This is the list of the best cash back apps for both online and in-store shopping. Many of these apps can be stacked, meaning you can earn money buying one item at one store across multiple apps (and we’ll show you how).

Whether you’re looking to save money on groceries, at local retailers, at the gas station, or while online shopping — there’s an app on this list for you.

Best Cash Back Apps

I’ve broken this list down into three categories — receipt-scanning apps, online cash-back offers, and card-linked loyalty programs — to help you get the best deals and most savings every time you shop.

When you shop online, you can only utilize one cash-back app or service because you’re required to use a specific link (or purchase within the app) to earn the bonus. However, you can usually stack receipt-scanning apps to multiply your cash back, and you can use card-linked apps in conjunction with each of the other categories (because the bonus is earned based on the card you use at checkout).

Using this information to find the right mix of apps for each purchase can often earn you between 5% and 15% — even without using a cash-back credit card (which you should do).

In-Store Receipt Scanning Apps

To earn cash back or points with the apps in this category, you’ll need to provide a copy of your register receipt. These companies earn money by promoting particular products, and your receipts serve as proof (which they can share with the products’ manufacturers) that the app successfully influenced your purchasing decisions. These receipts are also a valuable source of market data, as they show how much consumers typically spend in a shopping trip, what kinds of products are purchased together, and so on.

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#1 — Ibotta

Earn a $10 sign-up bonus by using this link

Sign-Up Bonus: Ibotta offers up to a $10 welcome bonus for redeeming your first offer within seven days of downloading the app.

Quick Summary: Ibotta is a cash-back app for earning rebates at most of your favorite grocery stores, retail chains, and many other places you shop. With Ibotta, you download digital coupons, make your purchase, and then take a picture of the receipt to claim your cash back. (You can add your store loyalty card number for many chains and avoid the need to submit a receipt.) Ibotta also offers opportunities to earn cash back for online shopping through the app.

Pro Tip: Ibotta regularly has “any brand” offers for milk, eggs, and fresh produce. If you’re planning on buying these grocery staples, these offers represent absolutely free money — as the name suggests, you can claim the bonus regardless of the brand you select or the price you pay.

Google Play Rating: 4.5/5 with 390,000+ reviews

App Store Rating: 4.7/5 with 500,000+ reviews

Can Be Used At: Ibotta can be used both online and in-store. Options include: Amazon; major grocery stores like Giant, Safeway, Harris Teeter and many more; retail outlets like Sears and J.C. Penny; and even travel sites like Booking.com.

Payment: You have to earn at least $20 in cash back before you can withdraw funds from your Ibotta account. Once you meet that threshold, you can purchase a gift card through the app or transfer the funds to PayPal or Venmo.

See our in-depth Ibotta review.

#2 — Checkout 51

Sign Up For Checkout 51

Sign-Up Bonus: There is no sign up bonus.

Quick Summary: Checkout 51 is a cash-back grocery app that works at any grocery store. After downloading the app, search for coupons and offers and add them to your account before you go shopping. When you’re done, just open the app, mark the items you actually purchased, and upload a picture of your receipt. Once your receipt is approved, your cash back will appear in your account.

Pro Tip: New weekly offers are added every Thursday at 12 a.m. Some offers have limited availability, so check the app on Friday morning to grab the best offers before they’re gone.

Google Play Rating: 4.2/5 with 60,000+ reviews

App Store Rating: 4.1/5 with 3,500+ reviews

Can Be Used At: Checkout 51 can be used both online or in-store anywhere a participating item is sold. For example, if there’s an offer for 75 cents off a package of eggs, you can buy your eggs anywhere — at Walmart, at a gas station, or even at a chicken farm.

Payment: When your account balance reaches $20, you can request a paper check. Some users also have the ability to cash out via PayPal, but this functionality has not yet been rolled out to everyone.

#3 — Fetch Rewards

Sign Up For Fetch Rewards

Sign-Up Bonus: 2,000 Points (worth $2.00) after scanning your first receipt.

Quick Summary: Fetch Rewards offers points for purchasing eligible products at any grocery store. Those points can be redeemed for gift cards to your favorite retailers. Just download the app, upload a picture of your receipt, and points will be credited to your account — there’s no need to activate offers or clip digital coupons before you go shipping.

