The Best Cash Back Apps for 2022

  1. Rakuten: The Best Cash Back App for Online Savings
  2. Ibotta: The Best Cash Back App for Grocery Savings
  3. Swagbucks: The Buffet of Cash Back Earnings
  4. Fetch Rewards: Easy Money for Scanning Your Receipt
  5. GetUpside App: Earn Cash Back on Gas
  6. Dosh: Earn Automatic Cash Back
  7. Honey: Automatic Online Coupon Savings
  8. Choosing the Top Cashback Apps That Will Work for You


My Criteria for Selecting the Best Cash Back Apps

I wanted to select apps that covered both traditional brick-and-mortar stores as well as online, so all shoppers could benefit from my research.

Additionally, any app that made the cut had to be easy to use, and the rewards had to be worth the effort. Why? When apps are too hard to use, users eventually give up, stop using them, and stop earning cash back.

So, my list represents cashback apps that I actually used and reviewed to verify that they’re rewarding enough to be worth your time, yet diverse enough to cover both online and in-store purchases.

In This Guide:

Here are the most rewarding free cash back apps I use to save money on groceries, household items, clothes, gas and much, much more. With thousands of retailers covered by these apps, there is no shortage of ways you can earn cash back, simply and steadily.

Rakuten: The Best Cash Back App for Online Savings

Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is my top cash back app for online purchases. You can earn using their website, browser extension, and mobile app.

Here are the details:

Registration Bonus: $30 after you make a qualifying $30 purchase within the first 90 days of joining.

Who Can Join: Rakuten.com is a US-based site. However, they do offer country-specific sites in Canada, Korea, and Japan.

How to Earn: Use for online and some in-store purchases.

Payment Options: Cash via Check or PayPal made via quarterly payments for balances over $5.

How does Rakuten Work?

  1. Register for Rakuten
  2. Add the Rakuten cash back button to your browser to automate cash back when using your computer.
  3. Earn cash back by initiating your shopping from rakuten.com or using the app on your mobile. If you installed the cash back button, Rakuten will automatically popup when a cash back opportunity arises.
  4. Track your earnings by logging into your Rakuten account. Payments are made quarterly via PayPal or check.

Why I like Rakuten & Why You Will Too

Ebates, now a Rakuten Company, has been around since 1999. Since that time they have awarded over one billion dollars in cash back to their now 10 million plus members.

So, how much did I earn in cash back with Rakuten? Since joining a year ago, I've earned over $350 in cash back on my online purchases. With over 2,500 online partners, incorporating Rakuten into your online shopping is a breeze.

If you still prefer to shop in stores, Rakuten has added some in-store cashback partners. To automatically earn cash back on your in-store purchases with these partners, you need to link your credit cards to Rakuten. Then just activate the cash back offer before you shop and the rewards will automatically go to your Rakuten account.

If you want even more cash back, Rakuten has you covered. They offer a credit card that will give you an extra 3% back for all purchases made through Rakuten.com or in-store cashback offers.

Rakuten is the best cash back app for online purchases, bases on my experience. With a good selection of cash back offers, plus excellent compensation for using their service, they are hard to beat. Also, their website, mobile app, and browser extension make it very easy. So whether you are on your mobile or PC, you always have a way to get credit for your purchases.

Your earnings with Rakuten will vary depending on the time of year and how much online shopping you do. For instance, during peak shopping times like Christmas and back to school, it’s not uncommon for my family to earn $40 to $80 with Rakuten.

Ibotta: The Best Cash Back App for Grocery Savings

My top grocery cash back app is Ibotta. It's also my top earning app overall. What makes Ibotta the best of the best? In addition to groceries, it allows you to earn cash back for purchases made online.

Here are the details:

Registration Bonus: $10 after you claim your first offer. Plus you can quickly get $10 more for completing welcome bonuses.

Who Can Join: US residents

How to Earn: Use for in-store and online purchases.

Payment Options: Cash (via PayPal or Venmo) or choose from a wide selection of gift cards from retailers like Amazon.

How Does Ibotta Work?

