Over the last several years, dozens of new cash-back apps for shopping have popped up.
These apps can save you money on groceries, travel, clothes, and so much more.
Not only are they easier than clipping out physical coupons, they’re also more practical. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left the house without coupons that I wanted to use or forgotten to bring a physical ad to price match. But with cash-back apps on my phone, I’m always able to save money.
With so many cash-back apps available now, it’s hard to determine which ones are worth using and which ones to ignore.
Cash-Back Apps with Browser Extensions (for Online Shopping)
Here are some of the most popular cash-back apps and browser extensions you can use to get money back on your everyday spending.
What it is: If you’re looking for a flexible, generous cash-back platform, RebatesMe will quickly become your go-to choice. The newer to the scene app is undercutting many of its peers by offering robust daily cash-back offers along with select “double cash-back” offers on many of its 4,000 popular retailer partners.
How it works: RebatesMe is super straightforward. Simply start by downloading the iOS or Android version of their mobile app, or grab their Chrome browser extension before shopping online. You’ll get immediate access to thousands of daily deals, see the cash-back rates at stores you know and love, and be able to leverage their double-dipping section: a gift card marketplace where you get $3 off (and earn additional rewards points) for purchasing gift cards to establishments you were going to make a purchase at anyways. Cash-back, discounted gift card, rewards points — it all adds up to steep savings on everyday shopping.
- Consistent industry-high cash-back offerings in commonly shopped categories (luxury apparel, jewelry, health/supplements, sports/outdoors, electronics, etc.)
- Instant browser notifications if cash-back is available at a retailer you’re shopping at
- Cash-back protection program. If you make a purchase through RebatesMe and don’t get credited (an industry-wide issue because of the complexity of tracking), they’ll credit you for purchases up to $1,000.
- Instant $5 bonus after you sign up.
- Smaller company with lesser exposure among big brands; will get temporary higher cash-back rates for some retailers on other platforms at times
- App is relatively new and the company is still working to improve functionality
2. CapitalOne Shopping
What it is: CapitalOne Shopping is a coupon app and browser extension. The company was founded in 2014 and acquired by Capital One in 2018.
Note: CapitalOne Shopping compensates us when you get the CapitalOne Shopping extension using the links provided.
How it works: When you install the CapitalOne Shopping browser extension and shop online, CapitalOne Shopping will alert you if there are any available coupons, or if it finds a better price somewhere else. You just have to click the button on the CapitalOne Shopping pop-up to claim the deal.
- Easy to install and use
- Multiple ways to save (coupons, CapitalOne Shopping credits, local deals, etc.)
- Watchlist feature alerts you of price drops
- Low payout threshold ($5 for most gift cards)
- Not as many gift card options as some other sites
- Tracks your online shopping history
How to cash out: You can exchange your CapitalOne Shopping credit for free gift cards directly on CapitalOne Shopping’s website. Most gift cards start at a $5 payout.
Referral program: You’ll receive your own unique link you can use to invite friends and family to CapitalOne Shopping. However, it’s unclear whether or not you’ll earn cash credit for those who sign up.
Related: DollarSprout’s CapitalOne Shopping Review
What it is: Swagbucks is a rewards site and app that gives you gift cards and cash for performing everyday online tasks.
How it works: You can earn points (known as Swagbucks) by shopping online, watching videos, taking surveys, playing games, buying gift cards, and using their search engine to browse the web.
- Lots of opportunities and ways to earn cash and gift cards
- No daily limit to how many points you can earn
- Low payout for many tasks
- Can take a while to earn enough Swagbucks to cash out (depending on the activities you participate in)
How to cash out: Once you earn $5 worth of Swagbucks, you can cash out via PayPal or redeem the points for gift cards to your favorite retailers.
Referral program: Sign up for Swagbucks to earn your first $10 today. You can also refer your friends and family to earn extra money. You earn 10% of the earnings from each person who signs up using your unique referral link.
Related: DollarSprout’s Swagbucks Review
What it is: Rakuten gives rebates and cash back on purchases made online or in stores at partner retailers.
How it works: Consumers can use the website or app to search for deals. Rakuten’s browser extension automatically searches for and applies promo codes and cash-back offers when you shop online.
- Can access the deals from the app or desktop version
- Multiple ways to find rebates
- Large number of partner companies, so it’s easy to get cash back
- Only redeem your cash back once per quarter
How to cash out: You can receive your earnings from Rakuten via check or PayPal, but you must have at least $5.01 to cash out.
Referral program: You can also earn money with Rakuten by referring new members. These must be people who don’t already have a Rakuten account.
