Cashback apps are a great resource for the frugal shopper. Couponing is now digital and easier than ever. There are numerous cashback apps available in the App Store. Which ones work best? Which ones are right for you?
I decided to give four popular cashback apps a try: Fetch Rewards, Checkout 51, Ebates, and ibotta. In this article, I’m comparing their features and sharing my experience with them to help you decide if you want to use them and which one to choose. I chose these apps based on their ratings in the App Store. I’ll tell you which one is my favorite and why.
Fetch Rewards is a points-based rewards app. Not “technically” a cashback app, it rewards your purchases with points that you redeem for gift cards. You can choose from hundreds of gift cards to various restaurants, specialty stores, hotels, spas, even to give to charity.
Fetch Rewards is an exclusively brand-oriented rewards system. Under the “Ways to Earn Points” menu, you select your favorite brands. Then after shopping for groceries, you select “scan” at the bottom of the page and use your phone’s camera to scan your receipt. Any brands or special offers you have selected in the app will be automatically added to your rewards points.
You can create a grocery list in the app and create a recipe box. I’ve not used these features.
I’ve never been a fan of points systems. The points never seemed to add up to enough to get anything good.
But I’ve been using Fetch Rewards for about 3 weeks and I’m only 485 points away from getting a $3 gift card to Panera Bread if I choose to redeem them that way. I’ll get 100 points just for scanning one more receipt, which will happen this week. The points are adding up pretty quickly.
Also with Fetch Rewards, the brand products purchased can be from any kind of store. When we travel and stop at convenience stores for gas and snacks, I usually snack on a cheese and cracker Lunchable. I can get points for buying Lunchables at any convenience store in any state because I have Lunchables selected as one of my rewards brands.
I like the Fetch Rewards program and recommend it. It’s easy to use, the points add up quickly and the choices for rewards are numerous. There are plenty of gift cards to companies I like and I have control over how I use the points I accumulate.
Get the Fetch Rewards Cashback App Using My Referral Code
If you would like to start saving with Fetch Rewards, download it from the app store on your phone. If you use my referral code D1YWP, we both get 2,000 rewards points when you scan your first receipt.
Checkout 51 is the simplest cashback app to use. The offers change every Thursday. You simply select the offers you want, scan your receipt to match items you bought with the offers selected, and the money accumulates in your account.
When your account reaches $20, you can request it in the form of a check or a deposit into your PayPal account. Or you can choose to keep accumulating funds in your account. Click on “Terms” in the account menu for details on redeeming your cash back rewards. They do have an Inactive Account Charge of $2 worth of cash back credits per month if your account is inactive for 12 months.
I don’t have any rewards in my account yet with Checkout 51. I shop primarily at Fareway and use the ibotta app there. Since the receipt from Fareway will say “ibotta Customer” at the top, Checkout 51 won’t accept those receipts.
Checkout 51 is an exclusively brand-oriented system. You can scan a receipt from any store that sells these brands whether it’s a grocery store, a discount store like Walmart, or convenience store. There are bonuses for buying certain products at certain stores such as an additional $1 for buying SmartyPants supplements at Walmart.
This one isn’t working well for me, but maybe it will work for you. Checkout 51 has no referral program for its members.
Ebates is an online and in-store shopping cashback app. I’ve only used it once so far to purchase a printer through Office Max online.
Most cashback offers through Ebates are 1%-3% – hardly enough to get me interested. There are occasionally 5%-7% cashback offers and some One Day Only 10% or more cashback offers. I would rather save money by not spending it in the first place, so unless a deal is outstanding, I’m just not going to make an effort for 1%-7% back.
Great for Large Purchases
I needed to replace my printer and I needed to try Ebates for this article, so I used Ebates to buy an Epson Ecotank printer. I found 3% cash back on electronics purchases at Office Max. The printer cost $300, That will give me a $9 rebate, plus as shown in the screenshot below I should be getting an additional $10 as a welcome bonus for spending $25 or more at any store on Ebates. As of this writing, I’m still waiting for everything to go through.
