One of the best and most effortless ways to save money on groceries is by using a cash back app. There are a ton of different ones, but today we're talking about Checkout 51.
In this complete Checkout 51 review, I'll go over everything you need to know about how it works, how to use it, and more. By the end of it all, you'll actually be excited for your next grocery shopping trip (maybe?).
Table of Contents
Key Points ⚡
- Legit or scam: Legit.
- Overall rating:
- Who can join: Anyone in the US, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Canada, of the age of majority, with a computer and camera, or smartphone.
- Ways to save/earn: Scanning receipts, cashback offers, surveys, paid videos, contests.
- Avg. savings: $0.50-$5 cashback or 10-30% savings per offer.
- Offer volume: 100+ offers every week.
- Payout options: Check, PayPal.
- Minimum payout: $20.
- Payment speed: 15-30 business days for check. 5-15 biz days for PayPal.
What is Checkout 51?
Checkout 51 is a free cash back app that was created to help you save money on groceries.
By partnering with hundreds of different brands, Checkout 51 is constantly adding new offers to help you save on things like snacks, personal care products, pet products, household products and much more.
- Founded: 2012.
- Parent company: News America Marketing.
- Located: 366 Adelaide Street East, Suite 501, Toronto, Ontario M5A3X9, CA.
- Founders: Andrew McGrath | Noah Godfrey | Pema Hegan
- Socials: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn
- Contact details: Contact page | email@example.com | 416-783-1254
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Is Checkout 51 Legit?
Yes, Checkout 51 is legit. They’ve been around since 2012, have over one million happy users, have paid out over $30 million in rewards, and they're transparent as a company.
I don't think there's any reason to believe Checkout 51 is a scam.
Who Can Join? (Requirements)
- Age requirement: Must be the age of majority in your jurisdiction (typically 18)
- Country requirement: Checkout 51 is currently available in the United States, overseas US military bases, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
- Device requirements: Computer + camera, iPhone, or Android.
- Payout requirements: Address for check, PayPal account for PayPal.
Do I Need a Smartphone to Use Checkout 51?
Unlike iBotta and many other cash back apps, you don't need a smartphone to use Checkout 51! It's one of the main reasons why I love this app so much.
You can use Checkout 51 on your mobile phone (iOS or Android) and on the Checkout 51 website using any computer with internet. (If you're using the Checkout 51 website, you just need a camera to take pictures of your receipts.)
- SSL certificate? Yes.
- Terms of Service: Here.
- Personal data collected from Checkout 51 users:
- Name, address, email, phone number.
- Store loyalty card numbers, should you choose to provide them.
- IP address
- Information on the receipts you scan (e.g. products, date, last 4 digits of credit card, etc.)
- Do they sell user data? Unclear.
- Do they ever share user data with third parties? Yes, they may share data with their affiliates and partners. You can disable the sharing of your data in your settings & preferences.
- Can you delete your account and data? You can deactivate your account in your account settings. Whether or not this will delete your account data is unclear.
Is Checkout 51 Safe?
Yes, Checkout 51 seems to be generally safe to use, as long as you're okay with sharing some location and shopping habits information with the app.
One really nice feature offered by Checkout 51 is that they give you the choice to enable or disable data sharing in their app, on the “Settings & Preferences” page.
Obligatory disclaimer: Anything on the internet is never 100% safe or private. The above opinions are my own based on my own research. Please take caution and do your own due diligence.
I've never had to contact Checkout 51 support for a technical error or bug, so that's a good thing.
That said, I have contacted the Checkout 51 support team before to ask questions about their referral program, and they've always been quick to respond. Last time I contacted them, they responded in 1 business day.
How Does Checkout 51 Work?
The way Checkout 51 works is really simple. If you’ve used any receipt cash back apps before you’re probably already familiar with the process.
Here’s a quick rundown of how Checkout 51 works:
- Sign up
- Browse the Checkout 51 offers and add the ones you like to your account
- Shop and purchase your products like usual
- Upload your receipt to Checkout 51
- Receive cash back on eligible purchases!
That’s the quick and dirty version, but don’t worry, I’ll be explaining exactly how to use Checkout 51 further down in this post.
For now, let's go over some important information and common questions asked about Checkout 51…
Can You Use Checkout 51 at Any Store?
Yes, however, there are some offers that are store-specific. If an offer is store-specific, it will say so in the details of the offer.
Here's an example of an offer that must be redeemed at a certain store (more details on Checkout 51 offers below):
Can You Earn Cash Back for Online Purchases?
Yes, but only if you receive an itemized packing slip with your purchase. An itemized packing slip confirms that you've received your order and it contains the date, store name/logo, and a list of items purchased along with prices.
