I grew up watching my mom clip coupons before going shopping. Now, with the development of cash back apps, there’s never been an easier way to save money on nearly all your purchases.
These cash back apps will actually pay you to shop. This includes both online and offline shopping. Some of these apps will compensate you with physical cash or points that can be redeemed for free gift cards.
If you have a smartphone, you can easily get started in earning cash back with little to no effort.
Being raised by a frugal mom, it’s no surprise that I’m always looking for ways to save money. That’s why I’m excited to share this round up of the best cash back apps available today.
The best part is, they are all the free to join and use. No membership fees required.
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1. Rakuten (formerly Ebates)
Rakuten is one of the best cash back apps for shopping online. To get started, you just need to create a free account, click on the store you want to shop at online, then shop as you normally would. Then within 2-3 days, you’ll see cash back in your Rakuten account.
For a limited time, Rakuten will give you a free $10 welcome bonus when you sign up. You will receive your Welcome Bonus after you spend $25 or more within 90 days of becoming a member.
How to earn cash back with Rakuten:
Sign up for free: Click here to become a Rakuten Member.
Shop to earn cash back: Head to Rakuten.com to find the store you want to shop at. There are over 2,500 on the Rakuten shopping portal.
Click on the store that you want to shop at to activate the cash back offer. You’ll see a page that says “one moment please” as Rakuten transfers you to the store you’ve selected. Then shop as you normally would.
Get paid: Your Rakuten account will be credited with cash back. Get this cash sent to a PayPal account or receive a check from Rakuten. Cash back payments are sent every three months.
For Canadian shoppers, you can click here to sign up for Rakuten (free $5 welcome bonus).
You can earn cash back and save money with coupon codes when you shop online through Swagbucks. This is a popular rewards site to get free gift cards for things you do online. This means you’ll get paid to take surveys, shop online, watch videos, play games, search the internet, and more.
If you’re not already a member, you can join here and get a free $5 welcome bonus. Make sure to verify your email so you can start making money right away.
How to earn cash back with Swagbucks:
- Join Swagbucks for Free: Get a $5 bonus when you sign up here.
- Earn Cash Back: Head to Swagbucks.com to find the store you want to shop at. Swagbucks will tell you how much cash back you can earn.
- Get Paid: When you shop, you’ll also earn SB points, which can be redeemed for free gift cards or get cash deposited in your PayPal account.
Ibotta is a free app where you can earn cash back on everyday purchases such as groceries, apparel, travel, and online shopping. To get started, you just need to create a free account, find and add offers available at your favorite retailers, then earn cash back as soon as your order is confirmed.
It’s free to sign up for Ibotta and when you join today, you could earn up to $20 in welcome bonuses! If you’re not a member yet, you can join Ibotta here.
How to earn cash back with Ibotta:
- Click here to join Ibotta for free.
- Open the app and browse through rebates. When you see an item that you want to buy at one of Ibotta’s partner stores, just tap to unlock it.
- Shop at the store. You can redeem offers by uploading your receipt to the Ibotta app.
- Get paid. Once your Ibotta cash back balance reaches $20, you can withdraw your earnings via PayPal, your bank account or for free gift cards.
4. Drop App
Drop is a free cash back app where you can earn rewards points from shopping through the app. To get started, you can create a free account, link your debit or credit cards to the Drop App, then shop at your favorite retailers.
Each time you make a purchase with one of your linked cards, you’ll earn points. This means you can get rewards on your everyday purchases such as grocery shopping, taking an Uber, grabbing a snack, and more. This is one the best cash back apps.
Every 1,000 points is worth $1. You can redeem your points for gift cards to your favorite retailers, such as Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, and other popular stores. Your Drop points will add up quickly which can make this a great way to make extra money.
Dosh is a free app that gets you automatic cash back at over 10,000 places when you shop, dine or book hotels. You don’t have to worry about scanning coupons or receipts, which makes it easy to make extra money with Dosh.
How to earn cash back with Dosh:
- Sign up: Click here to join Dosh for free.
- Link your cards: Dosh is secure and easy to use. You can also check to see if your favorite way to pay offers a cash back experience through Dosh.
- Shop: Shop as you normally would by swiping your card at your favorite retailers. Dosh will deposit the cash back to your wallet automatically so you can make money instantly.
- Get paid: Once your cash back balance reaches $25, you can transfer the money to your bank, PayPal, Venmo or donate your cash back to charity.
6. My Points
Your virtual points will be deposited into your My Points account after a few business days. Then redeem your points for free gift cards, travel miles or cash via PayPal.
