If you're saving for a summer vacation, you need to know about a strategy that could help you and your getaway dollars go further: online rebates for travel. Several rebate sites have travel categories, such as eBates.com, ExtraBux.com and FatWallet.com.
Here's how it works: you go to the rebate site instead of going directly to a travel site. On the rebate site, choose the travel category and you will see all sorts of cash back offers from airline booking sites, hotels, car rental companies and so on.
Here's a random sampling of the offers being advertised as I write this:
Site Vendor Offer
ebates.com hotels.com Up to 4% cash back
ebates.com orbitz.com Up to 6.5% cash back
fatwallet.com travelocity.com 13% off participating hotels
fatwallet.com Hertz 15% off weekly or weekend rental
extrabux.com Kipling 5% cash back on luggage
extrabux.com booking.com 3% cash back
If you need to buy expensive airline tickets or stay at an upscale hotel, these percentages will add up. If less expensive travel is your style, at least you'll pick up some extra spending money for your trip. Also search around for special offers above and beyond the norm. For example, earlier this year eBates.com was offering double cash back on travel deals.
I do suggest having a couple of windows open on your computer when you try out these offers. For example, see how much your airfare will cost on fill-in-the-blank booking site and simultaneously check to make sure the online rebate site offers the same price or less. (An old trick is for companies to offer coupons but then jack the base price up on anybody who uses the coupon, so I'm a bit scarred by my long memory.)
True guerrilla shoppers know that one of the best ways to save money is to layer multiple savings strategies on top of each other. Here's one more layer of intrigue for you to try out!