If your online purchase doesn't come with an itemized packing slip, no cash back for you. In order to find out which retailers provide itemized packing slips, use these guides from Checkout 51:
Can You Use Checkout 51 with Coupons?
Yes, most offers can be stacked with coupons. If an offer is not eligible for coupon stacking, it will say so in the offer details.
Can You Use Checkout 51 with Food Stamps?
Yup, you can still earn cash back even if you paid for your purchase with food stamps. Just upload your receipt as usual.
Can You Stack iBotta and Checkout 51?
How Does Checkout 51 Make Money?
Checkout 51 makes money by partnering with brands who pay them to get their offers in front of your eyes. It's basically a form of advertising/affiliate marketing.
Ways to Earn/Save With Checkout 51
There are 3 main ways to earn and save money with Checkout 51:
Checkout 51 adds new offers every Thursday at 12 AM your time zone.
Here are some important things to know about these offers:
- They have limited quantities – Once an offer has been redeemed enough times, it will be removed from the app and you won't be able to redeem it anymore.
- Some offers are only available to certain users – For this reason, your offer list may look different than your friends.
- You can filter them – Filter your offers by category (snacks, pantry, bakery, dairy etc.) or by store (Safeway, Walmart, IGA, etc.)
- Every offer has its own terms – Tap or click on an offer to see more in-depth details about it.
Tip: Make sure to read the details of each offer carefully so that you don't accidentally buy the wrong product. You must buy the exact product listed on the offer to be eligible for cash back.
Along with regular offers, there are some special Checkout 51 offers as well…
Barcode offers are special Checkout 51 offers that are only available within the mobile app.
When you redeem a barcode offer, along with having to upload your receipt you'll also have to scan the barcode of the product with your mobile phone. This helps Checkout51 verify that you purchased the right product.
Bonus offers allow you to earn a bit of extra cash back if you redeem a certain number of specific offers. You can find bonus offers around the top of the offers page of the Checkout 51 app or website.
Brand programs occasionally show up on Checkout 51. If you join one, you'll get access to special, brand-specific offers.
Quick tip: To join a brand program, look out for a “Join” button inside of an offer.
Checkout 51 Sweepstakes
If you head over to the “More Ways to Save” category on Checkout 51, you'll occasionally find a sweepstake offer that gives you the chance to win $500.
To enter the contest all you have to do is submit a grocery receipt that totals over $60. You can only enter once per week.
Checkout 51 surveys work just like the surveys you'd find on survey sites and GPT sites. If you're bored, they can be an okay way to boost your Checkout 51 balance, but they can be frustrating at times due to disqualifications.
3. Watch Ads
If you scroll to the very bottom of the Checkout 51 offers page, you'll find a “More Ways to Save” section with video offers that pay $0.03 each.
Checkout 51 Earnings/Savings Potential
The amount of money you'll save with Checkout 51 is going to vary based on how often you shop and the offers available each week.
Based on a quick look at some offers, the average savings per offer seem to be around 10-30%:
This will of course vary greatly between categories and products.
As far as the paid surveys and ads on Checkout 51, those can simply be used to make some extra money. They'll typically pay $1-$2/hour or less.
Checkout 51 Cash Out Options
In order to withdraw your cashback from Checkout 51, you need to have at least $20 in your account balance. To check your balance, just head over to your account page.
Once you have $20, you can cash out by:
- Receiving a check; or
- Cashing out to your PayPal account.
Review Summary and Breakdown
- Savings Potential
- Offer Selection
- Payout Minimum
- Payout Options
- Payout Speed
If you're looking for an easy way to save money on groceries, Checkout 51 is awesome. It's simple to use and navigate, the cashback offers update weekly, and there's a good selection of offers to choose from. You won't find deals on every grocery product under the sun, but if you plan your meals around particular offers, you'll end up saving quite a bit over time.
Checkout 51 Pros and Cons
This Checkout 51 review wouldn't be complete without a list of pros and cons!
- It's easy to use – Checkout 51 might be a bit confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's simple to understand and the app and website are easy to navigate.
- Earn extra cash – Checkout 51 makes earning cash back easy. No coupons or clutter, just select your offers and scan your receipt. Plus, you're earning money back on things you'd already be buying.
- Available on all devices – You don't even need a smartphone to use Checkout 51! Just use the web version. So awesome.
- Large variety of offers – There are savings for everyone on Checkout 51 and they add new offers every week.
- Sweepstakes – The Checkout 51 sweepstakes are nice because you don't even need to redeem an offer to enter, you just need any receipt totaling over $60.
