Signing up for the best food delivery apps is one way to make money, but there’s another way to get paid without doing that much work. 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 save you money on everything you purchase, from groceries to clothes, business expenses, gas and more.
While these cash back apps aren’t going to earn you a ton of money, every drop in the bucket helps you earn and save more money. 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.
Best Cash Back Apps in 2021
Today I’m going to round up the 19 best cash back apps that I think everyone should try.
Some of the apps in this article require you to upload receipts 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 below, like the Dosh app for example, are completely passive. You just connect it to your credit card and cash out every now and then. You don’t need to do anything else, and it adds up over time.
But how do you know which cash back apps will save you the most – and be worth a download to your phone? We’ve broken out the top 9 cash back apps below, plus we’ve tried them all – so we know how good they are!
In addition to trying them all ourselves, we also made sure their cash back options were legit (no winning ‘points’ to maybe cash out), work on most mobile phones, and had high, positive ratings from reviewers. If we wouldn’t download these apps, we didn’t put them on our list.
Take a look at our top cash back apps below: The TOP 5 Cash Back Apps For Lyft & Uber Drivers
Here are the 9 best cash back apps:
- GetUpside – get 15 cents off per gallon with code ‘WQ8JR‘
- Rakuten – get $10 for signing up
- Swagbucks – get $10 by signing up today!
- Ibotta – get a $20 sign up bonus with promo code ‘xdsxxhi‘
- Freebird – get a $10 sign up bonus with code ‘RSG‘
- Fetch Rewards – get a $10 sign up bonus with promo code ‘FNGMC‘
- Drop – get a $5 sign up bonus with code ‘49qr5‘
- Checkout 51 – get $10 just for signing up
- Dosh – get $5 back with promo code ‘milanom1‘
- Truebill – lower your bills by installing this easy app!
- Pei – get $5 once you make your first purchase through Pei!
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, and shop through the Rakuten portal. After you’ve made a purchase, Rakuten sends you a check (you can also cash out PayPal – see below).
Yes, it’s that simple! 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:
1) GetUpside App
GetUpside is the best gas cash back app and it’s definitely the best gas cash back app on this list. GetUpside gives you cash back on gas, grocery, and restaurant purchases.
Most people use GetUpside for the gas cash back, but the food deals are pretty good too.
To get start just download the GetUpside app and create an account. Then look in the app to see participating gas stations near you. Claim an offer at one of the gas stations, go purchase gas, then 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. GetUpside is #1 on this list because it’s currently the most popular gas cash back app that’s sweeping the nation. Thousands of people are downloading it everyday, and GetUpside has already paid out millions of dollars to its users.
- Up to 25¢ per gallon off gas, 35% off at restaurants, and 15% off at grocery stores
- No minimum balance to cash out
- You can claim the gas cash back offer for up to 50 gallons of gas per day
If you want to learn more about GetUpside, check out our GetUpside app review.
15¢ off per gallon sign-up bonus included with promo code “WQ8JR”.
You’ve probably seen ads on TV for Rakuten – that’s because it is the most popular and the best cash back app out there! Formerly known as Ebates, Rakuten makes it incredibly easy to save money on everyday purchases, like clothing, home supplies, travel, Amazon purchases, and so much more.
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 – just for people who’ve downloaded the app.
Finally, 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! To learn more about Rakuten, check out this Rakuten review we wrote here.
- Tons of stores to earn cash back from, including Kohl’s, Walgreens, Bed Bath and Beyond and more
- Daily deals, including additional discounts, cash back, free shipping and more
- Exclusive deals for Rakuten app users
$10 cash back bonus included.
Signing up with Swagbucks is easy, and just for signing up, you’ll earn a $10 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 for using the Swagbucks shopping portal!
- Tons of opportunities to earn cash back, including browsing, shopping, taking surveys and more
- Unlimited earning potential per day
- Cashing out is quick and easy
- For every person you refer to Swagbucks, you’ll earn 10% of what they earn – forever!
$10 cash back bonus included.
4) Ibotta app
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 use Ibotta, all you have to do is download the Ibotta app, create an account, and then look through the app for deals that you like. Once you find offers that you want to claim, click to add them to your list. Then go shop and once you’re finished shopping just upload your receipt, scan the barcodes of the products you bought, and that’s it. Your cash back will be added to your account as soon as it’s confirmed.
- One of the most popular cash back apps on this list
- Offers available at more than 300 stores nationwide
- Biggest cash back offers available
If you want to learn more about the Ibotta app, you can read this Ibotta promo code article I wrote recently.
Use promo code “xdsxxhi” to get a $20 sign-up bonus.
5) Freebird app
Freebird is one of the newer apps I’ve added to this best cashback app list. If you use Uber and Lyft a lot, then I really recommend downloading this app.
Freebird is great if you want to try new bars and restaurants in your city. Freebird is one of the best cash back apps because it gives you cash back when you take an Uber or Lyft ride.
