Automating your finances, whether to pay bills or to save money, is the secret to growing wealth. Cash-back apps can be part of that strategy by providing you with applicable discounts, discounts or points on future purchases.
This is not a big-money game. It’s a “saved penny” kind of thing. But it helps to nurture the mindset of saving money.
What is a Cash-Back App?
The cash-back app lets you discount purchases or offers coupons for additional discounts. Some apps offer points that can be redeemed as a price break on subsequent purchases.
Best Cash-Back Apps of 2022
NerdWallet has identified some major cash-back apps. To narrow the field, we found apps with a search for “cash back” in the iOS App Store. We also require a minimum of 100,000 reviews and a rating of 4.5 stars or better. These apps are also available in Google Play for Android devices.
Apps are shown alphabetically.
Managing grocery store coupons is a feature of the Coupons.com app. Once you select a coupon or offer, the discount is automatically applied by linking your store loyalty card to the app. If you shop at a store without a loyalty program, you can submit a photo of your paper receipt. Upon approval, the discount is applied to your PayPal account.
User Reviews: The app lets you print coupons instead of choosing them in-app, but in recent months, users have been reporting technical problems with printing.
Best for: Harnessing the rewards associated with grocery store loyalty programs.
Dosh adds hotels to the retail and dining-out discount mix. By linking a credit or debit card to the app, the cash-back offer is credited to Dosh Wallet. The cash can then be transferred to bank accounts, PayPal or Venmo. Awards can also be donated to nonprofits.
User Reviews: App Store reviewers like the fact that no receipt scanning is required to get cash back, but aren’t fans of some maintenance fees. Purchases should also be made as a credit rather than a debit transaction.
Best for: Earning automatic discounts without having to scan receipts.
Fetch Rewards has grown in popularity, especially when it comes to saving on groceries. Scan your receipt, or submit an e-receipt, and you’ll earn rewards points redeemable for gift cards.
User Reviews: Fans love the app’s ease, but privacy issues are being raised due to a social feature that shares shopping and spending information. If you decide to go this route, make sure you understand the feature – and can live with it.
Best for: Redeem grocery receipts for points that apply to various rewards.
The purpose of this app is to provide cash-back offers from grocery stores, restaurants and – perhaps most notably – gas stations.
User Reviews: Getting cash back with a gas app like GetUpside has become a popular way to save, although there are occasional complaints about the limited number of gas stations in some areas.
Best for: Cash back on gasoline purchases.
Ibotta promises cash back whether you’re shopping in person, online, or while traveling or dining out. There are no promotional codes or coupons to track. Before you make a purchase, you search the app for the offers you like, then upload a photo of your receipt after purchase. You can also purchase items with a loyalty card in-store or a supported debit card through the app.
User Reviews: Some previously loyal Ibotta users have recently complained about the lack of customer service. Still, with over a million reviews, Ibotta is one of the most popular cash-back apps in the iOS Store.
Best for: Cashback on a variety of shopping options.
Rakuten is a high-profile cash-back app that claims to cover 3,500 stores and issue payments by PayPal or check. It also includes travel savings on airfares, hotels and car rentals.
User Reviews: People love to receive their cash-back checks and the app gets many reviews. Although there are some who complain about the issues of getting the referral bonus.
Best for Direct payments every three months.
In addition to offering cash back for purchases, this app simplifies the process with sweepstakes, surveys, bonuses and hog slot spins that can pay coins. Rewards can also be redeemed for gift cards or cash in your PayPal account.
User Reviews: Receipt Hog has its share of fans, though there are some who say the payoff is small and takes a while to add up.
Best for: Adding an element of fun to cash-back rewards.
One of the original cash-back apps born out of a website, RetailMeNot is primarily a coupon finder, but it also allows users to activate offers online and receive personalized notifications for discounts.
User Reviews: Some shoppers have used this app for years and brag about its ability to save money, though certainly not at every store.
Best for In-store discounts delivered by your location.
» More: 7 of the best money-making apps
Other Cash-Back Apps to Consider
Cash-back apps are all about saving small amounts of money over time, so you’ll probably want to find an app that you enjoy using and doesn’t require a lot of effort. Although these apps didn’t make the list above because they have fewer reviews or are rated slightly lower, they’re still worth considering.
At no charge, CoinOut is another receipt-scanning cash-back app. You don’t need to shop from a specific retailer, find coupons, or hunt for a deal. You upload a receipt, and the app does the rest.
The rewards, known as “kicks,” are available in-store or online and are payable in the form of gift cards.
If you love sharing your opinion on products and taking surveys, Swagbucks might be just what you are looking for.