Top Shopping Apps for Earning Cash Back and Rewards

May 03, 2017

Woman holding shopping bags and looking at her phoneLike the idea of leveraging what you do on a regular basis into extra cash, prizes and gift cards for your favorite retailers? We’ve selected five free mobile apps that make it easy, and fun, to earn cash back and rewards for the shopping that you do every day. Some even allow you to earn rewards for a variety of activities that don’t require you to spend a single cent – such as visiting stores, answering quick surveys and playing digital games. Just a word of caution: be sure you are truly working them into your routine and spending habits so that you don’t overindulge or get sidetracked from your regular work!

Shopkick: Highly popular among shopping enthusiasts, this app for both the Android and iPhone rewards users with points called “kicks” that can be redeemed for gift cards, Facebook credits and more starting at $2.00 (or 500 kicks). In many cases, you aren’t even required to make a purchase.  Five different activities earn you kicks: walking into a store, scanning product barcodes, purchasing specific items, submitting receipts and referring friends and family to the app. With the recent launch of the new feature Shopkick Grocery, you have even more opportunities to earn rewards and can create shopping lists that make it easy to rack up kicks for buying everyday items.

 Swagbucks: This rewards program provides numerous ways to earn cash back through PayPal and gift cards for more than 1,500 retailers such as Amazon, Target, eBay, Lowe’s and Sephora. Accumulate points by shopping, viewing videos, completing short surveys, searching the web, entering contests, taking part in daily polls and finding deals. You can earn SB points for every dollar that you spend, and earning one SB per dollar is equal to earning one percent cash back. In addition, Swagbucks provides you access to exclusive deals and coupons and rewards you for trying new offers and samples. One downside to using this app: you could find yourself frittering away precious time if you’re not paying attention. On the other hand, Swagbucks provides a needed diversion while you’re stuck waiting in long lines!

Ebates: Once known as a shopping portal offering consumers up to forty percent cash back and discounts for thousands of online retailers, today Ebates also provides a mobile app for earning cash back on the go at brick-and-mortar stores. Available for iPhone in the App Store and for Android in Google Play, the  app also offers flash sales exclusive to mobile users, notifications when you’re within walking distance of  a retailer offering cash back and the opportunity to make $50 for referring two friends who make qualifying purchases. You’ll receive payment via check or PayPal every quarter. Get details at

Mobee:  Gone are the days when mystery shopping involved a long and tedious process that included mailing in responses and waiting for payment. With the Mobee app, you can instantly find “Missions” at nearby retail locations and restaurants that quickly earn you points that can be redeemed for gift cards, their cash equivalent or donations to charity. To complete a Mission, you’ll take photos and answer 5-10 questions about the quality and condition of products, service, store cleanliness, etc. In addition, you can earn rewards by “Anywhere Missions” you can do without leaving your home and by referring friends and family. Before you head out to lunch or to do your regular shopping, simply open the app and search the map for a Mission close to you or that you can integrate conveniently into your day. While some Missions require a minimum purchase, others don’t.  You’ll earn somewhere between 150-3,000 points for each Mission you complete at approximately one cent per Mobee point.

Living Social’s Restaurants Plus: Prefer a simpler, more streamlined way to save on eating out than using vouchers, cutting coupons or buying gift cards? Save yourself some time and effort by linking your credit card to LivingSocial’s mobile app, which allows you to earn up to 30 percent cash back on purchases made at hundreds of participating restaurants, bars and cafes. Get started today at

Looking for more ways to parlay your purchases into rewards? If you’ve yet to enroll in the CURewards Program, don’t miss out on any more opportunities to earn points for every dollar that you spend on your SFPCU Platinum Visa toward brand-name merchandise, gift cards, vacations, special offers and more! Get started today at Don’t have a SFPCU Platinum Visa?  Now through June 30, 2017, you can get a 0 percent APR* introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers for six months. Find details including restrictions at

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