Over the years, dozens of cash back apps have popped up to help us earn more money without any extra work.
These cash back apps can earn you free money on everything you purchase, from groceries to clothes, business expenses, gas, and more.
While they aren’t going to make you a ton of money, every drop in the bucket helps you earn and save more. And we could all use more money!
Best of all? There’s no coupon clipping involved! As long as you have your phone on you, you’ll be saving money everywhere you go.
We personally tried all of the cash back apps listed in this article to help identify which oneswill save you the most and be worth your time.
14 Best Cash Back Apps
Here are the best cash back apps you can download today:
- Fetch Rewards: $3 Bonus
- Upside: 25¢/gal Bonus
- Rakuten: $30 Bonus
- Swagbucks: $10 Bonus
- Ibotta: $20 Bonus
- Drop: $5 Bonus
- Checkout 51: $10 Bonus
- PayPal Honey
- Receipt Hog
1. Fetch Rewards App
Fetch Rewards is a cash back app for receipts. It’s one of the best cash back apps for making purchases at any store. There are other receipt cash back apps out there, but Fetch Rewards is the best receipt cash back app in my experience.
The reason I like it so much is that it doesn’t matter where you shop. You can shop at a convenience store or a chain grocery store or even the mall to get rebates.
To Get Started:
- Download the Fetch Rewards app
- Snap a picture of your receipt into the app or link your email for digital receipts from select stores
- Automatically be rewarded with points, redeemable for cash back and gift cards
2. Upside App
Upside is the best gas cash back app on this list, giving you cash back on gas, grocery, and restaurant purchases.
Most people use Upside for the gas cash back, but the food deals are pretty good too.
To Get Started:
- Download the Upside app and create an account
- Look in the app to see participating gas stations near you
- Claim an offer at one of the gas stations
- Go purchase gas
- Upload your receipt to the app
Your account will be credited with cash back once the transaction has been confirmed.
It couldn’t be easier to save money on gas. Thousands of people are downloading it every day, and Upside has already paid millions of dollars to its users.
⭐️ Use promo code RSG25 for a 25¢/gal signup bonus on your first fill-up.
You’ve probably seen ads on TV for Rakuten – that’s because it’s a very popular cash back app! Formerly known as Ebates, Rakuten makes it incredibly easy to save money on everyday purchases, like clothing, home supplies, travel, and Amazon purchases.
To Get Started:
- Simply sign up for Rakuten
- Shop as you normally would online
- Get paid via PayPal or check, or donate your earnings
Rakuten offers so many easy ways to get cash back, it’s crazy. You can get double cash back with a rotating list of stores, plus you’ll get extra savings when you download the Rakuten app for iPhone, Android, or iPad.
When you download the Rakuten app, you’ll automatically get updates about new cash back offers and exclusive offers – for people who’ve downloaded the app.
You can earn cash back in-store, too. If you like to go in and shop, just break out your Rakuten app when it’s time to pay – and earn cash back!
⭐️ $30 sign-up bonus
Signing up with Swagbucks is easy, and just for signing up, you’ll earn a $10 welcome bonus. You can redeem your Swagbucks points for cash back, gift cards, and more, and redeeming your points is easy.
You’ll earn money through Swagbucks’ shopping portal. Simply visit the Swagbucks website and go shopping (or browsing!) through their Web search, and you’ll earn points as you browse and shop.
Swagbucks often offers even more cash back from certain stores, and these stores change regularly. You can earn up to 12% cash back in some cases just by using the Swagbucks shopping portal!
⭐️ $10 sign-up bonus
Ibotta is the most popular app on this best cash back app list. Millions of people have downloaded Ibotta and are using it to earn money back on purchases from major retailers like Target and Walmart.
Ibotta partners with more than 300+ major stores around the country and the company has paid out more than half a billion dollars to shoppers.
To Get Started:
- Download the Ibotta app
- Create an account
- Look through the app for deals that you like
- Claim offers you want to add to your list
- Go shop
- Upload your receipt
- Scan the barcodes of the products you bought
⭐️ Use promo code “XDSXXHI” to get a $20 sign-up bonus.
With Drop, all you have to do is link your credit cards to the Drop app and then get cash back automatically. Once you’re ready to cash out, you can redeem your earnings for gift cards, crypto, or charity donations.
To Get Started:
- Download the Drop app
- Create an account
- Link a debit or credit card
- Automatically start getting cash back
Drop is easy to use because the app has hundreds of partner stores to choose from, so you probably don’t need to change your spending habits. Just keep shopping like you normally would.
What makes Drop one of the best cash back apps is that it also has special offers which give you more points if you make certain purchases.
⭐️ Use promo code “49qr5” for a $5 sign-up bonus.
7. Checkout 51
Checkout 51 is one of the easiest and best cash back apps to save money on groceries and gas.
