FatWallet.com Review 2015
Consumers are attracted to FatWallet.com because it is a free money-saving resource that allows members to not only earn cash back, but to also get a heads up on the latest deals, coupons, promotional codes, and discounts (for both online and offline purchases). A referral program with added incentives and an active community of users also make becoming a member even more attractive. If you’re looking to “pocket the difference,” as the company’s tagline suggests, this is definitely a good place to start.
What is FatWallet.com?
Since launching in 1999, the comparison shopping website known as FatWallet.com has become a leader in equipping the savviest shoppers with the power to find and share the hottest online deals, coupon codes, promos, rebate offers, latest clearance items, free shipping offers, sales, special product bundles (think video game systems during the holidays), and bargains across the Internet. A large community of money-saving shoppers seek out the best deals, share with others, and stay on top of the best ways to save money from hundreds of leading retailers, including the likes of Best Buy, Walmart, Neiman Marcus, Amazon, Kohl’s, Staples, and Ebay.
Another draw to browsing the savings displayed across FatWallet.com is the cash back shopping opportunities. The majority of ‘Today’s Best Deals’ offer cash back on purchases, as indicated in the top-right hand corner of a listing. When signed in, and clicking on designated links, a shopper’s activity is tracked so that a record is made of purchases that qualify for cash back.
The ‘Best Deals’ section of FatWallet was launched in 2009, and features the most popular and promising deals found online by members and staff. Throughout the site, items offering the best value for their price are also highlighted with each listing providing detailed information about a product – from deal restrictions to a lowest price comparison.
To sweeten the pot, FatWallet.com also boasts an active community which enhances individual deal listings with insightful commentary, helpful tips, and deal scenarios that help consumers make the most out of a sale, discount, or coupon code. Reading the comments that follow a specific deal especially comes in handy for those purchasing laptops, computers, printers, televisions, cameras and other electronics, as the community is good for pointing out unique features and price comparisons that make it easier to make a final purchase decision.
You might be wondering ‘how can FatWallet afford to pay users cash back,’ but the answer is quite simple. For every sale made through a link clicked on a featured store listing, FatWallet makes a commission, which they in turn share a percentage with shoppers. Therefore, if you plan on purchasing any of the items listed on their website, you might as well get a little something back. According to their site, FatWallet.com has reportedly paid over $50 million to members who use the site to earn cash back.
How Can I Start?
Membership to FatWallet.com is free, and only requires a valid email address. There is also the option to sign up for FatWallet.com by using your Facebook account credentials. If you were referred by a friend to become a part of the site, you are instructed to click a link which opens a space to answer ‘Who Referred You.’
What to Expect with FatWallet.com…
Offering a wide range of opportunities to locate ways to save money from both online and offline retailers, FatWallet.com is a haven for bargain hunters, as well as shoppers looking to save on a specific purchase, such as an electronic device, video game, or vacuum cleaner.
FatWallet.com’s homepage is primarially comprised of individual listings that highlight Today’s Best Deals; a search bar; a sidebar of icons representing featured deals and cash back opporutnities; and a green navigation bar situated towards the top of the screen, which provides separate tabs for the following money-saving avenues:
* Cash Back Stores: A drop-down menu for Cash Back Stores allows shoppers to narrow their options down by conducting an alphabetical search; viewing all available store offers; seeing the 2X Cash Back Store of the Day; and browsing highlighted Cash Back retailers that include the likes of Walmart, Best Buy, Sears, and Kohl’s.
* Coupons: With the option to browse all coupon categories on the site at once, shoppers also receive quick links to Top Categories through a drop-down menu on the navigation bar, which includes Daily Deals, Travel Deals, and Restaurants/Entertainment. Users can further tailor their coupon search by using filters for Free Shipping, % Off deals, and Storewide Sales.
* Sales: All the current sales featured on FatWallet.com are found here, and can be sorted by Popular Sales, as well as the following filters: Free Shipping, % Off deals, $ Off opportunities, Storewide Sales, and Deals with Codes.
* Product Deals: Opportunities to save on a specific item are found by clicking on Product Deals, where you can view all available offers at once; or sort by Free Shipping, Store Wide sales, % Off, $ Off, or deals with Coupon Codes.
