5 Cashback Apps That You Need To Help Battle Inflation

Inflation has been a major source of headaches for people around the world as of late. Consumers are struggling to stretch paychecks, food prices are climbing, and the housing crisis continues to affect citizens globally. "Even with the likelihood that inflation has peaked, inflation will still remain elevated for some time," Zach Stein, the chief investment officer at Carbon Collective, tells Time. Whether or not inflation is poised to decline anytime soon, it's clear that it's changed the way that many of us approach our personal finances.

According to a recent survey by Bankrate, almost one in four Americans reported having no emergency savings whatsoever. If this resonates with you, you're not alone. An even more concerning trend is that personal debt is increasing for almost half of those living in the United States. "Consumers have been going through many different financial phases in a very short period of time, forcing them to pivot several times accordingly to the challenge," American Consumer Credit Counseling's president, Allen Amadin, tells CNBC.

When trying to save money, every bit counts. While it's not realistic to cut spending entirely, there are ways to increase savings with minimal effort or changes to your current shopping habits. Cashback apps are one financial tool millions of people use daily to reap rewards and reimbursements for their regular purchases. What are some of the most popular cashback apps, and how can they help you save?

Fetch Rewards

One of the most intriguing cashback apps to date, Fetch Rewards allows consumers to turn receipts into points for gift cards and even cash debit cards. That crumpled stack of receipts piling up in your wallet could easily translate to a free meal at one of your favorite restaurants. You can upload photos of paper receipts directly to the app and link online accounts to sync e-receipts from sites like eBay to earn rewards. Not only will you accrue points for shopping at big-name retailers like Target but receipts from local stores also contribute towards your balance.

While you can't redeem receipts for cash right now, you can earn a Visa prepaid card for redeeming 11,500 receipt points. This comes at a slightly higher fee than a retail gift card reward. For instance, a $10 Amazon gift card will only set you back 10,000 points. Other retail gift cards available include those from Sephora, UberEats, and Marshalls. You can improve the rate at which you earn receipt points by looking for special offer items or point-earning brands. Some items can even be reimbursed for up to 100% of their points equivalent.

While it takes time to accumulate rewards, Fetch users are adamant that the app is worth the effort. "I am pushing nearly 400 bucks lifetime on Fetch, so you can get a payout that adds up," writes Redditor Earthdogmonster. Fetch Rewards is currently available for Android and Apple users on the Google Play Store and the App Store.


Ibotta is an established cashback app that operates by linking retail accounts with the app or receipt submission. According to Ibotta, the company recently celebrated its tenth anniversary of delivering cash rewards to consumers. "Our users often write us to tell us all the things they are doing with their Ibotta rewards. Some are buying holiday gifts for their families. Others are paying for once-in-a-lifetime family vacations," Ibotta founder Bryan Leach tells Forbes.

You can use Ibotta to reap rewards as you shop or choose to upload receipts following your purchases. If you're planning on picking up items from, say, CVS, you can connect your CVS account to Ibotta to receive cash rewards within minutes of your purchase. Alternatively, users may submit a photo of their receipts for compensation.

For those looking to save some extra pocket money, Ibotta is one of the best cashback apps available. Whereas other apps offer rewards like gift cards, Ibotta allows you to withdraw earnings from the app and deposit them directly to PayPal or your bank account. If you're interested in acquiring cash rewards from Ibotta, the app is free for Android and Apple users, boasting nearly five stars on both platforms.


Perhaps you've heard of Rakuten, a major player in the cashback app scene that has more than 130 million users, according to Statista. Rakuten's Smart Shopper blog says the Japanese company, founded in 1998, has compensated its customers with over one billion dollars in rewards since its creation.

Rakuten works by letting you choose from your favorite stores through their app to complete purchases for cash reimbursement. The percentages awarded vary by store, but based on current Rakuten offers, you could receive anywhere from 1% to nearly 50% cashback on purchases. Once you've submitted your order, you'll receive a cashback payment within about two weeks. Following your first payment, Rakuten will send you cashback sums on a quarterly schedule, around once every three months. Users can collect payments in the form of a check or through a deposit to their PayPal account.

One caveat when using Rakuten, or any cashback service, is to place in-app orders: be sure you're getting the fairest price before committing to pay. "Sometimes the prices are higher when you go to a website through Rakuten versus going directly. I always check with and without Rakuten to compare," writes Redditor ShortButFriendly. But many Rakuten users are satisfied with the money-saving app. In fact, it holds a 4.8-star rating with over a quarter of a million reviews on the App Store.


Shopkick is a free cashback app that pays users rewards ranging from PayPal vouchers to Target gift cards. Unlike other cashback apps, Shopkick compensates its users for simply walking into stores, an idea formulated by co-founder Cyriac Roeding. "What's the intersection of mobile and the physical world? The answer [is] easy: it's called shopping," Roeding tells Forbes.

The earnings from Shopkick aren't exactly anything to write home about, though. For example, a walk-in to Walmart is worth 10 "kicks," or points. To redeem those kicks for a $5 Walmart gift card, you'd need 1,250 kicks or approximately 125 Walmart visits. As daunting as that may sound, your total kicks can accumulate substantially over time if you're a frequent retail shopper or peruser. It's also worth noting that some stores offer considerably higher kick rewards for walk-ins than others.

You can upload photos of your receipts for kicks or scan eligible items in stores using the app, even without purchasing them. If you're really looking to increase your kicks, you can also watch videos to amplify earnings. Although Shopkick might not fill your wallet overnight, it's an interesting cashback app to try, especially when used with other apps or reward services.

Use your favorite retailer's app for added savings

When dollar stores don't live up to their names and chicken wings have a market price on menus, is there such a thing as being too frugal? "We have never, ever seen [prices] like what we're seeing right now," restauranteur Jeff Good tells The Washington Post. Luckily, virtually every retailer has an app nowadays, and if you're not using them when you shop, you could miss out on great deals.

If you're fond of takeout or delivery, you can use company apps to rack up free rewards with every meal or drink you buy. The Starbucks app, for example, gives customers "stars," which they can redeem for anything from drink add-ons to coveted Starbucks cups. Many chain restaurants, from Wendy's to Taco Bell, have similar loyalty apps to obtain free food or meal discounts.

Not a big fan of to-go orders? That's okay; there are other ways you can benefit from app-based deals. First, try narrowing down which stores to visit using an app like Flipp, which allows you to compare weekly sale flyers. Stores like Target and Walmart routinely offer exclusive discounts and coupons in their respective apps, which shoppers can use with store cards for cashback. You can maximize potential savings by combining offers and keeping tabs on current sales.