Good referral program – For each friend you refer to Checkout 51, you'll each get $5. Pretty sweet!
- Gas cashback – Self-explanatory!
- Limited usage – It would be great if they could expand outside the US & Canada but I don't know if they plan to anytime soon.
- Few payout options – They used to only offer checks but now they're offering PayPal, so they're on the right track.
- No e-receipts – I ordered from Instacart recently and realized you don't get receipts from them, and Checkout 51 doesn't accept any e-receipts. This is my biggest con.
- Offers have limited quantities – If you don't redeem an offer in time, you might lose it.
- No more referral program
Checkout 51 Reviews From the Web
Here are some 2021 reviews of Checkout 51 from the App Store and Google Play Store:
- “Great app to save some extra dollars. Offers change weekly so I can buy a lot of the items with my weekly grocery shop. I don’t mind taking surveys either when I have extra time on my hands to add a little more change to my total.”
- “Checkout 51 is so easy to use. I have collected over $500 in savings. The offers change all the time. I am a big fan.”
- “This has to be my most favorite money saving app. So easy to use giving you money off items you use everyday! It’s helped me save hundreds of dollars! Love it!”
- “Not many offers compared to other apps but it's something at least”
- “It used to have fruits, vegetables, meat, bakery and everyday items to claim $$$. It has mostly cleaning products and items I never buy. Please add back the everyday day purchases. I will end up deleting the app for the list of useless items to free my storage than :(“
- “Great deals for filling up the gas tank. But, the food/beverage/personal care products never seem to change, and they are products I never use. If they ever get rid of the gas option, I will delete the app.”
- “This app worked great the first few years I used it but during the past several months it [hasn't] been accepting/uploading my receipts. To get my rebates I've had to email support who clearly didn't care it wasn't working…”
- “It will take an average person around a year to get enough credit to hit the minimum $20 required for a cashing out. It’s simply not worth the time. The app rarely has offers for products worth buying, and it’s a pain to take pictures of your receipts. Plus when you do so you’re giving them access to all your private spending behaviour. No, the offers are not constantly changing. It’s the same useless junk all the time. Lol now they want me to do their work for them. The new survey feature is really clunky and low quality and you wind up wasting time just finding a survey that will let you complete it”
- “Did great in the beginning and got 100$ saved no problem. Now the offers are for items I don't want, need, or use. I have had a balance of less than 2$ for over a year. No longer worth having this app. Deleted.”
Here are the aggregate ratings at the time of writing:
- App store: 4.2/5
- Google Play store: 4/5
The biggest complaints seem to be due to repetitive offers, poor product selection, bugs, and poor customer support.
See more user reviews, or leave your own, here.
Is Checkout 51 Worth It?
If you're looking for an easy way to save money on groceries, don't mind sharing some data about yourself and your shopping habits, and you have some extra time to look through Checkout 51's offers and scan receipts, it's totally worth it.
Not only will it help you save money on groceries, but it will also help you plan your shopping trip more efficiently.
That said, if you're a busy person, Checkout 51 may take up more time than it's worth. It all comes down to preference.
How to Use Checkout 51
Now that you understand the ins and outs of Checkout 51, let's quickly go over how to use it. Here's how to go from signing up to earning cash back:
Step 1. Sign Up
There used to be a $5 sign-up bonus available for Checkout 51, but it's been discontinued and there's no information on when/if it's going to be back.
If it ever does come back, here's how it works:
- Sign up with this referral link
- Within 30 days, upload your first receipt redeeming a Checkout 51 offer and you'll receive a $2 bonus
- Within 30 days, upload up to 3 more receipts redeeming at least one offer to receive a bonus $1 per receipt, for a total of $5
Since this no longer works, try these other ways to get free money.
Step 2. Browse the Checkout 51 Offers
Before you even create a grocery list, you should browse the Checkout 51 offers.
By building your grocery list around available cashback offers, you'll spend less on groceries but get just as much (or more) product. Genius right?
Tip: Remember that the Checkout 51 offers change every Thursday.
Step 3. Go Shopping!
Once you have your list ready, head out to the store and buy the items on it. Purchase as you normally would and don't forget your receipt!
Step 4. Upload Your Receipt
As soon as you get back home you should upload your receipt to Checkout 51. This way you won't forget and you won't risk losing your receipt or offers.
If you're using other cashback apps in conjunction with Checkout 51, upload your receipt to those as well.
Checkout 51 Alternatives
Check out these guides for more ideas:
- Free Apps That Pay You Cash Back for Receipts
- Apps That Pay You to Shop
- Simple Ways to Save Money on Groceries
- Best GPT Sites (Get Paid To Sites)
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