To Get Started:
- Download the app
- Look at the different offers on the app
- Add the offers you want to your list
- Buy products at the store or online or get gas
- Upload your receipt
Checkout 51 is perfect for people who buy a lot of groceries. New offers get added to the app every week. And the great thing about Checkout 51 is that once you claim an offer, you can buy that product at any store.
So it doesn’t matter if you buy it at Target or your local grocery store, you’ll still get the cash back.
⭐️ $10 sign-up bonus included.
Dosh is definitely one of the best cash back apps. The app is available at more than 10,000 stores, restaurants, and hotels nationwide. You’ll automatically get up to 10% back when you shop at stores like Walmart, Target, Nike, Walgreens, and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Plus, you get cash back for online shopping and in-store purchases.
To Get Started:
- Download the app
- Connect your credit or debit card
- The app gives you cash back when you’ve made a purchase at one of the participating stores
- Cash out with PayPal, Venmo, Jelli, or a charitable donation when you hit $15 in rewards
The best part is that it’s completely passive income. You don’t need to do anything extra after connecting your card.
It’s pretty cool how the app works automatically in the background. I just shop like I normally would and every now and then I get a notification that I’ve earned cash back.
With other apps, you have to plan to go to specific stores and sometimes you even have to buy specific things that you normally don’t buy. But, you just have to make a purchase at a participating location and it doesn’t matter what you buy.
Trunow helps you locate the cheapest gas prices in your area while also offering cash back. Once you get to the gas station, complete your transaction and submit your receipt within the app.
After it’s approved, you’ll receive confirmation of that and you’ll be given points based on what you spent and the deal available to you at the time.
While it specializes in gas rewards, Trunow also offers cashback on everyday purchases, grocery trips, and restaurants.
Once you earn enough points, you can cash them out via PayPal for real money sent straight to you.
With Trunow you can even earn cash rewards by referring your friends. The amount you can earn changes often and depends on your market at the time. You can share directly within the app.
With MyPoints, you can earn points by shopping online, taking surveys, watching videos, and more. Once you earn enough reward points, you can redeem them for free gift cards, travel miles, or straight to your PayPal account.
You can even refer your friends and earn 10% of the qualifying points they earn!
Mobee is a secret shopper app that connects you with secret shopper missions near you and rewards you when you complete the missions. The missions all vary in complexity.
It can be as easy as going to the store, taking a few photos, and asking an employee a few questions, or it can be as difficult as finding specific items within the store and snapping a photo for proof.
All you have to do is download the Mobee app, find a mission near you, complete the mission, and redeem rewards. Each mission tells you generally upfront what you need to do. They also tell you how many points they are worth, so you know if it’s worth your time or not.
This Mission Brief shows that I would need to locate specified products or displays, that it would take me about 15-20 minutes to complete it, take 1-25 photos and ask 3-43 questions.
You can also invite your friends to earn more. You’ll receive 300 points when your friend completes their first mission when they use your invitation code to sign up for Mobee. When you earn enough points, you can redeem them for various gift cards.
On my app, it shows that I need to earn 500 points in order to get a $5 gift card to various shops. Or you can earn more points to get larger gift cards for other participating retailers.
12. PayPal Honey
PayPal Honey hunts down deals for you. When you’re ready to checkout, use the Honey extension on your browser to find any qualifying coupon codes.
Honey will try out a bunch of coupon codes to see if any work for your order before you make your purchase. You save instantly when it does find you a deal. It could be a coupon or a promo code that will take a set dollar amount or a percentage off of your purchase total.
Managing Editor Melissa has used Honey to save hundreds on big-ticket items, from laptops to washers and dryers for the home. Throughout the year, Melissa said she’ll add gift ideas for family members to Honey and keep an eye on the price alerts. When an item drops in price, she buys it and saves the gift for the holidays or birthdays.
Yes, that’s some advanced planning, but you don’t have to even be that prepared to save tons of money with Honey. If you’re considering purchasing something, simply track it using Honey and then check on it in a few days. If you can wait, you could be rewarded with some big savings!
On Qmee, you can take paid surveys, play games, and earn cash as you’re shopping or gaming. Qmee helps you find the best deal while also giving you cash back. Simply add the extension to your browser and Qmee will work in the background.
You can also find deals within the mobile app for earning cash back such as getting your credit checked or registering for a workout app.
14. Receipt Hog
Receipt Hog is one of the best cashback apps that allows you to share your purchase information and complete surveys to earn coins.
Later, you can redeem these coins and get them in the form of cash. The more purchase information you upload, the more awards you can redeem.
What is a Cash Back App?
Cash back apps give you money back for a purchase you made, or they provide a coupon for additional discounts on things you’ve already purchased. If you use a cash back credit card, you’re familiar with how this process works.
For example, with Rakuten (one of our favorite cash back apps), you simply go to Rakuten.com, search for a retailer you’re interested in buying from (Walmart, Target, etc.), see what cash back options they’re offering, shop through the Rakuten portal, then get paid.
