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Best Apps To Save Money
Nowadays it’s easy to earn cash back on almost everything you buy: clothes, electronics, groceries and even prescriptions. What’s even better is that you can do it directly from your smartphone for FREE.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of the 20 (or more) best apps to save money and their reviews.
We realize that time equals money, so all of the apps on this list are incredibly simple to use and won’t take up much of your time. With that said, here’s a quick list of some of our favorites that we’ll be featuring:
- Ibotta (cash back taking pictures of receipts – $10 bonus when you claim your first offer)
- TopCashback (cash back shopping online – $10 bonus)
- Acorns ($5 bonus to start investing in your future)
- Drop (cash back at stores – $1 bonus when you link your debit/credit card)
- Personal Capital (monitor your spending habits free)
With that said, let’s dive right into our list of the 25 best apps to save money.
- Registration Bonus: $10 after scanning your first receipt
- Join Ibotta
Ibotta is one of the most popular receipt scanning apps on the web. Every time you make a purchase on electronics, groceries, alcohol, meals at restaurants or more, be sure to keep your receipt. Once you take a picture of it, Ibotta will give you free cash.
Here’s a quick demonstration on how to save with Ibotta:
- Sign-up for a free account by clicking this link here. Get a $10 bonus when you scan your first offer.
- Browse through the app to find specific cash back offers at specific stores. For example, earn cash back on milk, chips or cookies at Fred Meyer, Walmart and Safeway.
- Take a picture of your receipt if it matches an offer on the app. Earn $.25 – $5 per offer. In order to pass this $5 threshold, you can scan multiple offers per receipt, earning you even more cash back. Be sure to make sure to take a picture of the entire receipt.
- Wait 24 – 48 hours to receive cash back in your account.
- Once you reach a minimum balance of $20, cash out for PayPal, Venmo or a gift card of your choosing. Rewards should arrive within 1 week.
Ibotta also has a new online shopping cash back feature with many of their partner apps. If we log-in to the app and scroll down, we can see that if we shop at Groupon through the Ibotta app we get a 10% cash back bonus.
Click the offer to be redirected to the Groupon app. Make your purchase like you normally would, and within 2 weeks that cash back will be deposited into your Ibotta account.
- Registration Bonus: 250 kicks
- Join Shopkick
Shopkick is a mobile app that helps you save money by simply walking into stores. Turn on your bluetooth and Shopkick will be able to detect when you walk into Walmart, Target, etc. Earn points in the form of “kicks” each time you do so and cash out for a gift card of your choosing.
Not only that, but Shopkick has many other ways to save money. Help Shopkick keep track of prices by scanning barcodes of items in stores. You can also scan receipts and earn a certain amount of cash back depending on the item that you buy.
Want to earn even more? Shopkick also pays you to shop online with one of their partnered retailers. Once you go into the app, you’ll see a list of online stores and the amount of cash back Shopkick is willing to give. Click on the store to be redirected to the store’s website.
Make a purchase online like you normally would and Shopkick will automatically keep track of your purchase amount. Based on the total price, Shopkick will reward you a certain amount of cash back within 10 days. It’s not difficult to earn anywhere from 1% – 5% in cash back per purchase.
Receive a registration bonus of 250 kicks when you sign-up. Keep in mind that 1,000 kicks is equal to $1 USD, and you need a minimum of $5 to cash out. We usually find it really quick to reach the minimum amount.
- Registration Bonus: $10
- Join TopCashback
TopCashback is a free online shopping portal that gives you rebates by shopping at one of their partner retailers. They’ve partnered with over a thousand of retailers across the web, so you should be able to find cash back offers at almost any online store.
Here’s a quick demonstration of how you can earn 8% cash back at Walmart through Topcashback:
- Register for a free TopCashback account by clicking this link here. Earn a $10 bonus as a new user.
