If you aren't using at least one of the best cash-back apps available for free while shopping, you're leaving money and other rewards on the table. Many apps can be small passive income streams you earn while picking up necessities.
Not all cash-back apps operate the same. Some give you a rebate based on a percentage of your purchase value, while others have a points system to redeem gift cards and other items. You can also receive coupons for an additional discount. Whichever way you prefer to receive your rewards, once you do, I guarantee you will never shop without a cash-back app again. With minimal effort, you can reap the rewards, all free of charge.
How To Pick the Best Cash-Back Apps
With hundreds of cash-back apps available for download, how do you decide which apps are best? First, figure out which type of payout works well for you. As mentioned above, this can be cash, coupons, rewards points, gift cards, or additional discounts.
Next, consider your shopping habits. Some apps require you to scan receipts to earn rewards; others are more passive, where you can collect a rebate with a single tap.
The following are the best cash-back apps to help you get rebates and rewards for everyday shopping.
Best Cash-Back Apps To Earn Money
Swagbucks offers users reward points for doing simple tasks online like shopping, searching the internet, watching videos, and completing surveys. You then collect Swagbucks (SB) points, which can be redeemed for gift cards at major retailers like Walmart and Amazon or receive cash-back via PayPal.
Swagbucks also has a Chrome extension that notifies you when a site you are shopping on offers cash-back or has any relevant coupons you can apply.
Rakuten also has partnerships with thousands of online stores and popular retailers. Create your free Rakuten account, then select the specific store you would like to shop at on the Rakuten app or website. Once you click on the store name, Rakuten will take you directly to the store's website, where you can make your purchase and collect the cash-back rebates.
Alternatively, you can download the Rakuten browser extension to shop online without visiting Rakuten's site first. When you visit a participating store online, Rakuten pops up and lets you know that you can earn cash back and the amount. Rakuten pays your cash-back rebates at the end of each quarter. Enter your PayPal account info to receive an automatic transfer, or Rakuten will mail you a physical check. You also receive a sign-up bonus of $10 and a referral fee for getting friends and family to join.
3. Fetch Rewards
Fetch Rewards is another app that allows you to earn points after scanning your receipts to confirm purchases. Fetch Rewards will reward you with points for any receipt you scan; from grocery stores and liquor stores to gas stations and convenience stores, you can earn points with this receipt-scanning app. Fetch Rewards also allows you to enter your email address and connect your account to earn points for digital receipts with selected online retailers.
Your points will be reflected in your account once you upload your receipt. You can also earn Huggies diaper rewards points and bonus rewards by uploading a receipt with a participating item.
Cash-back rewards are not an available payout option with this rewards app; instead, you'll receive your earnings in the form of free gift cards. Score Visa Prepaid cards or choose from your favorite retailers like Best Buy, The Home Depot, Whole Foods Market, Amazon, and many more.
Once you download the Dosh app, link your credit card to the app and shop at a participating merchant. Dosh has over 10,000 partnerships with popular brands, merchants, companies, and hotels and helps you get up to 10% cash back with every purchase.
Dosh is a passive way of earning cash back. There is no need to take a photo of your receipt or track discount codes because this free app reviews your transactions and finds eligible ones for a cash-back offer. Points will then be added to your ‘Dosh wallet' immediately. When your balance reaches the $25 minimum, you can cash out with direct deposit or PayPal.
This app rewards users for shopping at their favorite stores partnered with Drop. You must connect your bank account to the app and either a debit or credit card so that it can track your purchases. The app then adds Drop points to your account when you spend with Drop-partnered merchants. You can also earn points if you sign up for different rewards programs, credit cards, and apps or by playing mobile games and answering surveys.
Many offers come with terms and conditions, which you must read carefully to ensure your purchase qualifies for the points. Purchases older than 14 days are not eligible for rewards.
Honey is different from the other apps (it also has a browser extension) in that it searches the internet for active discount codes for you to use during online shopping. It also sends notifications when prices drop when you make a list (called a Droplist) of your favorite items. The app then monitors the costs and sends a push notification to inform you of the deal.
Another nice feature is that you can connect Honey to your Amazon account. The app will help you find the best prices on the products you want to buy and search for coupons you can use on Amazon.
Honey is a great passive app that applies the best coupon deals to your cart while you shop.
Ibotta is best known as a grocery-saving app. Once you download the app, you can browse cash-back offers while you shop at your favorite grocery stores. You can link your store loyalty card to the app to get your account credited with the deals or upload a picture of your receipt. The digital rebates change daily.
You can also shop online and earn savings with Ibotta, like with Rakuten. You can go through Ibotta's website to find the store you want to shop at or add the Ibotta extension to your browser. You may also qualify for a welcome bonus after redeeming your first rebate offer and a referral bonus when you get friends and family members to use the app.
8. Checkout 51
Checkout 51 offers rewards for grocery, gas, and online shopping purchases. You can choose offers within the app and upload your receipt to confirm your assets, which is similar to the Ibotta app. Some suggestions will have product purchase limits and other conditions, so read the fine print. Checkout 51 also has offers for groceries that are not store-specific, which is not available on all apps of this nature.
For gasoline purchases, upload your receipt, and to get credit for online purchases, upload a photo of the packing slip after your order arrives. When you reach $20 in cash-back, you can request a check in the mail or get paid via Paypal.
This app allows you to redeem cash back via direct deposit, Paypal, Venmo, mailed checks, or gift cards. You can save by getting money back while shopping online, applying coupons, and finding deals. The BeFrugal button browser extension will automatically apply coupons to your order during checkout, saving you from visiting the website first.
The deals section shows you deals from across the internet. You can also apply a coupon or rebate to that deal if it's available to save additional money.
Coupons.com is a website and an app that lets you browse printable and digital coupons and earn cash back on groceries and other purchases. You can link your store loyalty card to shop and apply the coupons when using digital coupons.
There is no minimum payout, and to redeem your cash-back, you can either submit a receipt after your purchase or link your store loyalty cards for automatic cash-back.
You do need to activate your offer before purchase, or you won't receive any rewards for the items.
Tips for Using Cash-Back Apps
Read the Terms and Conditions
Make sure you read all the terms and conditions. Often, product purchase limits and specific sizes of the products qualify. Read the fine print to avoid accidentally purchasing items that do not qualify for cash-back.
Fill Your Cart First
If you use multiple cash-back apps, consider doing all your online shopping and closing that window. Then, navigate to the store through the company website whose app you want to use. Your items will be waiting for you in the cart, and you won't be second-guessing whether or not you picked the correct app or link with the deal you wanted.
Upload Receipts on Multiple Apps
You can upload the same grocery receipt to multiple apps like Fetch and Ibotta. Just be careful not to accidentally upload the same receipt to the same app twice because this may violate the terms and conditions.
Redeem Rewards Promptly
When you have earned enough points for a small gift card, such as $10 or $25, it's best to redeem them rather than keep large balances. It saves you the hassle of trying to fight for points if they disappear because of getting hacked or a technical error. You never know.
Some people even forget to use the points because they use different cash-back apps, so it's best to use them as soon as you qualify for a reward.
The Incentive To Use Cash-Back Apps
Saving money and earning gift cards is an excellent incentive to use cash-back apps. Although the rewards may seem minor initially, the cash-back and prizes can add up with all the money we spend on purchasing groceries, gas, clothing, and travel.
The bottom line is if you're looking for the easiest way to earn extra cash, download a few cash-back apps and try them out for free. The great thing is that it won't cost you anything. Still, it will save you money on everyday purchases and put some extra money in your pocket.