8 Best Cashback And Rewards Apps That Will Put Money In Your Pocket
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Life gets expensive even when you’re just spending money on the basic necessities of life. A quick scan of your budget might reveal you’re spending way more than you realized on things like groceries, personal care items, household items, and all of the other things considered “must haves” in this day and age.
The average household spends between $286 and $500 a month on groceries, depending on the city you live in. If you consider yourself a foodie, it might be much higher than that. Organic produce and grass-fed meat don’t come cheap!
You might turn to clipping coupons in an effort to claw some of your hard-earned cash back, but paper coupons are fussy, they really don’t save you that much money, and they often aren’t for the things we actually buy.
This is the 21st Century; there are better ways! From cashback programs to easy-to-use rewards apps, the digital age offers many ways to hang on to more of your money.
Put down the coupon-cutting scissors and save money with these 8 rewards and cashback apps.
Rakuten: The app formerly known as Ebates.
You might think Rakuten is a new kid on the cashback sites block, but it’s not. You probably know this site better as Ebates. Shop through Rakuten at any of their 2,500 online retail partners including Amazon, Walmart, and Old Navy and earn cash back. If you are loyal to certain online retailers, you’re sure to find them at Rakuten.
Some current deals include up to 5% back at Amazon, 5% back at Walmart, and 4% back at Old Navy. Not an online shopper? Rakuten has you covered. You can earn 3.5% back at The Body Shop, 2% at World Market, 3% back at Under Armour, among many others when you shop in store. This is great because a lot of cashback sites only work with online retailers.
There are no points to convert, and you get straight up cash, not gift cards via PayPal or a paper check when you use Rakuten. New members will get a $10 sign up bonus after making their first eligible purchase.
Drop: Save money the easy way.
When it comes to cashback and rewards apps, easier is always better.
Drop is a cashback app that doesn’t require users to jump through any hoops. Link your debit or credit card to your drop account and spend money as you usually would. Drop has partnered with dozens of brands including Lyft, Trader Joe’s, Costco, Starbucks, and Gap.
You get to choose five retailers only. Choose wisely because once you’ve made your selections, you can’t change them. Choose the five where you spend the most money. Some offers give you a specific number of points for a purchase, and some give you points per dollar you spend.
Once you’ve reached 5,000 points, you can redeem them for gift cards with several retailers (here you’re not limited to the retailers you chose for you five). That might seem like a high threshold, but Trader Joe’s offers 12 points per $1 spent, and Target offers 8 points per $1 spent. I don’t think I have ever left either of those establishments without spending at least $50 so the points will add up sooner than you think.
Another great way to save money when you shop is to use a good cashback rewards credit card. A tip that can save you even more is to link your rewards credit card to your Drop account. This allows you to earn money back from both your credit card company and from the Drop app. Double dipping!
Shopkick: Get your kicks and earn some cash back.
With some cashback sites, you have to spend money to save money, but that isn’t the case with a fantastic rewards app called Shopkick. In order to earn points, called kicks, with Shopkick, all you have to do is enter participating stores which include Target, Walmart, and CVS drug stores, and use your smartphone to scan the barcodes of eligible items. In some cases, you don’t even have to scan barcodes, just walking into a store will earn you kicks.
In fact, sometimes you don’t even have to actually enter the store. Just walking by is enough to register the points. Just be sure to have the Shopkick app open.
Walking into a store earns 25 or more kicks, and scanning barcodes earns 10 or more kicks. Generally, 250 kicks are worth $1 in gift cards and you need 1,250 kicks to redeem for a $5 gift card but some cards can be had for as few as 500 kicks.
The kicks earned on this rewards app can be converted into gift cards which are delivered to your phone. There are other ways users can earn kicks with Shopkick, including watching videos and making purchases both in-store and online.
InboxDollars: Lots of ways to earn and save money.
InboxDollars is one of the most versatile cashback apps. Members can earn cash back when they shop online with hundreds of participating retailers, including Target, Best Buy, and Walmart.
