Receipts. Once upon a time, the only value a receipt had was those little coupons that they print at the bottom of them.
Now? Well, now there are apps that pay you cash back for receipts. For literally taking a picture of your receipt, you can put some extra money in your wallet. Hello, future.
Anyway, I've already written a post on apps that pay you to shop, so go check that out if you want to see a massive list of cash back apps.
For this post, I'll be focusing on apps like Ibotta that pay you to scan receipts, as we talked about above. These apps can typically be stacked so the more you download, the more you can potentially make with a single receipt.
Why Do Apps Want to Pay You Cash Back for Receipts?
That's a great question. It seems a bit weird at first, so why would an app want to pay you just for a picture of your receipt?
Well, it's all about marketing. Having data from customers is extremely valuable to companies, and these apps are essentially made to collect data.
Think about it, by redeeming offers and scanning receipts, they can see:
- Which products you've been purchasing
- Which stores you like to shop at
- The brands you like to buy
- How much you've been spending
- When you shop; etc.
Now let me be clear:
Each of the grocery receipt apps below will handle your data in a different way. If you're worried about giving away your data, either don't sign up or read the terms and conditions of the app before signing up.
As far as I know, the apps below keep the data they gather completely anonymous so it's not like some company will know that you bought eggs last Sunday at 12:32 pm. They'll more just be able to see that 2,000 people redeemed an offer for eggs last week.
In the end, you're getting paid for your receipts and the apps paying you have to get that money from somewhere. I just wanted to let you know how these things work so you know what you're getting yourself into.
Top 2 Apps to Scan Receipts for Money Back
I get it, you've got limited space on your phone and you probably don't want a million and one different grocery receipt apps crowding your screen.
That's why I'm going to recommend my top two apps that give you cash back for receipts first. These two apps combined or alone will save you quite a bit of money.
Ibotta is probably the most popular receipt rewards apps on the market because it's been around for a long time and it has some of the best offers. It's also got a nice referral program that you can earn some extra money with.
How Ibotta works is simple, just sign up, select offers you're interested in, buy the products, then scan your receipt into the app. Bam. Cashback earned.
You can also earn by making in-app purchases or shopping with store loyalty cards, but the store loyalty card feature is only available at some retailers.
2. Checkout 51 ($5 Bonus)
Checkout 51 is my go-to grocery cashback app. It's pretty similar to Ibotta, with a couple of small differences:
- It's available in the US and Canada
- Checkout 51 offers can be redeemed at any store (even online)
In the end, I think Ibotta and Checkout 51 would work really well together.
For more info, read my full Checkout 51 review.
Other Apps Like Ibotta and Checkout 51
If you've downloaded one or both of the apps above and you like them, or you want to earn more money back from receipts, below you'll find apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51 that can help you do that.
You might even find that you like some of these apps better than the two favorites that I listed above. It's all personal preference!
(Note that the apps below are in no particular order. Feel free to test different ones out and combine them to find out which work best for you.)
Shopkick is awesome because not only do they pay you to scan receipts, you can also make money scanning barcodes and even just by walking into stores!
There are other ways to earn too:
- Making a purchase with a linked credit card
- Watching videos in the app
- Making online purchases
- Treasure hunts
- Inviting friends
4. Receipt Hog
Receipt Hog is handy because they pay you to upload any and all receipts imaginable. You don't need to buy anything specific or shop at a specific store to earn.
The downside of this is that you:
- Won't know how much you'll earn for each receipt; and
- You won't earn much for each receipt either. I've heard of someone earning $0.19 for one receipt and that was considered a lot.
Still, there are other benefits to this app that may be worth it to you and you could easily use this app alongside the other apps on this list, so it's worth checking out. Learn more here.
SavingStar is neat because they offer two different ways for you to earn cash back:
- First, like Ibotta, you can activate offers and then scan receipts to receive your cash back
- Second, with SavingStar “Automatic Stores” you can earn cash back by linking your store loyalty cards to the app. Then just activate your offers, use your loyalty card at checkout, and you'll earn cash back automatically
SavingStar also has “Always On” offers which you can activate once and then earn from automatically every time you make a purchase. They also have exclusive healthy produce offers for qualified members who earn at least 2 rewards per month.
Fetch Rewards is another app that's similar to Ibotta but has no restrictions on the receipts you can upload. Shop wherever you want, buy whatever you want, and earn points on all sorts of products. It's all fair game here!
As you upload receipts to Fetch Rewards you'll earn points which you can redeem for hundreds of different rewards.
December 2019 only: Sign up here and use the promo code FETCH4K for 4,000 free points.
ReceiptPal is unique because not only can you take pictures of receipts to get money but you can also just hook up your email or Amazon account to earn points automatically for any receipts that hit those accounts.
They also have sweepstakes and some other fun features to check out.
CoinOut is another app where you can not only submit receipts for money (from any retailer), but you can also earn cash back online through special offers, and just by being an active member you have the chance to earn bonus cash.
One of the best parts of CoinOut is that they don't just mess around with gift cards as rewards either. Instead, you have the choice to cash out your cashback straight to the bank or your PayPal account.
Fun fact: CoinOut was shown on the TV show Shark Tank (if you've never seen the show before, go watch it, it's pretty good).
Makeena is similar to BerryCart in that it promotes healthy and eco-friendly products. What's great about this grocery cash back app is that you can shop at any retailer (even online) to earn rewards.
Another awesome thing about Makeena is that they offer PayPal and Venmo as payout options so you'll get cold hard cash for your receipts. Note that you need $20 in your account before you can cash out though.
