Everyone likes saving money. Savvy shoppers get an extra boost and save a little more on each of their purchases..
There are a number of sites and apps on the market that will help you get more bang for your buck when making your next shopping purchase. They do this by offering coupons or cash back rebates on certain purchases from different stores.
Websites such as Ebates, Mr. Rebates, iGive, and UPromise all offer great deals in coupon shopping, rebates, and guided information regarding keeping the cash in your wallet…
This Guide is intended to break down the things you should consider when choosing the best cash back and rebate shopping app to use, and then give some recommendations on which might be the best for you.
If you’d rather skip the guide and get down to the good stuff, use this link to:
Full Guide: What to Consider When Selecting Your Best Rebate Shopping App
Will you be using this mostly for online shopping or for groceries as well?
Some rebate apps are better for grocery shopping and others are better for online or general shopping. You can sign up for two different apps or look for one that best fits ‘most’ of your needs…
I personally would recommend choosing only one and sticking with it just because it’s easier to keep track of that way.
If you do plan on using this app for groceries, be sure to check out our article on the Best Grocery Rebate Apps for 2018 too.
Is there a website and app? Or just one of the two?
While a website might be nice if you like to shop online from your computer, an app is more convenient for many people.
Most rebate companies have both a website and app but some only have one or the other.
Most of us today have smartphones, which are very convenient in so many ways. When you’re out and about shopping it’s nice to access your rewards and look at offers.
Is there a welcome bonus when signing up for the app or site?
Most of these companies do offer a welcome bonus. But many of them also have stipulations on the welcome bonuses. Some require that you need to reach a certain goal, or link a debit card. You’ll want to check on what you need to do in order to receive your welcome bonus.
Is the app real, safe and legit? Is it a scam?
Before choosing a site or app, you should look into whether it is safe. You won’t want to use something that might steal your personal info, or be likely to be hacked. You also want to choose a company that will actually pay you like they promise.
How does the app work at different stores? How big is their selection of stores?
You’ll want to see how it works at different stores. Some stores might offer coupons through that site, or they may give you cash back. Some companies even have wait periods before they can pay you.
A company with a large store selection is helpful too. This way, you’ll earn more rewards since you will have more options on where to shop at.
Does the App work for hotels and travel?
Some of these sites and apps will help you save money on hotels and traveling. You should see how it works with reserving hotels and booking flights. This can be a serious way to save money, especially if you tend to travel a lot for work or leisure.
How does the app make money? How do Most Apps like this make money?
Most of these apps make money from the stores you shop at. These stores pay the apps and sites to basically persuade you to shop at them by offering cash back and other rewards.
The sites and apps then split that profit with you. It’s actually a win win situation for the sites and apps. Many people like getting cash back, so they use these services which makes the company money as well.
Does the app have a refer a friend or referral program?
Many of these sites offer referral rewards. This means you can earn cash for each friend that you refer to their service. There are also rules and restrictions to earn these rewards usually.
Some of the rules are that you can’t get your rewards until your friend earns so many rewards. Or that your friend can’t already have an existing account. You’ll want to check what the rules are to the referral programs.
Does the app offer credit card and gift cards?
These apps and sites might offer payouts to your bank account, through paypal, or gift cards. The gift card option might be nice a nice option for some people. You can get them and give them as gifts.
Does the site or app have a browser extension for online shopping?
This is important if you want to earn cash back by shopping online. This means that the site or app will take you directly to the online site to shop. This helps track your purchases so you can earn your money back.
What are some complaints or real things people are saying about the app?
Most of the time, online reviews are pretty accurate. Many people are honest about their reviews online, especially when they aren’t pleased with a service. These reviews can help you get an idea of the company.
Why it’s important to look at an app’s security and history of being hacked
Many of these sites ask for basic information, such as your email, maybe your birthday or address. Some even allow you to link your bank account, PayPal account, or debit cards. With this private information, you want to make sure they keep your information secure so no one steals your identity. You can easily look online to see if they’ve ever had any security issues.
