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There are lots of ways to make some extra money online, but most of them involve you dedicating lots of time to completing tedious tasks and activities. It’s not for everyone.
Using cash back apps is one of the few ways available to earn cash by doing something you do anyway: shopping.
No matter how frugal you are, everybody needs to buy groceries and other basics. When you think about how much you spend on food each week, even earning as low as 1% of that through cash back would really add up over the course of a year – and many apps offer far more than 1%.
Even better, you can combine the cash back apps mentioned in this article with a credit card offering cashback and effectively earn double the cash back on all your purchases.
You can also combine the apps with conventional coupons; in fact, many of the websites have a ‘special offers’ tab that helps you to do exactly this.
Lots of the apps also offer extra ways to make some money through other activities, so when times are tough, you have the means to top up your bank account in the palm of your hand.
23 Best Cash Back Apps for 2020
Here are the 23 best cash back apps to start using today:
Swagbucks is one of the best-known survey sites on the internet, but it also has some of the highest cash back sites on the web.
Of course, you’ll also be able to earn from surveys and other activities like watching videos or surfing the web.
There’s a $5 bonus for joining as long as you spend $25 in a Swagbucks store within your first month of registration. You can choose between gift cards like Amazon or PayPal transfers.
Learn More: Swagbucks Review
Paribus offers a different kind of cashback; instead of earning points or a percentage of money back from all purchases, Paribus negotiates on your behalf to get you refunds for items you purchased, which were subsequently reduced. Therefore, you’ll only earn if you buy something that experiences a price drop shortly after you buy it.
If you shop in-store, you’ll need to manually scan your receipts for Paribus to figure out if you’re owed a discount, but this isn’t too time-consuming if you build up a habit. It’s also a great way to keep a record of your spending and purchases since the app will continue to store all your receipts.
However, if you shop online, you can shop like usual, and Paribus will use your confirmation emails to check for price drops.
You can upload your receipts from over 25 retailers, including stores like Target, so most of your groceries will be covered! You’ll get the discount in the form of payment you originally used for purchase within three to seven days.
Learn More: Paribus ReviewParibus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links provided.
3. Drop App
When using Drop, you’ll earn points you can use towards gift cards rather than cold hard cash – but since you can redeem them at major retailers like Starbucks and Amazon, you’ll be sure to find something that sounds good to you.
As well as earning points by spending with a linked card, you can shop directly through the app for certain stores. There are sometimes special promotions that you can activate to earn more points.
Learn More: Drop App Review
The great thing about Rakuten (formerly ebates) is you’ll get cashback in the form of real cash when shopping online. Every quarter, you’ll be paid in the form of either a check or PayPal. You also get a $10 bonus from signing up as long as you spend $25 within your first three months as a member.
It’s worth having Rakuten, Honey, and Wikibuy all installed even though you’ll only be able to earn cashback through one of them. You may prefer to use Rakuten when possible so you can receive cash rather than a gift card, but you won’t always get a choice since each site has different partnerships. Honey and Wikibuy also have the additional bonus of letting you know about coupons and discounts, which Rakuten doesn’t offer.
Although you can earn up to 40% cashback, it’s more common to earn 5%-10%. You can also earn up to $25 from referring friends and family.
Learn More: Rakuten Review
MyPoints works in a similar way to Swagbucks: you can earn redeemable points through a variety of activities, and there are also cashback offers. Almost 2000 online stores are partnered with My Points, so there are plenty of opportunities to earn cash back when shopping – all you need to do is enter stores through the MyPoints shopping portal.
As well as cashback, you can earn points from taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, and reading emails.
You can use the points you earn for free gift cards from a variety of retailers, but there’s no opportunity to receive the money in cash form. Just like Swagbucks, you can earn $10 from signing up, but you’ll have to make a purchase of $20 within your first month.
