After having researched so many ways to live a frugal lifestyle, it’s not uncommon for me to save 10% or more on every purchase. This is mostly because I use apps and websites that will give you cash back for things that you buy. This includes both online and offline shopping.
These 25 apps and websites are primarily divided into 2 categories: receipt scanning apps and cash back portals. Before we dive right into it, below we’ve included a brief description on how each of them work.
See one that’s not on this list and should be? Let us know in the comments below.
Receipt Scanning Apps
Receipts scanning apps are one of the most powerful tools out there for earning cash back on receipts that you save. All you have to do is install the app, take a picture of your receipt through the app, and wait a couple of days to receive cash back. Once you hit a minimum amount, cash out for gift cards or for direct deposits to PayPal.
There are two different types of receipt scanning apps:
- Apps that give you cash back no matter what you buy. As long as you scan the entire receipt, you’re going to earn some cash. Sometimes it depends on where you buy the product, but most of the time it doesn’t.
- Apps that give you cash back on specific items that you purchase. In order for the apps to detect which items you buy, you must have an itemized receipt. You must take a picture of the entire receipt as well.
All of these apps are completely free to use.
Apps That Pay For Scanning Any Receipt
In general, we’ve found that in the first case the cash back amount is slightly lower. However, the great thing about this is that you can literally buy anything at almost any place and receive cash back for it. As long as the picture of your receipt is clear and readable, you’re going to earn your cash back.
For example, let’s say you go to a gas station to fill-up your tank. Keep the receipt and take a picture of it. No matter what the total purchase price (even as little as 10 cents), you’re going to get something out of it.
Apps That Give You Cash Back On Specific Items
In this case, the cash back amount is higher. Expect to earn anywhere from $.25 cents to up to $5 dollars per item scanned. The more expensive the item, the more likely you’re going to earn a high amount of cash back on it.
The only downside with these apps is that you have to take the time to look and see if the item you’re purchasing is listed on the app itself. For example, let’s say you buy a dozen eggs. You have to look specifically for that offer on the app itself, and it has to be for that exact item. There are offers for brand specific and non-brand specific purchases; it all depends on the app that you’re using.
How To Take A Picture Of Your Receipt
When taking a picture of your receipt, you need to make sure it’s clear. A good way to do this is to place it on a flat surface. The receipt needs to include a total purchase price, store location, address, the time and the date of purchase. In order to avoid missing any of these items, we suggest taking a picture of the entire receipt.
We also suggest taking a picture of the receipt as soon as you possibly can. This is because most receipt scanning apps only accept receipts scanned within a certain timeframe, such as within 5 days of your purchase date.
How Is It That These Apps Can Pay Me?
The reason why these apps are able to pay you for uploading your receipt is because they sell the information for market research. Companies use this data to see what products are selling and which are not. Keep in mind that any data that you submit is completely anonymous, meaning they won’t be able to trace the purchases back to you personally.
Stack These Apps For More Cash Back
Just because you scan a receipt with one app doesn’t mean you can’t use it for another. If you see that you can get $.25 cents off of milk on 4 different apps, go ahead and use the same receipt for all 4 apps and quadruple your savings.
Enough of that – let’s get into the list and start earning some cash back.
Ibotta is by far one of the most popular apps on this list. They have a strong reputation for always paying out on time with a high rate of cash back. Earn as little as $.25 cents in cash back to as high as $5 per item scanned.
Not only that, but you also get a $10 bonus after scanning your first receipt within 30 days of registration when you use promotion code qFTVA.
The majority of items that you can earn cash back with on Ibotta is for groceries. However, they’ve been recently expanding to other categories such as electronics, toiletries, prescriptions, and even at restaurants and retail stores.
While Ibotta only gives you cash back on specific items that you buy, the amount of offers is quite substantial. I’d be surprised if you went on a grocery shopping trip and didn’t find at least one of your items as an offer on the app. They’ve even included a new feature that gives you cash back for shopping through one other mobile apps such as Groupon or Best Buy.
Keep in mind that you can claim cash back on more than one item per each receipt scanned. Once you scan a receipt, your cash back should appear within your account anywhere from 24 – 48 hours. You need a minimum of $10 to cash out for gift cards and $20 to cash out for PayPal or Venmo.
Ibotta has one of the most generous referral programs out there. Refer a friend and earn a $5 bonus when they scan their first receipt.
bevRAGE is one of my favorite receipt scanning apps due to what you can earn cash back on. Get cash back on wine, liquor and beer when you buy alcohol at convenience stores, grocery stores and bars. Earn a $2 bonus when you use the promo code FRUGAL when scanning your first receipt.
