Save More at Costco With These 5 Cash Back Apps

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  • Cash back apps can be an excellent way to save money, especially if you use them in combination with other money-saving methods.
  • Ibotta, Fetch, and Checkout 51 all pay rewards on Costco purchases.
  • Other cash back apps pay rewards on Costco membership purchases.

Learn how to stack rewards and maximize your savings.

If you're a Costco member, you're likely already an expert at finding the best Instant Savings coupons and knowing which bulk buys are best for your family. But if you're not also using a cash back app, you could be leaving money on the table. Cash back apps work in different ways, but what they have in common is that you can earn extra rewards on your spending in various stores.

Here are five cash back apps you can use with Costco, though some only give cash back on membership payments.

1. Ibotta

Ibotta is a popular cash back app and one of the few that pays rewards for your purchases at Costco. It's free to use and also works with hundreds of other retailers. Once you've downloaded the app, you'll need to check for offers and activate them before you shop. This can be a bit of a hassle, but it's worthwhile as the dollars you earn eventually translate into more money in your bank account.

At time of writing, shoppers could get as much as $3 back on certain brands of alcohol, as well as money back on beauty products and various foods items. You'll need to scan the receipt within seven days of shopping to claim your rewards. Once you've got $20 worth of rewards stacked up, you can withdraw them to a bank account, transfer them to PayPal, or use them to buy a gift card.

2. Fetch Rewards

It doesn't matter what store you shop at with Fetch Rewards. The app looks at what products you've bought, not where you bought them -- whether that's Costco or any other retailer. Fetch partners with hundreds of big brand names, and you'll find some of them on sale in Costco. These include Finish, Colgate, Cheerios, and many more.

There's no need to activate specific offers before you go to the store, though you may want to look and see which brands qualify and where you might earn extra points. Once you've done your shop, you have two weeks to upload your receipt. The app will scan your receipt for any qualifying items. When you have enough points, you can redeem them for gift cards with major companies such as Apple, Walmart, and Hulu.

3. Checkout 51

Checkout 51 is similar to Fetch Rewards in that it focuses on the product rather than the store. Its offer list refreshes every Thursday, and you have to activate offers before you shop. You can also search for specific Costco offers. After you've been to the store, you have to upload your receipt while the offer is still live. Once you've racked up $20 worth of rewards, you can request your cash back. Checkout 51 pays rewards as a mailed check or via Paypal.

4. BeFrugal and 5.

These apps only pay cash back on membership purchases.

  • BeFrugal: $4 back on a new Gold Star membership and $8 back on a new Executive membership. The offer is not available to existing Costco customers.
  • $3.15 back on a Gold Star membership and $6.30 back on an Executive membership.

The annual Gold Star Costco membership costs $60 and allows you to shop at Costco stores across the world. The Executive membership costs $120 ($60 for the normal membership and an additional $60 to upgrade). It lets customers earn 2% rewards on certain purchases, as well as giving extra savings on Costco travel and other services.

Stack your rewards

The great thing about using cash back apps is that you can stack benefits by using them with other offers. For example, if you have a rewards credit card, you could earn those rewards in addition to anything the cash back app pays. Even better? You can stack them with in-store discounts and Costco's Instant Savings coupons too. Bear in mind that you can only use Visa credit cards at Costco warehouses and gas stations, though takes other forms of payment.

One word of warning: Don't buy things just because they're on special offer or pay out more points on an app. That's a recipe for spending more rather than saving money. Look for offers or points on products you were going to buy anyway as that will shave money off your regular shop.

Inflation has pushed up the cost of groceries considerably this year. If you can save a few extra dollars by using cash back apps, they could be another tool in your arsenal against cost-of-living increases.

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