8 Best Apps to Earn Free Money for In-Store Shopping

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While I love a good deal, I actually prefer free. Specifically free money (or gift card)! There are actually a ton of ways to earn free money without actually having to think about it! I have many apps on my phone where I receive cash or points (which I can cash out for gift cards) by just making my every day purchases. It takes a few minutes to actually download the app and set up your account, but afterwards you could easily see a decent amount of free money coming your way on purchases you’d be making anyways! I’ve included two types of apps: 1) Apps that pretty much hide in the background and track purchases on their own, and 2) Apps that require you to take a picture of the receipt. Neither take much effort at all and I highly recommend them! The best part is that none of these apps talk to each other. That means if an offer is available on more then 1 app, you can take advantage of it multiple times!

Here are some of my favorite money making apps:

1. Ibotta

Register for an account here (use code sqnugo)

This is probably my favorite receipt scanning app. After you set up your account, you just browse through the app and save any cash back offers for items you purchased or are going to purchase. After you shop, you simply take a picture of your receipt (and sometimes the barcode of the item) and you’ll receive cash back for your purchase! This is probably one of my favorite receipt scanning apps as they offer a ton of bonuses throughout the month, so the more you use it, the more cash you’ll earn. You can also join a “team” and if enough offers are completed on your team you’ll receive an extra bonus.

Once you earn at least $20 you can cash out via Paypal or Venmo. And if you are a new user, you can receive a $10 bonus for signing up and using the app. You can register for an account here and use code sqnugo. Ibotta also has a great referral program for referring friends, so I highly suggest sharing your code with friends and family!

 

2. Checkout 51

Register for an account here

Another receipt scanning app, similar to Ibotta. You’ll see new offers primarily at Grocery stores every Thursday morning. This app is easy to use and I find it extremely user friendly to search for products you are purchasing. You can request a check when you earn $20 in cash back.

Unfortunately there is no sign up bonus for new users, but still a great app to have! You can register for an account here.

3. Fetch

Register for an account here (use code Y7GGW)

This is a receipt scanning app, but it allows you to purchase items at ANY store. You are not locked into just participating stores like Ibotta and Checkout 51. This is great for me since the other apps do not include my local grocery store down the street. You can select cash out for gift cards, which includes Amazon, CVS, Target, Babies R Us, Barnes & Nobles, Kohls, Nordstrom, REI, TJ Maxx, Sephora, Best Buy, Dell, GameStop, Regal, AMC Theaters, Athleta, Banana Republic, Columbia, Express, Gap, Foot Lockers, Gilt Lands End, Zappos, Bed Bath & Beyond, MasterCard Gift Card, Visa Gift Card, iTunes, Staples, etc.

You can cash out with as little as 3,000 points (so a $3 gift card). New members will receive 1,500 points (equivalent to $1.50) for signing up and scanning one receipt. You can register for an account here and use code Y7GGW.

4. ReceiptPal

Register for an account here

While this is another receipt scanning app, it works very differently then the others. You can scan any receipt you have regardless of what you purchased or where you made the purchase. While you might not make as much money as some of the more specified app, it is still a way to make a few extra bucks for literally every single in-store purchase you make. This is also a great place to house all your receipts if you want!

Points earned can be cashed out for gift cards, including Amazon, Best Buy, CVS, GameStop, Panera, Regal, Starbucks, Visa, and Walmart. This app also has no sign up bonus, but I still highly recommend! You can register for an account here.

5. Receipt Hog

Register for an account here

Similar to ReceiptPal, although I do not believe they will take all receipts from every type of store. I personally like this app since you are able to spin the wheel every time you snap a picture of your receipt. This gives you the opportunity to earn even more points, and a little fun component! There are also a few additional ways to earn extra points, such as taking surveys, connecting to your email and Facebook account, sweepstakes, etc. You can redeem points earned to cash out for an Amazon gift card or Paypal. You can register for an account here.

 

6. Shopkick

Register for an account here (use code GOAL301575)

There are many ways to earn “kicks” which you can then redeem for gift cards. Gift cards include:TJ Maxx, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Starbucks, Amazon, Sephora, American Eagle, Lowe’s, Gamestop, Old Navy, and Nike. I consider Amazon and Target gift cards the same as cash since I shop there all the time.

There are many ways to earn kicks, including:

  • Walk-ins: Simply walking into a participating store. The key thing is that you have to have your location settings and bluetooth turned on which can eat into your data and drain your battery. But you can set it so it is only turned on when the app is open. For example, for just walking into the TJMaxx or Marshalls near by house, I’ll earn 75 kicks.
  • Scans: At participating stores, if you scan a participating item with your phone you’ll receive kicks.
  • Receipts: Scan your receipt for certain items at participating stores and you’ll receive kicks (this typically gives you the most amount of kicks)
  • Linked Card: You’ll need to link your credit/debit card in advance, or sometimes register your phone number instead and you’ll receive a certain number of kicks per dollar spent.

I find the app to be extremely user friendly and an easy way to earn some free gift cards. I also like that the stores they partner with are stores I go to quite often, such as CVS, Walgreens, Whole Foods, Marshalls, Michaels, TJMaxx, Stop and Shop, Toys R Us, Carters, Best Buy, BJ’s, Wegmens, Costco, Shaw’s, Target, etc. New members will receive 250 “kicks” for using the app. You can register for an account here and use code GOAL301575.

7. Drop

Register for an account here (use code ov7lj)

This app requires the least amount of effort possible. If you do not want to bother with scanning a receipt, you should still install this app. You set up your account by linking your debit/credit card and it will track in the background the purchases you make at participating stores. You can earn points on purchases made at Walgreens, Whole Foods, Target, Trader Joe’s, Amazon, etc., although you are capped at the amount of points you can earn per week at these stores. With that being said, they always have limited time offers at many other stores where you’ll earn an a certain amount of points per dollar spent or just a lump sum of points. Points can be redeemed for gift cards at Aerie, Starbucks, Old Navy, Dunkin’ Donuts, iTunes, Amazon, American Eagle, Gap, Nordstrom, Groupon, AMC, Banana Republic, Whole Foods, Barnes & Nobles, Applebee’s, Apple, JCPenney, Hotels.com, Best Buy, and American Airlines.

I find Drop to be extremely generous and has allowed me to earn a ton of points! You can also earn 1,000 bonus drop points (worth $1) for signing up. You can register for an account here and use code ov7lj.

8. Dosh

Register for an account here

This app is similar to Drop in the fact that you can earn points with literally doing nothing (after setting up your account). You simply connect your debit/credit card and will earn points. This app is great as it is not only for your in-store shopping purchases, but you’ll also see many participating restaurants! You can also book a hotel reservation through the app and receive a set amount of cash back. This is a newer app so I am sure it will evolve over time.

I personally have only used this app to receive cash back at restaurants nearby, which I would have ate at anyways! They typically give 7-10% cash back which is awesome! You can also earn a $5 bonus for signing up and then an additional $1 for connecting your debit/credit cards (up to a $2 bonus). You can register for an account here.

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