Points and miles are great, but there’s nothing like the feeling of cold hard cash in hand. We consider not earning any for every single travel purchase to be one of the greatest mistakes in travel. But once you do start earning, it’s all about maximizing your earning. So why earn 1% cash back when you can earn up to 10% – with all your favorite travel brands, hotels, airlines and booking sites.

Travel Thursdays

eBates is one of the best cash back sites on the web. You’ll always score at least 1% cash back on travel purchases, even when booking directly with many airlines and hotels. But they’re launching a new program, which unlocks even better potential. Dubbed “Travel Thursdays” eBates will offer booking sites and hotel chains where you can score 10% cash back on every purchase. A $1000 hotel booking would net you $100 back in actual cash you can deposit into a bank!

The Deals

There are cash back deals on eBates today for 10% back on Expedia, 7% back on Orbitz and many other good offers to browse as well. If you sign up via this link, you’ll instantly get $10 in cash back to kickstart your earnings. But come next Thursday, you’ll find all the 10% deals on the site by bookmarking this page. This is a no brainer, where you can potentially pay for an entire other part of your travel (or just help pay the bills off) by clicking from eBates.

Shop Around

eBates is fantastic but it’s not alone in the cash back game. TopCashBack, QuidCoΒ and BeFrugal all offer cash back programs worth investigating. It may add a few extra minutes to any travel booking, but maximizing the amount of cash back is a great step in unlocking free travel. And of course, you’ll still earn credit card points for all these purchases on top of the cash back! And if that’s not good enough, you still earn frequent flyer miles on top of the cash back and credit card points when you book flights. Bottom line: don’t miss out.

Do you use cash back sites to maximize your travel purchases?