How good is an app or site’s customer service?
It’s next to impossible to find a company that has perfect customer service. But this is where reviews can be helpful. The main thing most people complain about is a company’s customer service team.
If they had an issue and customer service wasn’t helpful or didn’t respond, many people will leave a review about that. You want to choose a site or app that has good customer service, just in case you do have an issue at some point.
Does the app work in the usa and/or canada (ca)?s
If you live in the USA or Canada, you want to make sure it will work where you live. It can be upsetting to try and earn rewards, only to find out you can’t redeem them in your area.
How easy is the app to use? Do I need to collect receipts with this app?
You’ll want to choose an app that is easy to use. Some of the sites and apps require you to scan or take pictures of receipts to confirm your purchases. If you don’t like saving receipts, you may want to choose one that doesn’t require it.
It should be easy to verify your purchases and redeem your rewards. That’s what makes most of these apps so great. They give you your money with minimal work.
Is there an annual fee with this app?
Always check if there is annual fee to use a site. It may not be worth it if there is. What if you only redeem enough rewards to cover the annual fee? Or if you don’t redeem enough rewards that the fee costs you more? You may want to look for a service that is completely free.
Does the app or site cash back work in physical brick and morter stores?
While online shopping can be very convenient in most cases, there are still brick and mortar stores. A lot of people still primarily shop at physical stores, so you should make sure they have offers for these stores as well as online shopping. This will give you more chances to earn money and rewards.
Does the app have a policy for if you forget to use them once you’ve bought your item?
Let’s say you make a purchase, but forget to use the app. What if they had a good cash back offer? You may want to see if there is a way to confirm your purchase if you forgot to use them during your purchase. If not, you will want to get accustomed to using them with your purchases.
How do returns work on the app or site?
If you buy something and don’t like it, or it doesn’t fit, you usually will return it. But how will this work if you’ve already received cash back from the app or site? You will want to check their rules and terms of service. Some companies will just take your cash back for that purchase out of your account balance.
How easy is it to sign up?
You’ll want to choose an app or site that is easy to use and sign up. No one wants to spend an hour signing up for a service. Most of the time, they will just ask for basic information before you can start using their service.
Our Favorite Cash Back and Rebate Shopping Apps
I’ve done a lot of reviews of different cash back apps and websites, and found these three to be my favorite.
I like these three because of the breadth of shopping choices they support and because they often have the best discounts to the stores I use.
This company was started in 1998 by two District Attorneys.
The website offers 21 categories for shopping, including Baby & Kids, Clothing, and Music & Movies.
In order to get any rebates or coupons, one must set up a free membership through the website. Upon doing so, a member has instant access to savings. Simply select a category and see the websites that provide a certain percentage of cash back.
For example, if a person is interested in purchasing toys, and a toy store is offering 8% cash back on all purchases, a member must click on the website offered through Ebates. Ebates will take note, adding an 8% total of whatever is spent to the member’s account. It’s that simple. Four times a year or more, Ebates will send a check to the member via snail mail or directly to his or her Paypal account. If a member chooses to do so, Ebates will also donate the rebate to the member’s favorite charity.
There is also a section at the bottom of Ebates entitled “Ebates Daily Double”. Here resides a section for those companies who have doubled their rebate value. Taking a look at the Daily Double provides an excellent opportunity for saving.
Ebates is a great option if you like to do a lot of online shopping. Ebates is a good option because they have both a website and an app. They have different offers on each though. So you can get great deals if you use both.
Also be sure to check out our articles on:
Ibotta is another company that can be helpful. They have a wide range of stores that you can choose from. You can also upload receipts to redeem and verify purchases. This app is very easy to use.
3. Mr. Rebates
How it Works:
Mr. Rebates, launched in 2002, offers 2000+ online stores to shop from. The Better Business Bureau gives this site an A+ rating.
Similar to Ebates, Mr. Rebates encompasses the same saving concept. However, Mr. Rebates adds a number of categories to its shopping list, for instance: Automotive, Garden, and Green Shopping.
