I get a kick out of saving money when I shop. I get an even bigger kick when I can earn money when I shop. Now you may be thinking “Yup, mystery shopping, heard of it before …” but that’s not what I’m talking about.
With advances in technology – retail competition is fierce! So much so, companies and brands are getting creative with how they reach and acquire new customers. Instead of spending marketing dollars on traditional advertising methods, many brands are reaching out to consumers in unique ways. One of these ways is by enticing customers to shop with them through cash-back opportunities.
So today, I’m going to share with you how I make money when I go shopping.
To be honest with you, I’m slightly addicted to money-making smartphone apps. It’s like a game to me to see how much I can earn. I’ve even got my husband using them! In fact, it’s how I pay for my Starbuck’s habit.
I’ve tried all of these smartphone apps, but currently, I’m only using Ibotta, Swagbucks, ReceiptHog, and ShopKick.
Swagbucks is an online platform where you can earn points called SB, which can be redeemed for gift cards, coupons, and sweepstake entries. They also have a smartphone app for iPhone and Android operating systems. You can quickly earn SB by watching videos, answering questions, completing offers, surfing the web using their toolbar, and of course, shopping using their online rewards store. You can shop brands like Amazon, Walmart, and Macy’s. Just log in and click on the store you want to shop at, once you find the right retailer, click on the link and you will earn a certain number of SB for each dollar you spend. Refer your friends to Swagbucks, and you’ll earn even more. Your SB points can be traded in for gift cards from Amazon, Target, Starbucks, PayPal, and Walmart. You also get a $5.00 sign up bonus when you register, sweet!
GrouponSnap allows you to get cash-back when you shop for groceries. Check out the weekly offers and snap a picture of your receipt for the items you purchase. Once your account hits $20 you can request payment via check. You can also earn $1 for each friend you refer who redeems an offer. GrouponSnap is available for both Android and Apple operating systems and it has a customer rating of 4.5 stars.
Ibotta is a smartphone application you can use to earn money when you go shopping. Before you head out on a shopping trip complete the tasks related to your favorite brands and companies. Next, go shopping, scan the barcodes of the items you purchased, and snap a photo of your receipt. Once your transaction has been verified, your account will be credited with the specified cash-back amount. Refer your friends and earn even more money. Once your account hits $10 you can request a payout via PayPal, Venmo, or you can purchase gift cards from Best Buy, Amazon, Starbucks, Sephora, Walmart, or others. Ibotta has been featured on Mashable, Good Morning America, and Business Insider and it is available for both Android and Apple operating systems. Ibotta has a customer rating of 4.5 stars.
4. Receipt Hog
With Receipt Hog you can earn virtual coins simply by snapping pictures of your receipts. The virtual coins you earn can be traded in for cash via PayPal or for Amazon gift cards. The information that Receipt Hog collects is used for market research. You can submit up to 20 receipts per week and it takes 1,000 virtual coins to earn $5. You can earn additional coins by referring friends and taking mini surveys. This app is available for both Android and Apple operating systems and it has a customer rating of 4.5 stars.
With SavingStar you can earn cash-back online and at the grocery store. To redeem grocery rebates download the smartphone app and snap a picture of your receipt. To earn money online, log in through their cash mall, shop at specified retailers, and you’ll earn cash-back on purchases. Once your account hits the $5 mark you can request a payout via direct deposit, PayPal, Upromise or you can purchase Starbucks, iTunes, or AMC Theatres gift cards. SavingStar is available for both Android and Apple operating systems and it has a customer rating of 4 stars.
This is by far my favorite app … it’s just so darn fun! Download it to your Apple or Android smartphone and open it up when you walk into your favorite stores (on their list) and you’ll instantly earn kicks. Scan specified bar codes on products once you’re in the store to earn even more kicks. Link up your credit card, browse through lookbooks, and refer your friends to earn even more kicks. Kicks can be traded in for gift cards from Target, Old Navy, Starbucks, Tiffany, and lots more. Shopkick has been featured on The Huffington Post, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal and it has a customer rating of 4 stars.
There are other smartphone apps that will pay you for shopping, but these are the ones that I use and recommend. If you use one that is not on this list – feel free to drop a note in the comment section so others can check it out.