Pro Tip: Because you’re only required to upload a picture of your receipt, this makes Fetch perfect for stacking with other apps, like Ibotta (Earn a $10 Ibotta sign-up bonus by using this link). There’s also a selection of rotating special offers, which award you bonus points when purchased.

Google Play Rating: 4.3/5 with 20,000+ reviews

App Store Rating: 4.7/5 with 110,000+ reviews

Can Be Used At: Fetch Rewards can be used for grocery shopping at literally any store, either brick-and-mortar or online.

Payment: Once you’ve accumulated enough points, you can redeem them for hundreds of different gift cards — some of which cost as little as 3,000 points.

#4 — ShopKick

Sign Up For ShopKick

Sign up Bonus: There is no sign up bonus, but you can earn $3.50 if you join through InboxDollars (which is reviewed later in this article).

Quick Summary: ShopKick offers rewards called “kicks,” which you can earn for making purchases in-store or online and then redeem for gift cards. However, you can also get kicks for tasks such as walking in to a store, scanning certain barcodes, visiting online stores, viewing products and watching videos.

Pro Tip: Enabling push notifications for the app can help you make sure to never miss an opportunity. ShopKick uses your location to alert you to nearby sales and chances for extra points. Of course, be aware that this requires sending your location data back to ShopKick, which may be a drawback if you’re particularly concerned about online privacy.

Google Play Rating: 4.3/5 with 215,000+ reviews

App Store Rating: 4.7/5 with 40,000+ reviews

Can Be Used At: You can earn kicks both online and in-store.

Payment: You can redeem kicks for gift cards to a variety of retailers including Walmart, Amazon, Target and many more.

#5 — Receipt Hog

Sign Up For Receipt Hog

Sign-Up Bonus: There is no sign up bonus.

Quick Summary: Receipt Hog is a market research company that pays you for uploading your receipts. You’ll receive “coins,” which can be exchanged for Amazon gift cards, magazines, or cash via PayPal. You may also have the opportunity to earn “spins” rather than coins, depending on the retailer associated with your receipt. Those spins are used in a game called “Hog Slots,” which is a virtual slot machine that gives you a chance to earn more coins.

This can be fun, but remember that since your coins can be exchanged for actual money, using them on Hog Slots amounts to gambling. If you’re trying to make extra money to reach even a small-scale financial goal, you should avoid the risk and just build up your balance.

Pro Tip: When you get started, check out the “Rewards” tab to earn extra coins. This offers a bonus for answering a questionnaire and linking your email account. If you complete both of those tasks, you can earn another bonus by joining a “Hog Household,” which is a group of your family member who are also actively uploading receipts.

Google Play Rating: 4.5/5 with 90,000+ reviews

App Store Rating: 4.7/5 with 60,000+ reviews

Can Be Used At: Anywhere that provides you with a paper receipt; digital receipts are not accepted on the platform.

Payment: Exchange your coins for Amazon gift cards, magazines, or cash via PayPal.

Online Cash-Back Offers

All retailers need a steady stream of new customers, and one way they acquire those customers is through affiliate programs. Companies that offer cash-back rewards for online purchases earn a commission when you buy an item from within their app (or after using their link to visit a retail website), and then share a piece of that commission with you. This can be one of the easiest ways to save money while shopping, as it usually only requires clicking a link and then going about your business as usual.

swagbucks home page 1280x640 1

#1 — Swagbucks

Sign Up For Swagbucks

Sign-Up Bonus: $10 bonus when you spend at least $25 within 30 days of account creation.

Quick Summary: With Swagbucks, you can earn points (called Swagbucks or SBs) by shopping online, watching videos, searching the web, playing games, or completing surveys. You can then redeem those points for gift cards or cash via PayPal.

When you shop through the Swagbucks website or app, you earn 1 SB per $1 spent. Often, there are promotions where you can earn SBs at a multiple, such as 5 SBs per dollar spent at particular store.

