Even if you collect coupons, hunt for the best deals, and use cashback apps and websites, there’s one super easy way to save money on your grocery shopping that you might be missing.
Grocery receipt scanning apps pay users money just for taking a picture of their receipt when they’re done shopping. It only takes a few seconds, and you’ll earn real money right away.
Sounds too good to be true, right? Believe it or not, this is a real opportunity that you can be taking advantage of. All you have to do is find the right app for you and download it to get started.
Best Apps That Can Turn Your Receipts Into Cash
This post will take you through everything you need to know about receipt scanning apps, including the 12 best apps that will pay you to scan your receipts right now.
If you’re looking up receipt scanning apps, chances are, Ibotta will be the first app you come across.
This is just about the most popular app for scanning your grocery receipts today. In fact, it was one of the first digital rebate services to offer deals for grocery shopping. Now the app has thousands of users across the country and tons of glowing reviews from finance experts.
You can use Ibotta at more than 300 stores, and even for some of your online purchases on sites like Amazon. Most users earn about $15 – $20 in cashback every month, but it’s possible to earn even more if you take full advantage of the app.
Best of all, you’ll get a $10 bonus with the first receipt you redeem!
How it works:
To get started with Ibotta, just download the app and make your account.
You can use the app to search for deals on some of your favorite products before you shop – that way, you’ll know what to look for and which brands to choose from to get the most cashback. Scan your receipt after you shop to redeem those deals.
Or, if you’re a loyalty member with one of their partner retailers, you can just pay with your loyalty card, and the cashback will automatically update to your account.
Within 48 hours, the money you earn will transfer directly into your bank account.
2.) Fetch Rewards
For an effortless app that can help you earn gift cards to your favorite retailers, try Fetch Rewards.
This is a newer app, but it’s already becoming popular across the country. Fetch Rewards is highly-rated for its convenience — you can browse for deals in the app, or just scan your receipt and see which products you bought can earn you points.
As you shop and scan your receipts, you’ll collect points in your account. Those points can be redeemed for the gift card of your choice. It’s a great way to reward yourself for being a responsible shopper!
Because Fetch Rewards is still relatively new, they don’t have as many deals as some other apps. However, they are quickly growing and expanding, so now is a great time to jump on board.
How it works:
When you’re done with your grocery shopping, scan your receipt with the app. Any qualifying products you bought will reward you with points in your account. Just keep collecting those points until you have enough to buy the gift card of your choice!
Every 1,000 points is equal to $1 in value. Depending on how often you shop, it’s totally possible to reward yourself with a $50 gift card after a couple months of using Fetch Rewards.
3.) Receipt Hog
Another popular option, Receipt Hog pays you in digital coins for your receipts. Then you can redeem those coins for cash, gift cards and other prizes.
All you have to do is snap a picture of your receipt to collect your Receipt Hog points. They don’t care what store you’re shopping at — as long as you buy any of their qualified products, you’ll earn.
On top of that, Receipt Hog offers more ways to earn bonus points, including easy surveys and sweepstakes.
How it works:
Once you download the app, all you have to do is take pictures of your receipt to earn your digital coins.
The coins will automatically save in your account, and will continue to grow until you have enough to buy whatever reward you have your eye on.
When you’ve collected enough coins, shop for rewards on the app. You can buy PayPal cash, an Amazon or Visa gift card, and even some of your favorite magazines. Receipt Hog also gives you the option to use your coins to enter a sweepstakes and win big!
The concept behind ReceiptPal is simple: turn receipts into rewards.
The great thing about this app is that it doesn’t matter where you shop, or what you’re buying — whenever you scan any receipt, you can earn points. You’ll even earn points for some of your online purchases.
The earnings with ReceiptPal aren’t very high, but they are consistent. If you remember to use the app every time you shop, you’ll earn enough points to redeem for gift cards and other prizes in no time.
