As the cost of living rises with the times, consumers must become increasingly savvy to make the most out of their money. In addition to a prudent budget, finding ways to earn through spending is becoming more than popular — it’s commonplace. From loyalty points on credit cards to Air Miles, there’s no shortage of opportunity. In fact, by using cash back apps, you can stack your earnings and stretch your hard-earned dollars that much further.
Of course, cash back apps are a balance between spending time and spending money. To get the best bang for your buck, it helps to know what to expect from the various apps on the market. This breakdown details everything you need to know about getting cash back on your purchases.
Best Cash Back Apps In Canada Overview
There’s no shortage of cash back opportunities, especially when it comes to the apps available. Even a quick glance shows the clear-cut benefits of these free applications.
|Cash Back App
|Why It’s Special
|Price of Service
|Earn up to 5% extra cash back with KOHO partners
|Up to 30% cash back
|Earn points, get gift cards
|Cash back on everyday items
|Shop at partnered stores and get cash back
|Take surveys, upload receipts, and get rewards
|Cash back on everything from groceries to gas
|Earnings up to $300 per year
Best Cash Back Apps In Canada
In order to gain a customer base, cash back apps each offer different incentives and methods of operation. Finding the best option for your needs is a matter of finding which apps match your spending patterns and shopping habits. Provided you do this, you can use these cash back apps to see some serious savings.
KOHO is a financial technology company that strives to create innovative financial products to help Canadians better save and spend. One of their more popular products is their spending and savings account. It offers Canadians a way to better spend, save, budget, and earn cash back.
How Does KOHO Work?
KOHO offers four types of accounts, each of which comes with its own benefits. Depending on the type of account you open, you can earn up to 2% cash back on various purchase categories. Plus, you can earn up to 5% extra cash back when you shop with select merchants.
You can open an account online by simply filling out an application on KOHO’s website. Once you’re registered, you can add funds to your account and start using your virtual card to earn cash back.
KOHO Special Features
Depending on the KOHO account you open, you’ll be able to take advantage of extra perks that can help you better save and spend. Some benefits include:
- Earn Interest – You can earn up to 5% interest on your entire KOHO account balance, depending on your account type and balance amount.
- Money Management Tools – The KOHO account has an app that allows you to budget and track your spending.
- Credit Building – When you open a KOHO account, you’ll be able to access their subscription-based credit building service.
- Free Credit Score – Upgrade to a paid account and get your credit score for free in-app. You can also try a 30-day free trial of one of the paid accounts to get your credit score for free.
Where To Download The KOHO App: On Google Play or the Apple Store.
Previously Ebates, Rakuten is a cash back service that offers everything from savings to coupons to promotional codes. The cash back deals allow users to save money while earning rewards at over 750 popular stores.
How Does Rakuten Work?
Simply download the application on any compatible device. It has over five million users and takes up very little space on your device. Use the coupons or discounts to save upfront; and, when you shop with affiliated brands, you can get cash back rewards. The amounts are paid out via either PayPal or cheque.
Rakuten offers a $5 starting incentive for new accounts, to welcome the user to the platform. It offers referral bonuses when inviting friends and family in the form of extra cash. The company also focuses on travel services, connecting to car rental companies and other vacation-focused services.
Where To Download The Rakuten App: On Google Play or the Apple Store.
Designed as a modern rewards system, Drop lets you gather rewards points in a variety of ways. The application is affiliated with a range of brands and businesses, allowing you to save on both major and everyday purchases.
How Does Drop Work?
First, you download the application and link it to your credit card, debit card, or both. Drop highlights deals, offers reward surveys, and showcases different real-money games to play. When you use these services, you get rewarded with points. Once you’ve accrued sufficient points, you can redeem them for gift cards at popular brands. These are sectioned into beauty, fitness, travel, entertainment, shopping, and food. Though it isn’t cash, the list of affiliated businesses is comprehensive.
The app supplies points when you shop using the application, making it easy to earn (without having to upload receipts). It also showcases coupons on popular items, so you can easily access good prices on your favourite items. You can compound your earnings by using a points-based credit card. There are multiple ways to earn, making it one of the most useful options on the market.
