One of the big trends helping people save money as they shop is in using cashback sites. There are a few great cashback sites that will pay you to shop online.
I mean, you’re going to shop anyway, right? Why not earn some extra cash while you do so? The money you earn by shopping online could be used for several different things.
It could be used to save money on shopping trips. Or you could use it to save up for a one-time big expense such as a vacation or holiday gifts.
You could even use it as extra money to help you pay off debt if you wanted to. Check out the cashback shopping sites here and see if one (or more) of them might be a great way for you to earn some extra cash as you shop online.
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Cashback Websites Worth Checking Out
Some of these sites are more well-known than others, but all will pay you cash to shop online. We’ll try to give you all of the information you need to know about each one so you can earn as much cashback as possible.
And if we leave anything out, you can tell us about it in the comments section. Let’s earn cash!
I have to say that personally, I’m a big fan of Ibotta. They just make it so easy to earn cashback! Ibotta is based out of Denver, Colorado and was launched in 2012.
To date, they’ve paid out over 200 million dollars in cashback to users. Founder and CEO Bryan Leach wanted to create an easy way for smart phone users to earn cashback on purchases.
And he did! Ibotta is super simple to use. After you download the free Ibotta app, you just click on the app before you shop.
When the app loads, it let’s you choose which store or stores you want to see deals from. When you click on the store(s) you’re going to be shopping at, all of the offers for that store pull up.
Ibotta has offers from all kinds of stores and retailers – over 300 of them in fact, including:
- Target and Walmart
- Albertsons, Kroger and Food Giant
- Costco, Sam’s Club and Trader Joe’s
And many more.
So, after you choose the store you want to shop at you can view all current offers for that store. Bonus: You can set your personal account to include only the stores you like to shop at.
Offers might include a variety of options. Here are some of the offers you might see on your Ibotta app.
- 25 cents cashback on any item (Literally. They’ll just give you money back because you bought something.)
- 25 cents cashback on any brand of dog treats (or strawberries, or chips or whatever)
- $2.00 back on Ziploc brand bags
- 50 cents cashback on any brand chocolate milk
- Various cashback offers on your favorite brands adult beverages
- Differing cashback offers on your favorite foods, medicines and more
So, after you find an offer for something you want or need to buy, you simply click on the check mark for the offer. The offer is added to your basket.
When you’re done finding offers you click on the pink “Shop” button. Ibotta will take you to the site you want to shop at and you’ll proceed to do your online shopping as normal.
After you’ve finished shopping, you simply get rerouted back to Ibotta and get to see your cash deposit. When you reach at least $10 in cashback, you can have the money transferred to your PayPal account.
Other Things to Know About Ibotta
Other cool things about Ibotta include the fact that your cashback is credited to your account almost immediately. The site often has “bonus” earning opportunities as well, such as sign-up bonuses, referral bonuses, and more.
Another thing to know about Ibotta is that you can use the app when you shop in-store as well.
And if the store you shop at has a loyalty or rewards program, you may be able to link that program to your Ibotta account.
All you have to do is scan the bar code on your receipt, and Ibotta will do the rest for you. In a three-month span using Ibotta I earned over $40 in cashback. And I was only using it to shop half the time.
Ibotta is my favorite cashback site for earning money while I shop, but you might like some of the others I’m going to talk about better.
Ebates is another popular cashback shopping portal. It was launched in 1999 and is based out of San Francisco, California. The company has helped members earn over 1 billion dollars in cashback to-date, according to its website. That a LOT of cashback.
Here’s how it works. Before you shop online, you visit the Ebates website and login to your account (it’s free to open one). While you’re in Ebates, you click on the link to the store or stores you want to shop at.
After you make your purchases, Ebates will credit you for your cashback. Ebates gives cashback of varying amounts from over 1,800 online retailers, according to its website.
Depending on which stores you shop at, you’ll get different cashback percentages. Here are some examples of current cashback amounts from Ebates:
- Kohl’s: 3 percent cashback
- Macy’s and Groupon: 6 percent cashback
- Sephora: 4 percent cashback
- Walmart: Up to 7 percent cashback, depending on what you’re purchasing
- Five percent cashback on participating Ebates hotels
- Sierra Trading Post: 2.5 percent cashback
They also feature other cash incentives too at times, such as “X cashback when you spend X dollars” at a participating store. As you can see, they have a wide variety of stores to choose from when shopping online. There’s a cashback store partner for just about everyone at Ebates.
And as with Ibotta, Ebates often has sign-up bonuses for new members. They also pay members for referring others who sign up and use the program. You’ll get your Ebates cashback automatically once per quarter, either via PayPal or via a check.