How it works:
ReceiptPal is incredibly easy to use. Whenever you shop, just snap a picture of the receipt, and you’ll see the points add up in your account.
Or, you can upload your e-receipts to the app every time you shop online. This can also be automated if you link your email to your account, so your receipts will upload instantly with every purchase.
As you collect points, you can shop for prizes through the app. ReceiptPal offers gift cards to tons of major retailers, as well as regular sweepstakes for huge cash prizes.
5.) Checkout 51
For savings on your gas and groceries, check out Checkout 51.
This is a modern, super efficient app for the savvy shopper. New offers are updated every week, so you’ll always have opportunities to earn cashback. They offer savings on tons of food and drink items — while some are specific to certain stores, most are redeemable at any store. They also offer savings on gas with some companies.
Checkout 51 pays directly, through a check or a gift card that can be mailed to you. You don’t have to worry about collecting and redeeming any points or digital coins on the app.
How it works:
Checkout 51 has an in-app camera feature. Just open the app to snap a picture of your receipt, and it will automatically upload. You can watch your savings collect in your account.
I recommend browsing through the weekly deals before you go shopping, so you’ll always know if you can buy a certain brand or product to get that cashback deal.
Once you’ve earned $20 in your account, Checkout 51 will send you a check – or a gift card, if you opt for it – in the mail.
CoinOut is a brand-new cashback app that was recently featured on Shark Tank (so you know it’s reputable).
This is an awesome app for deals on your in-store and online shopping. It’s convenient, with an easy in-app camera and automated cashback deals when you’re shopping online.
For online deals, CoinOut is partnered with a few popular retailers. However, for in-store shopping, you can scan a receipt from any store to earn your rewards!
Another cool feature of CoinOut is that as you shop and use the app, they’ll track your buying habits to show you more relevant offers. That means you don’t have to waste your time searching through the app for the best weekly offers.
How it works:
If you want to earn cashback on your online shopping, just browse through the app for relevant details. Click a link, and you’ll be redirected to the retailer’s site. As soon as you make your purchase, you’ll earn points in your account.
To earn on your in-store and grocery shopping, you just have to take a picture of your receipt. This works at any store, but it’s best to browse through relevant deals before you go shopping, so you know where to find the deals.
Most users have reported earning around $5 per month in cashback with CoinOut. That’s not huge, but it’s so easy to access these deals — it’s practically free money.
On a shopping kick? Try Shopkick.
This is one of the most unique apps on this list — not only will you earn points (they call them ‘kicks’) for scanning your receipts, but also just for visiting stores!
That means that whenever you walk into one of their partner stores, or visit one of their websites, you’ll automatically earn points that you can redeem for a variety of rewards.
Beyond that, you can also use Shopkick to scan barcodes at stores, scan your receipts, and link your credit or debit card to earn points automatically. There are tons of ways to earn. Plus, as soon as you sign up, you’ll get 250 kicks right off the bat.
How it works:
Download the app and make your free account to earn your first 250 kicks. After that, you have several options to keep earning.
If you turn on location services while you’re shopping, you’ll collect kicks every time you walk into one of Shopkick’s partnered stores. You can also shop through the app to earn cashback – click on the links in the app to be redirected to the retailer’s site.
Browse through Shopkick’s available deals before you go grocery shopping. When you see a product that qualifies for a cashback deal, scan the barcode through the app. Or, link a credit or debit card with your account – every time you purchase something that can earn you kicks, the app will automatically register it.
On top of all that, you can scan your receipts through the Shopkick app to earn! As you collect kicks, you can redeem them for PayPal cash or gift cards.
One thing we can’t ever avoid spending money on is gas. But it seems like no one offers rewards for filling up your tank – even though it’s something many of us have to do every day!
TruNow is changing that. This is the cashback app specifically for gas stations. Just scan your receipt every time you fill up, and you’ll earn cash. You can also find deals at local gas stations, restaurants, and shops through the app.
