Back before I had kids, I used to be fairly into couponing. I couponed allllll the time. Then Dominic was born and my time, energy, and desire to coupon went way down. So I set it aside for a while. Until I stumbled upon a great invention: rebate apps.
Rebate apps are apps on your phone that rewards you with money for buying certain things. It’s like an after the fact coupon. And it’s so easy. The gist for most of them is that you scan the barcode of what you bought, scan your receipt, and then wait for them to verify it. It’s simple, I’m not fumbling for coupons at the check out, and they can often be paired with each other. Best of all – I can wait and see what I’ve actually bought before I do this. And all of these apps are free! Unlike the times I would occasionally buy a paper (sometimes even multiple copies) for the coupons.
But today I’m here to share with you all the rebate apps that I use, how I use them, and the best features of each. I hope to keep this post up to date if any new apps are released in the future! As a bonus, I’ll include some helpful store specific apps at the bottom as well as one bonus not-app that you should know about. All of these apps are available in the Apple iTunes store – they may or may not be available for Android also. On some of the apps, I’ve included my referral link as well, but I have always disclosed where I have.
How It Works: Buy products from their offers list, upload your receipt, and they’ll give you credit for any eligible purchases. Offers are available for one week, starting at 12:00 AM on Thursday.
Cash Out Options: Will mail you a paper check when you hit $20
Store Specific? No, if it sells the eligible product, you can scan the receipt from there.
Best for: Shoppers who don’t want to shop at a specific store, patient people, personal care items
My experience with it: A lot of the brands are really obscure to me and I haven’t seen them or found them when I look. Although recently they have had more offers from Kellogg’s. It’s taken me a while to earn money with it, but I just received my first rewards check in the mail around Christmas time.
How It Works: Select your offer, scan the barcode and then receipt, and then request your offer.
Cash Out Options: Sends money directly to your PayPal with each offer redeemed. I believe there is also an option to have it sent directly to your bank account as well.
Store Specific? No, if it sells the eligible product, you can scan the receipt from there.
Best for: People who want their rebates right away
My experience with it: This app doesn’t always have a lot of offers, but I love getting my rebate right away.
Try It Here: You can download Shopmium and right now if you enter my referral code: HKHHKATP they’ll give you an offer for a free Lindt Chocolate bar (they’ll rebate you the amount that it costs) and I’ll get $2. Who could go wrong with free chocolate, right?
How It Works: Scan your receipt and you can earn coins (redeemable for dollars) and spins (chances to win more coins) for it. The more weeks you scan, the more bonus spins and coins you can earn.
Cash Out Options: Can redeem coins for Amazon gift card or Paypal. The rewards are a tiered system, so the longer you save them, the more bang for your buck you get. (Example: 1000 coins is $5 but $10 is only 1800 coins.)
Store Specific? No, they’ll take a wide variety of stores – some non-food included. They’ll either give you coins or spins depending on the receipts and recently started offering sweepstakes entries for every receipt.
Best for: People who don’t want to futz with specific items or stores.
My experience with it: I really like this app because it’s so easy to use. I can use this every week regardless of where I shop or what I by. I love the idea of spins – they add a little fun to it. And they reward you for the more often you add receipts, which is nice also. They do this through their level system and every time you move up a level, you earn either spins or coins. You also earn additional spins based on the challenges of the month. I’m currently at 2342 coins (screenshot taken earlier than I finished this post! haha)
Try It Here: You can download Receipt Hog and using my referral code: ruk80599 you’ll get 5 free spins after you snap your first receipt and I’ll get 10 as well.
How It Works: With Saving Star there are two options, depending on the store. Stores with loyalty program cards, you can add the card to your Saving Star account and any time you buy one of the offers on your list and scan your card, you’ll earn the rebate for it. Recently they added receipts and now you have the option to scan your receipt as well, after scanning the barcode of your item.
Cash Out Options: You can send it to your Paypal, your bank account, or donate it to charity after you hit $5.
Store Specific? Yes, but offers a wide variety of stores.