Managing Editor Melissa and COO Scott both use Rakuten regularly. You can see below how Melissa recently was paid out for a purchase she made over the holidays:
Tips to Maximize Your Cash-Back Rewards
Want to maximize your cash back rewards? Here are our top tips:
- Install Brower Extensions: Make cash back earning as simple as possible by installing browser extensions for Rakuten and setting your homepage to Swagbucks. Using Swagbucks as your new browser, for instance, will earn you points (redeemable for cash) – Google Chrome won’t do that!
- Download Apps: Be sure to install rebate apps on your phone to earn on the go. Whether you have an IOS or Android device, most of the best cash back apps are available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
- Complete Purchases Through Pop-Up Site: When shopping through a cash back portal site, like Rakuten or Swagbucks, make sure to complete your transaction through the pop-up site. Don’t click around or come back later, otherwise, you could lose out on temporary flash deals.
- Look Around for Discounts, Coupons, and Promo Codes: You can deal stack even when shopping through portals like Rakuten and Swagbucks. Simply open another browser, search for coupons or promo codes, then apply them when you check out. Also, check out sites like Retailmenot for coupons and user-uploaded promo codes.
- Read the Details of the Offers: Make sure to read the offer on apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51 carefully – in some cases, you have to buy a certain brand and size in order to get your cash back.
- Deal Stack When Grocery Shopping: are you part of a grocery loyalty program? If so, you can use your store loyalty card, coupons, and discounts along with your grocery cash back apps like Checkout 51. Take advantage of discounts offered by your local grocery store and submit your shopping receipt for additional cash back through Checkout 51.
- Don’t Spend Unnecessarily: Earning cash back is great, but only if you were going to make a purchase in the first place. When it comes to online purchases + earning cash back, make a list of things you need (grocery store items, etc.) and then check your cash back apps to see if anything on your list qualifies.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do cash back apps work?
Some of the apps in this article require you to upload a photo of your receipts for cash and other ones don’t require you to do anything. You can even stack different apps together to get maximum savings and cash back.
Most of the apps I’ve listed allow you to cash out to PayPal or your bank account, and other ones allow you to cash out via gift cards.
The best part is that some of the apps listed, like the Dosh app, are completely passive. You just connect it to your credit card and get a pay out every now and then. You don’t need to do anything else, and it adds up over time.
Which app is the best cash back app?
The best cash back shopping apps for you depend on factors like which stores you shop most at and what kinds of products you buy. The best way to find out which cash back app is the best for you is to try them all.
Many of the apps here offer higher percentages of cash back, depending on the promotions – but this doesn’t mean it’s the absolute, all-time best cash back app.
In some cases, an app like Swagbucks can be even more lucrative, especially with referrals, that earn you 10% additional cash back for life.
How can you tell if a cash back app is good for you?
Consider the following to determine if a cash back app is good to download:
- Where and how often you shop: Signing up for grocery store apps like Checkout 51 or Ibotta are good ideas for almost everyone, because everyone shops for groceries!
- What items you’re buying: I know I took advantage of Home Depot offering 12% cash back from Rakuten one time when we were buying a new washer and dryer combo. 15% cash back on hundreds of dollars? Yes, please! (Just do your research first before purchasing online – we went into the store to make sure it was the washer/dryer we wanted.)
- Stacking rewards with other loyalty programs: Sometimes you can use the Ibotta, Fetch Rewards, and Checkout 51 apps to get cash back 3 times on 1 product, in addition to using regular coupons for even more savings.
- How much time you have to spend: Searching for offers, scanning receipts, and or taking surveys for extra cash can be worth a few extra minutes to get cash back, but not everyone has the time or interest in doing this. If that’s you, maybe a simple “set it and forget it” cash back app would be better.
Which apps pay you to scan receipts?
The following apps pay you for scanning your receipts:
With receipt apps, you’ll check your app for items offering cash back, go shopping, then take a picture of your receipt, confirm the items purchased, and upload it to the app.
Why You Should Use Cash Back and Rewards Apps
Cash back apps like Ibotta are still a pretty relatively new concept. Gone are the days when we need to clip out coupons. Nowadays, it’s all done on our phones.
There are plenty of apps out there that promise cash back and new ones are launching every day. There are dozens of free apps you can try, but the list above represents the best cash back apps based on potential earnings and reviews from other users.
They all have sign-up bonuses available, great referral programs, and they’re free to use.
Even if the rewards seem small, adding passive income is a great way to level up your personal finances. Since it adds up over time, it’s nice to open an app and see $20 or $40 ready to cash out, all without breaking a sweat.
Most of these apps don’t require much time to set up, a few minutes max.
The best cash app should make shopping easier and more fun. You shouldn’t have to work hard to get cash back, and none of the best cash back apps on this list will require much effort from you.