Learn More: MyPoints Review
If you’re a big online shopper, Wikibuy is a great way to get cashback and discounts as you buy. All you need to do is browse stores as you normally would and let Wikibuy search for available discounts, the same product available for cheaper elsewhere, and give you points towards gift cards once you make a purchase. It also integrates directly into Amazon.
The cashback you can earn varies between websites, but if you head on to the Wikibuy website, you can find better deals and latest offers.
The data from all users of the extension is compiled together to make sure that everyone is getting a better price. For instance, if you see a product on Amazon and somebody else has viewed the same product for a lower price on a different website, Wikibuy will let you know.
If a coupon doesn’t work for a user, this is also logged to prevent other users from wasting their time applying it. The extension also alerts you if the price of an item you viewed recently dropped.
There’s also an app available, which you can use to scan product barcodes and compare prices, meaning if you find something in-store, you can quickly check if there’s a better offer available online or in a competitor.
The extension is available for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari.
To earn even bigger cashback, you can book hotels and accommodations through the Dosh app, and receive up to 40% back to use towards your vacation.
The only downside is that Dosh is only available as a phone app – there’s no web version. But this is all you really need for such a simple app; the only features you’ll need to use are linking your cards then withdrawing the money you earn.
Even better, you can receive some extra cash by referring your friends; Dosh will send you $10 per person referred.
Dosh is also serious about protecting your data. The app has 256-bit SSL encryption and vaults your credit card information using the PayPal service Braintree; they also don’t sell your information on to third parties.
If you want to earn cashback from grocery stories, Ibotta is just about the best app available. You can earn in-store by uploading your receipt to the app or earn online by using the shopping portal.
You can also use Pay with Ibotta to speed up the process; just search for the offer you want to apply, load the code, and present it at the checkout.
The only downside is that you need to complete short tasks to earn cashback on each eligible product – this could be as simple as taking part in a poll or watching a video, but it can add up. However, it’s a great way to earn extra points as you’re not limited to one task per product.
You can choose whether you want to receive your points in the form of a cash transfer or a gift card.
9. Honey App
Honey is another browser extension, and it works very similarly to Wikibuy. You can normally browse while Honey works in the background, and when you buy an eligible item, you’ll earn ‘Honey Gold’ to redeem towards gift cards. Honey will also pop up to alert you about discounts and coupons relevant to the store you’re on.
You can earn Honey Gold by shopping at over 4,500 different retailers and earn up to 20% back depending on the store. There are also bonuses available sometimes to help you earn even more. Once you earn enough gold, you’ll receive an Amazon gift card.
Like Wikibuy, Honey also includes features to help you find the lowest price available on Amazon and find out about price drops of items you’ve browsed.
Honey is available on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. You can download it on your phone browsers too.
Learn More: Honey App Review
Coupons.com is one of the oldest coupon sites on the web. Although the site is mostly geared towards special offers and discount codes, there are also lots of cashback offers available.
Just activate the offers you want and link your loyalty cards. You can also download the app to browse through the promotions and opportunities for cashback.
There’s no minimum amount of points you need to reach before you can claim your reward, and you’ll get paid through PayPal.
Get Started: Sign-Up for a Coupons.com Account
SavingStar allows you to obtain cash back from a wide variety of stores, some of which are automatic and others non-automatic. For automatic stores, simply enter the details for your loyalty card and activate the offers you want to receive cash back, while for non-automatic stores, you need to scan receipts on to the app.
There are three types of promotions available: Healthy Offers for fresh produce, One or Many Offers for meeting a spending goal, and Always On for products you regularly buy.
You can shop from over 70,000 locations, so it’s pretty likely the place you’re shopping will be somewhere you can get cashback from.
You can choose to receive your bonus in cash form or a gift card.
Get Started: Download the SavingStar App
Groupon is well-known for its discounts on leisure activities, but you can also use it to get cashback by using Groupon+.
All you need to do is search for cashback deals on the website or app and claim it, then Groupon will automatically link the deal with any card you enrolled with them. Most of the deals are related to food and drink.
