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Steve L

Update using Orbitz/Ebates booking 14% cash back

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Early February last year I wrote here that I was going to try booking a cruise using online travel site Orbitz and going through Ebates for the 14% cashback that was offered on Cyber Monday. In the past I would use cruisecompete which allows travel agents to bid for your booking but I saw the 14% cashback offer and decided to give it a try. Well today I finally got the cashback. Booked Nov. of 2017 , took the cruise Oct. 2018 and paid March of 2019. Requires lots of patience! When I did need to speak with an agent the Orbitz rep. was no different than other agents I have used in the past. If you are looking for killer cashback %, this is hard to beat....you just need to wait a bit for the money to show up. 

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That is great! I have used Ebates now for over 10 years and I’ve gotten quite a lot of money back (probably not as much in one check as you just received). You are right, there could be a month or so to wait since the checks arrive quarterly.  A lot of times around Christmas they offe bonus percentages so that would be an extra good time to pull this off . I thought I had figured out almost every way to maximize our savings, but I just never really thought about this method (and using a rewards card would add to the benefit). Good job. 👍🏼💃🏼

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Thanks 2Beeze

Yep, it was a good cashback check. The cool part is I also got on board credit from Royal and Orbitz plus this cashback. A trifecta. I used the Chase Sapphire Reserve card to get 3x points per dollar.  It also has great travel insurance built into the card so I don't need to buy that separately. I've already booked my next cruise this same way. To me this is a no brainer.

 

 

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Here are the numbers for full transparency:

Ebates cashback of 14%  $357.28

Using Chase Sapphire Reserve card to book this cruise: 3x pts. = 9,141 pts. which equals $137 in travel thru Chase

$200 on board credit for balcony from Royal

$75 on board credit from Orbitz

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2 hours ago, Steve L said:

Here are the numbers for full transparency:

Ebates cashback of 14%  $357.28

Using Chase Sapphire Reserve card to book this cruise: 3x pts. = 9,141 pts. which equals $137 in travel thru Chase

$200 on board credit for balcony from Royal

$75 on board credit from Orbitz

The only drawback of this is that you cannot use a future cruise deposit to book/transfer over to Orbitz via E-Bates. In addition, 14% of E-Bates is only available when Double-Cash is offered as Orbitz is usually UP TO 7%...full disclosure.

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1 hour ago, princevaliantus said:

The only drawback of this is that you cannot use a future cruise deposit to book/transfer over to Orbitz via E-Bates. In addition, 14% of E-Bates is only available when Double-Cash is offered as Orbitz is usually UP TO 7%...full disclosure.

Yes the 14% was given on Cyber Monday. I made sure to book that day.

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2 hours ago, Jody Lewis said:

@Steve L  just a couple of questions for you

When you book through Orbitz do you get access to the Cruise Planner for scheduling?

How long did it take Orbitz to apply the on board credit?

Thanks in advance

Yes to question one Jody. The  Royal on board credit showed up in my account shortly after full payment so was able to book whatever activity through cruise planner.

The on board credit from Orbitz may have shown up when I boarded the ship. I'm not clear on that one.

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12 hours ago, Steve L said:

Thanks 2Beeze

Yep, it was a good cashback check. The cool part is I also got on board credit from Royal and Orbitz plus this cashback. A trifecta. I used the Chase Sapphire Reserve card to get 3x points per dollar.  It also has great travel insurance built into the card so I don't need to buy that separately. I've already booked my next cruise this same way. To me this is a no brainer.

 

 

It seems you love that maximizing as much as I do! 🙃 I have the Chase Sapphire and have tried to decide if the Reserve would be worth the cost for us (the lounges aren’t great for our needs, especially since the one at ATL is on concourse F (international) and a LONG way from most of our Delta flights (except those to HI). I also would get cheated out of a lot of perks that I would have gotten had I started with reserve. I had hoped on the first anniversary they might offer some extra perks to upgrade, but I never saw one (and the FICO would def qualify). So now we are evaluating whether we want get the skymiles Amex reserve or the chase one (the Skymiles has a companion 1st class ticket each year and use of the Delta sky clubs [usually very nice]). Have you thought your Chase was a good value?

