Using all of the best rebate apps and cash-back apps at once feels a little like juggling — and a lot like herding cats. You might have dozens of questions as you get started. Here we’ll go over all the details to help you decide which cash-back apps and rebate apps will work for you.
Before we get started, you should start by downloading the free The Krazy Coupon Lady app, where you’ll find out more about the top apps like Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Fetch Rewards. We love them all. The real trick to getting huge savings is using all of the cash-back and rebate apps together whenever you can. And don’t worry — you can!
For more smart shopping tips and savings hacks, text HACKS to 57299.
What are cash-back apps and rebate apps?
Rebate apps get you cash back or other reimbursements in exchange for receipts showing proof of purchase of an item or items. Instead of having money taken off your total purchase price — like you get with a coupon — with cash-back apps, you make a purchase and then get some sort of rebate once you’ve reached a certain minimum amount. I’ll explain that in a minute.
Each cash-back and rebate app has its own set of limits and rules to get your money back, but it’s not hard to understand, I promise.
1. Ibotta is the cash-back and rebate app for groceries with the most offers.
If there’s any app you should start with, it’s Ibotta. The app has tons of rebates for groceries and other products you buy frequently.
Plus, most offers reset up to three times (about once every two days). This means you can use a Tillamook cheese offer once, then wait a couple of days, use it again, and then again (on different transactions for the same product). You can even redeem some offers up to three times per receipt.
With Ibotta, you’ll have to rack up $20 before you can cash out. But trust me, that money comes in quickly. You can cash out through PayPal or even use your credit toward a gift card. (I love cashing out for a Starbucks gift card.)
Ibotta can also link with your store loyalty accounts for easy redemption — no need to upload a receipt. Learn the ins and outs of how Ibotta works.
Pros for Ibotta:
- Ibotta is a very user-friendly rebate app for beginners. It offers hundreds of rebates, including ones for products that aren’t brand-specific. You’ll also find retail offers on Ibotta.
Cons for Ibotta:
- You have to preselect your rebate offers before you shop, and certain Ibotta offers can’t be stacked with coupons.
- If your account is inactive for 180 days, they’ll start deducting $3.99 from your earnings every 30 days until your account shows activity again.
Download Ibotta now and start redeeming hundreds of offers on items you’re already buying!
2. Fetch Rewards does all the work for you.
Fetch Rewards is slightly different from the other rebate apps because you don’t have to select any offers before you check out at the store.
You earn points by either taking a photo of your receipt or linking your online shopping emails to the app. You can also earn bonus points for brand-specific products. Link your Amazon account and earn points for Amazon purchases, too. Fetch currently gives 25 bonus points for ANY receipt you upload. And when I say any receipt, this can even be your Chick-fil-A receipt!
Your cash-out options are limited to gift cards. However, there are more gift card options available if you wait until you’ve reached 10,000+ points.
Pros for Fetch Rewards:
- Fetch is very user-friendly for beginners and makes it simple to redeem offers. There’s no need to preselect any rebates.
- Use Fetch’s built-in tool to search for your online shopping receipts.
- Cash-out with as little as 3,000 points (equals $3).
Cons for Fetch Rewards:
- There’s no cash-out option with PayPal; you can only cash out for gift cards.
TIP: If you’re worried about Fetch having access to all of your personal emails, you can create a separate email account just to use with your couponing receipts.
3. Cash out right away with the Coupons.com app.
Coupons.com isn’t just for printing coupons anymore (but you can still do that if you want to). Instead, link your loyalty card or take a picture of your receipt to get cash back on a qualified purchase. Typically, within a week, you’ll get your rebate.
The rebates on Coupons.com are still considered manufacturer savings, so you can’t use a manufacturer coupon AND a Coupons.com rebate offer. Look for new offers every day, but especially on Sunday.
After shopping, tap “Redeem” to submit your receipt and get cash back sent automatically to your PayPal account. If you have a store card linked before you shop, you can skip submitting your receipts.
Pros for Coupons.com:
- No cash-out requirement.
Cons for Coupons.com:
- You can’t stack cash-back offers with manufacturer coupons.
- No sign-up bonus is available.
To get started, download the Coupons.com app.
4. TopCashback is a cash-back app that rewards you for online shopping purchases.
TopCashback is an app and website that gives you cash back on anything you buy from their retail partners (except for groceries).
