Fetch Rewards promotes itself as “the easiest and quickest way to save,” and more than a million users have given the popular receipt-scanning app a five-star review on the iOS app store. But is the program legit and worth your time?
In this Fetch Rewards review, I’ll walk you through my two-week test of the app, showing you exactly how much money I earned and how much work was involved.
Plus, I’ll go over the type of person who shouldn’t even bother downloading the app.
Fetch Rewards offers one of the best overall experiences of any receipt-scanning app that we’ve tested, thanks to its consistent payout amounts (each receipt earns at least 25 points) and its low minimum withdrawal ($3). Users can upload up to 35 receipts per week, so frequent shoppers may be able to earn a few free gift cards per year with consistent usage.
- Has a clean interface and uploading receipts only takes a few seconds.
- You earn reward points for all eligible receipts (you don’t have to activate offers or purchase specific items).
- The payout structure is transparent (so there’s never any mystery about how much you can earn).
- The minimum cash-out amount is just $3.
- Uploading receipts is easy, but the earning potential is low on a per-hour basis, and points accumulate slowly.
- Most of the promotions in the “Special Offer” section — where you’ll find the best bonuses — are for rarely-purchased items (like magazine subscriptions).
- Fetch doesn’t offer a cash-back shopping portal, so the only ways to earn are by uploading receipts and sharing your referral code.
Fetch Rewards Review: Key Facts
Before we dive into the Fetch Rewards app’s inner workings, let’s do a quick overview.
- Fetch accepts paper receipts from all physical retailers. This includes all restaurants, gas stations, pet stores, clothing retailers, bodegas – everything.
- Fetch also accepts e-receipts if they come from one of 50+ partnered online retailers.
- Receipts earn a base rate of 25 points, whether you spend $10 or $1,000.
- You can earn bonus points for purchasing qualifying items, but you don’t need to activate offers before shopping.
- Fetch lets you redeem your points for gift cards, prepaid Visa cards, charity donations and sweepstakes entries.
- You can earn a 3,000-point sign-up bonus when you join using our link (no referral code is required).
How Fetch Rewards Works
Essentially, you snap a picture of a receipt (any receipt) and earn Fetch rewards points. When you’ve collected enough points, you can redeem them for free gift cards. Simple enough, right?
Once you download the Fetch app, you can start taking pictures of any receipts you’ve collected over the previous two weeks.
Any receipt from any retailer counts. As long as the receipt has a merchant’s name, the total amount spent and the date, Fetch will accept it and give you at least 25 rewards points. The whole receipt scanning process takes about 10 seconds from start to finish.
This simple, easy rebate app is CEO Wes Schroll’s brainchild from way back in 2012, when he was a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since then, he’s grown the company to a whopping $1 billion valuation.
Fetch makes its money by partnering with companies and selling them the data it compiles. Personal info, shopping lists and spending habits are all considered fair game for Fetch to share with these partners.
Fetch Rewards Partnered Brands
Most users will earn more than 25 cents per receipt. Fetch has partnered with 350+ of America’s most popular brands, like Pepsi and Cheerios, and you earn extra points (generally 50 points) when you buy their products.
You don’t have to purchase any specific items from these partner brands — the extra points are added automatically when a brand appears on your receipt.
Some brands also run limited-time special offers, which you can find on the app’s main dashboard. These offers are unique to you and can earn you hundreds or thousands of points each.
Here are the 10 most valuable bonus offers I found at the time of publication, ranked based on total points awarded.
|hum© electric toothbrushes||Excludes children’s sizes and replacement heads.||10,000|
|Magazines.com||Must spend $35+.||6,000|
|AleveX pain relieving lotion||Limit one per user. Only valid on 2.7 ounce size.||5,000|
|Ancient Nutrition collagen peptides||Only available when purchased at Target.||5,000|
|Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, and Better Homes & Garden Magazines||Must buy three magazines.||5,000|
|Subscribe to any two fall titles at Magazines.com||Must use link provided to be valid.||4,000|
|VetIQ supplements||Can’t be stacked with other offers.||4,000|
|Aleve||50+ count only, must purchase at Walmart.||3,500|
|Pet Armor Plus Fleas and Ticks||Can’t be stacked with other offers.||3,500|
|EVOLVE plant-based protein powder||Maximum of two redemptions.||3,500|
As you can see, most of these aren’t things the average shopper buys on a regular basis.