- Use the search bar to search for the retailer of your choosing. In this case, we’re going to type in ‘Walmart.’ You’ll notice that they’re currently offering 8% back on all Walmart purchases. Keep in mind that these rates may change.
- Click on the ‘Get Cashback’ button to be redirected to the Walmart page and make your purchase like you normally would.
- TopCashback will automatically keep track of your purchase. This way they’ll know how much you spend and will be able to give you back the right amount of cash back.
- Once you reach a minimum balance of $20, cash out to your bank account, PayPal, or for gift cards. If you cash out for gift cards, you can earn a 3% – 5% bonus on your cash back savings.
The reason TopCashback is able to pay you is because they earn a commission each time you buy something from one of their links. Instead of keeping this commission to themselves, they give it back to you in the form of cash back.
- Registration Bonus: $20
- Join WiseBanyan
Want to start investing in your future but don’t know where to begin? WiseBanyan takes your current financial profile and advises you on what to invest in absolutely free. No commission fees, no cost to join, and you even get a $20 sign-up bonus.
When you first sign-up for WiseBanyan, you’ll be asked to take a short survey regarding your financial information. This includes your income, how many assets you have, how much you tend to save and other related questions.
Based off of these answers, WiseBanyan will assign you a risk level ranging anywhere from conservative to aggressive. Based off of this risk level, they will invest your cash (only $20 if you only use the sign-up bonus) into a certain percentage of bonds and stocks.
Shares of stocks and bonds can sometimes be quite expensive. But with WiseBanyan, you’re able to buy a small portion of the shares, so you only have to invest as little as $5 at a time. The best part? There’s no commission fees. Some brokerage firms charge as high as $10 per trade.
Once you get an account setup, all you have to do is sit back and let WiseBanyan do the rest. Want to earn even more? Setup a reoccurring deposit that automatically puts some of your savings into your account every month.
Investing doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.
- Registration Bonus: $1 with promo code frugal4less when you link your card
- Join Drop
The Drop app gives you cash back each time you shop at one of their partner retailers. Simply activate an offer, link your debit or credit card and make a purchase with that same card.
You’ll earn a certain amount of points per $1 spent at your activated retailers. These points can be exchanged for popular gift cards of your choosing such as Amazon and Target. No receipt scanning, no tracking purchases and no work on your side.
Keep in mind that when you first sign-up you’ll only be able to activate 5 retailers to earn cash back at. However, the more you use the app, the more offers you’ll be granted, and thus the more cash back you’ll earn.
Keep in mind that Drop gives special bonuses for completing specific offers. For example, right now they’re offering a 100,000 point bonus ($100) when you book a $1,000+ trip with Topdeck Travel. That’s a 10% savings on your next vacation.
As of now this app is only available in the US and Canada. Earn a $1 bonus when you sign-up using the promo code frugal4less and link your card.
- Registration Bonus: None
- Join Digit
Sometimes saving money can be a pain. It requires a lot of planning and calculating a budget. The Digit apps takes care of this for you by monitoring your checking account and calculating out how much you can save each month.
Digit checks in daily for savings opportunities and puts these savings into their own personal FDIC-insured savings account. This can add up to a few bucks here and there. And like a savings account, Digit awards you with a 1% annual cash back savings that’s paid every 3 months.
The basic goal of Digit is to help you save money without you having to think about it. Digit takes only a small amount each time so you won’t even notice it in your bank account.
There’s absolutely no account fees, and you can withdraw cash as often as you want. Digit uses the same type of encryption that banks use, so you don’t have to worry about whether your account is safe or not. If anything does happen, you’re insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000 – just like with any other bank.
- Registration Bonus: None
- Join Personal Capital
Personal Capital is a wealth management system that helps you track where every bit of your money is going. This includes your bank accounts, credit card spending, cash on hand, your stock portfolio and every other asset you have. This is a great way to track your financial portfolio without losing your mind.