Unfortunately, Groupon+ only works in certain cities. It can also be time-consuming to search for cashback deals manually, but it could be worth it if you go out to eat regularly.
However, the good news is that once you redeem for an establishment once, the cashback will automatically be applied if you revisit it (unless it expires).
Get Started: Download the Groupon App
You might be relieved to learn that shopping isn’t the only way to earn points towards cashback. Shopkick lets you earn by completing tasks – both in-store and online – rather than by buying items. These tasks include filling out surveys, filming videos, and checking into stores.
Nonetheless, you’ll be able to earn the most points by shopping through the Shopkick portal. You can also download an app to earn on the go.
The points you earn can be redeemed for gift cards on sites like Amazon and Starbucks.
Claiming to be the most generous cash back site in the country is TopCashback. Thousands of retailers participate in their cashback schemes, and, unlike most other cashback websites, you’ll receive the full commission from sites rather than only a cut of it.
You can also save money by applying coupons and receiving pay-out bonuses that can earn you 3% on top of the standard cashback offer.
The site also boasts high-quality customer service, with a five-star rating on Trustpilot and membership of the Institute of Customer Service.
Trunow gives you cash back on gas station purchases, including gasoline itself and items from restaurants or shops; you’ll get 1% cashback and 2% rewards. You can also use the app to find deals on gasoline prices and other items.
You just need to take a photo of the receipt and upload it onto the app to get a cashback.
It’s your choice whether you use the cashback for rewards or money.
Get Started: Download the Trunow app
Big Uber user? Order your ride through Freebird instead, and you can earn cashback if you’re traveling to a partner restaurant or bar – some establishments even offer you a ride for free. Freebird also works with Lyft.
When you download Freebird, you’ll still be using Uber or Lyft like normal, but through a different app. You can browse through the restaurants that offer discounted rides on the app; the idea is that this incentivizes users to choose the establishments with good deals, which helps their business.
Even if you order an Uber to an establishment that doesn’t participate in the offer, you’ll earn points that you can use towards cashback. Straight after ordering a ride, you’ll be able to use deposit the cashback in your bank account.
Get Started: Download the Freebird app
Pei is a newer cashback app that works similarly to Dosh and Drop. All you need to do is link your card and wait for the cashback to start accumulating. There’s nothing to lose by downloading the app and giving it a try!
As well as the normal cashback of 1% for all purchases, there’s also the possibility to earn more as your loyalty increases and to save more using special offers that are unique to Pei.
Your data is safe with Pei. As is the case with Dosh, they use 256-bit encryption and anonymize your personal information instead of selling it on.
You can receive your cashback in the form of either a bank transfer or Bitcoin.
Get Started: Download the Pei app
Upromise works very similarly to other cashback apps, but the main differentiator is that it’s designed to help with paying off student loans or funding 529 plans. However, there’s no obligation to use your earnings for this purpose.
You can earn 5% on cashback for partnered retailers online and 2.5% at thousands of partnered restaurants. There are also special offers available.
There’s even a dedicated Upromise Mastercard, which lets you earn 1.25% cash back on every purchase, even from non-partners; if you link your account to a 529 savings plan, you can get a 15% bonus too.
Get Started: Join Upromise
19. Checkout 51
Another cashback website ideal for grocery shopping is Checkout 51. Just like Ibotta, you can browse offers on the app and redeem them by uploading your receipt.
There’s more to the process than simply taking a picture as the app will prompt you to tick off the categories of items you purchased, but you won’t have to complete any small tasks to get your point.
You’ll be able to receive your money once you get up to $20 worth of groceries. Checkout 51 is slightly old-fashioned for the way it pays; the only way to receive payment is through a check in the mail.
Get Started: Download the Checkout 51 app
20. Receipt Hog
The main advantage of Receipthog is that you can earn cash back on anything you shop – you won’t be limited to the partnered retailers. You also don’t have to do anything other than scanning your receipts to start earning.
