10 Best Cashback Apps 2021: Get Money Back When You ShopPosted by Melissa Lim
Table Of Contents
- Introduction - Discount, Cashback and Rewards
- 1. Drop
- 2. ReceiptPal
- 3. MyPoints
- 4. Points.com
- 5. Fetch Rewards
- 6. Ibotta
- 7. Shopkick
- 8. Dosh
- 9. Checkout 51
- 10. Rakuten.com
Introduction - Discount, Cashback and Rewards
When I was a child, I had a great sense of achievement if I found discount coupons in our home mailbox. At that time, discount coupon was in paper form, I’ll cut it out to use it in the retail shop.
Fast forward to 2021, many cashback and rewards apps have emerged to replace the old school paper coupon. Although the experience is different now, the objective remains the same: We want to find good deals, save money and get our money back when we shop!
Both cashback and reward apps offer a wide variety of partnered merchants. Merchants is able to acquire new customers through the apps while the apps earn a commission from the partnered merchants whenever a user successfully transacted through the apps. The user will then receive some cashback rewards or discount rewards for purchasing through the apps. Therefore, it is very important to start and complete the purchase through the apps so the cashback transaction is properly tracked.
Image source: Chitra Rajasekaran | Wonder how cashback companies make money?
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DROP is a financial technology company that aims to help shoppers to earn reward points by linking either your debit or credit card to the reward app. By using the linked card to make a transaction with partner stores/retailers, DROP will automatically reward you with points that eventually can be redeemed for gift cards.
Advantages of DROP
Unlike other cashback sites or reward apps, DROP can be used alongside other cashback apps which let you double the amount of extra money earned! With its great security feature in place, you will not have to worry about your data being compromised.
Disadvantages of DROP
There are limited retailers where you can earn extra money from using DROP. Upon joining the cashback site, you are required to select five (5) different retailers that you may want to earn cashback from. After picking your choice, you are not able to switch retailers, as such, it is hard to accumulate rewards quickly. So it is important to choose those retailers that you frequently visit.
ReceiptPal is a free consumer receipt panel that allows you to earn rewards when scanning your shopping receipt. In exchange, you can earn points for rewards and redeem it for gift cards from various retailers.
Advantages of ReceiptPal
ReceiptPal stores every scanned receipts in their system which allows users to keep an electronic copy of their receipts and use it for future references. As a new user, you will receive bonus points that will speed up your redemption for attractive gift cards.
Disadvantages of ReceiptPal
It might take some time to save up sufficient amounts of points to exchange for gift cards since there is a restriction of points you can earn per week. Moreover, the points accumulated will expire after 90 days as such you must submit another receipt so that the deadline is extended.
MyPoints is an online rewards site that rewards shoppers with points for any activities available on their platforms such as shopping online, watching videos and playing games. The accumulated points allow you to redeem monetary rewards such as cash and gift cards from 2000 top retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, iTunes.
Advantages of Mypoints
There are many ways you can earn extra money from this online reward platform such as participating in their games and watching videos. Also, Mypoints offers multiple reward systems that allow users to choose their preferred redemption.
Disadvantages of Mypoints
When you decide to redeem your points, you might want to compare the various reward options as required points are not consistent. As a reference, the $25 PayPal credit costs 3,970 points, but the $25 Burger King gift card only costs 3,520 points.
Points’ loyalty solutions drive member engagement for airlines, hotels, financial services, and businesses worldwide. With a single integration to its loyalty Commerce Platform, you gain access to a full suite of flexible accrual and redemption solutions. Manage all your loyalty programs in one spot, exchange points and miles between programs, and redeem them for shopping and dining gift cards.
Advantages of Points.com
Points.com helps shoppers to track and manage over 110 loyalty programs on one reward app. It allows you to redeem points for miles programs on any devices.
Disadvantages of Points.com
Not all major companies can link their points and miles with points.com
5. Fetch Rewards
Fetch Rewards is a reward site that helps you to save money and exchange for by uploading receipts of your daily grocery shopping. You will be awarded with points by purchasing products from listed merchants on the Fetch Rewards app. There are many weekly special offers and deals available to earn extra points so that you can exchange for gift cards or even make donations to the Red Cross society.
Advantages of Fetch Rewards
Fetch Rewards can be used concurrently with other cashback apps which means you can speed up your earnings to exchange for gift cards from hundreds of retailers.
Disadvantages of Fetch Rewards
You may experience some technical app freezing when you scan your grocery receipts. To resolve, Fetch Rewards apps encourage you to upload a few image copies of the same receipt.
Ibotta is a cash back app that helps you to save money with your everyday purchases like groceries, apparel, travel, and online purchases. It's available via browser extension, iOS and Android mobile apps. You can earn gift cards, cashback by purchasing products from over 1,500 merchants that Ibotta partners with.
Advantages of Ibotta
Ibotta is convenient and easy to use, you can also link your loyalty account with individual retailers to the app which means you can consolidate all your loyalty cards/accounts into one single app! For offline shopping, you can also earn cashback by snapping a photo of your receipt and submit it through its app.
Disadvantages of Ibotta
There might be a little hiccups when submitting the offline store receipt though Ibotta app, make sure the entire receipt is captured in the photo, including store name, date, every item, the total, and the payment details.
