash back each year. You might want to look into the old Amex Blue Cash Credit Card.

  4. kamranmoradi

    Can you please specify which grocery store we can buy? The only one is Windixie which doesnt sell ebay giftcard. What about to buy it online from the groceries is it still giving 6%, if any.

    1. Grant

      There are occasional EBay GC deals on EBay. You can also buy eBay GC at office supply stores. No grocery stores sell eBay GCs online.

  5. Paul

    Grant – thanks for this discussion. I came to you investigating whether I (hypothetically) would earn full eBay bucks on a purchase that paid for in part with eBay gift cards, since eBay explains that you must pay with PayPal. The customer service agent I spoke with said that I WOULD NOT earn the eBay bucks if I paid with a gift card. But I had very little confidence that her answer was definitive – it seemed like she was reading the policy and then making assumptions (whereas the whole reason I was calling was to not rely on assumptions…)

    So your post seems to answer this definitively. UNLESS eBay’s policy has changed since you wrote this. Can you confirm from a recent transaction that you still earn full eBay bucks even if you pay with gift cards?

    Thanks much again!

    1. Grant

      I’m 99% sure you will earn eBay Bucks on the full purchase price of the item, regardless if you pay with eBay GCs, PayPal or a combination of the 2. You should see your eBay Bucks balance increase after your first purchase when you pay with eBay GCs.


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