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The Best Cash Back Apps for 2024

Updated
Natasha Etzel
By: Natasha Etzel

Our Personal Finance Expert

Ashley Maready
Check IconFact Checked Ashley Maready
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Whether you're heading to the grocery store or need to buy some new clothes, it can be fun to earn rewards for shopping. Cash back apps are an easy way to save money and earn money back on everyday purchases. The best cash back apps are free and can be a great tool to add to your regular personal finance routine. So if you're not using these cash rewards apps, you're missing out on free money. Check out our best cash back apps for March 2024.

The Ascent's best cash back apps:

  • Ibotta: Best cash back savings app
  • Fetch Rewards: Best cash back app overall
  • Dosh: Best cash back app for online and in-person shopping
  • Rakuten: Best cash back app for online shoppers
  • Checkout 51: Best cash back app for gas stations

1. Ibotta

Ibotta
Best cash back savings appIbotta

Bottom line: Ibotta is a popular cash back app that allows users to earn cash rewards when shopping at grocery stores and other popular retailers. It functions as a receipt-scanning app. You can download the mobile app or add the browser extension and find offers that you can use. You will then need to activate each offer.

You'll notice that each listed offer has a dollar amount attached to it. To earn cash back, you can scan a receipt or link a store loyalty card. The Ibotta app lets you withdraw cash back earnings any time your account reaches a minimum of $20. Another option is to redeem cash back for gift cards, which also have a minimum redemption of $20-$25.

What makes Ibotta one of the best cash back apps is that it features thousands of retailers, including Target , Walmart, Rite Aid, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods Market, and Dollar General. With so many popular retailers featured within this app, it's no wonder Ibotta is one of the best apps for earning extra cash back on purchases.

  • Rewards rates: Varies; some offers are for $0.25 cash back, while others offer $1.00 or more
  • iOS app rating: 4.8/5 stars
  • Android app rating: 4.5/5 stars
  • Cost: Free

READ MORE >> Ibotta review

2. Fetch Rewards

Fetch Rewards
Best cash back app overallFetch Rewards

Bottom line: Fetch Rewards allows shoppers to earn rewards on their regular shopping trips, including visits to grocery stores, convenience stores, big-box stores, and restaurants. To earn reward points, you must upload a receipt within 14 days of shopping. You can do this by linking your email and submitting an e-receipt or taking a photo of a physical receipt. There's no need to apply or save specific offers before shopping.

Instead, you'll earn points on all of your regular shopping. Some featured brands will earn more points, but just going shopping and uploading a receipt will earn you points, no matter what.

The best cash back apps make it easy to redeem earnings, and Fetch is no different. You can exchange your points for gift cards to popular retailers. You also have other redemption options, such as redeeming your points for charity donations or using your points to enter monthly cash sweepstakes.

You can cash out at as little as 3,000 points. The rewards rate is, at most, 1% of the final purchase price, but some rewards are worth less. But if it's your first time redeeming rewards or you have yet to redeem a 3,000-point reward, you'll need to redeem your points for a $10, $25, or $50 reward first. Since it's so simple to earn points, this is a favorite app for people who want an easy, no-planning-necessary cash back rewards app.

  • Rewards rates: At most, 1% of the final purchase price
  • iOS app rating: 4.8/5 stars
  • Android app rating: 4.6/5 stars
  • Cost: Free

READ MORE >> Fetch Rewards review

3. Dosh

Dosh
Best cash back app for online and in-person shoppingDosh

Bottom line: Dosh is one of the best cash back apps because it provides various ways to earn rewards. This app offers automatic cash back when shopping, dining, or booking hotel stays. The Dosh app doesn't require users to upload receipts. Instead, once you link your debit or credit card to the app and make purchases, you can earn cash back automatically. There's no need to activate offers -- rewards for eligible purchases will automatically be placed in your Dosh wallet.

However, Visa cardholders may be presented with additional rewards earning opportunities. These offers will appear in your Dosh account as "Tap to Activate Offers and they must be activated to earn rewards. Once you reach at least $15, you can transfer your cash back to your bank, PayPal, or Venmo account, or you can donate your cash back earnings to charity.

  • Rewards rates: Varies; many retailers offer 5% or more
  • iOS app rating: 4.7/5 stars
  • Android app rating: 4.5/5 stars
  • Cost: Free to download; but if your account remains inactive for more than 12 months, a $4.99 maintenance fee will be deducted from your Dosh wallet balance. Your debit card or credit card will never be charged.