Where To Download The Drop App: On Google Play or the Apple Store.
A Canadian cash back app, this business offers rewards whether you shop online or in-store. The Ampli app is designed to work effortlessly in the background, allowing you to focus on shopping while still earning cash back.
How Does Ampli Work
The app is affiliated with a range of companies across the country. The app offers cash back deals and various discounts on common items. Simply download the application on your smart device and connect your cards. The app is compatible with over 130 Canadian financial institutions. Every time you use the service by shopping discounts either online or in-store (at partnered businesses) you earn points. You can cash these out by sending an Interac e-Transfer.
In addition to the standard ways to earn through shopping, you can get extra money by referring friends to the site. As an added bonus, Ampli offers a monthly contest referred to as Dreamstakes. These regular contests run like a draw, giving users a chance to earn even more.
Where To Download The Ampli App: On Google Play or the Apple Store.
A smart device application, Paymi is an app that partners with various businesses, both in-store and online. When you shop, it gets converted into cash points. You can then use these to transfer funds to your account.
How Does Paymi Works?
Simply download the app onto your device and connect your debit or credit cards. When you use cash back credit cards, the app allows you to stack the benefits. Affiliated with restaurants, travel businesses, and retail companies, Paymi focuses on more common spending habits. When you are ready to cash-out, you can send an Interac e-Transfer through the app, transferring the earnings to your bank account.
This app is fairly streamlined, meaning it has limited features outside of the basics. The key benefit behind its function is the ease of withdrawing your money. Using Interac makes it simpler than getting gift cards. Plus, since you can compound the benefits with your other card benefits, it can grow your earnings faster.
Where To Download The Paymi App: On Google Play or the Apple Store.
Focusing on security, this is a free app that lets you earn reward points through a variety of different methods. Engaging with participants through daily emails, it has a comprehensive service agreement for users. Once connected to the app, it offers rewards on a range of products and services. Exclusively Canadian, Caddle positions itself as a marketing company that gathers information on consumers and a business that lets micro-influencers earn from their opinions.
How Does Caddle Work?
Per the service agreement, the user consents to Caddle accessing their information. It uses this data to gear its offerings toward your interests. You then take surveys, watch ads, and write reviews of popular brands. The affiliated companies pay for this insight, and Caddle transfers some of that wealth over to the user. You receive offers to earn, and when you participate it pays you in points. Registration is quick; and, as soon as your account reaches $20, you can cash out and Caddle will cut you a cheque.
This app is fairly straightforward. It sends you offers, including the daily email survey. You can also upload receipts to the site; and, if they correspond with a current offer, you can gain more points.
Where To Download The Caddle App: On Google Play or the Apple Store.
One of the best-known cash back apps, it connects users with a range of brands across various industry sectors. It focuses on savings offered on various brands and grocery products. The company gives instant access to redeemable offers with promo codes that can work towards specific purposes.
How Does Checkout 51 Work?
Simply download the app on your mobile device. Shop as you normally would at any store in Canada. Add the offer to your Checkout 51 list and upload a photo of your receipt. This redeems the offer and lets you earn cash rewards. Once you earn the equivalent of $20, you can cash out right away. Your current balance is always available, letting you stay up to date on your progress.
This app focuses on offering cash back on fuel purchases at several major brands, including Shell, Chevron, BP, and more. Unlike paper-based companies, this is eco-friendly and avoids coupon clipping altogether. You can save offers of interest for simplified access in the future, making it easy to get the best savings at any given time.
Where To Download The Checkout 51 App: On Google Play or the Apple Store.
Based out of the United Kingdom, TopCashback has earned a reputation as the highest-paying site of its type through its winning five different rewards. The company is of good repute; and, while it is a UK brand, you can still use it in Canada.
How Does TopCashback Work?
First, set up your account by downloading the app and registering. Once you are there, search through the different retailers. Purchase your item through the site; and, once it is processed, you get the earnings credited to your account. It is an online-only service, but the affiliates range from Expedia to Just Eat. At any time you can check on your account, enable notifications for big savings, and refer a friend to the service as a way to earn more.