The best part about Personal Capital is that when you link all of your accounts to their program, they help you track down hidden fees and see where you could be saving money. Not only that, but they also offer investment services for those who wish to take their savings a step further.
They help you categorize your spending as well. This means you’ll know how much of your money is going toward groceries, auto expenses, entertainment and many other categories. For me personally, Personal Capital helped me realize that I was spending a few hundred extra on entertainment per month.
Another great service they offer is tax optimization. This works by reallocating all of your assets to tax-deferred accounts, thus resulting in higher yields in your retirement account. If you decide to sign-up with their paid service, you get personal advice from their registered advisers by phone, chat or email.
- Registration Bonus: $10
- Join Ebates
Ebates is another cash back portal that works similar to TopCashback. Use their search bar to type in the retailer of your choosing. Click on the link to redirected to the retailers’ sites, and earn cash back on your online purchase.
The amount of cash back you earn depends on the retailer you shop at. Right now earn a free $10 gift card when you sign-up as a new user.
What I love about Ebates is that I don’t have to log-in and cash out. If your account reaches a minimum balance of $30, they automatically transfer this amount to your PayPal account on a quarterly basis.
The one difference about Ebates and other shopping portals is that they offer an in-store cash back feature. Simply link your credit card and activate the retailer from their mobile app. Make a purchase in-person and you’ll receive cash back.
I don’t usually find the cash back amount on Ebates to be as high as TopCashback, but during the holidays they often beat out all of the other portals on the web by doubling their cash back bonuses.
They also come with a great referral program. Refer a friend and get a bonus of $5. If you refer 2 it becomes $25. Refer 3 and you get $50. Keep in mind that this referral structure often changes, but it’s usually much better compared to the other portals out there.
- Registration Bonus: $2 with promo code 7xYw14Jb
- Join BerryCart
BerryCart is a receipt scanning app like Ibotta but with a unique twist. With Ibotta you can earn cash back on groceries that one would normally buy on a daily basis. BerryCart gives you cash back for buying groceries that tend to be healthier.
With this money saving app, you can often get cash back on gluten free, dairy free, soy, organic and other food products with specific attributes. The best part is that you can type in your location and BerryCart will help you find where you can purchase such items.
You get a $2 bonus when you sign-up using promo code 7xYw14Jb and scan your first receipt. You need a minimum of $5 to cash out directly to your PayPal account. This is one of the better receipt scanning apps for health nuts.
Keep in mind that if you find the same offer on BerryCart and Ibotta, you can use the same receipt for both apps to increase your cash back. In fact, you can do this with all receipt scanning apps. The more apps you use, the more cash back you get for that specific offer.
- Registration Bonus: $5
- Join Swagbucks
Swagbucks is primarily known as rewards site to help you earn money by playing games, completing free-trail offers, taking surveys, participating in polls and more. But the reason we’re putting it on this list is for their coupon clipping feature.
Swagbucks has a large database of coupons that you can print out and use at a wide variety of stores. When you scan this coupon at checkout, you earn a certain amount of points in your account called Swagbucks. These Swagbucks can be exchanged for gift cards or PayPal deposits.
I once had a friend who printed out Swagbucks coupons and left them on the store shelves next to the product. Random people shopping for that product would see the coupon, grab it and make the purchase. When the coupon was scanned, my friend earned Swagbucks while the shopper earned a discount on their purchase – you could do the same to earn extra points.
You can also save money with Swagbucks by shopping online. Swagbucks has their own personal shopping portal and will pay you anywhere between 1% – 10% in cash back when you click on their partnered retailers’ links on their page and make a purchase. This amount is automatically tracked and deposited into your Swagbucks account.
You need a minimum of $5 to cash out for a gift card. Keep in mind that their sign-up bonus changes frequently, but on average it tends to stay at around $5. Refer a friend and earn 10% of their earnings for life – one of the better referral programs out there.