You get points back just for taking an Uber or Lyft anywhere, for example to home or work. But you get even more points and actual cash back when you use Freebird to take a ride to a specific restaurant or bar that the app partners with.
Freebird helps restaurants and bars get more customers, and customers get cash back for their Uber and Lyft rides. It’s a win-win for everyone.
All you have to do is order an Uber or Lyft ride through the Freebird app instead of the Uber or Lyft app. Freebird does not charge more than the actual Uber or Lyft app would, this is one of the promises they make.
Freebird makes money because the restaurants and bars pay Freebird to advertise on their app so they can get more customers.
Many of the restaurants in the Freebird app are offering $4 cash back. I recommend downloading the app to see what deals are around you.
- Cash back for Uber and Lyft rides
- $10 sign up bonus
- Fun way to try new restaurants and bars
If you want to learn more about Freebird, check out this in-depth Freebird app review that RSG contributor Paula wrote.
Use promo code “RSG” to get a $10 sign-up bonus.
6) Fetch Rewards App
Fetch Rewards is a cash back app for groceries. It’s one of the best cash back apps for grocery purchases. There are other grocery cash back apps like Ibotta, but Fetch Rewards is the best grocery cash back app in my experience.
The reason I like it so much is because it doesn’t matter where you shop for food. You can shop at a convenience store or a chain grocery store. As long as you purchased some groceries, all you have to do is download the Fetch Rewards app and then upload your receipt into the app.
If any of your purchases match any of the offers in the app, you’ll automatically be rewarded with cash back credited straight to your account.
Fetch Rewards benefits:
- Cash out for hundreds of different rewards including a VISA gift card
- Works with purchases from ANY grocery store
- Thousands of products from major brands to choose from
If you want to learn more about Fetch Rewards, read this Fetch Rewards referral code article.
Use promo code “FNGMC” to get a $10 sign-up bonus.
Just like the Dosh app, all you have to do is link your credit cards to Drop and then you get cash back automatically. Once you’re ready to cash out, you can redeem your earnings for gift cards.
All you have to do is download the Drop app and create an account. Then link a debit or credit card and you’ll 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. And the great thing about the app is that you don’t need to do anything extra if you don’t want to. Just connect your card and you’ll automatically get cash back when you make a purchase at a participating location. You don’t have to change your shopping habits for this app, it runs passively in the background.
- Automatic cash back, no uploading receipts (passive income)
- Hundreds of major stores to choose from
- Stack it with your credit card rewards and points
Use promo code “49qr5” for a $5 sign-up bonus.
8) Checkout 51
Checkout 51 is one of the easiest and best cash back apps to save money on groceries. It works just like Fetch Rewards.
All you have to do is download the app and then look at the different offers on the app, then add those products to your list and buy those products at the store or online. Once you’ve checked out, just upload your receipt, then the app will verify your transactions and credit your account with cash back.
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.
Checkout 51 benefits:
- Doesn’t matter what store you buy the product from
- Fast cash back credited to your account
- Plenty of products to choose from and they add new offers every week
$10 sign-up bonus included.
9) Dosh Cash App
Dosh is definitely one of the best cash back apps. All you have to do is download Dosh and connect your credit or debit card, then the app gives you cash back when it sees that you’ve made a purchase at one of the the participating stores.
Dosh is available at more than 1,000 stores, restaurants, and hotels nationwide. You’ll automatically get up to 10% back when you shop at stores like WalMart, Target, Nike, Walgreens, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and hundreds more. Plus, you get cash back for online and in-store purchases.
The best part of using Dosh is that it’s completely passive income. You don’t need to do anything extra after connecting your card. Once you’re ready to cash out, you can send you earnings straight to your bank account.
It’s pretty cool how Dosh 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 with Dosh, you just have to make a purchase at a participating location and it doesn’t matter what you buy.
- Automatic, works in the background. Truly passive!
- You don’t have to buy specific products or upload any receipts
- Works for purchases online and in-store
If you want to learn more about Dosh, you can read my Dosh referral code article for more information.
Use promo code “milanom1” to get a $5 sign-up bonus.
Paribus is more like a refund extension. You simply shop online like you normally do, then Paribus monitors the prices to see if they drop. If they detect savings, they let you know and help you get your money back.
They offer refunds when the retail price drops, compensation for late deliveries, and they track how long you have to return an item so you won’t question it. Best of all, it’s 100% free to use!
Get cash back on your gas purchases. It 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.
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 more with rewards gained 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.
SavingStar is a grocery rebate app, similar to Ibotta. You either link your rewards cards to your favorite grocery stores or submit your receipts to gain rebates on what you’ve purchased. You select which deals you want to use before you shop and it will automatically discount those deals for you, so you can see savings fast.
How it works is you link your store rewards cards, select the rebates you want to take advantage of, use your store card at checkout and then savings are added to your SavingStar account.
