Receipt scanning apps are a quick way to earn cash back on your grocery purchases.
The only thing you have to do to earn money is take a picture of your receipts within these apps. That’s it!
Some receipt scanning apps also extend beyond just grocery receipts, so you can earn cash back on other things you purchase too!
Scan Receipts and Get Paid
Here are the top 9 apps to scan receipts and get paid!
Ibotta is a wildly popular grocery receipt scanning app. There’s a good chance you’ve seen friends posting on social media about using Ibotta. If you’ve always wondered what the fuss was all about, we’ve got you covered.
Ibotta partners with 286 different stores across the U.S. to offer its users money back on specific items in the store. Once inside a store, click on that store’s icon inside the Ibotta app and you’ll then be shown all of that store’s available offers.
Taking Advantage of Offers
- To add an offer, start by selecting the product on the app or website.
- Ibotta will then usually ask you to complete a “task.” These tasks” usually involve answering a simple question about the product of watching a short video.
- Once you’ve completed the task, the offer will be added to your account.
- Finally, buy the products and redeem the offers by scanning your receipt. Your cash will be deposited into your Ibotta account within 48 hours. Pretty simple!
Other Ways to Earn Money
In addition to scanning receipts, Ibotta customers can also earn money by linking their store loyalty cards to the app and (a recent addition) even by shopping on your phone.
Once you’ve linked a store card to your Ibotta account, you no longer have to scan receipts from that store. Simply add the offers before you shop, use your loyalty card at check out, and then you’re good to go.
Here are some more details about how Ibotta works:
- You have up to 7 days after a purchase to redeem your receipt.
- You must reach a $20 threshold before you can withdraw your earnings.
- You can withdraw earnings via PayPal, Venmo, or by converting them into a gift card.
- You can earn up to $100 of bonus money by referring 10 friends to Ibotta within one month’s time.
2. Checkout 51
Checkout 51 and Ibotta are very similar apps and fierce competitors. The general concept of adding offers and redeeming them by scanning receipts is the same for both services.
The biggest advantage of using Checkout 51 though is that you can shop at any store of your choosing. Rather than focusing on stores, Checkout 51’s deals focus on specific products and it doesn’t matter where you purchase them.
Don’t Waste Time Scanning Your Receipts
All of Checkout 51’s offers go live on Thursdays at 12:00 am and expire the following Wednesday at 11:59 pm.
Receipts must be scanned before offers expire.
What this means in practical terms is that you have less time to scan Checkout 51 receipts than Ibotta’s.
- With Ibotta, you always have up to 7 days after purchase to redeem.
- But with Checkout 51, if you take your shopping trip on Tuesday, for example, you only have 1 more day to scan your receipt before expiration.
- If you stash that receipt in your wallet or purse in hopes of scanning when you get home, you may realize a few days later that you forgot and your offers have already expired.
This is why I recommend if you use Checkout 51 to make a habit of scanning your receipt immediately after purchase, or at least as soon as you get back to your car.
Here are some more details about how Checkout 51 works:
- You must reach a $20 threshold before you can withdraw your earnings.
- For now, you can only cash out via check which is a bit of a bummer. The good news is they are currently beta testing PayPal payments. They plan to release PayPal payments to all members “very soon.”
- Some offers can be claimed multiple times within the given week’s window that the offer is live.
- Unless otherwise stated, you can “double up” on Checkout 51 offers (you can combine their offers with any other coupons or discounts).
Founded in 2004, SavingStar had been consistently losing market share to Ibotta and Checkout 51 and it was causing the product options on their website and app to dwindle.
However, earlier this year SavingStar made a deal with Checkout 51 to work together to keep people from stacking offers from each other’s apps.
- Now, if you receive a rebate for a product on one app, you will not be able to receive a rebate for that same product on the other’s app.
- This deal breathed new life into SavingStar as brands now felt safe advertising their products in both places.
But if SavingStar is so similar to Checkout 51 (and, therefore, Ibotta), why would you choose to use them over the bigger players? I’m glad you asked.
What Sets SavingStar Apart
One of the best features of SavingStar is their “One or Many” offers.
- These are deals that reward you for spending a certain amount – for instance $20 on a certain brand of toilet paper.
- The really nice part about “One or Many” is that you are given you the option of meeting the spending goal in one or multiple trips.
- If you’d prefer to spread your purchases out over a few shopping trips, you can do that.
In addition to the “One or Many” program, SavingStar also highlights a special “healthy offer” of the week and has recently added an “Always On” program which gives a percentage back on every purchase you make from certain brands, like P&G, for example.
Link Rewards Cards Whenever Possible
To redeem offers, you can link your store rewards card or scan receipts.
I must warn you though that scanning receipts is a bit of a bigger hassle with SavingStar than other apps. Not only do you have to take a picture of your receipt, but you have to type in the UPC code from every single product that you want to receive a rebate for.