- Registration Bonus: $5
- Join Raise
Ever receive a gift card for Christmas that you didn’t really have a use for? Sell it to Raise at a discounted price. If you have a $100 Walmart gift card and don’t ever plan to use it, Raise will buy it for around $90.
This is why you’re also able to buy discounted gift cards. Raise will mark-up that price slightly to around $95 and sell it to anyone who wants to buy it. They also do this for multiple retailers, and the amount of the discount depends on the retailer.
For example, Raise often sells discounted Chili’s gift cards at around 20% off. To look for another retailer, simply type in their name in the Raise search bar to see if there’s a discounted gift card currently being offered.
But be sure to act fast. The more popular retailers tend to run out of stock quite quickly. The best part is that you get a $5 bonus when you register as a new user to be applied to any gift card that you buy.
- Registration Bonus: None
- Join SavingStar
Want to use coupons but don’t want to deal with the hassle of printing them out or scanning them at checkout? Now you don’t have to with SavingStar. Simply link your loyalty cards to your SavingStar accounts and start saving money.
When you log-in to SavingStar, they’ll have a wide variety of coupon offers. Activate a coupon for the product of your choice. Next time you scan your loyalty card at checkout, SavingStar will automatically deduct the amount on the coupon from your total purchase price. You can even see it on your receipt!
SavingStar has recently added a receipt scanning feature similar to Ibotta. Keep your receipt and take a picture of it when you’re done. Match the offer on the app with the item that’s on the receipt and earn cash back.
Once your account reaches a minimum of $5, you can cash out. The great thing about SavingStar is that once you link all of your loyalty cards, all you have to do is log-in and activate the coupon offers. What I tend to do is log-in once a week and activate all offers just in case. It usually only takes a minute to do so.
- Registration Bonus: None
- Join GasBuddy
GasBuddy helps you save money by telling you the cheapest gas station closest to you. Type in your location and you’ll receive a list of gas stations in your area and their price. This helps you save money and also time by not having to drive around for the lowest price.
You can also earn money with GasBuddy by helping them stay up-to-date with their current prices, the main reason they’re able to report accurate prices so frequently.
Each time you see a gas station, log-in to the app and report their current price. After you report 3 different prices, you’ll automatically be entered in a drawing to earn up to $250. The great thing about this drawing is that there aren’t a large amount of people who join, so you should have a decent chance of winning.
If you’re looking for more ways to save on fuel, be sure to check out these 63 ways to save money on gasoline.
- Registration Bonus: $10
- Join Groupon
You’re probably already most-likely familiar with Groupon at this point. And if you’re not, you’re missing out on one of the easiest ways to save money.
Groupon partners with retailers across the nation and convinces them to offer special deals that are displayed on the app. This way, the retailer is able to get more customers and the customers are able to save more money.
The great thing about this app is that you can often earn cash back on your Groupon purchase by going through shopping portals such as TopCashback. Right now they’re currently offering 10% cash back on your total Groupon purchase price, but keep in mind that this amount may change.
Groupon is great for saving money on travel, eating out, entertainment and even buying products online. I always look here first before making a purchase. Get a $10 bonus on sign-up, and you also get a $10 bonus when you refer a friend.
- Registration Bonus: None
- Join Paribus
Don’t you hate it when you purchase something only to find out a month later it goes on sale for a cheaper price? Paribus takes care of this for you by tracking your purchases and looking for discounts.
When you link up your credit cards with this app, they’re able to look at your entire purchase history. From there, they automatically take a look and see if there’s a retailer nearby that has a cheaper price. From there, they do one of two things:
- They automatically contact the retailer on your behalf to see if they can make up the difference. Often, retailers will have a price match program and give you money back if you find a cheaper price elsewhere. Paribus does this automatically and puts this money back on your credit card.
- If they can’t do the process in step 1, they’ll contact you so that you can return the product and buy it for a cheaper price at the second retailer.
The catch? In exchange for Paribus reaching out to all of the retailers with a cheaper price, they take a certain portion of the money that they help you save. However, you can easily reduce this amount to 0% by referring a few friends and get 100% of the savings.
