13 Best Cash Back Apps for Shopping [2020 Update]
Some of the links in this post are from our sponsors. Read our disclosure to see how we make money.
I remember watching my mom clip coupons when I was a child. Now she uses cash back apps to save when shopping at the store or online.
Money back apps can help you save on groceries, travel, gifts, clothing, and much more. Many of the best cash back apps even let you use coupons or rewards credit cards to increase savings.
There’s a myriad of free rebate apps available, so it can be difficult to figure out which ones are worth your effort. Read on to learn about the top options in the space.
Best Cash back Apps for Shopping
Cash back apps come in different forms and usually fall into one of the following categories:
- Coupon browser extensions
- Receipt scanning apps
- Automatic cash back apps
- Multiple purpose apps
All of the apps on our list are free to use. If they offer rewards, you can often redeem those via PayPal or free gift cards. Other cash back shopping portals provide discounts on your shopping.
Top Coupon Browser Extensions
Nothing is more frustrating than spending time searching for a valid coupon code only to learn the one you found has expired. Here are some browser extensions that alleviate that problem.
1. Capital One Shopping
Capital One Shopping (formerly Wikibuy) is a browser extension that helps you find active coupon codes to save money online.
*Note: *Capital One Shopping compensates
How it works: After installing the extension, it goes to work to identify valid online discount codes for items you buy. The extension is available on all major browsers and mobile platforms.
If it locates a coupon code, it applies it to your purchase and secures your savings. You can also receive price drop alerts and earn loyalty credits when shopping through the portal.
- Simple to install and use
- Ability to see customer reviews on products
- Numerous ways to save
- Notifications of price drops
- No way to earn cash aside from gift cards
How to redeem earnings: When you shop through the Capital One Shopping portal, you earn loyalty credits. You can redeem those for gift cards starting as low as $5. Savings you earn through coupon codes automatically reduce your total amount spent.
|Capital One Shopping|
Save more when you shop!
Snag better prices automatically on the things you buy with valid discount codes.
Honey operates much like Capital One Shopping. It’s a free browser extension you use to find rebate codes.
How it works: After installing the browser extension, you shop as you normally would. As you shop, Honey locates discount codes and applies them to your shopping cart.
You can also use Droplist to create price alerts to notify you of a price reduction. It will scan for price drops for up to 120 days if you wish.
The extension works on all major browsers and mobile platforms. You won’t earn cash back, but you can earn Honey Gold on purchases. This feature lets you earn up to 20 percent of your purchase in Gold points. These points are redeemable for free gift cards.
- Easy to install and use
- Helpful price tracking feature
- Works in the background as you shop
- Earn free gift cards
- No way to earn cash back
How to redeem earnings: You can redeem gift cards after you reach 1,000 in Honey Gold, which equals $10. Savings are automatically applied to purchases. Honey reports the average user saves $125 per year with the extension.
Review: Read our Honey app review
|Honey - find active rebate codes|
Earn free gift cards!
This popular browser extension finds active discount codes to help you save money shopping online.
Swagbucks is a short-task site that also has a shopping portal. You earn a discount on your shopping when you use the portal. It’s also possible to earn Swagbucks points you can redeem for cash or gift cards.
How it works: Points can be earned by performing various online tasks. Aside from using the shopping portal to start earning cash back on your purchases, you can earn points via paid surveys, playing online games, watching sponsored videos, and more.
- Easy way to earn cash on something you’re already doing
- Numerous options to get points
- Earn up to 20 percent back on purchases
- Choose gift cards from over 150 retailers
- Low payout for many jobs
- It can take a while to earn enough to redeem earnings
How to redeem earnings: Redemption levels vary depending on what you select. Some gift cards are as low as $3. Users can redeem cash via PayPal once they reach a $25 balance. Swagbucks gives new users a $5 bonus after opening an account.
Review: Read our Swagbucks app review
|Swagbacks - get cash back on your purchases|
Get a $5 bonus!
Earn points doing small tasks - paid surveys, watching videos, even shopping! Redeem earnings for cash or gift cards.
Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) is one of the simplest platforms on our list. It gives rebates and cash back on purchases you make through its shopping portal. It also has an app you can use at participating stores.
How it works: Rakuten operates much like Honey. It’s a browser extension that looks for valid rebate codes. It also provides cash back from over 2,500 online stores.
