Disclosure: This page contains referral/affiliate links.
While using smartphone apps to make money in your spare time is great, equally awesome is saving money on the stuff you buy anyways, like groceries. Here you'll find the best rebate apps to use to put a little cash back in your wallet.
While some of these apps are targeted towards a specific category, others have a wider selection and cater more towards non-food items. There's even a few apps on this list that will allow you to earn points towards gift cards for almost any receipt you submit.
My pick for the best cash back app is Ibotta. Not only is Ibotta really easy to use, but it has a ton of offers as well. Also, unlike some of the other apps listed here, Ibotta has a ton of offers so it's rare that you can't find any to redeem (and if you don't, just check back in a week as there's probably new ones.)
Ibotta has really perfected the cash back app experience. It's quick, easy to use and very reliable. I've always gotten the money I expected without any problems at all.
The way it works is by signing up and then downloading the app. Once it's installed and you're signed up, you can then browse all of the various offers in your area by store.
Just click on a store and there you will see the product and the amount of cash you can get back by purchasing said product. Once you've redeemed an offer, you can expect the money to be deposited into your account usually within a few days.
In addition to the already great offers, Ibotta routinely provides opportunities to earn even more money through various "challenges". These challenges usually involve redeeming a certain number of offers within a specific time frame (such as one month).
If you complete the challenge, you usually get a few extra bucks. This is great if you buy a lot of groceries as you could theoretically meet the requirements of the challenge in one grocery shopping trip thereby saving you even more money.
For example, currently (March 2017) they have a "March Mania Bonus" going on where you can get an extra $10 when you redeem 15 rebates during the month (some rebates might be excluded though so check the website/app for details).
This obviously is just a quick overview of the app. If you want an in-depth review where I go over it in detail, check out my full Ibotta review.
Overall, Ibotta is the best rebate app for saving money on groceries. It's simple, reliable, and has a ton of offers to choose from. If you choose to use only one cash back app, I highly recommend you choose Ibotta.
Ebates is one of the oldest cash back programs around starting back in 1998. To date, they have paid their members over $300,000,000 in cash via check or PayPal.
Ebates has both an app as well as a website you can use to save a little money the next time you go shopping. Like Ibotta, Ebates has a ton of offers to choose from but unlike Ibotta, Ebates is more focused on non-grocery items such as clothing, electronics, travel, etc. meaning Ebates isn't going to be as useful at the grocery store as Ibotta.
The reason I prefer Ibotta over Ebates is because I'm not the biggest shopper in the world as I tend to be a minimalist. If you do enjoy shopping though, you may very well prefer Ebates as they do have a ton of great offers in lots of different categories.
To use Ebates, all you have to do is log in through the site/app and then choose the store you want to shop at. You will be taken to the online store and whatever amount you spend there will be multiplied by the advertised cash back percentage (for example, you buy a $20 belt at 5% cash back you would get $1.00, minus taxes, etc.)
They have pretty high cash back offers, sometimes going as high as 40% (though this is rare). Still, 4%-6% is pretty common which if you're going to buy something anyways, might as well get some of that money back.
In addition, they have both daily deals which give you coupons as well as cash back, and stores that will give you double the cash back which means if you're planning on spending any money on clothes, cosmetics, etc., you should really check Ebates first as you might be able to save a substantial amount.
Overall, Ebates is great for those that like to shop and if you spend a lot on things other than food, you will probably like it more than Ibotta.
BeFrugal is very similar to Ebates. Not only do both apps have a corresponding website, but they both have a lot of stores in common as well as the percent you can get back.
These two seem like very close competitors with BeFrugal being the newer of the two. I actually discovered BeFrugal while I was doing research for this article as I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing any big rebate apps.
I'm glad I found it as they have a ton of rebates available with some high cash back offers. While I haven't bought anything through Ebates or BeFrugal yet, I'm sure I will eventually as both of them offer some really good deals.
Personally, I'd advise signing up to both Ebates and BeFrugal and then check both of them to see which has a better deal before you buy anything online. Since they're both free to join, you really don't have anything to lose other than the time it takes to sign up (what's that, 30 seconds?).
Overall, my first impressions of BeFrugal are really positive as they seem like a very similar alternative to Ebates. You can request payment via check, PayPal, or an Amazon.com gift card which gives you a little extra (2%-3% of redeemed amount added to gift card).
Swagbucks is different than the other apps in this list as it's not just a cash back app. In addition to getting paid to shop, you can actually earn money by doing various things such as taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, etc.