16. Fetch Rewards
- Registration Bonus: $1.50 with promo code HH3MN
- Join Fetch Rewards
The great thing about Fetch Rewards is that unlike Ibotta, it doesn’t matter where you make a purchase. As long as the item shows up on your receipt and you take a picture, you earn cash back.
The one downside is that they are quite limited to their offers when comparing to other receipt scanning apps. However, the amount of cash back is quite high. You also only need a minimum of $3 to cash out, and you can earn half of that just by signing-up using promo code HH3MN.
Fetch Rewards also gives you cash by completing special offers. Sometimes you can earn these points by completing specific tasks on the apps, or simply just by purchasing a featured product.
- Registration Bonus: None
- Join Decluttr
Decluttr helps you earn cash for your used game consoles, phone, DVDs, books and other electronics. All you have to do is report the condition it’s in, they’ll offer you a price and you ship it in at no cost.
The great thing about Decluttr is that you’ll receive your money within 24 hours if you decide to sell something. All payments are made directly to your PayPal account.
With Decluttr you can also buy refurbished electronics for an extremely cheap price. Keep in mind that refurbished products are thoroughly tested, so they’re just as good as buying the products brand new. You can also buy used products for an even better price.
All products you purchase has a 12-month warranty with free shipping. Returning items doesn’t require a shipping fee either as you print a prepaid shipping label.
18. ATM Hunter
- Registration Bonus: None
- Join ATM Hunter
ATM Hunter was created in order to help you find ATM machines quickly and efficiently, especially when you’re out late at night when it’s slightly more dangerous than usual.
This app is also great for those that forget to bring cash with them when paying at a restaurant. They track your closest ATM, and they even tell you which ones charge fees and which ones don’t.
ATM gets even more specific than that. They tell you which ATMs are at a bank or in-store, which machines have 24-hour access, and they provide you with directions on how to get there.
- Registration Bonus: $1
- Join Dosh
The Dosh app is a recently-launched app that helps you earn cash back on certain purchases. You can earn cash back in one of 2 ways::
- Linking your credit card. When you link your credit card, Dosh automatically rewards you with points each time you make a purchase at one of their targeted retailers. For example, right now they’re currently offering a 7% cash back discount on all purchases at Jack in the Box.
- Making online purchases. Dosh has also partnered with thousands of retailers across the web. Click on one of the retailers in the app to be redirected to a retailer’s webpage. Make a purchase like you normally would, and earn cash back on your purchase. The amount you receive determines on the retailer.
Keep in mind that you need a minimum of $15 to cash out, and you can cash out to either your PayPal or bank account. Earn extra cash by referring friends. Each time you refer a friend that makes their first purchase, you get a bonus of $5.
- Registration Bonus: $3
- Join ShopTracker
Want to get paid to make purchases on Amazon? Shoptracker will give you money to link your account and let them track your purchases.
When you sign-up, take a short survey about your Amazon experience to get a registration bonus of $3. From there, leave the app installed on your phone. Each month log-in to the app to take a short 3-question survey to receive an additional bonus of $3.
This means your first year you can earn $39 for almost no work on your part. The great thing is that each time you log-in to complete the short survey, the reward is given to you immediately in the form of a $3 prepaid Visa gift card.
Keep in mind that the app needs to be installed for the entire month in order for you to get paid.
These are the 15 best apps to save money directly from your smartphone. For me personally, I’m often to able knock off anywhere from $50 – $100 per month by using these apps.
See a money saving app that’s not on this list and should be? Feel free to let us know in the comments down below. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!
My name is Jason Wuerch and I'm currently located in Madrid, Spain running a personal finance blog called Frugal For Less. My goal is to help everyone and anyone willing to make and save money through easy and simple ways that don't require much effort. Just because you're frugal doesn't mean you have to give up life's luxuries.