- Over 2,500 participating retailers
- Earn rebates and receive cash back
- Shop online or in the store
- Can only redeem earnings once a quarter
How to redeem earnings: It’s easy to receive earnings from Rakuten. They let you redeem earnings via check or PayPal. Each quarter they automatically send you earnings. You must have a balance of at least $5.01 to get cash.
Review: Read our Rakuten review
Best Receipt Scanning Apps
Did you know you can receive cash back for receipts? There are grocery rebate apps that will pay you to scan your receipts after completing your shopping.
If you’ve used mobile shopping apps, you likely know about Ibotta. The service has over 30 million downloads and has been giving users cash rebates for over a decade.
How it works: The free cash rewards app lets you look for deals before going to the grocery store. You can also do this on its website. After completing your shopping trip, you take a picture of the receipt with the app and it credits your account for the rebates you selected.
If there were discounts you didn’t select, it identifies those as well.
Don’t limit yourself to using the app at the store. It also works with over 350 online retailers.
- Use at the grocery store and online
- Identifies rebates you miss
- Redeem in cash or gift cards
- Some deals can expire
- Must scan your receipt within one week or you give up the rebates
How to redeem earnings: You can redeem cash via PayPal or Venmo after you reach a $20 balance. Ibotta gives new users a $10 bonus after claiming their first rebate.
|Ibotta - get rebates on your shopping|
Get a $10 bonus!
This popular shopping app works at the grocery store and online. Redeem earnings for cash or gift cards.
6. Fetch Rewards
Fetch Rewards is another rebate app that lets you scan receipts for money back.
How it works: Unlike Ibotta, you don’t have to claim deals before going to the store. You simply do your shopping and use the app to take a picture of the receipt. The app then identifies currently available rebates and rewards them as points.
- Nothing needed to earn points, just take a picture of your receipt
- Works at grocery stores, including retailers like Costco
- Has a low redemption amount
- A lower number of offers available vs. Ibotta
- The only cash option is a Visa cash card
How to redeem earnings: Fetch pays in gift cards, but you can select a Visa cash card if you prefer a less restrictive way to spend your earnings. Some gift cards are available as low as 3,000 points (equal to $3). Visa cards are available once you reach 5,000 points.
New users can use the code FETCH2K to receive 2,000 points.
Checkout51 is a receipt scanning app that lets you get cash back on your shopping.
How it works: Checkout51 works similar to Fetch Rewards. You go to the grocery store, do your shopping, then take a picture of your receipt with the app. It works at most stores and you don’t need to select offers beforehand. You even receive rebates on produce.
- Updates with new offers every Thursday
- Some rebates go as high as $1
- Allows you to combine the app with other coupons or rebates
- Deals are often limited to a certain number of people
- Only cash-out option is a check
How to redeem earnings: You can redeem earnings after you reach $20. Payouts can only be sent via check. New users receive a $10 bonus after redeeming their first offer.
Coupons.com is one of the oldest rebate apps on the web.
How it works: As the name infers, the service is a digital coupon site that focuses on discounts and rebates you can earn at partner retailers. Like other grocery shopping apps, you claim promotions by taking a picture of your receipt after you are done shopping.
The site also allows you to print off coupons.
Within the app, you select offers you want and link store loyalty cards to help increase your rewards.
- Link store loyalty cards to the app
- No minimum to cash out
- Can print off coupons
- Works at retailers like Costco and Target
- Can’t combine paper coupons with the app
How to redeem earnings: There is no minimum redemption amount. You can redeem earnings via PayPal whenever you want.
Best Automatic Cash back Apps
If you are going to spend money, why not get automatic cash back in the process? These apps can make this possible.
Dosh is one of our favorite rebate apps. You receive up to ten percent cash back on your shopping with almost no effort required.
How it works: Many shopping apps require you to install an extension or use a shopping portal. Dosh doesn’t work that way. You install the app on your phone, connect a credit or debit card, and shop.
This lets you effortlessly save and reduce costs.
The app has bank-level security and doesn’t sell your information.
- Painless way to save on your shopping
- No offers to redeem
- Works at various retailers
- Can’t use your linked card on other rewards shopping apps
How to redeem earnings: You can redeem earnings once you reach $25. Funds can be sent via direct deposit, PayPal, or Venmo.
Drop is a free shopping app. You use it to earn rewards on your shopping.