* Location-Specific Deals: With the option to change cities, members will find a local deal tab on their navigation bar, which highlights ways to save money both online and locally on food, entertainment, attractions, activities, events, fitness, beauty/spa, travel, home and auto by purchasing vouchers from Groupon, LivingSocial, and Amazon Local.
* Forums: FatWallet.com is known for having an active forum community that not only shares the best deals, but also illustrates successful deal scenarios; posts warnings and product comparisons; and highlights helpful money-saving tricks and tips. The drop-down menu for the Forums tab on the navigation bar highlights Members Favorites (for non-members) and My Favorites (according to a user’s frequently visited forum topics of members). Popular topics include Hot Deals, Black Friday, Contests and Sweepstakes, Finance, and Free Stuff.
The most recently-found savings are displayed on FatWallet.com’s homepage under Today’s Best Deals, which highlights the latest entries to a growing collection of sale alerts, discounts, coupon codes, and cash back opportunities. Updated throughout the day, you can choose to view the most current deals in one of two styles: in a simple list, or a photo grid (as shown below).
An individual listing includes the name of the retailer or brand; original and sale prices; free shipping offers; coupon codes; a link to view additional details; and a direct link to shop. When clicking on an individual offer, non-members can choose to continue without earning cash back, or sign up on the spot. Members will see a message similar to the one below, which specifies the percentage of cash back savings earned if the indicated purchase is made. Your activity is tracked after you click on a listing, and if you purchase the featured Nautica sweater – then you will earn the indicated cash back offer, which is credited to your account within three months.
To further research an individual product or offer, click on the green product link of a listing to view any additional details and specs such as available colors; restrictions for using a discount code; and the lowest comparison price (as shown below).
Below the extended listing information is a section that welcomes the comments of fellow shoppers, which generally includes insider information, tips on how to maximize an offer, and opinions on whether the deal is worthy or not as good as it seems.
When looking for offers for a specific product or brand, consumers can search by keyword using the search bar situated at the top of the screen. For example, when ‘laptop‘ is typed in, the search results that appear are broken down into separate categories:
- Stores (with offers and Cash Back opportunities)
- Best Deals (highlighting specific products)
- Coupons (highlighting offers with coupon codes and other promos)
- Forum Topics (which display any posts that mention ‘laptop‘)
How Long Does It Take to Get Cash Back?
FatWallet.com releases Cash Back payments up to three months following a valid transaction. The funds are held in a Pending stage, according to how long it takes a merchant to process and finalize their reports. This time frame also allows shoppers to make any returns, if necessary.
A My Cash Back tab found in a member’s account dashboard helps with the monitoring of cash back transactions and pending payments. Three significant pieces of information are found in this area: your Balance; Transaction History; and Click History.
Your Account Balance shows a summary and balance of the following FatWallet.com activity:
- Pending Cash Back: This is the amount of money reported by retailers that has not passed the required timeframe until it is ready to be cashed out.
- Available Cash Back: This amount is ready for cash out at any time, and can only be paid via check in the mail or through PayPal.
- Payments Processed: This is the amount of Cash Back withdrawals made to date.
- Lifetime Cash Back: Displays a running total of all Cash Back earned to date.
Your Transaction History highlights the purchases that have been reported by merchants, and provides dates, merchant names, amount of money spent, expected Cash Back, and the status.
Your Click History provides the past six months of activity, tracking the stores you’ve visited after clicking a link on FatWallet.com. Merchants report outbound click activity even if you don’t make a purchase. If you see that you’ve made a purchase that has gone unreported, you can request support by clicking on the Support Ticket button. Keep in mind that support tickets can only be submitted for clicks between 14 and 60 days old.
FatWallet.com Referral Program
FatWallet.com has a Refer-a-Friend program that pays $5 per “qualified referral” with added bonus incentives that increase with the more people you bring under the fold of the company. Members earn money when an individual clicks on a unique referral link, becomes a member of FatWallet, and then makes their first qualifying purchase totaling $25 or more that earns cash back. This purchase must be made within one year of signing up with FatWallet.
