I’ll admit that I have an addiction to online shopping. My house looks like an Amazon fulfillment center, and I know the UPS and Fed Ex delivery drivers by name. But I’ll let you in on a little — I (mostly) don’t feel bad doing it, because in most cases, with every purchase I make, I am earning money back! With Black Friday and the holiday shopping season upon us, here are our favorite apps that’ll put some money back in your pocket.
Note: When signing up for any app or website that tracks your purchases or requires you to link a credit card, we encourage our readers to read the terms and conditions carefully, as some of these companies sell data history and share purchase history with third parties.
Rakuten (formerly Ebates)
Earn cash back at more than 2,500 stores. Rakuten has both an app and browser extension, so rather than shopping directly from the merchant, start there first. Each retailer will list how much cash back they are currently offering, with an average that ranges from 1-8 percent. On holidays, many retailers double the offering. Get paid every three months via a check, PayPal or choose a store gift card instead. New members receive a $10 welcome bonus after spending $25 in the app.
IBotta gives you cash back when you shop for groceries, clothing, home, travel and more. This app used to be strictly for grocery stores but it has since branched out to include more merchants. Redeem offers by taking a photo of your receipt. IBotta will match items you purchased to offers and deposit cash into your account within 48 hours. Once you’ve reached $20 in rewards, your earnings can be transferred to your PayPal account. New members get a $20 welcome bonus.
Groupon (formerly Groupon +)
A more under-the-radar feature offered by Groupon, simply link your credit card to your Groupon account. Before you go out to a restaurant, check Groupon to see if the place you are dining at is offering a cash back deal. These deals are free to claim, and typically provide between 15% and 30% cash back. Once you pay with your linked card, the money will be refunded back to the card within 72 hours.
Similar to IBotta, Fetch Rewards is an app that pays you back for uploading your paper receipts from any grocery, drug store or large chain gas station. However, instead of paying back users with cash, the app rewards customers with points, which can be redeemed gift cards to places like Target and Amazon. New users can earn bonus points upon their first use.
Pei is a loyalty program that allows you to earn cash back shopping at places you are already shopping at. Simply link your card to the app and earn money back on places like Starbucks, CVS, Dunkin’ and McDonald’s, and Pei will deposit your qualifying dollars – in USD or Crypto – monthly into your PayPal account. Pei is the only money savings app to use Bitcoin. New users get a $5 bonus after making their first qualifying purchase.
The CoinOut app will pay you in cash rewards to upload images of any retail receipts you have received in the past two weeks. Featured on Shark Tank, CoinOut differs from its competitors in the sense that it does not require a minimum monetary threshold to cash out to a user’s bank, Amazon or PayPal account. While most receipts are worth somewhere around .07, it takes some time to build up earnings.
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