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10 hours ago, 2Beeze said:

It seems you love that maximizing as much as I do! 🙃 I have the Chase Sapphire and have tried to decide if the Reserve would be worth the cost for us (the lounges aren’t great for our needs, especially since the one at ATL is on concourse F (international) and a LONG way from most of our Delta flights (except those to HI). I also would get cheated out of a lot of perks that I would have gotten had I started with reserve. I had hoped on the first anniversary they might offer some extra perks to upgrade, but I never saw one (and the FICO would def qualify). So now we are evaluating whether we want get the skymiles Amex reserve or the chase one (the Skymiles has a companion 1st class ticket each year and use of the Delta sky clubs [usually very nice]). Have you thought your Chase was a good value?

Hi 2Beeze

Yes, I think it's worth it and I have it as my number one travel card. I also have the fee free Chase Freedom card and with it's rotating bonus categories, I channel those 5x points to the Reserve. Then all those points are worth 1.5X more when you book through their portal. Hard to beat that!  It has primary auto coverage ( I scraped a boulder on my rental car which damaged the side costing $1400 and the credit card covered that without it being reported to my insurance company). Our cruise ship had to turn around and head back to Cozumel because a fellow passenger had a medical emergency and the card covered our expenses because we missed our flight. The $300 annual travel credit actually makes the true cost $150. I feel very confident that holding this card is well worth it. I always book anything travel (3x points) with this card. Hope this helps!

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1 hour ago, Steve L said:

Hi 2Beeze

Yes, I think it's worth it and I have it as my number one travel card. I also have the fee free Chase Freedom card and with it's rotating bonus categories, I channel those 5x points to the Reserve. Then all those points are worth 1.5X more when you book through their portal. Hard to beat that!  It has primary auto coverage ( I scraped a boulder on my rental car which damaged the side costing $1400 and the credit card covered that without it being reported to my insurance company). Our cruise ship had to turn around and head back to Cozumel because a fellow passenger had a medical emergency and the card covered our expenses because we missed our flight. The $300 annual travel credit actually makes the true cost $150. I feel very confident that holding this card is well worth it. I always book anything travel (3x points) with this card. Hope this helps!

My Sapphire card has the travel insurance and many of the same benefits as the Reserve other than use of non-Skyclubs and the higher awarded points, plus maybe a companion ticket. Since the clubs are either not easily assessable or not ideal in terms of quality in our most frequently visited airports, it leaves mostly about an extra  point on purchase for that extra yearly membership amount and that is much less enticing!  Which is why the Am Ex Reserve starts to looks much better at this point.

For us the Delta Am Ex and the Chase Sapphire Cards offer very useful benefits, such as the built-in insurance (and we always book our pre-cruise hotel stays through Chase with points). I told my husband last year that my word of the year was “maximize” and this year my word of the year is “optimize.” I don’t know what 2020’s word with be 😂

 

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2 hours ago, 2Beeze said:

My Sapphire card has the travel insurance and many of the same benefits as the Reserve other than use of non-Skyclubs and the higher awarded points, plus maybe a companion ticket. Since the clubs are either not easily assessable or not ideal in terms of quality in our most frequently visited airports, it leaves mostly about an extra  point on purchase for that extra yearly membership amount and that is much less enticing!  Which is why the Am Ex Reserve starts to looks much better at this point.

For us the Delta Am Ex and the Chase Sapphire Cards offer very useful benefits, such as the built-in insurance (and we always book our pre-cruise hotel stays through Chase with points). I told my husband last year that my word of the year was “maximize” and this year my word of the year is “optimize.” I don’t know what 2020’s word with be 😂

 

Sounds like you have the cc strategy that works well for you. I applaud your maximizing and optimizing goals. I try to do that exact thing in my household!

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1 hour ago, Barbara T said:

How does the cruisecompete work?  Does it save more than booking direct or with a travel agent?

Hi Barbara...cruisecompete is a site that has travel agents bid on your cruise. I really liked using them. You just input the cruise line you want, dates, and cabin style and (in my case) 4-7 travel agencies will bid for your business including on board credit and perks such as spa treatments or specialty dinning. It's not a bad way to go but since I found how much Ebates pays you to book a cruise through Orbitz I have used this method since. 

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2 minutes ago, Steve L said:

Hi Barbara...cruisecompete is a site that has travel agents bid on your cruise. I really liked using them. You just input the cruise line you want, dates, and cabin style and (in my case) 4-7 travel agencies will bid for your business including on board credit and perks such as spa treatments or specialty dinning. It's not a bad way to go but since I found how much Ebates pays you to book a cruise through Orbitz I have used this method since. 