Once you’ve crossed everything off your shopping list, you can also earn money by reading and answering emails, answering surveys, playing games, and watching videos. These are things a lot of us do anyway but we’ve been doing them for free. Why not get paid to do them? That’s what we love about InboxDollars. As an incentive, new members are eligible for a $5 bonus.
Once you accumulate $30 in your account, you can cash out for a paper check, an ePayment, gift card, or prepaid Visa card.
Swagbucks: Get your Swag on.
Swagbucks is probably the best-known of the cashback and rewards apps, and it’s one of the best. You can find offers from more than 1,500 retailers, coupons (good ones!), and special offers. The app also has many other ways to earn, including surveys, polls, watching videos, playing games, and doing web searches. It’s also one of the most straightforward cashback sites to navigate with a clean interface and clearly organized categories.
If you’re new to the world of cashback apps, Swagbucks is a great place to start. Users earn points, and those points can be converted to cash via PayPal or gift cards. Some gift cards offer discounts, which means your points will go further. New users can get a $5 bonus.
MyPoints: The best place for online shoppers to save money.
MyPoints offers users cash back for shopping at more than 1,900 online retailers, including Walmart, eBay, and Amazon. If you’re a frequent eBay user, MyPoints really is a must-have. There aren’t a lot of cashback sites or rewards apps that reward you for shopping at eBay.
And the site is offering an amazing sign-up bonus. New users receive a $10 Amazon with their first qualifying purchase making it one of the most generous currently available on any cashback app.
You can earn points for taking surveys, clicking on emails, and watching videos too. Once you have earned 700 points, you can redeem them for a $5 gift card to your choice of several online retailers or for a prepaid Visa card. There is a cash option with a $25 minimum that will be sent to your PayPal account.
Ibotta: Scan and save.
Some cashback and rewards apps are fun, “boots-on-the-ground” programs that are a little more interactive.
If you prefer to shop in the “real world” instead of online, Ibotta is the cashback app you’ve been waiting for. If the money you spend at grocery and drug stores is a big part of your monthly budget, this is doubly true.
Ibotta offers digital coupons but for better savings than the ones you used to clip out of the paper. Download the app and search for the stores you shop at like Whole Foods, Kroger, Walmart, Target, Costco, and Sam’s Club. Click on the coupons for the items you need.
Buy the items and keep the paper receipt. Scan the barcodes and send a picture of your receipt. The amount you saved is added to your Ibotta account. Once your account accumulates $20, you can cash out via PayPal or Venmo. You can also cash out for gift cards. I spend a lot of money on grocery, and personal care items, and Ibotta has saved me hundreds of dollars over time. You can start saving too, and a $10 sign up bonus for new users will get you well on your way!
Paribus: Get your rebates without the hassle.
Once you buy something, the damage is done, the money is spent. But what if you could get some of that money back? That’s what Paribus does. Most retailers offer something called a price guarantee. If there is a sale or price drop for an item you recently purchased, you can file a claim and get the difference refunded to you.
It sounds generous, but most retailers know that most people won’t be bothered to look for price drops or file the claim to get it. And they’re right. I certainly have never done it. But Paribus does it for you!
Paribus scans your email for receipts from recent online purchases. It then searches for a change in price for that item. If it finds one, you get an alert, and Paribus starts the process of getting you the refund you’re entitled to. Once the retailer issues the refund (which can take time) the money is refunded to your debit card or bank account. That’s it! Beyond signing up, you don’t have to lift a finger.
Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links provided.
Sign Up For All These Cashback Sites!
There is no reason you can’t sign up for all 8 of these cashback programs and rewards apps. In fact, if you did, you would make $40 as a new user. $40 for maybe 15 minutes of your time is nothing to sneeze at. We spend a lot of money, some of it on things we really need like groceries and shampoo and some of it on stuff we really don’t like a metal lantern holding a fake candle filled with wire fairy lights (I just bought that, and in my defense, it’s really cute!).
Whether you prefer to shop online or in store, these cashback apps will save you money on everyday purchases, and those impulse buys we all make. Because if you’re going to buy a cute lantern you most certainly did not need, you might as well save a few bucks with some cash back!