  1. First, download the Ibotta app and register.
  2. Add Offers to your account: Open the app, select the retailer, and then choose rebate offers that you want to purchase. If a store has the option to link your loyalty card, be sure to do that before the next step.
  3. Go shopping and buy the items you selected from the retailer you chose. Be sure to save the receipt.
  4. Three Ways to Redeem depending on the retailer.
    • Scan your entire receipt or just the QR code depending on the retailer.
    • For loyalty card partner stores, the process is automatic. If you link your card to the app before shopping, the credit appears within 48 hours.
    • For Mobile Shopping online offers, a link will be set up between Ibotta and the retailer when you choose the offer. Once you complete the purchase, you should see a “Welcome Back” screen in the Ibotta app. Earnings will post after the period described in the guidelines of the offer.
  5. Get Paid. Once you have accumulated at least $20 in your account, you can withdraw for cash or gift cards.

My Take on What Makes Ibotta a Great Way to Earn Cash Back

Since its start in 2012, Ibotta has rewarded its members over $600 million in cash back. That's a lot, right? Well that stat totally makes sense after using this app.

Having racked up over $400 in less than 1 year since joining, I can vouch that they do pay their members.

With over 300 retail options to choose from, finding opportunities to earn cash back with Ibotta is easy. Ibotta has expanded beyond being a grocery savings app.  I have found that Ibotta is often my best option for the percentage offered in cash back for online purchases as well.

Ibotta Pay is their latest addition to earn money back on your purchases. It’s a cool new feature that allows you to earn some cash back by generating instant gift cards to various retailers from within the app.

For example, I made 2% back on my spring gardening purchases at Home Depot by creating an electronic gift card for my total balance and scanning the bar code as payment. Ibotta Pay is an excellent way to earn money for in-store purchases that are not covered by other rewards programs.

Your earnings with Ibotta will vary depending on your shopping preferences and family size. For my family of four, we earn anywhere from $30 to $50 each month using Ibotta. You can read my full Ibotta review here, or join now with our $20 sign up bonus link.

Swagbucks: The Buffet of Cash Back Earnings

Swagbucks is like the All You Can Eat buffet of cash earning apps. Their biggest advantage is that they have lots of different ways to make money. In fact they have so many earnings options, it can be hard to decide where to start.

No worries though, we cover all of that in our detailed Swagbucks review. In terms of cash back offers though, it works very similarly to Rakuten.

Here are the details on the Swagbucks cashback program.

Registration Bonus: $10 after you spend at least $25 at a participating store within 30 days of registration.

Who Can Join: Most countries in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. You just need an email address to register.

How to Earn: Get cash back for items you buy in-store and online using the Swagbucks portal, app, or browser plugin. Also, as noted, Swagbucks has a multitude of other ways to earn.

Payment Options: Cash via PayPal or choose from a wide selection of gift cards from retailers like Amazon.

How does Swagbucks Cash Back Work?

  1. First, join Swagbucks.
  2. Like Rakuten, Swagbucks has a cash back extension that automatically alerts you if you can earn cash back on a purchase. Alternatively, you can shop from their site or mobile app to find cash back offers.
  3. Track your earnings by logging into your Swagbucks account. You can redeem your earnings for a $3 gift card from Amazon once you have at least 300 Swagbucks (3 dollars). You get cash and other gift card redemption options with higher Swagbucks amounts.
  4. Track your earnings by logging into your Swagbucks account. You can redeem your earnings for a $3 gift card from Amazon once you have at least 300 Swagbucks (3 dollars). You get cash and other gift card redemption options with higher Swagbucks amounts.

You Can Use Swagbucks to Earn Discounted Amazon Gift Cards
Like Rakuten, Swagbucks has been around for a while. It's one of the most established cash back programs out there.

How much have they paid their members? They have awarded over $350 million to their users,  and they have a great track record for payments. While they offer many ways to make money like taking surveys, I primarily use it for cash back.

For my online shopping, I compare it to Ibotta and Ebates, and if Swagbucks has a better cash back option, I use it to make my purchases. If cashback rates are the same, I prefer Ibotta and Ebates since their holding times for earnings to become available for redemption are much quicker.