Shopkick is a shopping rewards app that rewards you for the shopping you already do, offline and online. You'll earn reward points “kicks” simply by walking into a participating stores, scanning the barcode on selected products, or earn more points with purchases. You can also earn "kicks" through online shopping with Shopkick app. The points you collected can be exchanged for free gift cards.
Advantages of Shopkick
You can earn points just for walking into the participating stores or scanning the product's barcode, it doesn't get any easier than this. Besides, some users said it makes offline shopping fun!
Disadvantages of Shopkick
There could be some technical challenge to get the walk-in "kicks" sometimes as you'll need to set up your phone in advance for the app to pick up the signal before you head into the store. Make sure: 1. Bluetooth is enabled 2. Shopkick has access to your microphone (if you are on Android or using Shopkick version 5.3.11 or below on iOS) 3. You are connected via a strong cell/data or wi-fi signal
Dosh is a cash back app that gets you automatic cash back at thousands of places when you shop, dine, or book hotels. It is quite similar to Drop, once you link your credit card/debit card in Dosh app, you don’t have to do anything as your cash back is deposited into your wallet automatically every time you use those credit cards/debit cards. No coupons or receipt scanning. Once you accumulate $25 cashback amount, you can then transfer to your bank account, PayPal or Venmo or donate your cash back to charity.
Advantages of Dosh
Dosh is easy to use and automated, you can easily cashout your cashback to PayPal account. It is also a nice complement to Drop so you can earn cashback from merchants which you may not find in Drop.
Disadvantages of Dosh
There is an account maintenance fee of $4.99 which will be deducted from your Dosh wallet balance if your account becomes inactive for longer than 12 months. Although it requires just 1 transaction to keep the account active for 12 months, it is still good to survey if your favorite stores or merchants are supported by Dosh which you visit regularly, so you won't need to worry about the account maintenance fee at all.
9. Checkout 51
Checkout 51 is a cash back app on iOS and Android that saves you money on your favorite brands, groceries, and necessities. New fuel rewards offer smart drivers cash back on gas too at over 5,000 participating gas stations! Checkout 51 update your offer list every Thursday for gas, groceries, and everyday items. To earn cashback, you just need to add your favorite offer to your shopping list, check off the items in the shopping list after you've made the purchase and submit the receipt for approval. Once your cashback amount hit $20, you could cashout with a check in a mail.
Advantages of Checkout 51
You will need to plan out your shopping list in advance so it could work as a good shopping habit to prevent you from overspending unnecessarily. The new fuel rewards offer for gas at 5,000 gas stations is certainly a great way to save!
Disadvantages of Checkout 51
Getting cashback via check could be a little inconvenient and it could go missing during mailing. It would be nice if the cashback can be received digitally such as via PayPal or digital wallets.
Lastly, Rakuten.com (formerly known as Ebates) is a grandfather in the online cash back industry. Since 1997, Rakuten has helped shape the way people shop online, providing cashback offer, deals and shopping rewards on the world’s largest selection of products and services. To date, millions of members in the U.S. have earned over $1 billion in cashback. You can shop on rakuten.com, rakuten apps or through their browser extension and redeem cashback via check or PayPal.
Advantages of Rakuten.com
If you like shopping online, Rakuten offers all sort of products for you to earn cashback including Lyft rides. You could easily get your cashback via check or PayPal. Join Rakuten for free now and you can get a $10 Welcome Bonus if you make minimum qualifying purchases totaling at least $25 within 90 days.
Disadvantages of Rakuten.com
Since Rakuten.com's revenue comes from affiliate links, you need to start your online "shopping trip" with Rakuten.com and make sure the transaction of your purchase will be tracked by Rakuten in order to make it eligible for cashback. If you visit the shopping portal or merchant website through other channels before using Rakuten.com, your transaction might not be tracked.
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Tips on Finding The Best Cashback Apps or Reward Apps
When finding the best cashback apps or rewards apps, these are some factors that can be considered beforehand. For example:
- Which retailer do you shop frequently?
- Would you like to redeem cashback or gift cards for future purchases?
- Are you willing to spend time searching for offers or uploading receipts?
Some cashback websites and rewards apps allow you to browse through their offerings before creating an account with them while some require you to download their apps to view deals. It is important because various reward sites may offer different percentages of cashback even for the same type of products.
Other than considering if the cashback sites or reward apps fit your criteria, you have to look out for words such as “up to” which states the maximum returns you may receive from your purchases.
To give a hypothetical example, say, you want to earn cashback from your favourite eCommerce website and have selected a cash back app to do so. On the app, it shows that you can receive “up to 5% cashback” if you purchase through it. However, you might only earn 1% of cashback due to various factors such as the exclusive offers meant for new users. Although this situation may seem confusing, it is relatively common on cashback sites and reward apps and you are strongly advised to understand the deals before making the purchase.
Have You Decided On Which Cashback Sites And Reward Apps To Use?
Cashback sites and reward apps is a great way to "make extra money" by putting extra cash back in your pocket after spending. It is a great way to save and to develop good personal finance habits. Although the process in finding the best cashback apps might be a little tedious, the result could be rewarding in the long run. Do share with me the cash back app you use and how have you benefited from it at the comment box below!