READ MORE >> Dosh review

4. Rakuten

Rakuten
Best cash back app for online shoppersRakuten

Bottom line: Rakuten, previously named Ebates, is both a cash back and shopping app that lets you earn cash rewards for shopping in various categories. This includes purchasing clothes, ordering takeout, booking travel, and buying home improvement items. Each participating retailer will list a cash back percentage that it's offering, and you earn cash rewards by shopping as you normally would.

Rakuten provides cash back offers for both online purchases and in-store purchases. For an online purchase, a user must click a Rakuten link to activate it and then go through the checkout process. For in-store shopping, users can link their credit or debit card to Rakuten, then click on an in-store cash back offer to activate it and shop like normal.

Payments are sent out every three months when you have an account balance of at least $5. Earnings of less than $5 will carry over to the next payment period. You can choose to receive your cash through your PayPal account or a paper check if you prefer. You also have the option to donate your cash back earnings to a nonprofit organization.

  • Rewards rates: 2% to 10%, or more
  • iOS app rating: 4.8/5 stars
  • Android app rating: 3.8/5 stars
  • Cost: Free

READ MORE >> Rakuten review

5. Checkout 51

Checkout 51
Best cash back app for gas stationsCheckout 51

Bottom line: Checkout 51 is a rewards app that allows users to earn cash back on grocery and gas purchases. To take advantage, you'll have to add offers within the app, then click "redeem" to check off items that were purchased. Finally, you need to upload a photo of the receipt. Once the receipt is verified, cash back is added to your account. It's important to know that you must upload your receipt while an offer is still live.

Another reason Checkout 51 makes our best cash back apps list is unless an offer states otherwise, you can earn cash back through the app in combination with other coupons and discounts, which could double your savings. Review the terms of each offer to verify that coupons are allowed.

You can cash out your account balance as soon as it reaches $20. Cash back is available in the form of a paper check, PayPal transfer, or electronic gift card. New offers appear every Thursday, and you can take advantage of a search feature that lets you find your favorite products or get inspiration before shopping.

  • Rewards rates: Rewards rates vary
  • iOS app rating: 4.0/5 stars
  • Android app rating: 4.2/5 stars
  • Cost: Free

READ MORE >> Checkout 51 review

Types of cash back apps

Cash back apps are one way to go if you're looking for a simple move that can save money. But not all cash back apps function in the same way. Here are some of the available types.

  • Earn points: Some of the best cash back apps reward you with points. The more you shop and spend money, the more points you earn. Eventually, you can redeem your points for cash back or exchange them for a gift card.
  • Earn cash back: The best cash back apps are all about the cash rewards. Each purchase will earn a specific cash back amount, and your earnings will accumulate until you can cash out. You can redeem your rewards for cash or a gift card.
  • Receipt scanning apps: Some cash back apps require you to upload or scan your receipt after shopping. You're then rewarded with points or cash based on your eligible purchases.
  • Card-linked reward apps: Some of the best cash back apps require you to link your credit card or debit card. Once you do, the app can see when you make eligible purchases. This is helpful for people who don't want to take the time to scan a receipt, as the app tells you when you have earned rewards.

Earn even more cash back: Check out our top picks for the Best Cash Back Credit Cards.

Features of the best cash back apps

While there are many grocery cash back apps and cash back receipt apps available, you want one that has features that are the most useful to you and your personal finances. Here are some of the features you should look for in the best cash back apps:

  • Rewards redemption options: It should be easy to redeem the rewards that you've earned. Look for the best cash back apps that offer multiple redemption options. If cash back is awarded, you should be able to request a check or have the money sent to PayPal.
  • Can be used at many stores: The best cash back apps can be used at many stores. You want to ensure that you'll get regular use out of the app you choose and that the retailers listed fit your shopping preferences and habits.
  • Low minimum redemption amount: You want to be able to cash out your earnings quickly. Be sure to look for apps that have low minimum redemption requirements so you're able to get access to your money or redeem for gift cards sooner rather than later.

Need a savings account? Check out our top picks for the Best Savings Accounts.

Typical cash back app fees and costs

The nice thing about the best cash back apps is that they're free to download. You won't need to sign up for a monthly subscription or pay a one-time fee to download these apps to your phone. Simply do your everyday shopping and follow the app's instructions to earn rewards.

Love getting a good deal when you shop? Check out our top picks for the best coupon apps.

FAQs

  • Yes. Rewards apps are an easy way to earn money and get cash back for everyday purchases. While the rewards and amount of cash back you can earn vary, this is a simple way to earn a little extra money.

  • Each app has its own rewards rate, which can vary depending on where you shop and what products you're buying. Typically, you can expect to earn around 1%. Some cash back apps offer higher rewards rates, allowing you to earn much more. It depends on how much you spend and how often you shop. To maximize your earning potential, make sure you follow each app's instructions and use the app regularly when shopping.

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