Pro Tip: While Swagbucks is well known for its cash back shopping portal, it also has a little-known linked card loyalty program which allows you to earn SBs at local restaurants and retailers. You’ll also get a 500 SB bonus after linking your card and making your first purchase.

Google Play Rating: 3.9/5 with 35,000+ reviews

App Store Rating: 3.9/5 with 900+ reviews

Can Be Used At: You can earn SBs for both online and in-store purchases.

Payment: You can exchange your SBs for gift cards to retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, iTunes, and many others. Gift cards will occasionally go on sale, which gives you the chance to stretch your points. You can also cash out using PayPal. Gift cards start at $3 (which costs 300 SBs) and you can withdraw cash starting at $25.

Read my detailed review of Swagbucks here.

 

#2 — InboxDollars

Sign Up For InboxDollars

Sign-Up Bonus: $5 bonus after you sign up, create a profile, and watch an introductory video.

Quick Summary: Like the other apps on this list, InboxDollars offers cash-back for shopping online through its portal. However, it’s also a market research company that pays you for completing simple tasks at home such as taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, reading emails and printing coupons. This wide variety of ways to earn makes it easy to reach the minimum withdrawal amount and to cash out more quickly than with some of the other services mentioned here.

Read my in-depth review of InboxDollars

Pro Tip: There’s a $3 processing fee for cashing out your earnings. This fee is waived if you wait until you’ve earned $40, rather than cashing out at the $30 minimum.

Google Play Rating: 4.2/5 with 85,000+ reviews

App Store Rating: 4.4/5 with 80,000+ reviews

Can Be Used At: Online retailers only.

Payment: InboxDollars‘ minimum withdrawal amount is $30. Payment options include a prepaid Visa card, paper check, gift cards, and charitable donations.

Screenshot 2019 05 17 11.04.19

#3 — Rakuten

Sign Up for Rakuten

Sign-Up Bonus: $10 bonus for spending more than $25 within 90 days of becoming a member.

Quick Summary: Rakuten offers cash back deals from a wide variety of stores. All you have to do is shop through Rakuten when making a purchase. Just start your search at the Rakuten websites (or in the app) by typing in the product or brand you’re looking for; Rakuten will provide you with a list of cash-back offers. At the time of this writing, you can earn 5% at Walmart, 3% at Macy’s and 1.5% at Nike.

Read my in-depth review of Rakuten here.

Here are some of the offers I see when I open the Rakuten app on my iPhone:

IMG 2360

Pro Tip: Make sure you keep an eye on the “Featured Daily Deals” section, which offers extra, limited-time bonuses for certain stores and products. Also, Rakuten offers “Travel Thursdays,” which gives you the chance to earn up to 10% cash back when booking a hotel.

Google Play Rating: 4.5/5 with 45,000+ reviews.

App Store Rating: 4.5/5 with 15,000+ reviews.

Can Be Used At: Rakuten can be used both online and in-store, although there are far fewer brick-and-mortar offers.

Payment: Rakuten pays quarterly if you have at least $5.00 in your account. You can opt for a physical check or a PayPal deposit.

Related article: The Easiest Ways to Earn Free PayPal Money

Screenshot 2019 05 17 11.09.15

#4 — Acorns

Sign Up For Acorns

Sign-Up Bonus: There is no sign up bonus.

Quick Summary: Acorns is an investment app that has partnered with hundreds of retailers to offer cash back when you shop at participating stores through the Acorns portal. This feature, called “Found Money,” is unique because rather than sending the cash directly to you via a gift card or PayPal, Acorns adds those funds to your investment portfolio.

Acorns’ Found Money percentages are solid, typically ranging from 2% to 10%. I also love the fact that Acorns gives you the ability to adjust your investment portfolio to meet your specific financial goals. You can’t pick individual stocks, because Acorns places your money in index funds. (Which is the best way to invest.) However, you can choose your acceptable level of risk, timeline, and a few other criteria.

Pro Tip: Acorns also offers a savings feature called “Round Ups.” With Round Ups, you link a debit or credit card to Acorns, and then every time you make a purchase with that card, the company rounds up the purchase price to the next quarter, half-dollar or dollar (depending on your preferences). As with your Found Money, those funds get added to your portfolio. This can be a great way to set money aside if you’re having trouble building up your savings account.

