Alana Vandagriff | 

Everything I Know About Shopkick & How It Works

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Who doesn’t love getting free gift cards? The Shopkick rebate app makes it so easy to turn your shopping trips into free gift cards for places you already spend money, like Target, Walmart, Starbucks, and Amazon. There are multiple ways you can earn your “kicks” on the app and turn those kicks into gift cards. But how does Shopkick work? And is it really worth all the effort?

At face value, using the Shopkick app is a great way to actually earn free money. But you need to know how to avoid some pitfalls and learn little-known hacks to get even more kicks. On top of the savings, you’re eligible for 250 bonus kicks for every friend you invite. Here’s what to know.

Don’t forget to download The Krazy Coupon Lady app for more tips about how to save.


1. What is Shopkick and how does it work?

Shopkick is a rebate app that offers “kicks” (reward points) when you take certain actions either at a store or from home. These actions can include things like walking into stores, scanning items, and more (listed below). Some of these actions don’t require you to make a purchase, but others do.

Once you earn enough kicks on Shopkick, you can redeem them for gift cards to popular stores.


2. What are kicks worth?

Two phones, one showing the Shopkick rewards main page and the other showing the different levels of gift card rewards for a Target gift card

Most rewards come out to 250 kicks per dollar and follow this breakdown:

  • 500 kicks = $2
  • 1,250 kicks = $5
  • 2,500 kicks = $10
  • 3,750 kicks = $15
  • 6,250 kicks = $25

Check the Rewards section in the Shopkick app for specific rewards.


3. Download the Shopkick app and create an account.

A person holding their phone up in a store, showing the app store download screen for Shopkick

After you download the Shopkick app, you’ll need to enable Bluetooth inside the app so you can take advantage of walk-in offers. Also, be sure GPS is on so you can see offers near you.

Once you create an account, you’re ready to get started!



4. Earn “kicks” six different ways.

Two women standing in the toy aisle at Walmart, looking at a cell phone.

Shopkick offers a variety of ways to earn kicks in order to get a free gift card:

  1. Walk in
  2. Scan products
  3. Link your card
  4. Make a purchase online
  5. Watch videos
  6. Scan receipts

I’ll get more into how to do each of these next.


5. Take advantage of three free ways to earn kicks.

A person holding a bag of starbucks coffee next to a cell phone with the shopkick app on it.

These actions result in free money since you don’t have to buy anything to earn kicks. It’ll take longer to reach a free gift card, but it’ll truly be free.


1. Walk in

Open the app and walk into participating stores that show “Walk-in” kicks available under “Nearby.” You’ll automatically earn 10 kicks just for walking into the store. Shopkick has a limited budget for walk-ins, so if you don’t see the option to earn walk-in kicks and you know that store offers them, it means you’ve reached your limit for the month. Keep checking back to see if they’ve reset.

TIP: Get walk-in kicks without actually walking into a store. Just open the app as you drive right by the location and you’ll probably earn the kicks. Thanks, Bluetooth.


2. Scan products

Select the store where you’re shopping and tap the “Scan” icon. Choose a product and scan it with your phone camera while still in the store to earn 15 – 30 kicks. Remember, you do not have to buy these items; you’re just scanning!


3. Watch videos

Tap “Discover” at the bottom of the app and watch ads to get between one and five kicks per video.


6. Earn higher-value kicks three ways (but you need to spend some money).

These actions require you to put some skin in the game in the form of buying products, but the payoff is that you earn more kicks and thus will get your free gift card faster.


1. Link your card

Link your credit or debit card to Shopkick, make a credit purchase with that card at a participating retailer, and within 48 hours you’ll earn up to six kicks per dollar you spend.


2. Scan receipts

Choose your store and tap “Receipts” to see which offers you can buy to earn kicks. Select your offers, and once you’ve made a purchase, upload your receipt to the Shopkick app to earn between 200 and 650 kicks — or even more if you buy bundles.


3. Make a purchase online

Buy something through the Shopkick portal (this just means you’ll click through the Shopkick app to buy from Hulu, BarkBox, and more) and you’ll earn between one and three kicks per dollar you spend.


7. Redeem your kicks for gift cards to Amazon, Target, Sephora, Walmart, and more.

Someone holding a phone displaying a Shopkick Strabucks gift card reward in front of a Starbucks coffee and store

In order to keep saving money on groceries, redeem your kicks for gift cards to grocery stores like Walmart or Target. Or splurge on something you’d never buy yourself — redeem your kicks for a Tory Burch gift card and get a new bag.