Typically, the rebate confirmation will only take 3-5 business days through this website. However, it may take up to 30 in some cases. Choosing a category through this site will not only provide what coupons are available, but the cash back percentage. Mr. Rebates also has the option of friend referral, offering more money to those friends accepting the request, and using the service.
Others to Consider..
Paribus is different from the other apps on this list. It doesn’t offer you cash back by shopping. Instead, they help you get partial refunds. Did you know that some stores will give you money back if you purchased something and it drops in price within a certain time frame?
Paribus tracks your online purchases and looks for price drops to get you money back! Paribus asks for permission to access your emails to keep track of order confirmations. They only access those types of emails. They don’t just go through all of your emails.
They also ask for your credit card information. You may ask why, well it’s for a good reason. Some stores don’t offer price matches when an item drops in price. But did you know some credit card companies will actually help refund you money if the store doesn’t?
You give Paribus this information so they can either file a claim with the store or your credit card company. This gives you a lot of chances to earn money back when the price drops.
Swagbucks offers a lot of different ways for you to earn cash back. You can usually earn up to 20% cash back on some online purchases. You won’t always get 20%, so you’ll want to read the fine print on each offer.
They also offer surveys, videos, and searching rewards. You can earn money for taking online surveys, watching videos, or searching the web. It takes a while for these rewards to add up, but it is extra money.
Dosh is a mobile app that gives you cash back on purchases. One thing most people don’t like is that it needs to be linked to your credit or debit card. This is so they can confirm your purchases and give you your cash back.
Dosh doesn’t have a large selection of stores though. And their offers change quite frequently. You may want to check their offers to see if it would be a good fit for you.
Befrugal is a website only cashback opportunity. They started out as just having coupons to help people save money and then expanded to cashback offers as well. They still offer coupons though.
They have a large selection of stores that they provide coupons for or cashback. For each friend you refer, you can get $15. Overall, this is a good option if you don’t mind only using a website.
Some downsides include spam mail and taking a while for rewards. Once you sign up with them, you might start to receive spam mail from different third parties. There are also some items that don’t qualify for cash back.
Mrrebates is another website that offers you cash back. They have over 2,500 retailers online that you can shop for cash back. They don’t have a mobile app at this time though.
You can sometimes earn up to 30% cashback on certain items. One great thing about this option is that they offer you 20% of what your referrals make.
So if you refer a friend and they earn $100, you get $20 since you referred them. This is one of the best referral programs since you get paid more than once. Every time your friend receives money, so do you.
This is another website that you can use for cash back offers. They usually have a lot of offers for you to choose from. But unfortunately, some of their offers are lower than other options on this list.
Cashcrate offers you different ways to earn money. You can do surveys and complete offers. Some offers are free and easy, like sign up on a website. Some offers require you to subscribe to something or pay for a product. Unfortunately, sometimes their payout is small.
Just like Ebates and Mr. Rebates, iGive allows a member to set up an account, taking advantage of many shopping opportunities. However, this site adds its own little flair. Upon setting up an account, a member will be asked which cause he or she would like money donated to. For example, if a person wants to rescue retired greyhounds, iGive will donate the rebates acquired to whichever greyhound rescue charity the member chooses. An excellent source for charities who need funds, iGive provides extra funds for those needing it most.
This site, like the others, transforms rebates, providing them to those seeking out a college education in the future. Here, a member may choose a budding child, be it a daughter or son, grandchild, or niece or nephew, and put the rebate money aside, saving it for that child’s college education.
Each of these sites provides a great deal of savings; the perfect way to keep cash in your pocket or the ideal way to donate to those you feel need it most.
Any of the above options are great, depending on your preferences and what you need from a cash back site. You can also sign up for every option on the list above, giving you more chances to earn money.
Just remember, none of these will give you enough money to quit your job. But you can earn quite a bit of money to have extra spending cash, or save up for holidays and birthdays.