Some of the more active recruiters of the program are referred to as Power Referrers, and can earn up to $1,500. To increase the chances of attracting new members and earning more money, there are plenty of ways to advertise and share a referral link. Simply copy and paste your referral link, and send an email to family and friends; share on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google+); and/or place a FatWallet.com button on a blog or website.
Within the member dashboard, FatWallet.com highlights a member’s progress towards earning referral payments and bonuses by posting the total number of actual sign-ups and new members who have made a qualified purchase. The number of people that have been invited to join FatWallet.com via email but have yet to sign up is also on display.
To introduce users to the relatively new FatWallet Express feature of the site, the company produced the following YouTube video to highlight key points:
Consumer Review Video
To learn How to Get Cash Back through FatWallet.com, view the following YouTube video created by a consumer, which offers a step-by-step overview of the entire cash back process:
Special Features of FatWallet.com
In addition to connecting shoppers to the hottest deals and money-saving options with competitive cash back opportunities, FatWallet.com is also praised by users for the following features and resources:
* High Level of Consumer and Community Interaction: Consumers generate the content found on the forums, which is rated, discussed, debated, and explored further to present the best ways to save. Discussions and shopper comments alert users when deals are no longer valid; items have sold out; additional discounts and codes are available to use for an offer; and share ways to make the most out of a deal.
* FatWallet Express: Marketed as a time-saving “browser extension that does all the work for you,” FatWallet Express automatically alerts users when Cash Back is available at participating merchants. With search features that accommodate Yahoo, Google and Bing, the extension highlights available Cash Back opportunities in keyword search engine results, as well as the coupons and sales for over 1,600 participating retailers.
* Helpful FatWallet Blog: Those who subscribe to ‘The Skinny,’ receive weekly insights on personal finance, money-saving tips, the latest coupons and deals, and creative ways to save.
* Excellent 24/7 Customer Service: Fatwallet’s “cash back support team” work extended business hours to assist users resolve any issues, and answer all questions. Rapid responses within minutes have been reported by members.
* A Number of Optional Email Subscriptions: To keep up with the latest deals, account members can choose to sign up for a handful of e-newsletters, such as Site-Wide Sales (consists of announcements of increased cash back opportunities and special sales at major retailers); 2X! Cash Back (alerts on double cash back offers from a different store each day); Personal Shopping Offers (special deals from the stores you frequent); and Holiday Deals (the best seasonal offers – ideal for Christmas gift shopping).
Any Complaints Regarding FatWallet.com?
While plenty of users praise the money-saving qualities of FatWallet.com, there are some who do not share the same sentiments. The most recent criticism seems to stem from the company changing hands a couple of times within the past two or so years, and include the following complaints:
* Ebates Getting in the Way: Quite a few complaints have come from users who feel that the relatively recent acquisition of FatWallet.com by another cash back-related entity, Ebates, has hurt FatWallet’s quality of Hot Deals. A recurring comment is that the site increasingly pushes the deals that give them the most return from sponsors, while ignoring others.
* Copying Deals from Slickdeals.net: A few have mentioned that original deals are scarce, and FatWallet.com seems to post listings roughly two hours after they appear on a similar site, slickdeals.net.
* Failure to Compensate Cash Back: Despite having documentation for using the correct referral link, some users have complained to have had their Cash Back claims denied for what they feel is no apparent reason. One member was told that using an ad blocker was to blame for non-tracking of their purchase activity, which they reported did not pose a problem with any other cash back-related site.
* Issues Paying on Large Purchases: Consumers who have used FatWallet.com to purchase qualifying big-ticket items, like washers and dryers, report not receiving Cash Back earnings. Some have sworn off the site after having cash back claims denied for extending beyond the company’s investigation grace period – something that is ultimately out of their control.
In a Nutshell…
FatWallet offers a helpful online resource for consumers looking to find a variety of ways to save money when shopping their favorite stores or seeking the best deals on a specific purchase. The latest coupon codes, promotions, clearance sales, discounted items and plenty of other money-saving avenues from over 1,600 trusted and popular retailers keep users coming back to FatWallet.com. Add in the cash back opportunities and attractive referral program; and you have a leading money-saving resource that looks like it’s here to stay despite being under new management.