You can cash out kicks for gift cards from any of these retailers:

Related: Check out our Ultimate Guide to Rebate Apps.


8. Try new products for cheap (or free) with high-value offers.


Someone about to scan a receipt with their phone using the Shopkick app

Shopkick will often offer high-value rewards on newly released products — that’s your chance to buy and try those products for a fraction of the cost.

Recently, we were able to score a $9.98 Dove deodorant for basically free after factoring in the kicks received from Shopkick and an Ibotta rebate.



9. If you do upload a receipt to Shopkick, upload it to Fetch Rewards, too!

Dove men+care deodorant deal in the Fetch Rewards app.

Let’s say that Shopkick’s offer for Dove Men+Care Body Wash was on your shopping list, and you earned 200 kicks when you uploaded your receipt. Congrats!

Don’t stop there — upload that receipt to Fetch Rewards, too. Fetch Rewards gives you points for uploading any receipt from grocery stores, convenience stores, drugstores, and big-box retailers. It doesn’t matter what you bought.

Upload up to 14 receipts per week (but know that receipts cannot be older than 14 days).

TIP: For the most savings, also check if other rebate apps like Ibotta and Checkout51 have offers for that same product you bought and submitted for Shopkick and Fetch. Most rebates can be stacked, but always make sure to read their fine print first.


10. Use digital or paper coupons with Shopkick.

A 10% off Tide laundry detergent on the target circle app, held next to a $2 off manufacture coupon, and a bottle of Tide liquid detergent.

Any kicks you earn through Shopkick happen in addition to coupons and offers you apply to your purchase.

Since you’re mostly earning kicks from scanning items you’re not buying or from buying specific items, it doesn’t matter if you use a coupon or not. Plus, like other rebate apps, earning kicks happens post-purchase, not at the register, so always look for coupons to lower your out-of-pocket cost.

TIP: If you’re shopping at Target, go ahead and use your RedCard to pay — you can still upload your receipt to Shopkick to earn kicks.


stack coupons and rebates with the KCL app


11. Shop through the Shopkick portal to earn up to 18 kicks per dollar you spend.

Two phones, one showing the list of Online stores available to shop through on the Shopkick app, and the other showing the button to click through to shop on

Before you make an online purchase, get into the habit of checking the Shopkick “Online” tab to see if the store you’re planning to shop at offers kicks for buying something.

For example, if you’re shopping for a new laptop from Best Buy, initiate your purchase through Shopkick so you can snatch up two kicks per dollar you spend.

Every online retailer has a different Shopkick offer — between one and eight kicks per dollar you spend or a flat amount of kicks just for making a purchase. The flat-rate kicks are usually for a sign-up. Like, if you sign up for ESPN through Shopkick, you’ll earn 950 kicks.

Right now, the highest kick for shopping online is Sam’s Club, with 40 kicks per $1! This is a special promotion. Normally it’s two kicks for $1. Without a promotion, Warby Parker is the highest, with 18 kicks per $1.



12. A quick Shopkick review: Navigating the parts of the app.

Three phones, each showing the different tabs on the Shopkick app: Nearby, Online, and Discover

How does Shopkick work on a more detailed level? At the bottom of the app, “Nearby” means brick-and-mortar stores where you could do walk-ins and scan products. This tab is the home screen. “Online” refers to the options for using Shopkick’s online shopping portal to earn kicks. “Discover” is where you can find the videos to watch for kicks.

Here’s how to troubleshoot the glitch if you find you can’t get from “Online” back to “Nearby.” Use the search bar (the little magnifying glass icon circled below) and type in any store, like “Walmart.” When Walmart pops up, back out of that screen and it’ll put you back to the home screen “Nearby” tab.

Two phones showing the steps to fix the glitch in the Shopkick app

Related: We found all the rebate apps that don’t require in-store receipts.


13. Share your Shopkick promo code with friends and earn bonus kicks.

Two phones, one showing the side menu of the Shopkick app, and the other showing the friend referral code screen

Tap on the person icon in the upper left corner of the app — this is your account settings. Tap “Invite Friends” and then tap on your unique code to copy it. Share your code with your friends, and when they sign up and complete one of the six actions to earn their first kicks, you’ll receive 250 bonus kicks.

You can earn up to 25,000 kicks by inviting friends — this means you can invite up to 100 friends.


UP NEXT: Find out more ways to save money with KCL’s best tips!

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