Receiving cashback on items that you already purchase can benefit everybody. As most of you know, during my debt payoff journey, I found different ways to increase my income so I could reach my financial goals quicker. During this time, I taught myself how to do photography, which later allowed me to make extra debt payments.
Another thing that I implemented during this time was the use of rewards apps and websites. I quickly realized that by using these apps, I was able to get cashback and other rewards from items that I already purchase. Today, I want to share with you some of the ways to make your dollars go further with cashback or rewards apps and websites that I use.
How Do Cash Back Apps Work?
After downloading the app or installing the browser extension, you will need to create an account. Once you create an account, you’ll be able to start uploading and scanning your receipts.
These apps and websites are supported by brands and stores that are happy to pay in exchange for having traffic directed to their sites and shops. Similar to advertising on TV, radio or the internet, or the cashback rewards or incentive programs – these businesses win customers by offering a percentage back of the total amount spent shopping.
Given that you are going to shop, it makes total sense to see a percentage returned, right?
Here Are Some Popular Cash Back Apps
Since there’s a vast number of cashback apps and websites, some of which aren’t eligible, I’ve decided to narrow your choices down to the best cashback apps of this year. All of these apps and websites also use high-level security to ensure personal data and sensitive information are well protected.
Ibotta is considered one of the best cashback apps for grocery shopping and has partnered with multiple big names, including Walmart, Target, CVS, and Sam’s Club. It also has partnerships with Publix and Kroger.
How Ibotta works
Download the app on your phone, or head over to their website and create an account.
To use the app, click on the “offers” button and decide what you’re going to buy. Scroll through the cashback offerings and hit the “plus” button to add an item. Sometimes you will need to complete a short task when adding an item with a cashback offer, such as watching a short video or answering a poll question.
If your grocery store has a loyalty card, and you link it to the app, your rewards will post automatically. If you are unable to link a card, then simply snap a photo of your receipt and upload it through the app.
You will receive a notification within 72 hours saying that your receipt successfully uploaded to your account. Once you reach a $20 threshold in your cashback account, you can link your bank account and get paid. Sign up for Ibotta today and start earning cashback rewards now.
Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) is a browser extension that works in the background to make sure you are aware of cash back opportunities when you shop online.
How Rakuten works
When you install the Cash Back Button (Rakuten’s browser extension), it continually works in the background, and even alerts you to cashback opportunities when you are checking out shopping sites online.
A message will pop up letting you know how much cashback you can earn – this is important because you must activate the savings if you plan to shop on the site.
Rakuten works with a wide range of retailers — more than 2,500 vendors, including Amazon, Walmart, Belk, Shoes.com, and Old Navy.
Recent offers ranged from 2 to 15% cashback; however, do some research on the site because some great offers pay up to 40% cashback! There are two ways to receive your rewards: A Big Fat Check sent to you, or a deposit to your bank account. Sign up for Rakuten and save.
Drop’s points system allows you to receive gift cards, which spend like cash at particular retailers. When you receive your rewards from Drop, you can use them at several places, like Amazon, Dunkin Donuts, Whole Foods, and Starbucks. You can also use them for services like Uber and Grubhub.
How Drop Works
When you set up your account, Drop will ask you to pick five favorite stores. You will need to choose carefully, as you cannot change these options. When you are deciding on your companies, consider three things:
- Which ones will you shop frequently?
- How many points will you receive?
- How much do you think you will spend with each one?
You want to make sure you are selecting companies where you will shop so you can get a decent reward. Once you decide on your companies, you can start shopping those stores and begin receiving cashback rewards and offers.
When you shop at your selected merchants, your points will be collected automatically. You’ll earn points based on what you buy and where you buy it from, with 1,000 points equaling a dollar.
Drop recently introduced “Flash Deals” as a way to earn even more rewards. Flash Deals are limited-time deals, designed for you based on your shopping habits. They are on a first come, first served basis. Drop will show you a deal, it’s up to you to take advantage of it. They are personalized and designed for you to get you more points. Sign up for the Drop app and start earning your rewards!
Once you install Honey’s web browser extension, it will automatically find coupons for items you purchase online. It is similar to Rakuten’s browser extension. It is free, and the extension works with Chrome, Safari (for IOS), and Firefox. A bonus comes in the form of Amazon gift cards once you spend a certain amount.
How It Works
Honey makes discounted online shopping a breeze, as there is no need for time-consuming searches — the process is automated. It also offers helpful information like the lowest prices currently on Amazon, and it provides a convenient price tracker to alert shoppers on price drops.
Once you have accrued 1,000 Honey Gold points, you can opt gift cards from thousands of retailers. Sephora, Target, Nike, and Lowes are just a few of the businesses that participate.