If you scroll down to view the bonuses available at the 2,000-point level, you start to see more commonly purchased items, like diapers, snacks and paper towels. However, you’ll spend a lot of time scrolling through the bonuses because they change from week to week and there’s no way to filter or search them.
Some of the most useful special offers are percentage-based rather than fixed point amounts. For example, when writing this review we found offers for 100% back on a package of Klondike Reese’s Bars and 4% on Barilla pasta products.
How Much We Earned Using Fetch Rewards
After exactly two weeks of use, I earned 2,502 points, which is the equivalent of $2.50.
1,000 Fetch Rewards points = approximately $1.
2,000 of those points were for a “welcome back” bonus, as I had tested the app previously prior to writing this review. (It wasn’t specifically called that, but I’ve noticed that Fetch does offer more special bonuses when you’re a new or returning user.)
I earned 202 points in bonuses for buying products from partnered merchants. The rest were from normal 25-point receipts.
Here’s my Fetch Rewards earnings breakdown:
|Paper receipts uploaded:||14|
|Digital receipts uploaded:||1|
|Total points earned:||2,502|
|Total time spent in the app:||23 minutes|
|Earnings per hour:||$6.52|
So is Fetch worth the effort?
Well, like most things in life, little effort results in little reward. Without that 2,000-point bonus, my “earnings per hour” would actually be $1.30.
However, I buy mostly store-brand products, which lowers my earnings. Those who buy products from the partnered brands, or who shop more frequently, will have somewhat better luck.
More Fetch Rewards Earnings Data
One of The Ways To Wealth’s editors tested Fetch Rewards over a 10-month period from January 2021 to October 2021, using the app for both personal and business purchases.
Here’s his data from that test period:
- 252 receipts uploaded.
- $10,661.10 in total spending.
- 14,445 points earned (11,945 from receipts and 2,500 from promotional offers).
As we noted above, 1,000 fetch points equates to about $1. So this 10-month test produced a total return of $14.45, or approximately .136% of his total spending.
With Fetch rewards, you’ll need to collect at least 3,000 points to cash out. Remember: 1,000 points = $1, so the minimum cash-out is $3.
Fetch offers five point redemption options:
- Prepaid Visa cards.
- Gift cards (for restaurants, shops, online stores, hotels, flights and more).
- Magazine subscriptions.
- Charity donations.
- Sweepstakes entries (i.e., you can spend points for the chance to win a $100 or $500 Visa gift card).
- Note: There is no option to receive PayPal cash, Venmo or a bank transfer.
The final option has the lowest barrier to entry, as you can play the sweepstakes with only 100 points.
Next, at 3,000 points, you can cash out the lowest level gift card ($3). However, as shown in the screenshot below, not all gift cards are available is $3 allocations.
At 5,000 points you can redeem points for a magazine subscription.
Finally, the lowest level Visa card requires 6,000 points, but only gives you a $5 digital card (if you want a physical card, they take out $3 for shipping and handling).
Time Required to Earn Rewards
Let’s assume you buy at least one name-brand item each time you go to the store. Let’s also assume you got that 2,000-point bonus at the beginning, but not afterwards (since you’re now a loyal user).
Here’s how long it would take you to earn…
- The lowest value, $3 gift card: 20 days (uploading one receipt every day).
- A $10 gift card: 11 weeks (uploading two receipts every day).
- A $25 gift card: 15 weeks (uploading four receipts every day).
Based on the data collected in our 10-month test, you can expect a total rate of return of around .136%. CNBC reports that the average American household spends approximately $22,665 per year, so that same average family could expect to earn points worth around $32.80 of gift cards (assuming they uploaded every receipt).