Thanks for the info!  It seemed like it took almost 2 years for you to get the cash back.  Did I read that right?

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Just now, Barbara T said:

Thanks for the info!  It seemed like it took almost 2 years for you to get the cash back.  Did I read that right?

You did read that right ....you don't get payed for 90 days AFTER the cruise is completed. In my case it took about 120 days....I sent a few emails to Ebates and they apologized for the delay but the 14% back eventually came. You just need a bit of patience! 

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2 minutes ago, Steve L said:

You did read that right ....you don't get payed for 90 days AFTER the cruise is completed. In my case it took about 120 days....I sent a few emails to Ebates and they apologized for the delay but the 14% back eventually came. You just need a bit of patience! 

Ohhhhhhhh, okay that makes sense.  Great info!  Thanks again!  Taking our first cruise for our 25th anniversary in April on Oasis of the Seas and super excited!

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1 minute ago, Barbara T said:

Ohhhhhhhh, okay that makes sense.  Great info!  Thanks again!  Taking our first cruise for our 25th anniversary in April on Oasis of the Seas and super excited!

How did you book it?...which card and through whom. Travel agent or direct with the cruise line? Hopefully you will love your cruise as a newbie. ...we sure did!

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1 minute ago, Steve L said:

How did you book it?...which card and through whom. Travel agent or direct with the cruise line? Hopefully you will love your cruise as a newbie. ...we sure did!

Well, I first asked on Facebook if I had any travel agent friends and when someone gave a referral I contacted them.  I was already looking at the RC website though.  I just thought maybe they could give me a better deal.  She was out of town and it was Black Friday and I wanted to secure the cruise, so I just did it myself by calling in.  They gave us a free bottle of red wine and strawberries for our anniversary.  Then I contacted the travel agent back and we did some paperwork to give the account to her.  She gave me a $25 onboard credit for that.  Seems like not much at this point.....lol......since I did all the work.  She has been able to answer some questions for us though.  I just used my Marriott card to book.

I've mostly been watching videos and this board for tips and helpful info as I'm one that likes to have all my ducks in a row.  I'd like this to be a great experience since I had to talk my husband into taking a cruise!  

We purchased the Key, which he didn't think we needed....lol, and just got an email to upgrade staterooms.  We are in the central park balcony room currently but I bid on an upgrade to a ocean view balcony.  Hope we get it!  I went $40 over the minimum hoping most people would do the minimum or just above the minimum!  I'd love to have a balcony seeing as it's our anniversary and we will want to spend a lot of time alone as we have 4 kids! lol

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2 minutes ago, Barbara T said:

Well, I first asked on Facebook if I had any travel agent friends and when someone gave a referral I contacted them.  I was already looking at the RC website though.  I just thought maybe they could give me a better deal.  She was out of town and it was Black Friday and I wanted to secure the cruise, so I just did it myself by calling in.  They gave us a free bottle of red wine and strawberries for our anniversary.  Then I contacted the travel agent back and we did some paperwork to give the account to her.  She gave me a $25 onboard credit for that.  Seems like not much at this point.....lol......since I did all the work.  She has been able to answer some questions for us though.  I just used my Marriott card to book.

I've mostly been watching videos and this board for tips and helpful info as I'm one that likes to have all my ducks in a row.  I'd like this to be a great experience since I had to talk my husband into taking a cruise!  

We purchased the Key, which he didn't think we needed....lol, and just got an email to upgrade staterooms.  We are in the central park balcony room currently but I bid on an upgrade to a ocean view balcony.  Hope we get it!  I went $40 over the minimum hoping most people would do the minimum or just above the minimum!  I'd love to have a balcony seeing as it's our anniversary and we will want to spend a lot of time alone as we have 4 kids! lol

Well I wish you could have read some of this info ( ebates, cruisecompete) before you booked 🙂 The red wine you can bring yourself although it's a nice touch. (you can bring two bottles.... saves a lot on your bar tab!). The on board credit seems pretty low for a balcony. It's all a learning experience. I bought cruise insurance first time out then read my credit card benefits and found out I wasted money on that. Lesson learned. I'm always trying to "maximize".  We think alike in that regard.

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