Ebates has one of the biggest lists of retailers participating in their cashback rewards program. It’s definitely worth checking out.
You’ve probably heard of Swagbucks. You might know that they pay you for a variety of activities. Swagbucks will pay you for:
- Taking surveys
- Searching the Internet
- Playing games
- Watching videos
And, they’ll also pay you for shopping online. Swagbucks was founded in 2008 in El Segundo, California. To date, they’ve paid members over 281 million dollars in cash and gift cards. Want to get in on the money? Here’s how you can earn cashback by shopping online.
First, you have to become a Swagbucks member. It’s free to join, so no worries there. Once you join, you can login to your account.
On the left sidebar you’ll see a tab that says “Shop”. It’s located right under the “Home” button. Once you click the “Shop” button the site will populate a list of stores, along with their cashback amounts.
You can scroll through the list or search by store. As with Ebates, each store offers various cashback amounts. Here are some examples from the Swagbucks website.
- 2 percent cashback from Best Buy
- 1 percent cashback from Kohl’s
- Up to 10 percent cashback from Hotels.com
- Up to 5 percent cashback from Amazon
- 6 percent cashback at Macy’s
And more. After you complete your shopping, Swagbucks will credit your account with your earned SB points. Those points can then be converted into PayPal Cash.
Bonus: One nice thing about Swagbucks is that there are other ways to earn cashback besides shopping. I’ve mentioned some of those ways above: taking surveys, watching videos, etc.
However, you can earn bonus Swagbucks by referring others too. And the company regularly runs sign-up bonuses for new members. Lots to love about shopping for cashback here.
Ever heard of Shopkick? It was founded in 2009 and is headquartered out of Redwood City, California.
As with Ebates, you need to shop online through the Shopkick portal in order to earn your rewards (they’re called “kicks”). Just open your Shopkick account (it’s free to do so), login and get started.
With Shopkick you can use the points you earn by shopping online to get free gift cards. Some of the stores they offer free gift cards to include:
- Target and Walmart
- Lowe’s Home Improvement Store
- Fandango and Uber
- Amazon and eBay
And others too. Looking for straight up cash for your online shopping rebates? Just get your gift cards to stores you use for groceries and other stuff. Then take the cash you would have spent on groceries from your checking account and use it for whatever you like.
Bonus: There are other ways to earn kicks besides shopping online. You can earn kicks for simply walking into select stores. And you can earn kicks for scanning the barcodes on select items at those stores.
Making in-store purchases can earn you kicks too, as can watching videos on the Shopkick site. Want more kicks? Start encouraging friends to sign up for Shopkick. You can earn up to 25,000 kicks for inviting friends who sign up and use the service.
Head over to the website to learn more about Shopkick and how they’ll pay you to shop.
Drop is another app that pays you for shopping online, but it works a bit differently than the others we’ve talked about so far. The app has over 1 million members so far, and is based out of Toronto, Canada.
Here’s how it works. If you’re 16 years old or older and have a valid cell phone number, you can join Drop. You need the valid cell phone in order to enter your security code when you join. VoIP’s like Skype and Vonage don’t work with drop.
Okay, so it’s free to join, and after you join, you need to link your credit and debit cards to your account. Don’t worry: Drop uses bank-level encryption to keep all of your information safe and secure.
So, after you join and link your cards, you’ll earn points every time you spend with your activated offers. Drop will pay you in points when you shop at your activated retailers.
Note: Drop has lots of retailers you can earn rewards points from, but you can only have 5 activated retailers at a time.
Therefore, it’s important to choose your retailers carefully. The number of points you earn varies by retailer, so that’s important to pay attention to as well.
You might earn less at Target than you do at Trader Joe’s, but you might spend three times as much money at Target than you do at Trader Joe’s. So try and choose your stores based on where you shop the most.
After you’ve earned your points, you can use them to get free gift cards to one or more popular stores. Some of the gift card options include Starbucks, Amazon and Old Navy. Of course, there are others to choose from as well.
P.S. Drop will also pay you for referring friends.
FlipGive is a fun and different way to earn cash while shopping. So, like the other options, FlipGive will pay you to shop online. They might pay you to shop online at a certain store or pay you to get a gift card to that store.
When you’re ready to withdraw your earnings, FlipGive will send you an e-check. You can earn cashback at hundreds of stores with FlipGive, including:
- Walmart, Target and Old Navy
- Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores and Home Depot
- Kohl’s, Macy’s and JcPenney
- Buffalo Wild Wings and Texas Roadhouse
- Bath and Body Works, and Bed, Bath and Beyond
Just to name a few. There are many more to choose from as well.