Half of the time there will be offers on specific brands, and the other half of the time there will be generic offers. For example, you can earn $1 in cash back for any 6-pack of beer or $3 in cash back for any 24-pack. Other times you’ll be required to purchase a specific cocktail, such as a glass of chardonnay.
The best part? It doesn’t matter where you purchase the item, just as long as you take a picture of an itemized receipt with your drink listed on it. Expect on average to earn anywhere from $1 to $3 in cash back. Just be sure to allow them to access your location so that you can view offers in your area. Once you reach a minimum balance of $20, payments are automatically sent to your PayPal account.
Want to earn even more cash with the bevRAGE app? For each friend you refer that uses your promo code, you both earn $2 when they scan their first receipt.
3. Checkout 51
If you’re familiar with Ibotta, then you already have a good idea of how Checkout 51. You get paid to scan receipts with particular items on them. The difference? It doesn’t matter where you buy the product, just as long as it’s listed on the receipt.
Offers from Checkout 51 are updated every Wednesday night at midnight, and usually you can find anywhere from 40 – 50 offers on there at a time. While the offers they do have aren’t that abundant, you can still earn anywhere from around $.25 cents to $3 in cash back per item. You can also claim more than one offer per receipt.
The great thing about Checkout 51 is that they often have offers on there for fruits and vegetables, something not common with other receipt scanning apps. Once you scan your receipt, you should receive payment to your account within 48 hours.
You need a minimum of $20 to request a check to be sent to your door. Checkout 51 tested a referral program that gave you $5 per friend, but unfortunately they no longer offer this.
Shrink is a little bit newer to the receipt scanning game, but nonetheless they still give you great deals for scanning your receipts. Use promo code RKVDWQ to earn a $1 bonus when you scan your first receipt.
The offers they have aren’t very abundant compared to the other apps on this list, but you often can earn at least $1 or more for each offer claimed. All you have to do is scan the barcode of each item you’ve purchased and ten take a photo of your receipt.
Shrink focuses on participation, so the more you use the app, the more points you earn, regardless of whether you’re scanning a receipt or not. This includes watching a short video, taking a poll or inviting friends. For each friend you refer, you get a bonus of $1 along with your friend.
The points you earn can be used for more than just claiming cash – earn additional rebates, receive freebies and more. Once you reach a minimum balance of $20, you can cash out to PayPal or Venmo.
BerryCart is great for those who like to eat organic, vegan or other types of foods that you can’t easily grab off of the shelf. They realized that most of the receipt scanning apps reward you for buying common, everyday items, but nothing for the healthy ones.
The best part about this app is that you can filter by product attributes: Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, organic, Soy-Free and much more.
Not only that, but their cash back amount is one of the highest I’ve seen, and they have quite a bit of offers as well. However, this makes sense since you’re buying organic and other specialty-type items that usually cost more. Expect to earn $0.75 – $1.50 per item scanned.
You can refer friends and earn some extra cash. For each friend that you refer, you both earn $2 after they scan their first receipt.
There aren’t many offers available on the MobiSave app, but lately I’ve noticed that they’ve been expanding quite rapidly. Expect to earn anywhere from $.10 cents to $1 in cash back. Use promo code FEMURMFB and earn a $1 bonus when you scan your first receipt.
It doesn’t matter where you make your purchase, but you are required to buy specific items. The best thing about this app is that they often have offers you wouldn’t find on other apps. This includes products in the baby, beauty and entertainment category.
Payouts are done automatically to PayPal as soon as you reach $1 in savings. Refer a friend and both of you will receive a $1 bonus when your friend scans your first receipt.
Instead of earning a particular amount of cash back for specific items scanned, Yaarlo pays you based on how much your total purchase price is. You earn .025% of how much your shopping trip costs. Although it isn’t very much, it can definitely add up – especially for larger purposes. Use bonus code JASON799 to earn a bonus of $1 on sign-up.
Yaarlo doesn’t care where you make the purchase or what you buy, just as long as the receipt is clear and legible. The one thing we do suggest is to not even bother scanning receipts with a total purchase price of $5 or less. This is because at .025%, you’re earning virtually nothing, and Yaarlo won’t pay you for it.
You need a minimum of $10 to cash out for gift cards, or you can wait until you get to $50 to cash out for PayPal deposits. Earn even more by referring friends. For each friend you refer, you both earn $1.