I find the TopCashback app super easy to use; it gives you actual cash (or you can pick a gift card instead). And even better, it also gives you promo codes that you can stack on top of your cash-back earnings. To earn cash back, start on the app or website, make sure you’re signed in, and select the retailer you’d like to shop. Then start shopping and earn cash back on anything you buy.
One major downside is, to redeem your cash back, you have to wait for TopCashback to get paid their referral commission from the retailer you made your purchase through. This can take anywhere from one to three months. They give you 100% of what they get paid right back, rather than taking a percentage like most other apps do. When your money goes from “pending” to “payable,” you can request a payout anytime for any amount.
Cash-out with PayPal, Amazon gift cards, or other prepaid gift cards which sometimes have a bonus for cashing out with them.
Pros for TopCashback:
- Get rebates on non-grocery items, sometimes up to 100%.
- You can use the app or their website.
Cons for TopCashback:
- Waiting for your rebate can take up to three months.
- No sign-up bonus is available.
Sign up for TopCashback.
TIP: Get exclusive promo codes and coupons by downloading the free browser extension or by allowing notifications in the free TopCashback app.
5. Earn “kicks” you can redeem for gift cards with Shopkick.
Shopkick gives you several ways to earn points: walk into a participating store (≈10 kicks), scan products in store (20+ kicks), make a purchase online with a linked card (≈3 kicks per $1), watch short ad videos (1 kick), and scan receipts (200+ kicks). You can also earn 500 bonus kicks when you refer a friend who signs up with your code and earns 10 kicks in 14 days (not counting video kicks).
Roughly 250 kicks equal $1 in gift card rewards, and you can cash out once you’ve earned 500 kicks. Learn everything there is to know about Shopkick.
Pros for Shopkick:
- They offer multiple ways to earn kicks (aka points), which you can redeem for gift cards.
Cons for Shopkick:
- It can get tedious trying to tap into all the different ways to earn kicks.
- No sign-up bonus is available.
Download Shopkick and start earning!
6. Checkout 51 lets you redeem offers up to five times.
The Checkout 51 app allows you to redeem some offers up to five times. If an offer is eligible for multiple redemptions, you’ll see a plus sign next to the product. Just keep hitting the plus sign until you reach the maximum number of rebates allowed.
Plus, Checkout 51 rebates get better the more you use them. As time progresses, you’ll have access to “Choose Your Own Offer” rebates, where you can apply savings to whatever you want.
Offers reset on Thursdays each week — but be sure you’re not missing out on any of those “by Wednesday” bonus offers if you’re checking for deals on Thursdays.
You can also earn up to $0.10/gal cash back when you buy gas. In the Checkout 51 app, click Extras and select a nearby gas station. You must get gas within four hours of adding the offer, pay with a credit or debit card, and scan your receipt within 24 hours of adding the offer to earn your rewards.
You’ll need to hit a minimum of $20 in rebates in order to cash out via PayPal, eGift card, or a physical check.
Pros for Checkout 51:
- You can redeem offers up to five times.
- Offers aren’t store-specific, but they do focus on name-brand items.
Cons for Checkout 51:
- The only cash-out options are PayPal or a check.
- No sign-up bonus is available.
Download Checkout 51 now.
7. Complete tasks on the Swagbucks app in your downtime to earn gift cards.
The Swagbucks app (iOS / Android) lets you earn rewards points for taking surveys, completing simple tasks, watching videos, completing web searches, and doing other easy activities you can tackle right from your couch. Once you collect enough Swagbucks (100 Swagbucks = $1), you can redeem them for cash (via PayPal), check, or gift cards.
You’ll earn additional Swagbucks when you refer your friends or make purchases at your favorite stores (like Amazon and Walmart) through the Swagbucks website.
Pros for Swagbucks:
- You can earn points for taking surveys and completing tasks, typically with no purchase required.
- There is a $10 sign-up bonus for Swagbucks, but it’s kind of a pain to claim and redeem.
Cons for Swagbucks:
- Your “Swagbucks” probably won’t accumulate as fast as you’d like.
- Some tasks also aren’t as fun or creative as other side hustles.
Related: If you’re looking to get started with cash-back apps, check out our full explainer — Is Swagbucks Legit?