Go to the Honey website, click on the retailer of your choice, and specify how much gold you wish to turn into credit for the retailer. You will receive an e-gift card within 24-48 hours of redeeming your Honey Gold Points.
5. Mr. Rebates
Mr. Rebates is one of the most established coupon sites on the market. Launched in 2002, this company has relationships with industry giants like Macy's, Amazon, and eBay, as well as over 3,000 more stores.
How It Works
Install the Mr. Rebates Android or Apple app for free to sign up on your phone. You can also sign up for an account through their website. Either way, the savings are worth the few minutes it takes to sign up for a Mr. Rebates account.
If you have a large social circle, Mr. Rebates has a generous referral program. That said, if you have a large number of family and friends willing to sign up too, this could lead to a nice cashback scenario. Sign up for Mr. Rebates to start earning.
Mr. Rebates gives you the option to cash out 12 times a year – this is a huge benefit for those wishing to see a swift return of cashback.
With 11 million members, many see TopCashback as one of the most generous cashback sites. With a program that offers over 4,000 brands and up to 40% in cashback rewards, you should consider this one to help save money.
By relying on ads and sponsorships for revenue, the website passes on the savings to their members. They also have a $10 referral program and multiple ways to get paid: PayPal, direct deposit, or an Amazon gift card.
How It Works
Signing up is easy and free: just go to the TopCashBack website, or download the free app on your Android or iOS phone.
With TopCashBack, you can get coupon codes to save money, along with cashback rewards. There is no minimum payout. Also, enjoy referral bonuses when you send your friends to sign up with TopCashBack.
HoneyGain allows you to earn money by installing an application on your computer. It is currently available on Android and Windows on your computer. You are allowing companies to use your unused internet service.
How It Works
HoneyGain is a true source of passive income with no work required whatsoever after installing the application. There is also the option to participate in paid surveys for additional earning.
HoneyGain is one of the easiest ways to make money. All earnings are deposited into your PayPal account.
If you share 10 GB of internet service a day, HoneyGain estimates you will earn about $30 a month. If you are streaming movies and your connection seems slow, you can pause HoneyGain to free up bandwidth.
8. Fetch Rewards
Fetch Rewards allows you to earn rewards points by scanning your receipts. It is currently available on Android and Apple devices. They work directly with popular brands to save you money on different products every day.
How It Works
Using the app is quick and easy. Scan your grocery receipts from any grocery store (you can also scan gas receipts), earn rewards points, and redeem your rewards points for your choice of hundreds of available rewards. You can now earn points for online purchases, such as Walmart, Amazon, and Costco. All you have to do is connect your email to the app by clicking on the blue eReceipt button anytime you have a receipt in your inbox to scan.
To earn rewards, simply go to the rewards center on the app, search rewards by different categories (charity donations, gift cards, etc), and select the value. As you accumulate points with each scanned receipt, you'll be able to redeem more rewards. All rewards are redeemed as electronic cards, so the process is very fast.
Download the app now and use the code “TBMOM” when you sign up and you'll get 2,000 bonus points after scanning your first receipt.
Wikibuy, a service of Capital One, is a powerful — and free — online shopping tool that does so many things to make sure you are always saving money. You can really just set it and forget, and Wikibuy will hang out in the background always prepared to alert you to savings, cash back opportunities, and money-saving coupon codes.
How it works
The magic of Wikibuy rests with its browser extension. When you sign up on your computer, you will be asked if you want to install the browser extension, trust me, you do. You can also download the Wikibuy app to use on your phone, but it works differently than on your computer.
Wikibuy's browser extension hangs out in the background when you are online. When you shop Amazon, it will let you know if the price of an item you are looking at is the lowest. If not, then it will tell you where you can find it cheaper. If you visit an online store, Wikibuy will alert you to any cash back rewards or potential coupon codes.
A friend of mine shared a story that he was at the office and decided to have pizza delivered instead of going out for lunch. He ordered from one of the national pizza chains. He forgot Wikibuy was installed, and when it was time to submit his order for pizza, Wikibuy popped up asking if he wanted it to search for any promotional codes. He clicked yes, and Wikibuy found a code that saved him $4.
Wikibuy says people who shop online three times a month save more than $200 a year. If you have a Capital One credit card (you know, the one you pay off every month and don't carry a balance), you can link it to earn a percentage back on purchases from its partner stores.
Wikibuy is a neat online shopping tool that is always working to save you money. Sign up for Wikibuy so you will always find the best deals.
These cashback programs are not going to make you rich. However, it is a way to keep a little more of your income. Every little bit helps.
As you consider these, please do not spend more than you were going to. The main goal is to get money back for purchases you were already going to make.