Related: DollarSprout’s Rakuten Review
What it is: Honey is a free browser extension that automatically finds online discount codes.
How it works: After installing the app, Honey will provide you with discount codes every time you shop online. You don’t have to search manually.
Before checking out, the Honey browser extension will alert you if there are any deals available. If there are, they’ll be applied to your purchase. There’s also a feature called Droplist that allows you to track prices on certain items and receive an alert when the price drops.
- Compatible with all internet browsers
- Available for iPhone and Android devices
- Automatic savings; no searching for discount codes and coupons
- Price tracker feature is handy for large or expensive purchases
- Rewards program allows you to earn gift cards once you’ve spent a certain amount of money using Honey
- Won’t always find every discount code
- Appears on all of your shopping pages
- Must have the browser extension for Honey to work
How to cash out: Since Honey uses coupons and discount codes, there’s no money you’ll get back. The money you save is upfront. However, if you use their rewards program, Honey Gold, you can cash out for gift cards once you’ve reached 1,000 Honey Gold points.
Referral program: You can send a referral link to your friends and family that will earn you Honey Gold after they make their first purchase. Each friend you refer will net you $5 in Honey Gold.
Related: DollarSprout’s Honey Review
Automatic Cash-Back Apps
Once you create an account with these apps, you’ll receive coupons and cash back applied to your account automatically as you shop.
What it is: Another rebate app, Dosh gives you up to 10% cash back when you shop at their participating merchants using a linked debit or credit card.
How it works: Unlike some other cash-back companies, getting cash back with Dosh is easy. You just have to download the app and link a credit or debit card. Most other cash-back apps require you to scan a receipt and choose a deal. But with Dosh, all you need to do is sign up and shop.
- Simple and easy
- No rebates or specific offers to redeem
- Only available in the United States
- If you have a linked card that you use on another site, you can’t use it with Dosh
How to cash out: You need to have $25 in your account before you can redeem the funds. This redemption limit is slightly higher than other apps. Once you reach that threshold, you can receive your cash via PayPal or direct deposit.
Referral program: You can earn an extra $5 for every friend you refer to Dosh. There’s also an option to partner with businesses. You’ll earn 20% of the business’s Dosh fees if they register with the app. You can also earn $5 when you sign up and link your card.
Related: DollarSprout’s Dosh Review
What it is: Drop is a free app that rewards you for your everyday spending.
How it works: To get started, download the Drop app, create an account, and link a debit or credit card to start earning rewards. You’ll earn points whenever you shop with one of Drop’s partner brands. You can earn more rewards for referring friends, integrating other apps, completing Linked or Mobile offers, and more.
- Free and available on iPhone and Android devices
- Has a browser extension
- Works with both credit and debit cards
- Can redeem your savings for gift cards
- Points never expire
- Rewards are automatic since it’s linked to a card
- Can’t redeem your points for cash (only gift cards)
- Only works if you pay with a debit or credit card
- Cash-back options are limited
- Must provide an email address to get the browser extension
- Numerous complaints regarding their customer support
How to cash out: Every 1,000 points is worth $1. Once you reach 5,000 points, you can redeem them for gift cards to retailers including Amazon, Starbucks, and Target.
Referral program: Drop provides you with a referral code to send to friends and family. If they complete the registration process, you’ll each have $5 added to your account. The referral code is only good for up to 10 friends.
Related: DollarSprout’s Drop App Review
What it is: Paribus is an app that notifies you when something you previously bought has dropped in price. The app was purchased by Capital One in 2016.
How it works: Paribus scans your email inbox for receipts. Then it tracks those items to see if there’s a price drop. If there is, they’ll get you the price difference refunded back to your card. You have to give Paribus access to your email so it can monitor your account for receipts, and they’ll track your return window so you can easily see how long you have to return an item. Paribus also has a browser extension that notifies you of special deals and coupons.
- Works with major retailers such as Target, Amazon, and Home Depot
- Free for users
- Money goes back on your card
- Not available for all retailers
- Needs access to your email account
- Only works with emailed receipts
How to cash out: If you’re due a refund, the money will be refunded on your original form of payment. If you bought something with a credit card, then the money will go back on your credit card. This is much easier than some other cash-back apps because you don’t have to redeem rewards.
Referral program: Paribus doesn’t have a referral program.
What it is: Pei is a unique cash-back app that allows you to link a credit or debit card and earn money back in the form of Bitcoin or cash. It’s available on both iPhone and Android devices, and you can earn $5 just for signing up.
How it works: When you purchase something from an associated vendor, Pei will add cash to your account.