The ShopKick App was originally designed to help you earn cash for visiting stores and checking-in using your phone’s location services. However, they’ve expanded their services to also give you cash back on specific items from specific retailers.
Their offers aren’t as abundant other receipt scanning apps, but the offers that are available give you a high amount of rewards. ShopKick is partnered with common retailers such as Rite-Aid, Best Buy and Winco.
There are also a few other ways to earn cash. You can scan barcodes of specific products. Link your credit card and get a certain amount of points per every dollar spent (definitely the highest-paying). Every once in a while, you’ll even find a short video to watch to help you earn more cash.
The points (called kicks) you earn can be exchanged for either gift cards or physical rewards. Expect to earn on average around $.25 – $.50 cents per item scanned. ShopKick also has a referral program, giving you 250 per friend when they complete their first task.
The Punchcard App is very unique compared to the rest of the apps on this list. You earn cash back by submitting receipts from retailers in your local area. It doesn’t matter what you buy, just as long as that retailer is partnered with Punchcard.
You’d be surprised at how many stores are on the app, even if you’re located in a small city. A lot of Mom and Pop shops will appear on there.
Each time you submit a receipt, you get a chance to spin a wheel for points. Each spin can earn you as little as 5 points and as much as 500. You need a minimum of 5,000 points to cash out for a $2 gift card.
The one annoying thing about this app is that you earn points through Punchcard, but you claim prizes through their partner app called mPoints.
ReceiptPal is very similar to Yaarlo. You earn points on receipts no matter what products you buy or where you buy them. There isn’t a sign-up bonus with this one, and each time you scan your receipt you earn 25 points.
We put this one last on the list because the payout is extremely low. You will need to scan hundreds of receipts before you can actually cash out. However, if you want to earn some extra cash and you’re already in the process of scanning receipts, it may be worth your time. Prizes are in the form of gift cards.
Cash Back Portals
Now we’re on to the second half of our article: online shopping portals. These portals are websites that have partnered with thousands of retailers across the web and place their links onto one website. Click on one of the links and make a purchase and they earn a commission, but they give it back to you in the form of cash back.
How Exactly Do Cash Back Portals Work?
Since these cash back portals are a bit confusing at first, we’ve created a 5-step process of how to use them.
- Register for a free portal account. We suggest using TopCashback for first-timers since you get a $10 sign-up bonus.
- Type in the retailer that you wish to search at. Your results will display how much you can earn at that store. For example, at Walmart you can earn 4% in cash back on everything (with the exception of a few items).
- Click on the “Get Cashback” button and be redirected to the retailer’s website. Make your purchase like you normally would.
- TopCashback will automatically keep track of any purchases that you make. Within 10 days, your cash back will appear in your account as long as your browser has cookies enabled (most browsers automatically do).
- When you reach a minimum of $20 in your account, you can cash out to PayPal or gift cards to American Express or Amazon. If you go with gift cards on TopCashback, you get a 3% bonus.
Don’t Forget About The Coupon Codes
When you search for a particular retailer on the portal sites, often there will be coupon codes listed as well. These will stack in addition to the cash back that you’re going to receive.
However, if you use a coupon code that’s not listed on the portal, you risk not receiving your cash back. For this reason, we suggest calculating out how much you can earn in each case and go with the better option.
Great Sign-Up Bonuses, But Stick With A Few
Since there are quite a few shopping portals, we can often get carried away and sign-up for all of them. This is especially due to the fact that many offer sign-up bonuses of $10. Yet we need to keep in mind that they all require a minimum balance before you can cash out, so you can’t just take the bonus and run.
Unless you do a lot of online shopping, we suggest only going with 2 or 3. Otherwise, you’ll have cash spread out in multiple accounts without being able to cash out for any of them.
Let’s list some of the best portals out there.
This is by far my favorite shopping portal out there. Not only do they give you a $10 bonus for signing-up as a new user, but they have some of the best rates around.
Sign-up for their newsletter and they send you incredible deals – often showing you how you can earn 100% cash back at certain stores. For example, they’re still holding a deal showing you how to get 2 gigs on Fiverr absolutely for free.
You need a minimum of $20 to cash out. Since their cash back rates are so high, you should reach this amount in know time if you do a decent amount of online shopping.
You can cash out for PayPal, Amazon gift cards or American Express gift cards. We recommend the latter two since you get a 3% bonus. Refer a friend and get a $10 bonus when they make their first purchase.