Coupons.com is a grocery receipt scanning app and a coupons app at the same time. They offer free coupons that you could potentially stack with the apps above, and they also have offers that you can redeem by scanning your receipts.
Also, if you just want some free printable receipts to stack with the scanner apps above, you can head over to Coupons.com and print as many coupons as you'd like free of charge. You don't even need an account.
You can also link your store loyalty cards to the Coupons.com app to make saving money on groceries even easier.
Caddle is the only app on this list that is only available to Canadians.
This app works just like any of the other apps above, they add new cash back offers every Thursday, and you can cash out a check once you earn $20 in cash back.
Along with being able to scan receipts for money, you can also complete surveys in the Caddle app to earn more money.
Learn more about Caddle here. (Use the promo code DYLAN44715 when you sign up for a $1 bonus)
Other Cash Back Apps
These apps don't have anything to do with getting paid to scan receipts, but they're nice to have in your cashback arsenal.
Ebates is one of the largest online cashback sites and it's one of the best too. They offer up to 40% cash back at over 2,500 stores so there are tons of opportunities to earn.
Basically, if you're doing any shopping, check Ebates first to see if you can save some money.
If you want to make things even easier, make sure to download the Ebates browser extension to get alerted automatically when cashback is available.
Swagbucks is a cashback site and a GPT site at the same time. It's got quite a lot going on, and it's been around for ages.
The Swagbucks cash back section is similar to Ebates except with different offers and sometimes the offers are even better than what Ebates has. For this reason, it's worth it to compare both platforms before making a purchase to make sure you're getting the best deal.
Swagbucks even has its own browser extension to make things easy just like Ebates. Download both and compare the cash back before buying to save the max amount possible.
Or, if you want to learn more before signing up, read my full Swagbucks review.
Paribus is probably one of the most helpful cashback apps on this list. It's also the only one that can protect you from price drops.
Let me explain:
Have you ever bought something and then seen it go down in price only days later? This happens all the time and sometimes we don't even notice, but when we do, it's pretty annoying.
With Paribus, you don't have to worry about that happening. Just sign up, hook up your email, and Paribus will monitor your purchases for price drops automatically.
If a price drop happens on a purchase or hotel booking, Paribus will contact the retailer to try and get you the difference back in your account… all for free. It's pretty sweet.
Plus, Paribus also monitors package shipping times so if you pay for priority shipping and the package doesn't come on time, they'll negotiate a refund for you automatically.
Drop is one of my favorite cash back apps because it's so simple to use. Just link your credit cards to the app, select your favorite stores, and you'll earn cash back automatically whenever you make a purchase.
They also have cash back offers in the app, limited time deals, bonus games, and more fun ways to earn.
Last but not least we have Groupon. You've probably already heard of Groupon as it's massively popular, but I had to include it because it's pretty different from all the other apps here.
If you've never heard of it before, Groupon is a place where you can find deals on all sorts of activities and services. Discount tans, cheap go-kart races, deals at restaurants, they've got it all.
Before I go out to do anything or if I want to try something new, I always check Groupon first.
7 Tips to Maximize Your Money Back From Receipts
1. Scan Your Receipts Right Away
If you don't scan your receipts into your app the same day you make the purchases, there's a chance you'll either forget to do it later or the offer won't be valid anymore.
It's like people always say… “If you can do it in 5-minutes or less, do it right away.”
2. Shop and Plan Meals Based on Offers
If you really want to maximize your money back from receipts, this is one of the best ways to do it. Before even planning your meals for the week, check out your grocery cash back apps for offers.
If you see that there's an offer for chicken and carrots, plan some meals that use those ingredients. In the same way, buy snacks that are on offer instead of others that aren't.
By doing this, you might even end up trying something new and finding a new favorite thing.
3. Combine Your Savings with In-Store Coupons
This won't work with every one of the apps above but a few of them allow you to stack in-store coupon savings on top of the receipt scanning cash back. This is an easy way to get way more value for your dollar.
You can also use coupons from Coupons.com as we talked about above.
4. Get a Store Loyalty Card
A ton of grocery stores offer loyalty cards and if you read through the apps above you probably noticed that some of them take advantage of those cards for automatic cash back.
The other main benefit of using a store loyalty card is that you can accumulate points that you can usually redeem for a discount or some sort of reward. If you're a regular shopper at certain stores, make sure to sign up for the loyalty programs!
5. Use a Rewards Credit Card
Just like you can use loyalty cards for extra rewards, you can stack even more savings with a rewards credit card. Just make sure to pay off the card in full every month to avoid credit card debt because otherwise, you'll be paying more in interest than you'll be saving.
6. Check Multiple Cash Back Apps for the Best Offers
The whole point of this list was to show you some other grocery receipt apps that you could use for more savings. Use the ones that you like!
A lot of these apps can be used together to make even more savings and sometimes you'll find better versions of the same offer on different apps. Don't spend too much time comparing but try to stack savings when you can.
7. Only Scan Your Own Receipts
I've seen people take receipts from garbage cans or carts and use them to earn cash back but I don't recommend it. You may be able to get away with it, but some of the apps above will suspend your account if you redeem purchases that weren't actually made by you or someone in your household.
Although couponing may not be the same as it was in the “Extreme Couponing” days on TV, there are still ways to get more for your money if you're smart about it.
And hey, keeping an app or two on your phone is A LOT easier than clipping coupons, so at least there's that.
Before you go, I'd love to hear from you:
Which grocery cash back apps do you use the most? Which ones are your favorite (best offers, easiest to use, etc)?
If you found this post helpful, I'd be super happy if you shared it!
I'm trying to help as many people as possible with this blog but I need your help to help more people (lot's of helping). Thanks a lot - you're awesome!