- Can earn cash back as Bitcoin
- Works with brands such as Lyft, Starbucks, and Target
- Automatic redemption
- Has a cash out minimum of $25
How to cash out: You need at least $25 to cash out. Pei points can be redeemed via Bitcoin, PayPal, or a gift card.
Referral program: You can earn $5 for every friend who subscribes through your referral code, which you can locate in the app.
Cash-Back Grocery Apps
Anyone can benefit from these grocery-specific cash-back apps.
What it is: Ibotta is one of the best and most popular cash-back apps for groceries. Since its launch in 2012, Ibotta has had nearly 22 million downloads and paid over $200 million dollars in cash back to its users.
How it works: You can search for deals at your local grocery store through the app or website and select which ones you’d like to redeem. You might have to perform a short task like watching a video or answering a question to get the deal. After shopping, you can claim the rebates by scanning your receipt or using your linked store loyalty card.
Related: How This Savings Pro Collected $830 from Ibotta and Rakuten Last Year
- Easy to search for offers and add them to your account
- Usually plenty of deals to choose from
- Must manually select which deals you want in advance
- Offers can expire
- Must scan your receipt within a week, or you’ll miss out on cash back
How to cash out: Once you earn $20, you can cash out via PayPal, Venmo, or a gift card to your favorite store.
Referral program: Ibotta adds $10 to your account when you register and redeem your first offer. You can also earn additional cash rewards by referring friends and family through a personalized referral link. If they sign up, you’ll get $5 added to your account. However, the offer must be for a specific product. You can’t redeem their “Any Brand” offers and receive the bonus.
Related: DollarSprout’s Ibotta Review
11. Checkout 51
What it is: Checkout 51 is a free rebate app that lets you earn money back on your grocery shopping by scanning your receipts.
How it works: Download the free app, browse offers, and shop. Then scan your receipts to get cash back. Unlike similar apps, you don’t have to claim offers at a specific store. You can shop wherever you want and still be rewarded for it. The offers are updated every week.
- Deals and rebates on produce
- Some items qualify for bonus offers
- Usually a significant number of $1 deals
- Can use their deals in conjunction with other coupons and discounts
- Offers are updated every Thursday morning
- Offers are only good for one week
- Limited deals, so others can claim them before you have a chance
- Must upload your receipts quickly (before the offer expires); if you forget, you could lose out on rebates
- Limited cash-out options (only check)
How to cash out: Once you reach the $20 threshold, you can cash out and receive your money via check. You can’t get your money through direct deposit or PayPal.
Referral program: You can refer friends to Checkout 51 using a unique referral link. If they sign up and redeem an offer, you’ll get $10 cash back, and they’ll earn $2. They can earn an additional $3 by redeeming three more offers.
12. Fetch Rewards
What it is: Fetch Rewards is another free grocery rebate app that gives you cash back on qualifying purchases.
How it works: After shopping, scan your receipt into the app. If there are any products that qualify for a rebate, Fetch Rewards will add those rebates to your account in the form of points.
Some are classified as “special offers” which will earn you extra points. You don’t need to pick your offers in advance, and there are no extra tasks to complete to claim an offer.
- Free and easy to use
- Provides simple ways to earn points
- No special tasks to perform to unlock offers
- Can claim rebates from grocery stores, drugstores, liquor stores, and warehouse stores like Costco
- Offers might have specific requirements or limitations (e.g., purchasing a certain quantity)
- Amount you receive per offer can be low
- Low number of offers available
- Can only cash out your points for gift cards; you can’t get cash back
How to cash out: After you accumulate 3,000 points, you can cash out for gift cards to major retailers including Amazon, Target, and Sephora.
Referral program: You can earn 2,000 points for each person you refer to Fetch Rewards after they submit their first receipt. There’s no limit to how many people you can refer with your link.
Related: DollarSprout’s Fetch Rewards Review
Apps That Give You More Than Cash Back
You can often use multiple cash-back and rewards apps to maximize your savings and earnings.
What it is: Shopkick is a free shopping rewards app that lets you earn money by performing tasks, rather than just spending money. Many of these tasks are easy to do.
How it works: You earn points or “kicks” with easy tasks like walking into stores, scanning barcodes for specific products, shopping with a linked card, and shopping online. Once you’ve earned enough points, you can cash out for gift cards.
- The app is free and simple to use
- Easy to earn kicks
- Rewards selection is large
- Gift cards are digital so they arrive quickly
- Generally can only receive gift cards
- Can take a long time to accumulate enough to cash out for a gift card
- App requires a lot of permissions, so you’ll have to disclose a lot of personal information
How to cash out: Redeem your kicks for free gift cards to stores like Target, Starbucks, Sephora, and Amazon. You can also redeem them for cash or other prizes Shopkick might offer. Those vary, so you’ll need to keep an eye on the available options.
