Do you shop online? Who doesn’t? You can earn extra cash back (or at least rewards) by starting shopping from a cashback or rewards website.
You still buy the item from your preferred retailer. You click the link to your store from the cashback site to earn rewards.
A cashback site is a shopping portal where you can earn cash back on your spending. Typical deals are anywhere from 1% to 5% cash back, with some retailers offering more than that. You must begin your online shopping by clicking to the store from the cashback website to earn the cashback.
So how do these online malls offer this cash back? They get a commission on the sale of the merchant’s product. They then turn around and give you a cut of that commission.
With that in mind, here is my list of the best cashback (and reward shopping) sites:
What are the Best Cashback Shopping Sites?
Cashback sites have been around a while. But there are a few new one’s available today. Here’s our current list of the best cash back shopping sites, starting with our #1 choice.
DollarSprouts Rewards is my #1 choice. It turns every website into a potential cash back site. DollarSprout Rewards is a cash back browser extension that works with Chrome and Safari browsers. It alerts users in real-time of cashback opportunities while shopping online, and automatically applies the best coupons when completing transactions.
DollarSprout offers cash back from over 15,000 online merchants, with rewards being sent out each month via PayPal once your balance reaches $5 or above.
The service never shares user data with retailers and can also be used alongside other cashback credit cards.
Activation is fast and easy – simply click the Activate button while shopping to start earning rewards instantly. There is an extensive FAQ section on their website for users who have any questions about how it works or how to contact support.
Overall, DollarSprout Rewards is an easy and convenient way to save money on purchases when shopping online. It’s free to download and use, never requires a portal login before starting a purchase, and has an impressive selection of merchants available in their network.
DollarSprout Rewards is a free cash back browser extension that notifies you in real-time of cashback reward opportunities while you are shopping online, as well as finds and automatically applies the best coupons when you're checking out.
Rakuten is my number two choice for getting cash back online. They have been around a long time (Since 1998. I joined in 2006.), and they offer a huge selection of stores where you can earn.
In my opinion, they have the most comprehensive cashback site and one of the most trusted money-making websites of all time.. The site is very user-friendly with an easy-to-understand user interface, and they are affiliated with over 2,000 online stores.
Here’s how Rakuten works:
You start by signing up with the program using an email address or a social media account. From there, you’ll be able to log onto the Rakuten site to start your shopping at any of their affiliate stores.
Alternatively, you can install a Rakuten button on your browser, so you don’t have to sign into Rakuten every time you shop.
You can cash out your Rakuten cash back anytime you’ve earned $5.01 or more–but do remember that Rakuten only offers payouts every three months, with the money you earned over the previous quarter. In addition, the site provides a great blog where you can key in on some of the more significant cashback offerings.
Finally, Rakuten has a Daily Double program where you can earn 2x the points on one specific merchant. You can elect to receive your payment by check or PayPal, or you can donate your cash to a charity of your choosing.
One more thing I love is that they give you $10 just for opening an account. Once you get into the program, you can earn $25 on every qualified referral you make.
Read my full review of Rakuten.
3. Mr. Rebates
Since 2002, Mr. Rebates has been offering shoppers cash back on their online purchases and currently boasts over 2,500 different online stores to shop from and earn some money.
To get started, you sign up for free on the site (or download the Mr. Rebates app for Apple or Android). Start from the Mr. Rebates site or app to earn cash back on your purchase whenever you need to make an online purchase.
Once you’ve earned at least $10, you can cash out through PayPal or via paper check in the mail.
While the user interface for Mr. Rebates is not nearly as intuitive as some other cash back sites, the sheer volume of available stores makes this an excellent program for earning cash back.
In addition, the Refer-a-Friend program through Mr. Rebates allows you to earn 20% of whatever cash back your friends earn–and your referral bonus does not affect their cash back in any way, so referring your friends is a win-win.
EvoShare offers an innovative twist to the well-worn idea of cash back for everyday purchases. Instead of sending you the money directly, EvoShare automatically deposits your earnings into a retirement or student loan account, meaning your cash back helps you build a better future.
The program also allows users–known on the site as “EvoSavers”–to transfer their cash back earnings to a family member’s retirement or student loan account.
EvoShare has merchants like Target, Kohl’s Ebay, Walmart, and Macy’s among their 300+ online retailers. Their cashback percentages range from 1% up to 22.5%.
EvoShare makes it easy for users to earn money for their retirement or student loan payoff goals while making their everyday purchases online.
EvoShare is easy to set up. Users can sign up in as little as two minutes and link as many debit cards or credit cards as they wish.
You can take advantage of EvoShare’s cashback rewards in addition to any rewards on your credit cards, so rewards hackers can get even more out of their shopping by using EvoShare.
To earn your cash back, begin your shopping by logging onto your EvoShare dashboard and clicking on any of the partnered retailers where you’d like to shop. EvoShare also offers a chrome extension to notify users when they are visiting a participating online store.
EvoShare does not store any of your credit card data. Instead, it outsources its credit card linking to Yodlee, a leading data aggregation and analytics platform, which means you can rest assured that your credit card information is secure.
Swagbucks offers online reward-earning activities through shopping, searching the web, answering surveys, watching videos, playing games, and simply telling your friends about Swagbucks.
According to the website, “Swagbucks is the leading destination for earning real rewards through online activities you already do every day.”
If you’re open to investing a little bit of your time each day with Swagbucks, your rewards can begin to add up and provide you some extra money in your budget each month.
Getting started with Swagbucks is super easy. You create an account via the homepage, set up your profile in just a few minutes, and you’re off and running.