As a bonus, Swagbucks has an option to redeem your points earned for discounted Amazon gift cards. Using this option is an excellent way to maximize your Swagbucks value and get free Amazon gift cards.

Fetch Rewards: Easy Money for Scanning Your Receipt

 

Fetch Rewards is yet another grocery receipt scanning app. But it's not the ‘same old same old.' It stands out because it has a neat way of ‘Fetching' offers for you, instead of having to select the offers before going to the store.

Here are the details:

Registration Bonus: 2000 Fetch Points (worth $2) if you sign up with code SAVVY

Eligible Stores: US and Puerto Rico

How to Earn: Scan your receipts from all grocery stores, convenience stores, club stores, drugstores, and liquor stores.

Payment Options: Retail Gift Cards or Virtual MasterCard/Visa Rewards Card

How does Fetch Rewards Work?

  1. First, download the Fetch Rewards app. Be sure to use code “SAVVY” to get 2000 Fetch Points with your first scan.
  2. Scan your grocery receipts, and the app will automatically give you points for the brand partners.
  3. Once you have used Fetch Rewards several times, it will make smart brand suggestions based on your purchases. Buying the suggested brands as well as special offers posted from time to time will result in more points earned.
    Redeem Rewards. 1000 points = $1 in rewards.
  4. Once you have accumulated at least 3000 Fetch points, you can redeem for a gift card from a wide selection of retailers, including Amazon.

Why Does It Make Sense to Use Fetch Rewards? Here's a little more Info.

Fetch Rewards hit the app store in March 2017. Co-founder, Wes Schroll, came up with the idea while still a student at the Wisconsin School of Business. His frustration of losing paper coupons inspired the ingenious idea to start Fetch. Hew new mobile technology would simplify the archaic couponing process.

Fast forward to today, and Fetch Rewards now supports over 250 brands and has awarded over $3 million in rewards.

What makes Fetch Rewards better than other grocery store apps? It doesn't require you to pre-select offers to earn points. While the amount you can earn for your purchases may not be as substantial as Ibotta and Checkout 51, the ease of use is why it makes our top five.

If you use Fetch Rewards consistently and you shop the major brands your earnings do add up. It only takes about 30 seconds to scan your receipt, and the points earned are processed in real-time.

I can make enough reward points each month to get a $10 Amazon gift card. Not bad, for a few minutes of your time each month.

You can read my full Fetch Rewards review, or join now using our referral code “SAVVY” to get a $2 sign-up bonus with your first receipt scan.

GetUpside App: Earn Cash Back on Gas

You're on your way to earning more cash with our top four apps. But there's one more expense that almost everybody has and one more way to earn cash back.  We've covered groceries and retail, but what about that gas bill?

According to the Bureau of Labor, the average American household spends nearly $2000 a year on gasoline.

If you could get just 15% of that back, that would be $300 or more a year in savings! You can do just that by combing a good rewards credit card, like Sam's Club credit card (5% rewards on gas) and the GetUpside App (earn up to 25¢/gallon).

Sounds amazing right? Here are the GetUpside details:

Registration Bonus: 15¢/gallon extra on your first use with code: M2KRP.

Eligible Locations: GetUpside is currently available at over 12,000 locations and growing in the United States. Most of the partner businesses are gas stations; however, in some areas, you can earn cash back from restaurant and grocery offers as well.

How Does GetUpside App Work?

  1. Download the app and register. Be sure to use code “M2KRP” to get an additional 15¢/gallon back on your first use.
  2. Find Participating Locations near you. If you enable location services in the app, it will show you locations near you where you can save.
  3. Claim an Offer: Find the best offer from a nearby gas station.
  4. Complete the offer and Save the receipt.
  5. Upload your receipt from your gas purchase by taking a picture with your mobile phone.
  6. Submit to Complete the Deal GetUpside states in can take up to 48 hours for them to process your reward. I have found they usually process my claims within a few hours.

How Do I Cash Out on Fueling Up?
You can cash out your GetUpside earnings for Digital Gift Cards, Cash via PayPal, or request they mail you a check.