Right behind TopCashback is a close competitor – BeFrugal. Their rates are very similar, often ranking high above all other portals. If you have to only choose two portals, let it be these two.
You get a $10 bonus for signing-up as a new user, and they also have great specials that they send out via their newsletter. The downside is that their cash out minimum is a bit higher at $25.
Just like TopCashback, you can cash out to PayPal, Amazon gift cards or American Express Gift Cards. Again, the last two give a bonus of 3%.
They definitely have a better referral program, giving you $15 per each friend referred. However, this may change since it used to be $10 in the past.
Although the cash back rates they have aren’t nearly as high as other portals, every once in a while they’ll throw a special that beats every other portal in the game. This often occurs around the holidays.
You get a free $10 gift card when you register as a new user. The great thing about Ebates is that you’re sent a check once every 3 months with your balance if you have a minimum of $20.
Furthermore, they have one of the best referral bonuses in the game. Refer 1 friend, earn $5. Refer a 2nd, earn $30. Earn a 3rd friend for a total of $75. Keep in mind that these rates change, but usually it’s the highest of them all.
One thing Ebates has is that they offer cash back for in-store shopping, something no other portal does.
This is a weird one on the list. Jet.com isn’t your typical cash back portal, and in fact they’re mostly known as a shopping site meant to compete against Amazon.
Yet they have a small section on the site that most people overlook. Their “Earn Jet Cash” section allows you to shop through other websites and earn cash back in the form of Jet credit.
The downside? You earn Jet credit. Yet the cash back rate is almost double the rate of other portals at certain stores, and they have over 600 retailers partnered with them. Not only that, but products on Jet are often cheaper than Amazon, so you know that Jet credit is basically as good as cash.
This is also another overlooked shopping portal. Swagbucks is known as a rewards website, giving you cash for completing tasks online. This typically includes watching videos, clipping coupons, playing games, taking surveys and more.
One of these tasks includes shopping online. When you use their links to make a purchase, you earn points in the form of “Swagbucks.” 1 Swagbuck is equivalent to $.01 cent, and they can be exchanged for gift cards or cash.
While you’re not getting cash directly, it’s basically the same thing. Often enough you’ll find that their cash back rates are higher than other portals at certain stores.
16. Discover Deals
Not everyone will have access to the Discover Deals shopping portal. However, it’s one of the best out there due to their high rates. In fact, if you shop at Men’s Wearhouse, you can get 40% in cash back on all purchases through this portal.
Only those who own a Discover It Credit Card can access this portal. We highly suggest you get the card if you don’t have one already. There’s no annual fee, you get double cash back on everything your first year (minimum 2%) and 5% cash back on certain categories.
Since everything is doubled, this means that everything you buy through the Discover Deals portal is also doubled. Keep in mind that you need a credit score of at least 700 to qualify.
17. Giving Assistant
Every once in a while Giving Assistant has some incredible deals. A while back they were giving 5% in cash back on all Amazon purchases, but this deal has yet to come back.
We’ve found that certain stores like Nike and Walmart on this site are pretty high in terms of how much cash back you can earn. Just be sure to stay updated on any specials they have.
They also have a great referral program, giving both you and your friend $5 when they sign-up using your referral code.
iConsumer doesn’t usually have the best rates available, but we included them on here due to their unique sign-up bonus.
When you register as a new user, they’ll reserve 100 shares of iConsumer stock for you. What this means is that if they ever go public, you’ll automatically get 100 shares of their stock (potentially greatly increasing your wealth). There’s no guarantee, of course.
For each friend you refer, you get $10 plus an additional 100 shares in their stock. We recommend checking back with this portal once in a while since they sometimes offer double cash back at all stores.
With So Many Portals, Which Is The Best One?
Unlike receipt scanning apps, you can unfortunately only receive cash back through one shopping portal at a time. In order to find the best rate, you’d have to manually check each shopping portal and check which one offered the highest amount of cash back.
Fortunately there’s a tool that helps keep track of this for you called CashBackMonitor. Simply use their search tool and type in the retailer you wish to shop at. The results will return a list of portals and their associated cash back rates with that retailer.
Whether you’re making purchases online or offline, you should be able to earn at least a little bit of cash back using one of these apps or websites. On average, I save around nine or ten percent just from cash back. While it may not seem like a huge amount, it definitely adds up.
Is there an app or a website that you know of that gives cash back for shopping? Let us know down in the comments below. Otherwise, thanks for reading and happy frugaling!