It’s so simple, and a much-needed service for all the commuters out there!
How it works:
To get started with TruNow, make your free account, and enter your zip code to find deals near you.
Whenever you fill up at a gas station, scan your receipt, and you’ll earn points. You can turn those points into gift cards at local retailers, or just PayPal cash.
As a bonus, use the app to browse through some local deals – it will tell you where you can find the cheapest gas near you, as well as savings at tons of other locations.
Are you a responsible shopper who always goes for healthy, eco-friendly products? With Makeena, you can be rewarded for those choices.
This is a delightful app that flew under the radar for a long time. Today, more and more people are discovering how handy it is. They offer a wide variety of deals at any store, focused on organic fruits and veggies and other health-conscious, environmentally friendly products.
Personally, this is one of my favorite apps on this list. Organic produce is way too expensive – Makeena helps with that by giving you cashback when you make those healthy choices.
How it works:
You can browse for deals in the app, or just scan your receipt wherever you shop. You’ll find products that qualify for cashback pretty much anywhere you go.
With Makeena, you earn cash directly – not points. Once you’ve earned over $20, you can cash out through your PayPal or Venmo account. You’ll be surprised by how quickly you meet that first $20 threshold, especially if you’re a busy parent trying to feed your little ones healthy products!
If you’re interested in discovering new brands, browse through the Makeena app. They’ll tell you a little bit about every brand and product they’re promoting.
Love filling out your punch card at your local coffee shop? Punchcard takes that idea to the extreme.
This app is partnered with tons of popular retailers, including Target, Subway, and Starbucks, to bring you a virtual punch card at every location. You can earn cash prizes or gift cards whenever you redeem your receipts at those stores.
The coolest thing about this app, though, is that they also offer deals at a lot of local retailers. You can earn points for going to your neighborhood pharmacy or the ice cream shop around the corner – it’s an awesome way to earn while supporting small businesses.
How it works:
After you download the app, you can scan your receipts whenever you shop at qualified retailers.
Here’s where Punchcard stands out from some of the other apps on this list: whenever you scan a receipt, instead of earning a set number of points, you spin a virtual wheel to get a randomized prize.
On top of that, some retailers will reward you with free goodies whenever you “complete” a virtual punch card (that means scanning your receipt there a certain number of times).
There are plenty of ways to save and earn – plus, spinning the wheel to earn randomized points adds a little excitement every time you scan a receipt. Once you’ve collected enough points, you can redeem them for gift cards to their partnered retailers, or cold hard cash to your PayPal account.
For easy grocery rebates, SavingStar is a solid choice.
This app was originally designed to let you link your loyalty cards and automatically earn rewards with every purchase. That service is still available today – but now they also offer a receipt scanning service to help you maximize your savings.
One reason users love SavingStar is that the savings are quite a bit higher than with some other apps. You can easily earn $4-$5 in a single trip to the grocery store. Those savings will really add up over time!
This is another app that pays out in cash, not points, so you never have to worry about redeeming your points for gift cards or other rewards. It’s a simple, straightforward way to save on your everyday shopping.
How it works:
Once you’ve set up your account, browse through the app to see where you can find the best cashback deals.
Shop as you normally would, then scan your receipt anytime within the next 3 days. Your earnings will automatically be added to your account.
Once you’ve earned more than $20, just cash out through PayPal. SavingStar also gives you the option to donate your earnings to the charity of your choice.
The last app on our list isn’t technically an app to scan your receipts, but it’s worth mentioning because the savings are so convenient.
With Drop, you can automatically earn rewards whenever you make a purchase with your linked card. You don’t even have to worry about saving and scanning a receipt.
Originally developed in Canada, this app only recently became available in the US. They’re still growing and gaining popularity here, so now is a great time to join.
How it works:
When you first sign up for Drop, you can choose 5 retailers that you want to earn cashback points from.