Better Than Traditional Fundraising
Another cool thing about earning cashback through FlipGive is that you can create a team of shoppers to increase your earnings.
For instance, let’s say you’re trying to earn money to send your kid to private school. Just have grandmas, grandpas and other loved ones join your team and shop through FlipGive as well.
All of their cashback reward dollars will go to your team, and you’ll be able to earn even more! This can be a great way to allow loved ones to help support your efforts without doing traditional fundraising.
Why is that good? Well, traditional fundraising forces people to buy stuff they might not want to buy. Conversely, with FlipGive you’re just asking people to shop as they’d normally shop. The only difference is that they do it via the FlipGive portal and your team gets a cashback bonus from their purchase.
It’s a great way for loved ones to give back without really having to give anything. Since it’s the retailers themselves that are issuing the cashback rewards, loved ones are off the hook.
FlipGive can be great for sports teams looking to raise money as well. Just have the sports team manager set up a FlipGive team and have team members’ parents sign up to join the team and shop via the team’s Drop account. A win-win all the way around.
Bonus Cashback Site
I have one more site that I wanted to share about with you, but it’s only for shopping in-store. It won’t work for online purchases. Let’s talk about Fetch Rewards.
Fetch Rewards pays you to shop, but they do it differently than other rewards apps. All you have to do is start by downloading the free app. After you do so, you can start capturing images of your receipts.
You can use receipts from just about any store including grocery stores, liquor stores, and more. After you use the Fetch Rewards app to take a picture of your receipt, Fetch Rewards does the rest!
They’ll scan the receipt for matching offers on brands they partner with. If you’ve bought items that qualify you’ll get points for your purchase.
You can search for rewards via the Special Offers tab or via the Brands tab. The Brands tab lets you shop for rewards on specific products.
When you find a special offer or a brand offer you like, just click the “plus” sign and it will be added to your account. Bonus: the app creates a shopping list for you too so you know exactly what you need to purchase when you’re shopping to take advantage of offers.
After you’ve earned enough rewards, you can redeem your rewards for gift cards to hundreds of retailers.
Just thought I’d mention this additional way to get cashback for shopping. After all, there’s no such thing as “too much saving”.
Other Ways to Save Money While You Shop
So, you’ve learned about several apps that will pay you to shop online, and some that will pay you to shop in person as well. How else can you save money when you shop? Here are some ideas.
Buy a Season Ahead for Clothing
I just used this money-saving tip for my son. When I got to the store, I went straight to the summer clearance rack at Walmart in search of boys’ clothes. I hit the jackpot, finding several pairs of shorts, shirts and swim trunks at rock-bottom prices.
I bought them all a size ahead for my son so I’m sure they’ll fit him next summer. Total spent? $29. Not a bad savings! I got over a dozen items for that money, and he’s all set for clothing for next summer.
Hint: Of course, you can’t be certain what size your kid will be 6 to 9 months from now. I usually just buy a size or two up. Sometimes things are a bit big but I’ve never had anything be too small for him or my three girls. And I’ve been using this buy-ahead technique for over 16 years.
Shop Around the Sales
I feed myself and my four kids for just $500 a month by using a number of tips. One of them is to shop around the sales. If chicken is on sale, we’ll be having chicken this week. If pasta is on sale, I load up on pasta.
The kids get snacks in the form of the fruit items that are on sale. By shopping around the sales, you can be sure you’ll rarely pay full price for groceries and other items.
Stick to Your List
One way I see a lot of people spending more than they need to is by not shopping with a list. Or, by not sticking to the list they’ve made.
It’s really easy at the big box stores to get the “look, a squirrel” syndrome. In other words, you’re wandering through the aisles, constantly getting distracted by various displays and sales.
The next thing you know, your shopping cart is twice as full as it was supposed to be and you’re broke. The remedy? Make a list, keep your head down and commit to only buying what’s on the list.
Don’t let yourself be taken in by sales or pretty colors – or food cravings. The less you spend, the more you save, right?
Set a Budget and Stick to It
One final easy way to save more money while shopping is to set a budgeted amount for groceries, toiletries and other items. Commit that you’ll only spend $100 a week (or whatever is reasonable) on groceries and then stick to that budget come hell or high water.
Use meal planning to ensure you’re only buying what you need. Commit to eating what’s in the cupboard if you go through your money for the week and still have two days left before the next shopping trip.
Shopping discipline begets more money.
So, have you tried any of the cashback portals or apps shared here? What other techniques do you use to save money while shopping? Share in the comments below.