After building up at least $20 of cash back, you can use your bank account, PayPal or codes for select gift cards. Keep in mind, if your account is inactive for 180 days, $3.99 per month will be taken out of your savings. To stay active, simply activate an offer, redeem an offer or pick a payout.
Deals offered vary from purchasing one item for a set rebate or buy multiples until you reach a defined dollar amount such as saving $5 when you spend $25 or more on Big G cereals:
With MyPoints, you can earn points by shopping online, taking surveys, watching videos, and more. Once you earn enough points, you can redeem for 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 up front 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.
Truebill will help you see what subscriptions you’re paying for that you may have forgotten about, saving you money over time by not overspending on things that no longer interest you or that you’ve outgrown.
Truebill can even negotiate your bill with companies such as your cell phone provider, your cable provider and more.
Managing Editor Melissa used Truebill to get a discount on her internet bill recently. Truebill sent her an alert to let her know she had missed out on a promotional discount with Cox (her internet provider) and Truebill let her know she’d see the discount in her next statement! It wasn’t too good to be true, either – Melissa ended up paying $10 less the next month thanks to the discount she never would have known about without Truebill.
To get started, you sync your Truebill account with your credit cards and bank account so it can start learning where it can save you money. It doesn’t automatically cancel your subscriptions, but it will show you recurring payments and allow you to investigate which ones are worthwhile for you to keep or make the decision to cut that expense from your life.
Wikibuy is similar to Rakuten. You add the Wikibuy extension to your browser and it will find you offers from online retailers that you shop at or you can buy directly from Wikibuy’s website. When there are savings, Wikibuy will let you know.
They also have daily featured deals listed on their website for you:
For example, you could get $100 cash back with Wikibuy, as well as a free phone and 50% off activation fee for a new line with Verizon as of the writing of this article.
You can get a percentage or a dollar amount back on certain purchases and then redeem your cash back rewards as egift cards.
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!
Earn bitcoin or cash with Pei. How it works is you link your debit or credit cards that you use the most. Use it like you normally would, spending money on whatever you want or need. From there, you automatically receive cash back in bitcoin or cash.
Pei boasts no membership fees or interest, just savings. You get Pei points in addition to any credit card points you might be receiving on a cash back card program.
You can invite your friends to give $5 and get $5. Both of you have to at least make one purchase with a linked Pei card and a Pei merchant to receive your bonus. Just have them enter your referral code upon sign up.
In Pei, you can edit your referral code to make it something easier to remember or related to you in some way. I edited mine in the image above to be pg173.
On Qmee, you can take paid surveys and/or earn cash as you’re shopping 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 app for earning cash back such as getting your credit checked, registering for a workout app, and so much more.
Pro Tips to Maximize Your Cash-Back Rewards
Earning cash back by doing things you already were going to do – shop for groceries, search for things online, visiting local restaurants – is great. In many cases, you’ll earn cash back without even thinking about it. However, to really maximize your cash back rewards, here are our favorite tips:
- As we mentioned in our Rakuten review, 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 won’t do that!
- 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.
- 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 it comes to grocery shopping – are you part of a grocery loyalty program? If so, you can still use those 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 buying online + 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.
Which App is the Best Cash Back App?
The best cash back apps for you depends 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 cash back 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, a cash back app like Swagbucks can be even more lucrative, especially with referrals, since referrals earn you 10% additional cash back for life!
How can you tell if a cash back app is good for you? Consider the following:
- 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 app 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 – in most cases, scanning receipts or looking for discounts online is 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, like Dosh, is better for you.
Which Apps Pay You to Scan Receipts?
Some cash back apps make it really easy to earn cash back, like Swagbucks and Rakuten. Simply shop through their portals!
Others, however, require you to do a little extra work in order to get your cash back. In these cases, 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. It’s actually a quick process once you do it!
The following apps pay you for scanning your receipts:
Pro tip: Make checking, scanning and submitting your receipt a breeze by doing it in the car! My husband and I usually shop together, and as soon as we get in the car, he drives home and I go through our cash back apps and scan the receipts. By the time we get home, we’ve earned more money!
If you have a spouse, friend or kiddo who can be trusted to do this, have them do it while you’re driving home from the store or have your spouse/friend/family member drive home while you make sure to get your cash back!
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 where 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 different best cash back apps you can try, but the list above represents the best cash back apps based on potential earnings and reviews from other users.
Plus, all have sign up bonuses available, great referral programs, and they’re all free to use.
It’s great being able to make money passively without putting in too much extra effort. Since it adds up over time, it’s nice to open an app and seeing $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. Just download the app, connect your card, and you’re good to go. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to download
It literally takes a few minutes to set up all of these accounts. Most of you could probably read this post and set up all these apps in the next 15 or 20 minutes. And once set up, you can sit back and just keep doing what you normally do.
The best cash app should make shopping easier and more fun. You shouldn’t have to work hard to get the cash back, and none of the best cash back apps on this list will require much effort from you.