One of the ways this app sets itself apart is through the two membership levels. The Classic version is free, but the Plus membership costs five pounds of your yearly savings. The perks include higher returns on your cash back and offer payout bonuses. Finally, it offers exclusive benefits through voucher codes, letting you save more on your standard purchases.
Where To Download The TopCashback App: On Google Play or the Apple Store.
Great Canadian Rebates
While this is technically not an app, you can access the site via your mobile device in the same way you would other cash back applications. It’s a Canadian business that focuses on offering customers savings on a whole range of products.
Accredited with the Better Business Bureau, Great Canadian Rebates is affiliated with over 700 companies, online and in-store. It offers a weekly newsletter for Canadian savings and gives users the chance to earn extra through special promotions and online sales.
How Does Great Canadian Rebates Work?
The site itself is fairly straightforward. Simply register for a free account. Before you shop, log in to your account and click on the merchant link before making a purchase. Ensure that ad-blockers are disabled. Use the online cart through the site and make your purchase. Every time a customer makes a purchase, Great Canadian Rebates receives a commission. A portion of that is paid to the account holder in the form of direct deposit, PayPal, or through gift cards.
The site provides a range of coupons and daily deals which are updated regularly. It flags popular sites to highlight relevant sales. It also offers financial tools such as credit card coaching and incentives to refer other members to the site.
Things To Keep In Mind: When you are making purchases, be sure not to navigate away from the site when you are purchasing. The sale must connect through the site, requiring your adblocker to be disabled. Bear in mind that you cannot apply other coupon codes to the site. However, if you are making the purchase on a credit card that also has cash back or other points, those will still apply.
Other Ways To Earn Cash Back
There are more ways than one to earn money back on your purchases, with one popular option being credit cards (sometimes even prepaid cards). You can optimize your savings by stacking as many offers as possible — compound the value by using them concurrently.
While the specifics vary depending on the financial institution, earning cash back on credit card purchases works in the same way. When you make a purchase, you get cash back depending on the category in which the purchase falls. For instance, groceries and fuel will have different percentages of cash back.
Some cards such as the Neo Credit card are affiliated with specific brands; where, when you shop at a certain business, you get a higher percentage return. This is the most common for store-owned credit cards, such as those you can see at Walmart or Superstores. Be sure to check where you can get the most benefit in terms of cash back on regular purchases.
Check out our roundup of the best cash back credit cards in Canada.
Redeeming Cash Back
The methods of redeeming cash back differ depending on the card in question, but there are some standard ways customers can redeem these points. One of the more common methods is in the form of gift cards to popular stores like Amazon or Best Buy.
In some situations, you can get the amount applied to your account balance, but that is less common. With apps especially, you are more likely to encounter PayPal transactions, Interac e-transfers, paper cheques, and gift cards. When dealing with major credit card companies, you can sooner expect to cash out by way of prepaid credit cards.
What To Look Out For When Choosing A Cash Back App
While there is a lot to gain from cash back apps, it’s not without some risks. Be sure that you are always considering security online, sticking with reputable apps like the ones on this list. The terms and service agreements of these apps are predicated on data collection. Take the time to read through the details to acquaint yourself with the information being collected and be sure that you are comfortable. The details gathered are fairly standardized, but it is safer to be prudent.
Other things to keep in mind include:
- Annual fees which can cost more than you would earn back in savings, though most take the yearly premium out of your earnings if there is one at all.
- Caps on points cause issues with some cards, so make sure your points categories match your shopping habits.
- Time versus savings is an important consideration; the app should cut down on spending in all respects.
Any opportunity to save is helpful, especially if it is convenient. Cash back apps are popular thanks to their ease of use. Cash back apps require little more than a receipt upload and can result in significant savings if used regularly. With a bit of extra effort, you can easily compound these savings with coupons, special deals, and cash back on your credit card. There are options available for every shopping style; and, provided you find the right match, it can be a handy part of your overall budget.