Keep in mind that as with any investment, there is a risk that the value of your portfolio will decline.

Google Play Rating: 4.4/5 with 70,000+ reviews

App Store Rating: 4.7/5 with 400,000+ reviews

Can Be Used At: Found Money only works when shopping online through Acorns; Round Ups works with any purchase, both online and in-store.

Payment: Your Found Money and Round Ups are placed in your investment account, and I recommend you keep them there so that they can grow! After all, investing is one of the most important things you need to do to get rich. However, if you need to withdraw your funds you can transfer them to your bank account, which takes about two days.

#5 — BeFrugal

Sign Up For BeFrugal

Sign-Up Bonus: A $10 bonus is added to your account balance once you’ve accumulated $10 in rewards.

Quick Summary: BeFrugal offers cash back on purchases you make at over 5,000 stores, including Amazon, Target, Walmart, and many others. As with Rakuten, you just sign up, begin shopping, and the cash back is deposited into your account.

Pro Tip: BeFrugal has a browser extension that automatically applies the best coupon code available for the store you’re shopping at. If that coupon code doesn’t work, BeFrugal will compensate you with a $5 account bonus.

Google Play Rating: 4.3/5 with 600+ reviews

App Store Rating: 4.5/5 with 1,000+ reviews

Can Be Used At: Online only.

Payment: The minimum cashout is $25. BeFrugal pays via direct deposit to your bank account, paper check, PayPal or gift cards.

#6 — TopCashBack

Sign Up For TopCashBack

Sign-Up Bonus: There is no sign up bonus.

Quick Summary: TopCashBack is another site that provides cash back for the purchases you make at thousands of online retailers. It’s one of the newer platforms on the scene but boasts 8 million members and calls itself the fastest growing cash back service in America. As with the other apps on the list, you generally have to shop through the TCB portal in order to earn rewards. However, there are some in-store offers, for which you have to either print a physical coupon or upload a copy of your register receipt.

Pro Tip: There’s no particular feature that distinguishes TCB from Rakuten, BeFrugal or other similar services noted on this list. However, each platform offers different percentages of cash back at different stores, and those numbers change all the time. So if your goal is to absolutely maximize your cash back, your best bet is to quickly scan at least a few different apps to make sure you’re getting the best available deal at that particular moment.

Google Play Rating: 3.9/5 with 5,500+ reviews

App Store Rating: 4.7/5 with 2,500+ reviews

Can Be Used At: Online, with some in-store options.

Payment: TopCashBack has three payment options: Amazon gift cards, direct deposit, and PayPal.

Card-Linked Programs

Card-linked cash-back programs offer a way to save money while hardly even thinking about it. All you need to do is enter your debit or credit card details and then shop at participating stores with that linked card. When you do, you’ll automatically earn a percentage of that transaction. These companies are paid by retailers who believe customers are more likely to choose their outlets because of the cash-back incentive.

Screenshot 2019 05 17 14.43.08

#1 — Drop Rewards

Sign Up For Drop Rewards

Sign-Up Bonus: There is no sign up bonus.

Quick Summary: Drop Rewards allows you to earn points on purchases at your favorite stores, supermarkets, and restaurants. Those points can then be exchanged for gift cards. All you have to do is link your credit and/or debit cards to your Drop Rewards account, and you’ll automatically earn whenever you use that card at participating merchants. You’re not required to unlock or activate offers — just shop and let the points roll in.

Here’s the “catch” that makes Drop Rewards interesting: You can only earn automatic points at two participating retailers (like Trader Joe’s and Safeway)… and once you make your selections, you can’t change them! So choose carefully.

You can also use the Drop app to score some of the best cash-back shopping rates around. Some of the most popular offers are 6% back at Sephora, and 4% back at Expedia and Lululemon.

Pro Tip: This is a perfect app to stack with other services. For example, you could use digital coupons from Ibotta while shopping at Trader Joe’s, pay using a linked cash-back credit card, and then upload your receipt to each of the receipt-based program listed earlier. You could also link that same credit card to Dosh (a similar service mentioned below), to really rake in the rewards.