To get started, you can sign up for free account here. On the My Points website, you can click on the retailer you wish to shop at. Then shop as you normally would.
Don’t forget to check exclusive coupons available through My Points that can help you save money when shopping. Join My Points today and receive a $10 welcome bonus
Do you like shopping on Amazon, Wal-Mart, Etsy or eBay? You could be getting free rebates on your purchases through sites like Rebaid. They even offer up to 100% cash back rebate on select products.
If you’re not already a member, you can join Rebaid for free here.
How to earn cash back on Rebaid:
- Browse Products: Head to Rebaid.com to browse through their product offers with rebate discounts.
- Buy on Amazon: Click the “claim rebate” button on the offer page and you’ll be taken directly to Amazon to make the purchase.
- Confirm Rebate: After buying the item, return to Rebaid.com to confirm your order number. Once confirmed, your rebate will be processed.
For my fellow Canadians, Ampli has become the Golden Goose of cash back apps. This free app helps Canadians get rewarded for their everyday purchases, both in-store and online.
How to earn cash back with Ampli:
- Connect your cards – Download the Ampli app and securely connect your Canadian debit and credit cards to the app.
- Shop & earn – Shop and pay with your connected card online or in-store at partner brands and earn cash back.
- Cash out for free – Once you accumulate $15, then you send yourself a free Interac e-Transfer. This is one of the best apps that gives you real money.
Acorns is an investing and cash back app that can be a great option for those who are new to investing.
Every time you make a purchase, Acorns will automatically round it up to the nearest dollar and invest that change towards your future. Your spare change can quickly add up and every nickel and dime counts.
With Acorns, you can also earn cash back on your everyday shopping or set up recurring investments. The more you earn, the more you can save and invest.
Join today and get $5 welcome bonus just for signing up.
10. Fetch Rewards
Fetch Rewards is a free app that helps you earn digital gift cards for scanning your physical or digital receipts. You can redeem these gift cards at hundreds of retailers, such as Target and Amazon.
Simply snap a photo of your grocery receipt using your phone, and Fetch will award you points on all participating purchases and offers. This is one of the most popular cash back apps.
What is the best cash back app?
The best cash back app is the one that works for your needs and lifestyle. My favorite cash back app is Rakuten. I’ve been using this app for the past few years whenever I need to shop online. It has helped me earn thousands of dollars cash back from my purchases.
Below is a screenshot of an actual Big Fat Check I received from shopping with Rakuten.
Do cash back apps really work?
Yes, they do!
Many people think of credit card rewards when they hear the term “cash back”. But there’s also another great way to earn cash back. This is when companies offer an incentive to encourage you to purchase a product or sign up for a service.
This incentive may come in the form of a discount on the purchased item, or it may come in the form of real cash paid to you as a form of “cash back”. This post shares 10 of the best cash back apps that are free and easy to use.
What apps pay you for receipts?
Ibotta and Fetch Rewards are the most popular apps that pay you for receipts. You just need to take a photo of your receipt, then you’ll be rewarded with points on all participating products and special offers.
What are some other apps that can help me save money?
While these are not exactly cash back apps, they can help reduce your monthly expenses, which can add up to big savings over the year.
Truebill – This is a popular app that can help you optimize your spending, find and cancel subscriptions, lower your bills, and stay on top of your finances.
Trim – This app is simliar to Truebill, where it can help you find and cancel subscriptions, negotiate your bills, and save you money.
How to use cash back apps to save money when shopping
To help you maximize your cash back earnings and avoid buying products that you don’t really need, here’s a few tips that I like to follow:
1. Always shop with a list
Compare your shopping list with cash back offers and rebates available on the apps. If something matches with an item on your list, that’s great.
If not, that’s okay because you’ll find cash back offers another time. Always shop with a list so you can avoid buying unnecessary items.
2. Don’t create a shopping list based on the cash back offers available
It’s tempting to buy items just because they have a special cash back offer. But there’s no sense in buying stuff you don’t need or products you won’t actually use.
3. Remind yourself that cash back isn’t free money
Sometimes we can justify our spending because well… we’re earning cash back so this means we’re saving money. Right?
Here’s the truth – Cash back companies are really good at marketing. They are counting on you to overspend and fear that you’re missing out on free money.
When you actually need to buy something, cash back apps are great and I love using them. That’s why I recommend them as a way to save money when shopping.
But if you find yourself spending more, just because you love the instant gratification of earning cash back, then it’s probably a good idea to take a break from these apps.
Be mindful of where your money is going and use your best judgement.
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