Translation: if a store has the option of linking its reward card to SavingStar, do it!
Here are some more details about how SavingStar works:
- You must reach a $20 threshold before you can withdraw your earnings (recently increased in May from the previous $5 threshold).
- You can withdraw earnings via a bank account, PayPal account, Starbucks gift code, iTunes gift code, or AMC Theatres gift code.
- You can submit receipts up to 3 days after an offer expires.
Shopkick is a receipt scanning app that was founded in 2009, but has really gained steam in the past few years. There’s four ways you can earn “kicks” (points) with their app:
- Item Scans
- Receipt Scans
- Linked Card
With Shopkick, certain stores will give you kicks (usually 25), just for walking in to their store. The app uses the location tracking on your phone to know when you are at the store. Getting points for walk-ins is an idea that Shopkick pioneered.
Another way that Shopkick gives you points is by scanning certain items in the store. You don’t have to buy the items – just scan them. But it can’t just be any items. It has to be the specific items that Shopkick has chosen.
Shopkick Wins the “Most Fun To Use” Award In a Landslide
These unique ways to earn kicks can turn using the app into a sort of scavenger hunt. I have to admit that when my wife and tried out Shopkick, we had way too much fun with it.
- We were driving to all of the locations nearby that were offering walk-in kicks, and we’d walk in and out just to get the points.
- Then, we’d walk into a store like Target and try finding all the items that were worth points and scan them.
- And THEN we’d do our shopping!
So, yes, we probably wasted way too much time and gas using this app, but our story illustrates the magic that the Shopkick folks have stumbled upon with their creation. Using their app is a genuinely fun experience.
Here are some more details about how Shopkick works:
- 250 kicks = $1.00
- 500 kicks is the minimum you must have to redeem for a gift card.
- You can only redeem kicks for gift cards. No cash redemptions.
- Referring friends can earn you lots of kicks. You’ll get 250 kicks to start with, and then a portion of the kicks that your friends earn after they start using the app.
5. Receipt Hog
Receipt Hog is a bit different than the previous apps we’ve covered in that there are no specific products for you to search for.
Instead, Receipt Hog just encourages users to upload as many receipts as they can from all of their shopping trips throughout the week in order to earn “coins.”
The larger the receipt, the more coins you receive. Below, you’ll see the breakdown of how many coins you receive per dollar amount spent:
- <$10 = 5 coins
- $10-$50 = 10 coins
- $50-$100 = 15 coins
- $100+ = 20 coins.
Every receipt also earns you one spin in a game that Receipt Hog calls the “Hog Slots.”
- Every spin ath the Hog Slots earns you bonus coins.
- They also choose a daily Hog Slots winner who receives their last shopping trip transaction total in points.
- In addition to earning 1 spin at the Hog Slots per receipt, you can earn extra spins by completing monthly “Challenges” or by submitting “Spin Receipts” (explained more below).
In order to earn coins, receipts must be from what Receipt Hog refers to as “fast-moving” retailers, which basically means stores that sell groceries, toys, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.
For every other kind of retailer (auto, home, electronics, etc.), uploading your receipt will earn you spins on the Hog Slots.
A Good Starter App
What’s really nice about Receipt Hog is the fact that it is less time-consuming than some of the other grocery receipt scanning apps.
- You don’t have to add any “offers,”
- You don’t have to complete tasks.
- You just scan receipts.
If you are just getting started with grocery receipt scanning, Receipt Hog may be a good starter app that gets you into the habit of saving your receipts and using them to get money back. And if you end up using more apps in the future, you can always “double up” by scanning the same receipts into Receipt Hog that you’ve already scanned into other apps!
The last thing I really like about Receipt Hog is that you can withdraw earnings with as little as 1,000 coins ($5) in your account.
Here are some more details about how Receipt Hog works:
- To prevent people from scanning receipts that are not their own, Receipt Hog has put the following rules in place:
- You can only scan up to 20 receipts in a 7-day period.
- You can earn no more than 100 coins during that same 7-day period
- You can only upload 3 receipts for one store per day.
- You have up to 14 days after your shopping trip to submit your receipt.
- You can withdraw your earnings via Paypal, an Amazon e-gift card or a Mastercard/Visa e-gift card. The coins to dollar conversion is shown below:
- $5- 1,000 coins
- $15- 2,900 coins
- $25- 4,300 coins
- $40- 6,500 coins
6. Walmart Savings Catcher
Walmart Savings Catcher is completely different than the other receipt scanning apps in that it doesn’t give you “offers” for specific products or “points” of any kind.
The whole idea behind Savings Catcher is that Walmart wants customers to have the peace of mind in knowing that when they shop at Walmart, they are truly getting the cheapest price on what they buy.
- After submitting your receipt into Savings Catcher, Walmart scans the local grocery stores and supermarkets prices to see if anyone was offering a better deal on any of your items.