Referral program: Like other apps, you can invite friends and family to use Shopkick using a unique referral code and link. If they sign up or download the app using your invite code or link, you’ll receive 250 kicks as long as they walk in somewhere or scan the app within seven days of registering.
Bonus: We’ve negotiated a bonus for readers who download the Shopkick app. Get 1,250 kicks (valued at $5) when you sign up using the code DOLLARSPROUT and make a qualifying purchase within the first seven eays.
What it is: MyPoints is an online survey site and app that provides discount codes up to 40% off at nearly 2,000 stores.
How it works: You can earn rewards by shopping online, watching videos, taking surveys, playing games, and reading the MyPoints emails. You can cash out for gift cards to Amazon or 75+ other retailers.
- Easy to accumulate points
- Receive payment quickly
- Don’t have to provide lots of personal information
- Point-tracking system isn’t great, which can lead to lost points
- Only available to residents of the U.S. and Canada
- Some earnings take a while to show up in your account
How to cash out: There’s no minimum threshold to cash out using MyPoints, and you can receive gift cards or cash deposited into your PayPal account.
Referral program: You’ll get 25 points for each friend or family member who joins MyPoints using your referral link. If they make a $20 or greater purchase within 30 days of signing up, you get an extra 750 points and 10% of all their eligible points.
15. Receipt Hog
What it is: Receipt Hog is a free receipt scanning app that lets you earn cash back by scanning receipts from almost everywhere you shop.
How it works: All you need to do is download the app and scan your receipts. You can earn extra rewards and coins by playing mini-games through their Hog Slots, answering survey questions, and referring friends. Every receipt you submit also gets you an entry into their monthly sweepstakes, where winners get up to 5,000 coins.
- Don’t need to select offers in advance
- Can submit receipts from virtually any store
- Plenty of chances to earn extra coins
- Possible to get actual cash back
- Can only upload three receipts from the same store each day
- Receipts must be submitted within two weeks of purchase
- To claim your coins, you must answer questions about your trip that will be used for market research
How to cash out: Once you reach 1,000 coins, you can trade them in for Amazon gift cards, PayPal cash, or magazine subscriptions.
Referral program: Receipt Hog has discontinued its referral program.
What it is: Freebird is an app that rewards you for taking rides with Lyft or Uber.
How it works: You download the app and connect it with your Uber or Lyft accounts. You can also earn points when you link a card to the Freebird account and make purchases with it.
- Earn rewards by taking rideshare rides
- App has high ratings on the App Store and Google Play Store
- Can cash out to a valid debit card
- Have to manually select the rides and toggle between Uber and Lyft
- Can’t cash out to a credit card
How to cash out: You can redeem cash back to a valid debit card. However, you can’t cash out to a prepaid or credit card. It’s not clear if Freebird is working on making those an option in the future.
Referral program: If you refer a friend, you’ll get $5 and they’ll receive $10 ($5 for each of their first two rides). You can find your invite code in the Freebird app.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
Here are a few tips to get the most out of these cash-back apps:
Use multiple apps. Since each app provides different offers, using a combination of them will ensure that you’re getting back the most money possible.
Take advantage of referral programs and bonuses. Whenever you can, encourage your friends and family to join some of these rebate programs. They’ll save money, and you’ll get extra points or cash added to your account.
Combine rebates with coupons. If you’re a savvy shopper, you’re probably already using coupons. Combining those discounts with app rebates puts even more money back in your wallet. You can also use this strategy with credit card rewards if you’re comfortable using a credit card for everyday expenses.
Shop using the apps’ portals. When you make purchases through the portal links, you’ll get access to bigger discounts and rebates. Just make sure you’re only buying items you truly need.
Pay attention to the rules. Most apps and offers have limits, deadlines, and other program rules. Follow them so you can claim every offer possible. You don’t want to miss out on cash back because you forgot to scan a receipt in a timely fashion.
Related: Best Cash-Back Credit Cards
How to Find the Best Cash-Back Apps for You
The best cash-back apps for you depend on where you shop, how often you shop, and your preferences for earning rewards. But the best way to find your favorite cash-back app is to try the ones that appeal to you most and see which apps you like best.
Each of these tools offers a different experience, so don’t be afraid to sign up for more than one. You may find that certain apps have better deals on the products you normally buy, or that some of them require more effort than you prefer.
One thing to keep in mind when choosing your favorite: the best cash-back app should make your life easier and reward you for things you already do. The less effort you have to put in, the higher return on your time investment.