Our Cash-Out Process
If I only had the 2,502 points I earned over the course of this two-week test, I’d only be able to play the sweepstakes because the minimum points for a gift card is 3,000.
However, because I had some points left over on my account from a few months ago, I was able to test the current cash-out process.
I opted for a $5 Dunkin gift card, which the company says can take up to three days to process; I received mine via email about an hour after requesting it.
Fetch Rewards: Additional Features
Like all companies trying to keep a competitive edge, Fetch tries out new features every so often. Here are some of their additional features they’re showcasing.
Fetch Pay is a physical debit card you can use at any location for any purchase.
In exchange, you earn one point per $1 spent. (Meaning you’d need to spend $3,000 to earn a $3 gift card). You can also snap pictures of receipts you received when paying with Fetch Pay, thus double-dipping on rewards.
Given Fetch’s points-to-dollars exchange rate, 1 point per dollar amounts to a cash-back rate of 0.1% — well below what you can earn with other cash-back debit and credit cards.
Related: These cash-back apps often pay 5-10% on online purchases with minimal effort.
Fetch keeps track of your spending with neat graphs and monthly breakdowns. It can show you how much you’ve spent at a particular store in a particular week, month or year, and exactly what you spent each trip.
This is great for people using budgeting apps like Rocket Money, which only track spending for two budget categories with their free plan. Fetch basically does some of the budget tracking for you, as long as you snap a picture of every receipt.
Also, fetch keeps a record of every receipt you upload. This can be helpful for expense tracking, if you need to dispute a charge later, or if you want to make a return or price protection claim after you’ve discarded the paper receipt.
Here’s an example of what the receipt log looks like:
Fetch Rewards Referral Program
If you’d like to make some extra gift card cash and you have a large, untapped friend network, you might consider using the referral program.
Though the bonus point amount changes every few weeks, most people earn a referral bonus of somewhere between 2,000 to 4,000 points. You’ll get a bonus every time a friend signs up and snaps their first receipt.
You can find your unique referral code by opening the Fetch app and navigating to Me > Refer a friend.
Currently, Fetch is piloting two club programs: one with Huggies and the other with Pepsi.
Clubs are essentially loyalty programs, giving you access to extra reward points, special bonuses when you hit certain spending milestones (like $150), and bonus content like recipes, sweepstakes, and even a year’s subscription to a magazine.
Fetch vs. Ibotta
Ibotta is another popular receipt-based rebates app. You snap a picture of your receipt (or link your Ibotta account to your store loyalty card) and earn rebates based on your purchases.
You can redeem that money in the form of gift cards or a cash deposit. However, you need to manually scroll through and select each desired Ibotta offer from the hundreds available at any given time (I counted almost 650 available at my local grocery store today). If you forget to “add” an offer, you get $0, even if you bought the item.
Learn more in our in-depth Ibotta Review.
Another key difference between Fetch and Ibotta is that you can only use Ibotta when you shop at specific stores. When shopping in person, the majority of offers are found in major grocery stores. However, Ibotta also has a browser extension so you can earn cashback when you shop online at a ton of major retailers, (frequently 1% cashback, but some stores offer more).
Unlike Fetch, Ibotta’s rebates are pretty high. They frequently offer large rewards like “$10 for redeeming 16 offers,” “buy one, get one free” offers, or even completely free items. They also have the “any brand” offer section, where you can get cashback for buying any brand of household staples like soda, diapers or laundry detergent.
Ibotta takes more work but earns you more cash. Though I haven’t done a comparison as to how many hours I’ve spent with Ibotta, I’ve earned close to $200 in the year and a half I’ve used it. In a year with Fetch, I’ve earned about $13.
Fetch Rewards FAQ
Yes. There’s currently a limit of snapping no more than 35 receipts in a 7 day period.
Yes! The same receipt can be uploaded to Ibotta, Receipt Hog and other rebate apps.
Fetch accepts receipts from all merchants, but only if they meet certain criteria. To be deemed an eligible receipt, it needs to be no older than 14 days, and it must include both the merchant’s name and the total amount you paid.