I can see how Ebates would be great for someone who does a lot of shopping for a business, an organization, a large family, or for higher -priced purchases like electronics. In that case, the small percentage back would add up pretty quickly making the few extra clicks to shop through Ebates worth the effort.
Ebates offers rewards for shopping through hundreds of stores, so finding offers is easy. But like I said earlier, the percentage back is pretty small.
I’m going to keep Ebates. It’s a good cashback app for getting savings on electronics and higher ticket items.
Ebates Cashback App Referral Link Helps YOU Save!
Ebates has a referral program. Each Ebates customer has a link that can be sent to friends. When friends sign up for Ebates and spend $25, you get $25. Click on this link to sign up for Ebates if you think it may be right for you. If you spend $25 through my Ebates link, I’ll get $25. You can do the same if someone signs up through your link. Referral links can be emailed, sent through text message, and posted on Facebook. You don’t have to have a blog. 🙂
ibotta is the cashback app that works best for me.
I like the Any Brand offers that allow me to get cash back on the already low-priced store brand products. I like the cash back offers on produce like bananas, eggs, sweet potatoes, green beans, juice, pasta, etc. Even offers for cash back on meat show up sometimes! ibotta works both in-store an online.
ibotta offers cash back on adult beverage purchases in-store and in restaurants. I earned $1 on a glass of CK Mondavi wine at the Urban Farmer restaurant in Ogallala, Nebraska by choosing CK Mondavi wine in Any Restaurant.
One of ibotta’s daily specials netted me a pair of New Balance running shoes from Shoes.com for $45. The special was 18% off a qualifying online purchase at Shoes.com. The shoes were on sale, plus I got $10 cash back for using the app. All total I have $10.08 in my account for that one purchase!
ibotta offers cash back for groceries, online shopping, adult beverages, pharmacy purchases, clothing, beauty and wellness, specialty stores such as Cabelas, Petco, Groupon, ebay, Ticketmaster, home and electronics, crafts and gifts, and travel.
I had to buy yarn to crochet a blanket for a new baby coming to my nephew and his wife in October. I saved over $6 on that one purchase at Joann Fabrics. Shopping at my local Fareway grocery store yields $1 – $3 every time so far. It works at Walmart, Target, Walgreens – literally hundreds of stores.
How to Redeem Cashback Offers Through ibotta
You redeem offers by choosing what offers you want and the store where you want to use them. In my case, it’s usually my local Fareway grocery store.
Fareway, however, doesn’t use the receipt scan to redeem rewards. You give the phone number that is linked to your ibotta app to the cashier before your order is rung up. But with all other stores I’ve shopped, rewards are redeemed by scanning and sending a copy of your receipt with your smartphone through the ibotta app. It’s easy.
Loyalty cards can be linked to ibotta. I have no experience with linking a loyalty card, so I can’t share how it works.
Online purchase rewards made through ibotta are automatically added to your account.
Once your cash back balance in your account reaches $20, you can request to have your earnings transferred to Venmo, PayPal, or convert your earnings into a gift card.
For the wide range of stores including local stores and gas stations, the ease of redeeming online purchase rewards, the various travel and restaurant rewards, and overall ease of use, I give ibotta a big thumbs up!
Save Money with ibotta Cashback App Using My Referral Code
If you think ibotta is a cashback app that will work for you, download it from your device’s app store and please sign in using my referral code: dahcvdm. I’ll get $5 for everyone who signs up using that code. And when you sign up for ibotta, you will be given a referral code like mine that you can use to share with friends and get $5 when they sign up. The referral code can be shared through text, email, social media, and a blog if you have one.
I’m very happy with Fetch Rewards and ibotta, okay with Ebates, and just not having a lot of luck with Checkout 51. I think cashback apps are worth having. If you would like to try the apps I’ve reviewed here, please use my referral codes. You get some great bargains and get to support your local blogger! It’s a win-win! 🙂
Do you have a favorite cashback app that isn’t listed here? I’d love to know about it! And if you try these apps let me know how they work for you!
Thank you for stopping by and I hope this review helps you find some bargains!
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