- If they find a lower price for an item that you purchased, they’ll notify you within a week and you’ll get the money back via an eGift card.
Physical Receipts No Longer Accepted
Unfortunately, Walmart just recently announced that as of October 29, 2018 you can only submit receipts for purchases that were made using Walmart Pay.
A lot of people are very unhappy about this, especially those who don’t have smartphones or prefer to pay with cash.
Perhaps if Walmart receives enough complaints about this change, they may decide to change their mind. But for now, you cannot scan physical receipts into Walmart Savings Catcher.
NOTE: Despite this change, you still have to “submit” your receipts. Savings Catcher does not automatically search for lower prices on your Walmart Pay transactions.
Here are some more details about how Walmart Pay works:
- You must submit receipts within 7 days of purchase.
- At this time, Walmart Grocery Pickup & Delivery receipts are not eligible for Savings Catcher.
- You can submit up to 7 receipts per week to Savings Catcher.
- As mentioned above, Walmart pays via Walmart eGift cards, which means you can only use your money at Walmart.
- An upside to Walmart using eGift cards is that there is no minimum payout threshold. Any amount of money you have received through Savings Catcher can be used immediately towards your next Walmart purchase.
I have to admit that I think Paribus may have the most unique service of all the apps on our list.
What they essentially do is check to see if the price drops on items that you’ve bought online.
And if they have, Paribus contacts the retailer and takes care of getting a refund for you. All without you knowing anything about it or having to do a thing!
Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but Paribus is a legit company. And they were recently bought out by Capital One, so they have some serious clout backing them up.
How It Works
The first thing you have to do is give Paribus access to whatever email address that you send your purchase confirmations to. Once you do, Paribus will start scanning your emails for opportunities to get you money back on refunds.
- Many retailers offer refunds on price drops within a 14-day or 30-day window.
- Paribus looks for products that have dropped in price within that refund window.
- Once they’ve found a match, they contact the retailer on your behalf and request the refund on your behalf.
Paribus’ service really is quite magical. It works exactly as advertised and they work with over 29 different retailers.
And it’s completely free!
Here are some more details about how Paribus works:
- Paribus may scare you with the number of permissions that the app asks for: namely the ability to see, send, and delete your email. While I can understand your concern, Paribus needs these permissions in order to perform their service, and they are only looking for emails related to your shopping.
- While Paribus claims to work with Amazon, they can only get refunds for you if your Amazon purchase had a guaranteed delivery date and the product was not delivered on time. Amazon does not give price-drop refunds.
What makes BerryCart unique is their focus on healthy foods.
- While a lot of the receipt scanning apps are filled with offers for junk food items, every one of BerryCart’s rebates are for organic, gluten-free, or non-GMO foods.
- On their website, they boast in the fact that you won’t find any offers for high-fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors.
BerryCart works like other grocery receipt apps in that you begin with selecting offers on your phone and then buying the items in the store. Once you’ve made your purchase, all you have to do is snap a picture of your receipt and BerryCart sends you money.
Healthy Deals Everywhere
One of the most impressive things about BerryCart is that it works in over 100,000 locations! They work with just about every major retailer including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Walmart, Target, Safeway, and Kroger.
If you are someone who takes healthy eating seriously, BerryCart might be the perfect grocery receipt scanning app for you!
Here are some more details about how BerryCart works:
- You can cash out via Paypal or gift card after completing a few actions.
- You must submit receipts within a week of your purchase.
- You cannot, at this point, connect any of your store rewards accounts to BerryCart. You must manually upload your physical receipts in order to earn rewards.
9. National Consumer Panel
The National Consumer Panel (NCP) is a market research company started by Nielsen and IRi. that tracks consumer spending data in order to help brands choose future products and prices.
To be a National Consumer Panelist, you start by applying on their website. If you are accepted, they will either send you a mobile scanner or give you access to their mobile app. Next, you scan the barcodes on all the items that you purchase.
Then, once a week you share your shopping data with NCP. They may also ask you to upload your purchase receipt or answer some survey questions.
In return for uploading their shopping data once a week, NCP gives their panelists points that can be redeemed for gift cards or products.
Here are some more details about how NCP works:
- Unlike the other apps that we have covered, there is no guarantee that you will be accepted into the NCP program.
- They often are looking for families that meet certain demographic criteria.
- After you apply, they will email you to let you know if you were what they needed and if you have been accepted into the program.
- You cannot turn your points into cash. You can only redeem points through receiving a gift card or by shopping for products on NCP’s online catalogue.
- Every panelist is automatically entered into weekly, monthly, and quarterly sweepstakes that could land you extra reward points, gift cards, and even cash.
Don’t throw your grocery receipts in the trash. There are tons of great apps out there that you can use to turn those receipts into cash, gift cards or prizes.
Have you used any of the apps that we covered? Do you know of any other great grocery receipt scanning apps? If so, let us know on Facebook or Twitter!