Yes. If you’ve done nothing on your account (no receipt scanning, no redeeming rewards, etc.) your points will expire in 90 days. You get an email after 60 days, and if you snap another receipt before the 90 day mark, your points will stay valid.
Fetch Rewards is strictly a receipt-scanning app and does not offer a cash-back shopping portal. However, you can earn points for online purchases at a limited selection of popular retailers and restaurants by linking your Amazon and/or email account and allowing Fetch to scan your e-receipts. You can see the list of participating brands here.
Yes, you can redeem your Fetch Rewards point for free Amazon gift cards. Additionally, Fetch has one of the longest lists of gift card options we’ve seen in a rewards app, with options from dozens of popular retailers.
In late 2021, Fetch added limited social networking functionality to the app which allows you to connect with friends. Once connected, users can see each other’s point totals and compete on a monthly leaderboard. The company says this is meant to gamify the app, encouraging users to compete to see who can earn the most points. Unfortunately, there’s no incentive to do so — there are no team challenges and you don’t win anything for ending a month atop the leaderboard.
Fetch Rewards App: Our Final Thoughts and Recommendation
The Fetch app can be a useful tool for certain people. If you shop frequently (even multiple times a day), you’ll get at least 25 points for every trip to the store, gas station or restaurant. If you already buy items from Fetch Rewards partners (or are willing to switch brands), you’ll get even more points. For this reason, we rank it as one the best cash back apps for groceries.
If you’re looking for a way to save money at the grocery store, we recommend signing up and using it for a month to see if it’s worth your while.
And any app that can buy me a Dunkin’ mocha with basically zero effort is a win in my book.
I feel this was a very well written and structured report for those interested in the cashback programs mentioned. I am on a limited income, so I look for the best deals I can find.
As I myself have used both Fetch and Ibotta this newer year of 2022 between the same time periods of January thru October mentioned in this article, I have cashed out just over $90 on Fetch Visa’s and just over $300 on Ibotta direct to my bank. This was off of a total spending of $2,850 after coupons and sales, as well as utilizing the $125 cashbacks given from my local store (only usable at their store).
Fetch is a much easier app to work with and faster at fixing errors that you may encounter now and then. Fetch is also offering more 100% free items than in the past.
Ibotta, I find has a much higher frequency of missing items that you did purchase and may take a bit more time and effort to resolve the problem. I would like to add Ibotta has fixed every error I have brought to their attention properly.
I do take the time and effort to look to see what offers are available on both programs before shopping. I am often surprised with deals that were not there yesterday and may fill my cart more with items reaching the maximum allowed in the deals. I see the value in the cashback programs, as they have all worked well for my limited disability income.
Fetch has become garbage. They once paid out almost 100 points for receipts totaling over $100, and 200 points for over $200. Things changed during later updates, like scaling points down to a whopping 25 or 50, regardless of what you spend. I thought I’d scored one time after grocery shopping, spending over $150 only to scan the receipt and earn the ridiculous 25 points again. And when I scrolled through the list, they had diapers, Mountain Dew and Keebler crackers as the big point winners. Items I don’t buy. Plain ridiculous. And e-receipts weren’t connecting to Amazon half the time. (Which also only reward you about 25 points). It became pointless to continue using the app. Most of the users I knew didn’t buy any of the “bonus items” that supposedly earned you 1,000 points or more.
Separately, Ibotta never worked for me. And come to find out, it wasn’t compatible with certain phones. Show me a rewards app that actually rewards consumers with a real point system, not specialty items they’ll never purchase.
Love Fetch… I usually redeem points for iTunes gift cards and it pays for Apple Music subscription. I pick up receipts from the ground (crumbled, wet) or left behind on a self check out register and my mother gives my hers. (Not ashamed to admit I’ve even grabbed one that’s sitting on the top of the trash at the grocery store). You’d be amazed at how points can multiply. I don’t buy much brand named stuff… but other people do!