You can claim your rewards with as little as $1, however, for cash rewards, its best to get to $15 (PayPal) and $50 (Check) to avoid the $1 service fee.

How to Maximize Earnings with GetUpside
Since you have to claim your GetUpside offers before gassing up, it's important to view the participating locations near your home, work, and other areas you frequent. If you find offers that will save you money, make a note of them so that you claim them before filling up.

Maximize your savings by viewing and comparing the lowest gas prices and best rewards within the app.

Remember, in addition to gas, you can also get cash back on groceries and restaurants in some locations.

Dosh: Earn Automatic Cash Back

Dosh is a cash back app that helps users to earn cash back on their everyday purchases. Dosh cash rewards are automatic, and there's no need to enter any cash back codes or go through registration. It takes just seconds to sign up, and then the cash rewards come straight to your account after you make a purchase.

Here are the details:

Who Can Join: US residents 18 and over with an eligible credit/debit card in their name

Cash Back Categories: Dosh currently works with over 10,000 hotels, restaurants and retail outlets

How to Earn Cash Back:

  1. Download the Dosh App and Register.
  2. Link a valid credit or Debit Card
  3. Use linked credit card when making purchases.

Bonus Tip: Use a cash back credit card to maximize rewards!

Types Of cash Back:

Automatic Cash Back: In-store purchases from participating merchants are automatically credited to your account. Just be sure to pay with a linked credit card.

Click through App Cash Back: You can also earn cash back for online purchases. You can see all the eligible offers by opening up the Dosh app and viewing the online offers in the app. To earn, select the online offer, and this will direct you to the website for the retailer. Then you would just shop like you normally do. Again, be sure to complete the purchase with a debit or credit card linked to your Dosh account.

Hotel Cash Back: Within the Dosh App their is a dedicated Hotels icon. There you will find significant cash back offers on different hotel destinations. You will need to register the hotel with the Dosh App to earn the cash back.

Payment Options: Once you have accumulated $25 in your Dosh Virtual Wallet, you can cash out via a linked Bank Account, Venmo, or PayPal.

Honey: Automatic Online Coupon Savings

Honey is a cash back browser extension that works across multiple browsers, including Chrome, Firefox and Safari. In addition, they now also have an app for mobile that you can download from the Apple or Google Play store.

How Does Honey Work?

Honey goes online to discover the best pricing and newest coupon codes. Honey has you covered, so there's no need to forget to utilize discount codes any longer!

The best thing about it is that, in addition to the money-saving coupons, Honey also allows you to earn Honey Gold Rewards when you shop at participating online stores. There's nothing to it either. Simply do your regular online shopping and wait for any given retailer's reward rate to appear on your screen. You can exchange your points for free gift cards from merchants like Amazon if you collect enough Gold Rewards.

What is the difference between Honey Browser Extension and mobile app?

The Honey add-on is compatible with Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Opera. If you're on one of the 30,000+ websites that Honey supports and it has codes for it, it'll display to test and apply the greatest discounts for you.

The Honey App brings different stores to you in a single app whenever you’re on your phone. You can shop for codes and deals from participating retailers within the app.

How do you cash out your Honey Gold Rewards?

Once you accumulate 1000 Gold points, you can redeem it for a $10 Gift card or transfer to PayPal. Honey joined the PayPal family in January 2020, so payments to PayPal are prompt, usually within 24 hours

Choosing the Top Cashback Apps That Will Work for You

These apps are my personal favorites because I found them easy to use and was impressed with how much I earned. I based my selection not only on the earnings you can make but also on the quality and ease of the use of the apps. When deciding which apps are best for your life, be practical. Consider how many different apps you want to incorporate into your shopping routines. Some apps work better for groceries and in-store, others for online purchases. So don't hesitate to try them all for your purchases. Once you get a feel for which work best for you, stick to it, and make some cash back. The number of cash back apps you use will ultimately come down to what works out best for you. Currently, for me, that number is six. I believe the strengths of each app listed here make the perfect combination for most users. And how much have I saved in the past year using these cash back apps? Nearly $2000 just for using these nine cash back apps in the last couple of years. Do you have a list of cash back apps you use and love? Share your experiences below.

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