Of course, it’s not always possible to stack apps the same way every time. Retailers that participate in Drop Rewards might not also be partnered with Dosh. But they often are, and you can use this to your advantage.

Google Play Rating: 3.8/5 with 5,000+ reviews

App Store Rating: 4.5/5 with 9,000+ reviews

Can Be Used At: Online and in-store.

Payment: You can use your points to redeem any of the gift-card rewards you’re eligible for. You should receive your reward within three business days, but in my experience it’s never taken more than a few minutes.

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#2 — Dosh Rewards

Sign Up For Dosh Rewards

Sign-Up Bonus: There is no sign up bonus.

Quick Summary: Dosh functions similarly to Drop Rewards. The main difference is that Drop offers a smaller selection of primarily national chains, and you can only choose five; once you pick those five, they’re locked forever. Dosh has a much wider selection of participating merchants, including a wide array of local options (which you can locate via GPS in the app). However, you won’t find as many big-name national stores — although there are some, such as Sam’s Club, Dunkin’ and Lane Bryant.

As with Drop, just link your cards to your account and then shop. You can earn up to 10% cash back, which is automatically deposited into your Dosh Wallet. Dosh allows you to transfer those funds to your PayPal account, to your bank, or make a donation to charity.

Pro Tip: Stack your rewards! I know I’ve said this multiple times in this article, but I’m amazed at how much free money people leave on the table. If you can earn cash back for the same purchase from Drop and Dosh… why wouldn’t you do that? To be honest, once you set up your account, you never have to open the app again (until you’re ready to cash out). Just shop, earn, and collect.

Google Play Rating: 4.6/5 with 36,000+ reviews

App Store Rating: 4.7/5 with 84,700+ reviews

Can Be Used At: Online and in-store.

Payment: Dosh’s minimum withdrawal threshold is $25, and it pays via PayPal or direct deposit.

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#3 — Paribus

Sign Up For Paribus

Sign-Up Bonus: There is no sign up bonus.

Quick Summary: When it comes to cash-back apps, Paribus (which is operated by Capital One) belongs in its own category. After you sign up for the service, you’ll link your account to whatever email address you use for online shopping. Paribus then monitors that mailbox for purchase confirmations, and watches for things like late deliveries and price drops.

When the service detects potential savings, it lets you know and tries to engage with the retailer on your behalf. If it can’t, then it provides a clear set of instructions for how to recoup the price difference. So far, Paribus has secured over $20 million in claims for its users.

Currently, Paribus works with 25 retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Target and more, as well as with hotel room booking services such as Hotels.com, Expedia, and Priceline.

If you’re worried about the privacy of your emails, here’s what Paribus has to say about how it handles your data:

We access your inbox to find your savings opportunities. We use technology to scan for emails that are relevant to saving you time and money — such as emails that reflect a purchase or transaction.

Our systems capture email subject and sender information from your inbox, then use proprietary logic to identify which of those emails appear to be receipts. We do not open any other type of email.

We have not and will not sell your data.

Pro Tip: You need to have either a Gmail, Microsoft, or Yahoo email account to use Paribus.

Google Play Rating: Paribus doesn’t have an Android app, but signing up via the web is fast and easy.

App Store Rating: 4/5 with 1,000+ reviews

Can Be Used At: A limited selection of retailers.

Payment: Paribus refunds are typically issued by the merchant directly to your original payment method.

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#4 — Cash App by Square

Sign up by downloading the Cash App from the iOS or Android App Store.

Sign-Up Bonus: $5 bonus for each of us (using my personal referral link, above)

Quick Summary: Cash is a free peer-to-peer payment app that works like Venmo or PayPal. It’s owned and operated by Square — the company that makes those iPad-like checkout terminals that are increasingly popular with retail establishments. (Square’s co-founder and CEO is Jack Dorsey, who is also the man behind Twitter.)

cash screenshots

When you join Cash, you’ll have the option to request a “Cash Card,” which is a free Visa debit card that’s linked to your account. You can use this card to spend the funds in your Cash balance, and you can add money to it by transferring funds from your bank account.