Best for: People who like a lot of well-known brand names like General Mills, Yoplait, Little Debbie, etc.
My experience with it: I like this one for familiar brands that I grew up with. I’ve saved $42.57. My rewards stagnated for a while when they didn’t accept some of the stores I was shopping at the most, but now that they accept receipts and not just rewards cards, I’m back to using this one again. I like that they always offer a freebie every week and I like that they always offer 20% off a healthy food (usually a fruit or a vegetable).
How It Works: Ibotta also works through either your loyalty cards or receipts. It has offers – some that are available to all stores and some that are only available at certain stores. For almost every rebate you have to complete small actions – take a poll or watch a short video for example. For loyalty cards, just scan your card after adding the rebate to your list and then you are good to go. On receipt stores, you scan the barcodes and then the receipts – for some stores you can even just scan the QR code and they will find the receipt data automatically. Also offers bonuses on a regular basis if you meet certain conditions.
Cash Out Options: $10 minimum, but offers a wide variety of options, including iTunes, PayPal, Amazon, Starbucks, and more.
Store Specific? Yes, but offers a wide variety of stores – including Costco and stores that are not grocery stores.
Best for: This one wins my seal of Best Rebate App Overall. If you only wanted to download one app, I would recommend this one (assuming they have the store you shop at the most).
My experience with it: My lifetime earnings with Ibotta are $169.55 – so this is clearly the app I do the best with. It’s also the app I’ve been using the longest. I love the several “any brand” rebates they have on items we commonly buy (current offerings include carrots, red bell peppers, broccoli, bacon, eggs, veggie dip, and club soda, among other things) and the bonuses they offer.
Try It Here: Sign up for Ibotta and when you use that link (my referral) you’ll get a bonus if you redeem your first rebate within two weeks of sign up and I’ll get $2. That link should have my referral code built-in, but if, for whatever reason, you need it again, it’s 9sd5a.
Snap! by Groupon
How It Works: Scan your receipt and then select the offers you have on that receipt.
Cash Out Options: You can request a check when you hit $20.
Store Specific? No, but they do have quite a few that are available at Walmart only.
Best for: Wal-Mart shoppers, pet owners
My experience with it: I had a lot of success with it in the beginning, but I haven’t recently had too many offers that I was able to find in store or that were useful to me. (Example: We have no need for dog food.) I’ve been slow to earn money on this one also – my current balance is $13.30, so I have never been able to cash out.
Try It Here: You can find it here – if you use this referral link, I’ll get $1.
Find & Save
How It Works: You can upload receipts at certain stores and then they will give you either a dollar amount or a percentage of your total purchase. Includes grocery stores but also clothing stores, dollar stores, restaurants, and so on.
Cash Out Options: Paypal when you reach $25.
Store Specific? Yes, only certain stores are eligible, but the stores and offers change on a regular basis. So maybe this week the store you shop at doesn’t have an offer, but maybe next week they do.
Best for: Clothing shoppers, people who spend a lot in one trip
My experience with it: I don’t have a ton of experience with it yet, since it’s new to me. But I like that it’s based on a percentage, though I wish there were ways to favorite your favorite stores and have them show up at the top of the list if there are new offers.
Try It Here: Right now, if you sign up with my code QTZH I’ll get $3.
How It Works: Shrink has multiple features. There are both points you can earn that you can cash out for money as well as cash rebates. Some are open-ended any brand items and others are for specific brands. Sometimes you can earn both points and money for an item. You can also earn points sometimes by liking on Facebook or other actions.
Cash Out Options: The rebates you can cash out using Paypal or Venmo when you reach $10. The points are a little different. The Shrink points you can cash out for money, the brand specific points you can cash out for various offers from the brands, like 75 cents off or one free item.
Store Specific? No
Best for: People who buy more natural and organic products
My experience with it: I have been slow to accumulate money and points with it (currently at $8.55), but I like that they usually have at least one or two offers on fresh food that is not tied to any brands. A lot of the organic/natural brands though can be hard to find and/or they wouldn’t appeal to my family.
