Published: July 1, 2022
Free apps

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Apps have taken over the world in record time, and we use them daily, as they make our lives easier. Every single day new, and improved apps are added. Forbes states that there are 8.9 million apps on the planet, and according to Mindsea, by 2023, mobile apps could generate over $935 billion in revenue.

There are plenty of free apps that reward you for shopping. Due to the inflation, these apps would be helpful for you to make some extra money from shopping. In this article, we will discuss the apps, how to use them, and tips on how to maximize your cash rewards.

Here are the best picks for the cashback apps to use this year.

1. Ibotta 

Ibotta is a highly rated (4.8), and popular app that gives you money back whether you are shopping in person, online, dining out, or traveling. The company is located in Colorado. Ibotta works with thousands of grocery stores, retail stores, liquor stores, gas stations, restaurants, movie theaters, convenience stores, home improvement centers, pharmacies, etc. Ibotta is supported in over 300 retail stores. Sign up for Ibotta, and you will receive a $10 bonus.

How to use Ibotta

Ibotta is fairly easy to use. It only takes a few minutes. For in-person shopping, the app shows you a list of retailers, and you can mark them as a favorite so that they show up as primary stores in your feed. You go into each retailer and look at the offers, which are categorized, and add the offers to your list. 

Then, after you go shopping, you snap a picture of your receipt. The system automatically scans your selected offers, recognizes them, and adds cashback. Sometimes, you may have to add the offer(s) manually by selecting it, and scanning the product UPC or adjusting the quantity if it is not correct. Most of the time you receive the money back instantly, but sometimes it may take up to 48 hours.

You may also get bonuses, if you redeem certain offers more than once, and even get free product offers. There is a section, called “free made easy”, where you can see all the free offers. You do want to act quickly with free offers, because if they are popular, Ibotta may place a timer on it, in which case the offer may expire soon. You will see a little, pink, timer in the offer.

If you are shopping online, you also can select any retailer, and see the cash amount that Ibotta offers, and the processing time after the purchase. In addition, you can buy gift cards for a retailer, and get cash back. There are multiple shopping categories to choose from, so you have plenty of options. 

The cash-out threshold is only $20. You can transfer the money to your Paypal account, directly to your bank account, or use it to purchase gift cards.



2. Merryfield

Merryfield is a relatively new app, that also has a high rating (4.8). The company is based in Massachusetts. It rewards you points by shopping cleaner label brands. Unlike Ibotta, it is not retailer-specific, but rather brand specific. It has special offers, bonuses, as well as everyday offers that give you 5% back just for shopping clean brands. The company donates 1% of its revenue to a cause called “No Kid Hungry”. Sign up for Merryfield here.

How to use Merryfield 

Merryfield is pretty simple to use, similar to Ibotta. Before shopping, you select the special offer(s), and scan your paper receipt afterward. The system recognizes the offers automatically, but sometimes you have to add them manually and scan the product UPC. You can also link digital receipts with different retailers.

Besides special offers, you also receive everyday points, which is the 5% back, mentioned earlier. You can also set up digital receipts, and link to a specific retailer.

For special offers, the app tells you the quantity limit for the offer, as well as when the offer expires. So, make sure that you pay attention! You may also get bonuses for brands that show a times (❌) symbol next to them.

Unlike Ibotta, which offers cash rewards, Merryfield offers points, which translate into gift cards. Once you have collected 5,000 rewards points, equal to $5, you can cash out, and apply the rewards to a gift card of choice.

Fetch Rewards

3. Fetch Rewards

Fetch Rewards is a great, top-rated app (4.8) The company is located in Wisconsin. The app rewards points from any receipt including grocery stores, retail stores, restaurants, and gas stations. You can even obtain points from digital receipts, and prescriptions.

You can also get bonus points for special offers from pop-up brands. The app shows you when those offers expire. Sign up for Fetch Rewards, and get 3,000 points as a bonus.

How to use Fetch Rewards

All you have to do is scan your receipt, and you automatically get points. The point system varies depending on the retailer, the total on the receipt, and special offers. Sometimes, you will get extra points if you spend a certain amount at a grocery store.

Just like with Merryfield, you can redeem $5,000 points ($5), into gift cards of choice. The nice feature about this app is that it provides a snapshot of all receipts and spending per year, and a digital copy of receipts, sort of like a digital receipts library.


4. Rakuten

Rakuten ( formerly Ebates) is another great, free app that is also highly rated (4.8). The company is located in California. You can shop over 3,500 stores, plus also get coupons for retailers. You can shop online or in-store, and even link your credit card to the in-store option. Sign up for Rakuten, and get a $30 bonus.

How to use Rakuten

It is very easy to use this app. You just have to search for the store you wish to shop in, and you will see how much (in percentage) Rakuten rewards you for a particular store. If you are shopping in-store, you just link the offer with the credit card, and you are on your way to earning cash back. Rakuten even has “hot deals”, and “2x cash back”.

Rakuten pays cash rewards only once a quarter, so there is no threshold like with the previous apps. This is the only downside to the app. You can choose to be paid by paper check, or via PayPal.

Tips on how to maximize cash rewards with these free apps

Your earnings may depend on your shopping habits, frequency, family size, types of offers, and quantity of products, so keep that in mind. When you use these apps, you must be strategic, so that you can get the most cash back.

For example, if all these apps have the same offer, then you end up paying less for the actual product, and making more money. In addition to that, let us say Ibotta has a “free after rebate offer”, and Merryfield rewards you for the same product, which means that you made money on that particular product.

One more suggestion, is to compare the cash back percentage in one app, Ibotta, and compare to Rakuten. Then shop with the app that gives you the highest percentage of money back.

Another tip is to reinvest the money you earn back into the apps. For instance, if you redeem a gift card from Merryfield to Whole Foods Market, then go grocery shopping, and purchase products that give you cash back, then you have a good return on investment ( ROI).

The last tip is, don’t be afraid to contact the app support if you are unable to submit your receipt for points or missing cash back for a shopping trip. The app support responds quickly and is very helpful.


Even though there are millions of free apps, these are the top four free apps that give you cash back for shopping. While these apps won’t replace your income or make you rich, in our economy when the prices of groceries, and goods are rising, getting cash back on purchases is a great incentive, in my opinion. So go ahead, download these free apps and start earning today!

Please let me know in the comments below what is your favorite free app?


1. Koetsier, John. “There Are Now 8.9 Million Mobile Apps, and China Is 40% of Mobile App Spending.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 29 June 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkoetsier/2020/02/28/there-are-now-89-million-mobile-apps-and-china-is-40-of-mobile-app-spending/?sh=37f8110021dd.

2. Team, MindSea. “25 Mobile App Statistics to Know in 2022.” MindSea, 29 Apr. 2022, https://mindsea.com/app-stats.

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