An additional feature is that you can take part in surveys and sweepstakes straight from the app to earn more points. Once you make points, you can choose between redeeming a gift card or a PayPal transfer.
Get Started: Download the ReceiptHog app
21. Fetch Rewards
Another site that helps you earn money back from your grocery shopping is Fetch Rewards. You won’t be restricted to particular stores – you can claim cashback on all convenience stores, drug stores, pet stores, and even liquor stores.
To earn points for gift cards, all you need to do is scan your receipts, but you can earn more by purchasing Special Offer products.
You’ll earn bonus points for signing up, and you can earn more bonus points for referring people you know.
Get Started: Download the Fetch Rewards app
Cosign isn’t suitable for everyone: you need to have a strong social media profile to be able to benefit. When you download the app, you can directly tag products in your photos for your followers, and if they buy through your link, you’ll earn a commission.
If your links prove to be popular, your ‘Cosign status’ will improve, and you’ll be able to earn a higher percentage of commission from the products you sell.
This isn’t cashback in the conventional sense, but you will be earning money back on items you’ve purchased – if your following is big enough, you could even end up earning more than you spent in the first place.
Get Started: Download the Cosign app
Another alternative way of obtaining cashback rewards is through the UserTesting app. Rather than making purchases and earning some of the money back, you’ll earn money for giving website reviews.
The main drawback is that you need to give feedback through videos or voice recordings, which some people are uncomfortable with doing.
You can earn up to $60 for a test, though the most common reward is $10 for 20 minutes, which still isn’t bad.
Get Started: UserTesting.com
Which App Gives The Best Cashback?
Some of the websites mentioned in this article offer higher cashback rates than others, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they will consistently earn you more money.
You might end up making more money if you consistently earn 1% cashback from all purchases you make than if you make 20% cashback from a select few special items.
Dosh offers up to 10% cashback, but this isn’t guaranteed for all items, while Pei offers 1% consistently across everything. Cashback apps can seem like a minefield, which it’s best to test out a few before you get an idea of which are the most profitable for you.
The best cashback app for you to use varies between individuals.
There are a few factors to take into consideration:
- The type of products you buy most often.
- Whether you tend to buy high-value or low-value items.
- If you have many store loyalty cards.
- How much time you’re willing to spend searching for offers, scanning receipts, and completing activities.
- Would you prefer to earn cash, or are you happy to receive gift cards instead?
If you eat out a lot, then Groupon might work best for you, while if you only spend significant sums of money at the grocery store, you’d be better off choosing a site tailored to this – such as Fetch Rewards.
Likewise, if you only buy low-value items, it’s not going to be worth it for you to manually look for special cashback offers since you’re not going to be able to make much money back.
It’s recommended that you try out various different cashback sites before committing to just one. Sometimes it’s possible to ‘stack’ cashback offers by getting cashback multiple times off the same product, so you don’t necessarily have to choose between different providers, but this is variable and won’t always work.
What Apps Pay You For Receipts?
There are a few ways to obtain cashback on your purchases – with some websites, it’s as easy as linking your loyalty cards or credit cards so that all your spending automatically leads to cashback, while other apps use cashback portals.
However, one of the most common ways to receive cashback is by taking a photo of your receipt and uploading it onto the app.
This can be too time-consuming for some people, but it only takes a few minutes and is easy enough once you make it a part of your routine after the weekly grocery shop.
The following apps will pay you for scanning your receipts:
So, Which Cash Back App Is For You?
Earning cash back on your purchases is a great way to make some extra money. It might not seem like too much at first, but it’s something you can do with almost no effort – some of the websites and apps on this list let you earn money simply by installing a browser extension or linking your credit card to a website.
What could be easier than that?
It can seem overwhelming to see all the different websites at first, but once you test a few out, you’ll figure out which ones work best for you and your lifestyle.