Try It Here: I’ll earn $2 if you use my referral code DNZOGZ
How It Works: Similar to some of the others, you can complete actions for rebates – including writing reviews. This app’s slogan is “Eat healthy. Get paid.” So they focus on primarily health foods – natural/organic/non-GMO/etc.
Cash Out Options: You can transfer to Paypal at $5 or pick a gift card (amounts vary, starting at $5)
Store Specific? No, occasionally will have Amazon offers too.
Best for: People who are into natural/organic/non-GMO foods
My experience with it: I have had this app on my phone for a while but usually can’t use it. Either the products don’t appeal to my family or I can’t find the brands at the store. But for someone who shops at somewhere like Whole Foods, this app might be perfect.
Try It Here: I earn $2 if you sign up using my referral link.
How It Works: Cartwheel is not technically a rebate app, but it can be useful for saving money. You can add a wide variety of coupons to use at Target and the cashier scans your barcode at check out to use them. You’re limited to a certain number of coupons you can add based on a variety of factors (really, I don’t know how they determine it, but I know you can get more for certain actions). You can browse the coupons or scan the barcodes of items to see if any available offers pop up.
Cash Out Options: N/A – your barcode is scanned at check out.
Store Specific? Yes, Cartwheel is only for Target.
Best for: Target shoppers
My experience with it: My total savings earned has been $15.31. I don’t feel like I ever really save big with this app, but if I’m already going to Target anyways, not using it seems kind of silly.
How It Works: I mention the Walmart app for one key feature – the Savings Catcher. With the Savings Catcher, you scan the QR code or type in the number from your receipt. Then it looks for prices that are lower from stores around you. It doesn’t check every item (store brand items being one example), but it will check many of them.
Cash Out Options: Walmart Gift card or Bluebird card
Store Specific? Yes, Savings Catcher is only for Walmart.
Best for: Walmart Shoppers
My experience with it: This app is by far the most effortless one to use. You don’t always earn huge, but you earn whatever amount the difference they find is – no matter how small. Small change adds up and then I don’t have to worry as much about shopping around for the best deal. I’ve earned $28.05 so far.
How It Works: I’ve included the Meijer app for the ease it brings in checking your mPerks account. I love mPerks and it is a great program. They recently built a Meijer near us, so I’m sorry if this is all old news to you, but it’s the first one we’ve ever had available in our area 😉 mPerks has two functions – the coupons you can clip and the rewards section. The coupons vary a lot – some weeks they are just okay, but other times they will have 5% of all grocery items or a money off a certain purchase amount and those are the ones that save me the most. The rewards section offers you money back on certain purchase amounts – and most of the time these are cumulative. Right now I have a $6 off my next shopping trip waiting for me after I spent $175 in total purchases (cumulative – which means I did not have to spend those all in one transaction, but that’s an amount that’s easy to reach in a few weeks of groceries for a family of 4). They also have rewards in different categories – sometimes tied to brands (right now there is a Yoplait reward), sometimes tied to category – right now I have a reward after I spend a certain amount on baby items.
Cash Out Options: N/A, they are just coupons (or credits in the case of rewards) to Meijer.
Store Specific? Yes, for Meijer.
Best for: Meijer Shoppers
My experience with it: I really love the mPerks program, especially with the personalized rewards. It breaks down how much you’ve saved and I’ve looked – since July 26th, when I signed up, I’ve saved $11.15 with mPerks alone since January 1st and I saved over $60 last year (and they only opened in July). I know part of this is due to the great grand opening deals and that the coupons will never be this good again, but I still feel like mPerks is totally worth it.
So, there you have it! Tons of great app options for you to save money. Do you know of any other apps out there along these lines? I’d love to try them out and share all the details with my readers! Do you use any rebate apps regularly? Do you like rebate apps? Let me know your experience with them!
This post is linked up to SHINE Blog Hop, From House to Home, and This Is How We Roll.