Read my full review of Swagbucks.
Upromise, the college savings reward program, is an extension of the cashback model if you think about it.
In fact, in some ways, it’s better than a cashback site in that they offer rewards for using your credit card offline at places like the gas pump and grocery stores.
Also, you can transfer the money to a 529 account, which means you can see your money grow, which would be very tough to do with traditional cash-back programs.
With Upromise, you sign up and enter your credit card, debit card, or store loyalty card information. Upromise handles the rest.
They track your spending and provide a % payout when you buy from one of their partners, including Kohls.com, JCPenney.com, LandsEnd.com, Sears.com, and hundreds of others.
The other significant benefit of Upromise is that you can get your family and friends in on the action by registering their cards to your account. Their purchases will then help earn you money towards education.
See my full review of Upromise.
Earny began with a simple idea: what if it were easier to get refunds? The app was created after its co-founders shopped online and became frustrated by the cumbersome and confusing process of getting refunds for online purchases. Thus, they made Earny your personal refund assistant.
This app connects to your Google and Amazon accounts to get your money back on previous purchases if there was a price drop. They will track your email inbox for receipts.
If they find a lower price for the item you purchased, they will request a refund on your behalf. They will take 25% of the refund price and credit the rest back to your card.
All this means that Earny allows you to save money without doing any of the legwork yourself.
Earny makes it super simple to get remainder refunds. Once you enter your account and credit card info, Earny will track your purchases automatically.
You don’t need to think about it once you sign up. The app understands each store’s refund policy and how to claim the difference. Earny currently tracks all your favorite stores–including Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Nordstrom.
They even track hotel prices! If you book a hotel, it will keep an eye out, and if the cost of that hotel room drops, they will let you know how to rebook it at a lower price. Learn more about that here.
MyPoints is one of the oldest online rewards programs, getting its start in the 1990s.
Like Swagbucks, they offer many ways to earn, including an online shopping portal where you can earn cashback at thousands of online retailers.
Because they are such an established brand, they tend to not offer as great a percentage cashback as other websites on this list, but there are times when they will have a retailer that other sites do not
For this reason, they are worth having as an option when other cashback sites fail to have a retailer you need to use.
Receipt apps are reward programs where you either scan your receipt or register your rewards card, and the app finds the deals for you.
Ibotta is a free mobile app that allows you to earn cash back (not points) for completing simple, in-app tasks and then buying specific grocery items and uploading the receipt.
Here’s how it works:
Your first step is to download the Ibotta app. The app is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.
Once you have the app and sign up, you are presented with several products (things you’d find at Target, Walmart, Walgreens, etc.). I was given 64 different products. If you see a product you want, touch it, and Ibotta will present you with various tasks you can complete to earn cash back when you purchase this item.
The tasks are things like: watch a 30-second video, take a quick poll, etc. I found all the tasks to be painless and sometimes fun.
Your potential earnings are banked into your running total once you complete a task and purchase the item. The more product tasks you complete, the more you earn.
Use your device to take a picture of the receipt showing the store name and items. Upload your photo to the Ibotta app, and within a few hours, they will add the potential earning over to your official “Ibotta Earnings”, where you can then transfer the cash over to your PayPal account ($5 minimum).
Ibotta is presenting itself as a way to earn $20 or more cash back each time you go shopping, although your mileage may vary–as mine did. Still, this can be an easy and painless way to earn cash back while doing your regular grocery shopping.
Read my full review of Ibotta.
10. Checkout 51
There are probably not two apps that are more similar than Checkout 51 and Ibotta. They have the same methods for getting you cashback.
Most people who use Ibotta can immediately use Checkout 51 with no problems. So why have both apps? Because many times you can get paid twice for purchasing a single item.
The apps are independent of each other and frequently have the same digital coupons available, so why not use this to your advantage?
11. Fetch Rewards
Fetch Rewards is a free app for Apple and Android that provides reward points on thousands of popular items no matter where you shop. Just scan your receipts and let them do the work.
The ease of use makes this app a winner. It’s just scan and go. There’s no need to perform tasks in the app to claim the rewards as you must in Ibotta.
However, you are earning points, not dollars. They have a robust selection of rewards from pet food to movie tickets to gift cards for charity. Once you’ve accumulated 3,500 points, you can cash them in.
The process for claiming rewards is more straightforward than making a Facebook post. Take a picture of your grocery receipts–it doesn’t matter where you shop! They will scan your receipt, look for any products on which it offers reward points, and then give them to you.
You also have the opportunity to earn extra points on special offer products. No need to select these before you buy; if they’re on your receipt, you’ll get the points, whether you know about it ahead of time or not. It is as easy as scanning your receipts every time you shop and letting them figure the rest out.
Their referral program is as simple as their app. Any time you refer someone, you both get 2,000 points after your referral scans their first receipt. There are no limits to the number of referrals you can make.
Download the Fetch Rewards app to get started. Enter promo code FETCH3K to automatically earn $3.00 free.
Fetch Rewards turns your grocery receipts into savings. Simply scan any grocery receipt after you shop and save on thousands of popular products throughout the store. Use the promo code FETCH3K to get $3.00 upon signing up.
Final Thoughts on Cash Back Sites
Cashback websites have been around for more than 20 years and have proven to be an excellent way to cut down on the cost of your online shopping.
My favorite way to utilize these cashback shopping sites is to use them as normal, pay with my cashback credit card, and have Fetch Rewards pick up the receipt from my email. That’s like getting triple-dip money back.
Do you use cashback sites? Which ones are your favorite, and why?