Cashback apps provide an easy way to save money, but with so many options out there, how do you know which apps and websites are worth your time? Here is our list of the best cashback apps you can start using today.
Whenever you’re looking to save money or create some extra breathing room in your budget, one of the first things you should do is look for easy wins. An easy win is something that will take little-to-no effort on your part, will have no negative impact on your life, and still saves you some money.
Of course, there are a lot of different ways you can save money (you can find plenty of ideas in the article 101 Practical and Realistic Ways to Save Money).
But the truth is, some methods for saving money will take quite a bit of work or sacrifice on your part. Now, that doesn’t mean that these methods aren’t worth your time or effort, but I would always recommend starting with the easy wins and then moving on from there.
The easy wins will not only help you to start saving money very quickly, but they’ll also give you encouragement and motivation from seeing noticeable results so quickly.
One of my favorite easy wins is to use cash back apps and websites. They will pay you for buying things that you need to buy anyway. To make it even better, you can combine them with a good cashback credit card or coupons to save even more money (see How to Stack Rewards and Cash Back).
This article highlights 15 of the best cash back apps and websites that you should consider using. To make the deal even sweeter, many of them give a signup bonus just for joining.
For a long time I didn’t use cash back sites or apps because I didn’t want to be bothered. But within the past few years I’ve made an effort to maximize my credit card rewards (another easy win) and that led me to try cash back sites as well. Once you start using a few of these sites or apps you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how easy it is to get free money this way.
The Best Cash Back Websites and Apps
While the goal of all of these sites/apps is to help you save money, they do not all function in the same way. I’ll try to explain the most important factors about each so you can decide which ones are best for you.
Everyone should be using the top 5 sites and apps listed below. The others listed are also great, but the top 5 will give you great results with minimal effort on your part.
Sign up bonus: $10
Sign up for Rakuten here
Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) is easily my favorite site/app for cash back, and it’s also probably the most well-known in the industry. You can use the desktop website or the mobile app to earn cash back. All you need to do is go to Rakuten first, then click through to one of their partner websites and you’ll earn cash back for your purchase. With thousands of websites/stores in their program, your balance can grow really quickly.
One of my favorite features of Rakuten in their browser extension. You can easily and quickly get their cash back button for internet browsers like Chrome and Firebox. As you’re browsing, the extension will alert you when you’re visiting a site that offers cash back through Rakuten. Then, all you need to do is click on the button to activate the cash back. This makes it extremely easy to earn cashback since they’re reminding you about it.
Another feature that I love is how Rakuten will automatically search and find coupon codes that you can use. When you’re going through the checkout process on one of their many partner websites, Rakuten will alert you if there’s a coupon code than can save you some money. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
As an Rakuten member you’ll have access to limited-time offers including discounts and extra cash back. They’re always running promotions with different stores and websites, so if you keep your eyes on these offers, you can find some great deals.
You’ll also have the opportunity to earn cash back from in-store purchases, although the current number of these offers is much smaller than the offers for online shopping through Rakuten.
In my opinion, using Rakuten is a no-brainer. They make it so easy and effortless to save money, and there are so many great websites and stores in their program. If that’s not enough to convince you, Rakuten will also give you a $10 bonus for signing up (to get the bonus you must make a purchase of at least $25 within 90 days).
Rakuten has a ton of great websites and stores in their program. I don’t want to list percentages of cash back by site/store because that can change quickly, but through Rakuten you can earn cash back for purchases at Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Macy’s, Expedia, Jet, Staples, Lowe’s, and many others.
- $10 sign up bonus
- Get paid with a check or PayPal, not gift cards
- Industry leader
- Convenient browser extension
- Automatically finds coupon codes to save you more money
- Earn cash back for online and in-store purchases
- Limited-time promos allow you to earn more cash back
- Sign up for Rakuten here to get the $10 bonus
Sign up bonus: $5
Sign up for Swagbucks here
Swagbucks is different then any of the other sites that we’ve looked at so far. You can earn points (they call them Swagbucks) for several different things like taking surveys, watching videos, playing games, downloading apps, and more. One of the ways you can earn is by shopping at the thousands of websites that have partnered with Swagbucks.
If you install their extension to your browser, it will notify you of cash back opportunities while you are browsing (very similar to the Rakuten browser extension). You can earn Swagbucks on your mobile phone, tablet, or desktop/laptop. Redeem you Swagbucks for cash (through PayPal) or gift cards.
Although the cashback aspect of Swagbucks is similar to Rakuten, you should sign up for both. Not every store will be a part of both programs, and sometimes the cashback is higher at Rakuten and sometimes it’s higher at Swagbucks.
If you sign up through this link you’ll also earn a $5 sign up bonus from Swagbucks.
- $5 sign up bonus
- Several different ways to earn money, including cash back from shopping
- The browser extension notifies you of cashback offers
- Sign up for Swagbucks here
Sign up bonus: $20
Sign up for Ibotta here
Ibotta is a popular cashback app, but it works much differently than Rakuten. You can install Ibotta on your smartphone (use this link to get a $20 sign up bonus) and you’ll be able to browse excellent money-saving offers. You can browse the offers by store or view the hottest offers. You’ll then claim the offers that you want, and you’ll earn cash back after you’ve made the purchase. If you’re making the purchase in store you can use your phone to scan your receipt, or link it to your store loyalty card.
You can also shop online to earn cash back from Ibotta. Simply click through the app to one of their partner websites and it will automatically track your shopping trip and add the cash back to your account.
They also offer Pay with Ibotta, which allows