It appears we’re all constantly searching for new ways to save money these days. Whether it’s making sure that you only buy the exact right amount of groceries at the store or borrowing movies from your friends, so you don’t have to pay for a trip to the cinema. While in the past, one the easiest ways to save cash was to clip coupons out of newspapers and magazines, the digital world has made way for a new saving solution in the form of cash back apps.
Apps like EBates, which essentially allow you to earn money every time you shop, are designed to help you save more money as quickly and conveniently as possible. Cashback companies work by affiliating themselves with the brands you shop with most often. Whenever you scan a receipt from a business that your app is affiliated with or click on a link that the cash back website provides, the company you buy from gets a note telling them that the cash-back company is sending them new business. This means that the cash back company gets a reward it can pass onto you.
If all that sounds confusing, don’t worry. You don’t necessarily have to understand how cashback apps work to make the most out of this new trend. All you need to know is that they can save you a serious amount of cash.
Choosing the Best Cash Back Apps
Before you can begin reaping the rewards of your own cash back apps, you need to decide which one you want to download onto your phone. There are dozens of different apps out there, and the chances are that your phone will only have enough memory to accommodate a few. Instead of complicating things by downloading multiple apps at once, it’s best to look for an app that’s going to give you the most rewards for the least effort. For instance, here are a few you might consider:
SavingStar: Essentially the digital version of a coupon book, SavingStar gives you a small percentage of your purchases back, every time you shop at specific drugstores and grocery stores. While this app is typically free to use, it’s worth noting that you will be asked to pay a small fee if the app is dormant for more than 180 days, so you can re-activate your account. To use this app, all you need to do is submit receipts through your app after making purchases, or you can link the app to your favorite loyalty cards with certain stores. You can continue to build up points for as long as you like, then cash them out in the form of gift codes and PayPal payments.
SnipSnap: Another app similar to Ebates and SavingStar, this solution allows today’s shoppers to snap pictures of their coupons so that they can instantly translate them into mobile-ready saving solutions. You can also browse online to take advantage of coupons collected from friends and family members too. Unlike Ebates, there’s no real cashback to be earned here, but you can still save some serious money with the help of the right voucher codes.
Shopkick: Shopkick is a unique cashback app, and probably my favorite option on this list. It essentially gives you points every time you make a purchase that you were going to make anyway. Additionally, you can also get rewards for scanning the barcodes of certain items, or just walking into certain stores. Shopkick doesn’t just save you money by giving you points that you can trade in for gift cards, but it also makes the whole process of shopping way more fun too!
Should You Be Using a Cashback App?
While the idea of having to scan receipts on your phone or download an app in the first place might seem like a waste of time at first, you’ll quickly discover how valuable these tools can be when you start using them. Apps like Shopkick make it insanely easy to earn rewards and save money so that you can stop worrying about making ends meet after each payday.
These apps are easy to use – and usually quite fun too, so you shouldn’t feel as though you’re putting yourself out by using them. What’s more, they allow you to make money on the things you were going to buy anyway, so you basically feel as though you’re being paid just to go to your favorite stores – what could be more appealing than that?