Easy ways to earn cash back on purchases.
Who likes free money??? You better be raising your hand right now! I LOVE free money, and I’m pretty sure you love it too! And guess what! You can earn FREE MONEY just by shopping how you normally would! SAY WHAT?!?! All it takes is a free app, a receipt, and a few clicks of a button. This has been part of my shopping routine for YEARS and I have earned HUNDREDS of dollars on items I would have spent money on anyways. Today, I want to share with you the best cash back apps so that you too can earn free money! (you’re welcome)
How Do Cash Back Apps Work?
Cash back apps are essentially rebates given to you when you make qualifying purchases. You buy a product, show proof of purchase by scanning your receipt into the app, and then are rewarded with a small amount of cash back. (done and done!)
The apps are free to use and easy to learn.
I am a member of online affiliate programs. I will receive compensation from clicks on my links. All opinions are my own.
Cash Back Apps Dos and Don’ts
I want to start with a word of caution. I do believe that there is a right way and wrong way to use cash back apps. When I first started using these apps I spent more money than I should have….because I wanted the cash back. I bought items I never would have bought, just because they were on the app. I quickly learned that I wasn’t using these rebate apps in the most frugal way. Here are a few cash back apps dos and don’ts to help you get started.
- Check each cash back app after every shopping trip. You won’t always get cash back, but it’s worth checking!
- Make your meal plan and shopping list BEFORE looking at the rebates offered on the app.
- Use multiple cash back apps for each receipt.
- Share the app with your friends (most will offer you extra cash for sharing the app with friends).
- Buy something only because you could earn cash back from that purchase.
- Download the app with good intentions and then forget to use it! Always use it for best chances of cash back earnings!
- Forget to cash out your earnings. Every app will have different payout limits. Don’t leave that money just sitting there, request the cash when the time is right, and use it!
Cash Back Apps Only Offer Name Brand Rebates: FALSE
One of the common misconceptions of cash back apps is that it is only available for name brand products.
This isn’t true.
Yes, there are many name brand products offered as rebates on all cash back apps. But all of them also offer “any brand” items. This means that you get money back for buying anything! It doesn’t matter the brand!
One more word about name brand products. A lot of name brand products go on sale regularly. This is a GREAT time to buy something for a cheap price, and then use your cash back apps to get an even BIGGER discount.
So, just because there are a lot of name brand items on the app, does not mean it isn’t frugal. It just means you need to be intentional with each and every purchase to make sure you are shopping smartly and frugally.
Cash Back Apps Only Offer Junk Food Rebates: FALSE
Another common misconception of cash back apps is that they only offer rebates on junk food.
This is just not true. Yes, there are a lot of processed food available as rebates within the app.
But, they also offer rebates on fresh foods and other items. Today in my cash back apps I see rebates for body wash, laundry detergent, diapers, pet food, pork chops, walnuts, butter, and much more!
The Best Cash Back Apps
Now, let’s get to the apps! Here are my favorite cash back apps that I use on a regular basis. Most offer a cash bonus just for trying it out! So it’s worth trying just to see if you like it or not!
The first cash back app I ever tried was Ibotta, it also happens to be one of my very favorites and most popular app out there.
Ibotta offers a huge selection of rebates. I have earned cash back on a wide selection of products, including milk, apples, pantry staples, broccoli, beauty and household items.
One of my favorite things about Ibotta though is that they offer cash back on what they call “any brand” items. For example, today they are having rebates on any brand of yogurt or diapers that you buy. So you can buy your favorite brand, and get some money back at the same time.
Plus, they always offer a small cash back on “any item.” So, I can buy anything in the store, and earn some money back.
Ibotta is super easy to use!
- Just shop like you normally would.
- Check the app for any rebates you earned.
- Click on the qualifying items you purchased.
- Scan your receipt.
- Your cash back is instantly put into your Ibotta account. Easy Peasy!
You can request your cash once you reach $20. I usually get it deposited into my paypal account, but you can also redeem it for gift cards!
***Bonus: Sign up for Ibotta using this link to get up to $20 bonus!
2. Checkout 51
Checkout 51 is very similar to ibotta. It works as a rebate program where you shop, scan your receipt and will instantly be rewarded cash back on qualifying purchases. You can even scan the same receipt using both Checkout 51 and Ibotta (yaaay!).
Checkout 51 does not offer a huge selection of cash back offers. Because of this I don’t earn a lot of money with this app. I still can earn a few bucks every month and it’s definitely worth my time to scan.
Once you reach $20 in your account you can request your cash back check.
Rakuten offers you cashback when you shop through their link at participating realtors. You will find just about all online stores including, Kohls, Ebay, Zulily, Old Navy, Gap, Lowes, etc.
This is also a great travel hack when booking flights or hotels. Popular travel websites like Travelocity are also partners with Rakuten. I never book any travel without first going to the Rakuten website.
It’s so easy to start earning money!
- Download the free app (or use their website)
- Search for the store you want to shop at
- Click on the store link
- You will then be redirected to that store
- Shop as normal including checkout
- After checkout a percentage of the amount you spent will be added to your Rakuten account
A check with your cashback is sent to you ever 3 months. This is one of my fave pieces of mail!
The percentage of cashback you will earn will vary based on the store. It changes frequently too, so it’s good to check often.
**BONUS: Sign up through this link and you can earn an BONUS $30 after you spend your first $30. (hooray!)
4. Fetch Rewards
Probably the easiest cashback app is Fetch Rewards. This app doesn’t technically give you cashback, but it does give you points that you can redeem for gift cards. The gift card options are endless! A few of my fave examples are Target, Amazon, Sephora, Best Buy, and a bunch of fun restaurants.
How it works:
- Download the free Fetch Rewards app
- Grocery shop like you normally do
- Scan your receipt into the Fetch Rewards app
- You will automatically be rewarded points based on what you bought.
One of the best things about Fetch Rewards is that you can start redeeming your gift cards at only $3, and it is so easy to earn that first $3.
All you have to do is download the app here and you will be able to see the gas offers in your area. Choose the offer you want, the offers I’ve received have been anywhere from 15 cents/gallon – 1 cent/gallon cashback. After you select the offer you want to redeem, just go fill up with gas and scan your receipt into the Upside app. It’s all really easy! I’ve been using it for about a year and have earned $50 cash back! Yay!
- Related: Honest Review of Upside
If you aren’t using all 4 of these cash back apps now, I suggest you start ASAP! The way I see it, if you are going to be shopping anyways….you might as well be earning a little cashback along the way!
Don’t forget to pin this article for future reference!
How to use the best cash back apps to earn free money!