They do have a rebate section though that pays you in Swag Bucks and some of the offers are pretty good. They focus on many of the same stores that Ebates and BeFrugal do and have similar categories such as Clothing, Electronics & Photo, and Travel & Vacations.
Like the two before, Swagbucks is worth checking out if you buy a lot of stuff online. I'd recommend signing up and checking out the offers before your next online shopping spree as you could end up saving quite a bit.
Checkout 51 is an app like Ibotta in that it's heavily focused on food rebates. This is why it's a great app to have on your phone whenever you go grocery shopping because with both Ibotta and Checkout 51 installed, you can compare both apps to see if either one has a deal on whatever food you plan to buy.
While some of the other grocery rebate apps don't have that many offers to choose from, Checkout 51 seems to have quite a few. Currently, they have over 100 offers for each of the stores listed in the app on my phone. Out of that many offers, you should be able to find at least a few you can use.
Once you have at least $20.00 in your account, you can request payment via check. Unfortunately, that's the only payment method they currently allow. Hopefully, one day they will add PayPal too as it's so much faster and easier than having to wait for a check to arrive in the mail and then having to actually cash it.
Overall though, Checkout 51 is great to have when you're looking to save money grocery shopping and I highly recommend it as a supplement to Ibotta.
Like Ibotta and Checkout 51, Shopmium is another rebate app available for both Android and Iphone. It's focused heavily on food/grocery store items and while it's not my favorite grocery store app, that doesn't mean it isn't worth downloading.
I just find that Ibotta and Checkout 51 both have more offers that appeal to me but if nothing else, you can get a free Lindt chocolate bar if you sign up using my referral code, "KUGEHUFE".
SavingStar is another grocery rebate app that basically pays you to grocery shop (in the form of cash back, obviously). There isn't a whole lot different compared to the other apps I discussed above other than the fact that they seem to have fewer offers available.
If you're going to only use one app out of this list, I wouldn't recommend it be SavingStar, not that it's a bad app, it does what it says it does. It's just that they don't seem to have the selection of offers the others do.
Don't get me wrong, it's still worth signing up/downloading as even if you only find a few rebates you can use, any money saved is cash in the bank (literally!)
ReceiptPal is a different kind of cash back app as it basically allows you to get paid for submitting receipts (in the form of points which can then be redeemed for gift cards). Instead of having offers for specific products from certain stores, ReceiptPal accepts almost any receipt and gives you 100 points per every four receipts submitted.
Once you have enough points, you can redeem a variety of gift cards including ones from Amazon, Best Buy, CVS, and Panera, among others.
It's really easy to use, all you have to do is take a picture of your receipt using the app. It will then be submitted and usually within a few hours it will be approved (the picture has to be clear) and your account credited.
The one thing to keep in mind with this app is that your points will expire if you have no activity in your account for 90 days. I lost a bunch of points because I took a break from using the app not realizing my points would expire, so make sure if you don't plan on using the app for months at a time, to redeem your points first.
While the payout isn't great, it's a simple way to make back a few extra bucks here and there for things you purchase anyway. Also, you can use this app in combination with the other apps listed here in order to maximize your savings.
Like ReceiptPal, ReceiptHog doesn't have any set offers from specific stores. Instead, they accept a variety of receipts, though not as many as ReceiptPal does. For instance, they don't accept any receipts from fast food places like McDonald's or Taco Bell nor do they accept receipts with only gasoline purchases on them (they must have something else like a food item on them to be accepted.)
Because of these restrictions, ReceiptHog isn't as good as ReciptPal, but still worth using as I don't believe the points ever expire, at least mine haven't and I've gone months without using it.
In addition to points from receipts, you can also earn spins on a virtual slot machine which can award you points or even the value of the last grocery store receipt you submitted. You can also connect your email and amazon account for additional points as well as your Facebook account for additional spins.
Once you have at least $5 in your account, you can cash out via an Amazon gift card, PayPal, or even a magazine subscription.
There are the 9 top rebate apps to help you save money. I hope this list is helpful and that you're able to save a ton of money using the above smartphone apps.
I appreciate you reading all the way down here and would love it if you shared this article with your friends so they too can start to save some money using these top cash back apps. Thanks!
* In order to receive your $10 welcome bonus for Ibotta, you need to sign up for an account, download the app, and then redeem a qualifying rebate within 30 days of account creation. The full details are available in the app/on the Ibotta website.
** To receive your $10 bonus from Ebates, you must be a new member and make at least $25 in qualifying purchases within 90 days of account creation. The full details are listed on their site.
*** To be eligible for the $10 bonus from BeFrugal, you must create a new account and earn at least $25 cash back. Click here for the full terms and conditions.