One of the best things about this app is that the Cash Card offers a perk called “Boosts,” which is a selection of cash-back offers you can use while shopping at some of the nation’s most well-known brands. Boosts change periodically, but options typically include 5% or 10% at Whole Foods and Traders Joes, 10% at Chipotle, and $1 off any transaction at any coffee shop. Any cash-back you earn is immediately credited your Cash balance.

Cash Card Boosts

Pro Tip: You can use Boosts over and over, but you can only have one Boost attached to your card at any given time. Be careful, because sometimes when you remove a Boost you won’t be able to add it again; the app pops up a message warning you, but it’s easy to miss if you’re not paying attention.

Google Play Rating: 4/5 with 78,000+ reviews

App Store Rating: 4.6/5 with 188,000+ reviews

Can Be Used At: Any retailer where Visa is accepted.

Payment: Cash App’s rewards are credited to your account within seconds, and are spendable as soon as they appear.

Bonus Category: Best Cash Back Credit Cards

One of the most effective ways to maximize your savings is to pair cash-back apps with cash-back credit cards.

Here are three of my favorites for everyday purchases.

Chase Freedomfreedom card image

Cash-Back: 5% in a set of bonus categories that change every three months, and 1% on everything else.

Sign-Up Bonus: $150 after spending $300 in the first 90 days.

The Chase Freedom card’s rotating bonus categories often include grocery stores, gas stations, and other merchants similar to those you’ll find in the cash-back apps reviewed in this article. That makes it easy to stack, and a great choice for getting the absolute most out of your money. Plus there’s no annual fee, so this is a card you can keep for the long-haul (which will boost your credit score).

American Express Blue Cash Preferredblue cash preferred

Cash-Back: 6% at supermarkets, 3% at gas stations and 1% on everything else.

Sign-Up Bonus: $250 after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days.

If your goal is to use cash-back apps to save money at the grocery store, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better cash-back credit card than the Blue Cash Preferred, which delivers a massive 6% return on up to $6,000 per year in spending. However, it does come with a $95 annual fee, which could offset some of those savings — especially if you’re not spending all the way up to the limit every year.

Learn more about this card here.

American Express Blue Cash Everydayblue cash everyday

Cash-Back: 3% at supermarkets, 2% at gas stations and department stores, and 1% on everything else.

Sign-Up Bonus: $150 after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days.

The Blue Cash Everyday is the little sibling of the Blue Cash Preferred — it offers about half the cash-back rate in the same categories (3% instead of 6% at supermarkets), but comes with the benefit of no annual feel. Depending on how much you plan on using the card specifically for groceries, that could end up making it a better fit overall.

Learn more about this card here.

Tips for Using Cash Back Apps

Here are six tips that will help you make the most of your money with cash back apps:

  1. Only buy what you can afford. Cash back apps are no excuse for breaking your budget just because you found a good deal. You should use these apps as a way to save money on things you planned to buy anyway. Think of them as part of taking the initiative to be frugal — a little bit of research can save you a ton of money.
  2. Stack apps whenever possible. You can maximize your savings and get the most money back by using more than one rewards app at the same time. And if you clip paper or digital coupons, you can usually stack those, too. This is especially helpful when it comes to saving money on groceries, because there are often multiple coupons available for the same item.
  3. Take advantage sign-up bonuses. Even if you don’t plan on using an app over the long-term, take advantage of the sign-up bonus, which is often the quickest and easiest money you will ever earn. Bonuses typically range from $10 to $20.
  4. Use a cash-back credit card. Another way to increase your savings is to combine cash-back apps with a cash-back credit card — preferably, one that offers bonuses for shopping within certain categories. One card to check out is the Chase Freedom card, which gives you up to 5% cash back in rotating categories that change every three months.
  5. Refer your friends. Cash-back apps thrive on referrals for new customers, which presents a great opportunity for you and your friends. Referral bonuses are an easy way to make money and can climb as high as $25.
  6. Many cash back apps pay you for completing tasks. Most of these tasks are very easy, but pay attention to the time requirement. If a survey that takes 45 minutes to complete only pays $3, your time might be better invested in something else.

*Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links we provided.

 

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