Then just link the credit or debit card that you normally shop with. Every time you use that card at one of the retailers you selected, you’ll earn points. Keep earning to eventually add more retailers to your list – the more you use the app, the more opportunities you’ll have to earn points.
You can redeem your points for rewards through the app, and earn free goodies at major retailers like Starbucks, Amazon, and even Netflix.
What is a receipt scanning app?
Before I get into my list of the top receipt scanning apps of 2020, I want to briefly go over what these apps are, and how you can use them.
Why would an app pay you just for your receipts?
Well, there are a few reasons. In some cases, apps are partnered with a market research company that wants to learn more about consumers’ shopping habits, so they can help brands improve their marketing. With those apps, you might earn points and prizes in exchange for the information you provide.
Other apps are partnered with brands and retailers to bring you cashback promotions and deals – and the easiest way to do that is just to get a look at your whole receipt, and apply relevant deals to the products you buy.
Is this legit?
If you’re a little skeptical of an app that will pay you for your shopping information, that’s understandable. Unfortunately, there are plenty of scams out there, so it’s important to always be careful when you’re signing up for a new cashback or rewards service.
That said, the apps reviewed on this list are all totally trustworthy and reliable. They may use your shopping details for market research purposes, but they aren’t taking any of your personal data without your permission.
These apps are also all free to sign up for, so you aren’t risking losing any money to get started.
How does it work?
Of course, every receipt scanning app works a little differently. But the concept is always the same: shop like you normally would, then take a picture of your receipt using the app.
You’ll be rewarded in points or cash on the app, which you can later transfer to your personal bank account, or redeem for another reward. It’s pretty simple, and takes no effort at all — this is essentially free money just for snapping a quick picture.
For more details, take a look at these top 12 apps in 2020 that will pay you to scan your receipts.
Are receipt scanning apps really worth it?
Now that you’ve had a look at some of the most popular receipt scanning apps of 2020, let’s talk about how you can make use of them.
Is it really worth it to download and use one of these apps?
If you ask me, yes. You aren’t going to make a ton of money – at most, $20 or $30 every month – but that money takes no effort at all to earn! All you have to do is take a picture of your receipt when you’re done shopping.
On top of that, a lot of these apps give you access to bonuses, rewards, and local deals. You can even earn cashback on things you buy online, like clothes and electronics.
To sum it up – will you earn a serious amount of money using these apps? No. But will you get some effortless cashback on your everyday purchases every month? Yes! In that sense, it’s totally worth it to try out a receipt scanning app for your grocery shopping this year.
How to make the most of your receipt scanning app:
Want to maximize your savings? Here are a few basic tips to get the most out of whichever app you want to use:
1. Browse for deals regularly. Most apps update their deals on a weekly or bi-monthly basis. So, before you go shopping, peruse through the available deals on your app. You might have to buy a different brand or shop in a different store than you normally would, but you’ll earn more cashback.
2. Don’t buy something just for the deal. When you’re browsing through cashback deals on your app, it’s tempting to buy something just because it looks like a great deal. But if you only buy a product for the cashback, you aren’t really saving! Your cashback deals should complete your grocery list, not add onto it.
3. Take advantage of bonuses. Referral programs, sweepstakes, surveys … most of these apps come with easy ways to make bonus points or cash. Take advantage of those opportunities whenever you can – you’ll see the difference in your earnings!
4. Scan your receipt right away. It’s pretty easy to scan a receipt through your rebate app, but you have to remember to do it before it’s too late. Most apps only accept your receipts within 1-3 days of your purchase. It’s best to make a habit of scanning your receipt right there at the register, so you don’t have to worry about it later.
The bottom line: give it a shot!
Scanning your grocery shopping receipts for money is so easy, it’s hard to see an argument against it.
All the apps reviewed on this list are free to sign up and safe to use. There is no risk in getting started. So why not give it a shot?
You might be surprised by how much you save on your everyday shopping just by taking a quick picture of your receipt.