How it works: Drop works much like Dosh. You download the app, link a credit or debit card, and start shopping. Drop also offers a browser extension to use for online shopping.
When you shop at a partner retailer, you earn points you can redeem for gift cards. Additionally, Drop offers bank-level security on all of your transactions.
- Free to use
- Works on mobile and desktop
- Points don’t expire
- Everything is automated so you don’t have to select offers
- Can only redeem for gift cards
How to redeem earnings: You can redeem rewards once you reach 5,000 points, which equals $5. Drop offers gift cards from popular retailers like Amazon and Target.
I hate it when I buy an item and then notice the price has dropped a few days later. Paribus helps solve this problem.
*Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links we provided.*
How it works: Paribus is a free service owned by Capital One that scans your email for receipts. Instead of offering rebates, it works on your behalf if it notices a price drop on an item you purchased. If they catch a reduction, they negotiate a refund of that amount to your card.
Paribus also watches return windows so you can know how long you have to return an item.
- Works with 25 popular retailers like Target
- Free negotiation on your behalf
- Money goes back to your original form of payment
- Must have access to your email
- Available at a limited number of retailers
How to redeem earnings: If you earn a refund, it goes back to your credit or debit card. There are no earnings to claim, just refunds on overpayment.
Review: Read our Paribus review
Top Multiple Purpose Shopping Apps
Some free shopping apps let you earn in more ways than just shopping at the store. Here are a couple of the top choices.
MyPoints operates similar to Swagbucks. It offers multiple ways to earn rewards and rebates.
How it works: MyPoints has a popular online shopping portal, allowing you to earn up to 40 percent cash back at participating retailers. You can also earn rewards in other ways, including paid surveys, watching sponsored videos, and reading sponsored emails.
Cash isn’t a redemption option, but you can trade your rewards for gift cards to about 100 retailers.
- Easy way to earn rewards in your spare time
- No minimum redemption amount
- Free to use
- Up to 40 percent cash back on shopping
- Some earnings take longer to appear in your account
- The points system is difficult to understand at times
How to redeem earnings: There is no minimum redemption amount. MyPoints gives new users a $10 bonus after making a $20 purchase through their shopping portal.
Shopkick is a shopping rebate app that lets you earn money in ways other than just making a purchase. While you can earn rebates through purchases, it’s not always required.
How it works: You earn points, known as “kicks,” through various simple tasks. Possibilities include scanning barcodes, shopping online, and using a linked card for a purchase. You can redeem kicks for gift cards.
- You don’t always need to purchase something to earn rewards
- Wide selection of gift cards, from Amazon to Lowe’s and Target
- Earn kicks in person or online
- Redemption requirements vary
- Can only receive gift cards
- App requires a lot of permissions
How to redeem earnings: Redemption amounts vary by store, so it’s not always easy to know what you need to claim earnings. Shopkick does offer new users 250 kicks if they merely walk into a store within seven days of downloading the app.
How to Maximize Your Cash Back
All of these shopping rewards apps are terrific ways to save money. Here are a few tips to maximize your earnings.
Use coupons: Many of the apps mentioned let you double-dip on savings. You can use either physical coupons you’ve clipped or in-store coupons. This may not work for each app, so make sure to refer to their terms and conditions.
Use a rewards credit card: If you have a rewards credit card, you can often get cash back or other rewards for your purchases. Since none of the cash back apps care how you pay for your purchase, you instantly earn the rebate plus the reward from your card.
Scan your receipt immediately: This applies to apps that pay you cash back for receipts. Some apps have a limited window to scan the receipt to get money back. It’s best to scan the receipt within 24 hours of your purchase to ensure you don’t lose out on money.
The best cash back apps provide a lot of flexibility in terms of earning potential. Which one you choose will depend on where you shop and how you like to receive your rewards.
Don’t overlook trying more than one option at once. This helps you see which is better and can potentially increase your rewards. With minimal work, you can earn cash or free gift cards for something you already do.
What are some other ways you like to save money on your shopping? Do you still clip coupons?
Latest posts by Lance Cothern (see all)
- 13 Best Cash Back Apps for Shopping [2020 Update] - November 12, 2020
- 10 Best Work-at-Home Jobs for Retirees - July 27, 2020
- 13 Best Side Jobs for Teachers to Make Extra Money - March 25, 2020