There are tons of coupon and cashback apps across the internet, but are they really worth it?
The last thing anyone wants to do is spend hours of time filling out information or submitting data to get pennies in return. Who wants to spend their precious time on administrative tasks if it isn’t going to make sense financially in the end? Depending on what your routine is, it might make sense to add one of these apps to your shopping experience.
To find out if these cashback apps would be beneficial, we polled some of our friends and family to get their feedback on each platform. Keep in mind, we haven’t used these apps specifically, but gathered honest data from people that continue to use these apps to this day.
Ibotta is a great app that will help you save money while buying groceries, ordering food at restaurants, clothes, entertainment, and more.
Ibotta makes money because they have partnered with companies in order to promote and sell more of their products. Ibotta will encourage you to spend more money with these specific brands and you will get discounts each time you buy. It truly is a win-win for everyone involved. The brands sell more products and you get to save money on the products you are going to be buying anyway.
The only downside that I have noticed is the time it takes to accrue the rewards. I used the app for about 6 months (not religiously, but a decent amount of time was spent on getting rewards through the app). After those 6 months, I had enough money to redeem $40 on a Chili’s gift card. This was nice because I was able to have a free dinner for me and my spouse.
Does the app save me time or stress? Not really, but it does save me money and doesn’t take much effort to get the rewards. I would recommend this app to anyone who doesn’t mind taking a moment or two to get free money. It will eventually add up to something valuable in the end.
This cashback app can help you save money on regular purchases you will make on a monthly basis. You can find deals on chips, fruit, diapers, and many other products from the grocery store.
Similar to Ibotta, this app is really great for earning rewards when shopping for groceries that I will buy anyway. It’s a simple app and it gives easy instructions to submit your receipts after you are finished shopping. Checkout51 also has videos (basically ads) you can watch to earn more rewards.
The only downside to this app can be the selection at times. I might not always want to buy the items that redeem points, but that isn’t always the case. Also, it does take a little time to upload the receipts, but it is still free money. All you need is an uploaded photo of your receipt. Why not spend a few minutes to have the dollars add up over time?
Think of this app as a good way to treat yourself a couple of times a year. You could use the rewards on an amazon gift card and get yourself something nice that only takes a moment of time when you are done shopping.
Are you looking for cashback on electronics, clothing, household items and more?
Look no further than Rakuten. Rakuten will help you get a percentage back from all of these items that you buy throughout the year. Generally, you will find deals that will get you around 2-10% money back. Sometimes you will find deals around 30%, but this isn’t on a regular basis. There are thousands of online retailers to choose from that will help you save money. You will see deals from Amazon, Walmart, Dell, and many others.
The perfect time to use this app or website is during the holidays or when you are buying gifts for others. Another good time is when you are purchasing big-ticket items like appliances or costly electronics. If you earn 2% from a $2,500 purchase, you’ll get $50 back in your pocket. I will always try to look at this option when buying anything over $500. It makes no sense to avoid capitalizing on the savings. All you have to do is initiate the shopping session on the app before checkout. You don’t have to send a copy of your receipt.
You can also link your credit card to your Rakuten account to get cashback at retail stores so you can shop in-person as well.
If you are trying to maximize the savings on those large expenses without having to take too much time, give this free service a try!
Honey is a free app/extension that will help you save money on purchases when you visit online stores. This will help you save on clothes, ordering food, travel, and other purchases. Honey will automatically let you know if there is a coupon available for the items you are buying and will alert you if there is a price drop on products as well. You can also earn rewards for using their service.
When we first tried Honey, we noticed it didn’t work as well as we had hoped. It seemed like discounts were not available for our purchases and we were a bit frustrated. However after evaluating our shopping habits we realized that we tend tend to favor shopping in places like Amazon, Walmart, Newegg, or other large established places online. It seems that a lot of times there weren’t very many coupons that were readily available for these larger retailers.
What we found is that if we shopped at individual brand retailers such as a clothing or shoe websites like Nike or New Balance, there was a greater chance that Honey would find some kind of discount. Individual Brands, one-off products, and niche websites seemed to have more favorable results in our tests.
From our experience, Honey seems like it is less likely to find discounts with the bigger, more established stores. However it doesn’t hurt to keep Honey constantly running in the background because it only takes a few seconds to check. Keep the expectation that it might not save you money today, but one day it definitely will!
Groupon is great to use if you are about to purchase something from a local or online business. Whether you are looking for deals on restaurants, spa services, or outdoor activities, Groupon is a great option to get deals up to 50% off (in many cases).
I don’t use Groupon often, but it is a great site or app to peruse before spending your money on something you can find a great deal on. For example, I will jump on the Groupon app before I go out to dinner because there are often good deals on food within a 15-mile radius. Another great time to use the Groupon app is when vacationing. Most of the time, they have fun activities available that are a fraction of the normal cost for tourists. Next time you are visiting a new city, give it a try and save money on new experiences.
The only downside I have heard about (not my experience) is the support when you need to get a refund or have any issues. For me, I’ve never had any issues, but I know others have had some issues trying to get refunds past 14 days.
Groupon is always expanding its offerings by partnering with new companies each month that are trying to get more sales. One that I saw recently was an offer to get a Sam’s Club membership for half the price. You might as well check the app before buying.
Are Coupon & Cashback Apps Worth Using?
The short answer: It Depends.
Most coupon and cashback apps are going to give you a positive return on investment if you are using the app efficiently.
However, the word “efficiently” is very important in the statement above. You could easily use the tools above and spin your wheels if you aren’t taking advantage of the best offers or if the specific app doesn’t make sense for your specific situation. For example, if you don’t have a ton of time to spare, you might want to stick to apps like Groupon or Honey because they don’t require much time at all when looking for money-saving deals.
If you do have some time on your hand and don’t mind submitting receipts/etc, you can earn plenty of rewards with ibotta/etc.
Let us know if there are other money-saving apps that we should cover by leaving a comment below!
Read also to save even more money: 17 Items You Should Be Buying in Bulk