5 Apps that Pay for Grocery Store Receipts

If you’re like me, you take a lot of trips to the grocery store. It’s where they keep the food! 🙂

Seriously though, shopping for groceries was a lot easier when it was just adults. Now that we have three kids, we tend to turn grocery store trips into group activities and go a lot more often. While we do a lot of shopping at Costco (which doesn’t take coupons but does produce its own Costco coupon book of discounts), we do our fair share of quick trips to our local supermarkets.

In recent years, there has been a proliferation of coupons and grocery store apps.

Today, I want to share a few that have caught my eye for one reason — they pay you to take photos of your receipts.

(the best part about these apps is that the payouts stack with any discounts you might have gotten from the store or with coupons and you can scan the same receipt into multiple apps!)

1. Ibotta

ibotta logo

Ibotta is an Android and iOS app that gives you cash back on your purchases. It’s an app I’ve recently discovered and I love it.

Here’s how it works — you sign up for the app (you get a limited time $10 bonus offer with my link) and look through it for rebates. There are rebates for specific products and there are rebates for general ones. The specific ones are like $1 for Tazo tea. A general one is fifty cents for a carton of eggs.

To “activate” the rebate, you usually have to answer a 1-word survey, read a recipe, or some other task that takes less than a second.

After you make the purchase, you can cash in the rebate via receipt or loyalty card.

  • For receipts: Download the app, then complete simple tasks in Ibotta to unlock cash rewards on products. Buy those items in a supported store (there are three hundred retail chains, movie theaters, restaurants, etc.), scan the barcodes, and submit a photo of your receipt. Cash deposits in 48 hours.
  • For loyalty accounts: It’s just like with receipts except you don’t need to scan barcodes or submit a photo of the receipt, it’s all reported on by your loyalty card.

There are a lot of different ways to earn “bonus” rebates. If you redeem 5 rebates within 30 days of registering, you get a $2 bonus. There are product specific ones too, two rebates of Francis Ford Coppola Diamond or Director’s wines and you get an extra $1 on top of the rebates you already got for each purchase. You don’t need to activate bonus categories, you just get them.

You get paid via Paypal or Venmo with a $20 minimum and the payout is instant. There’s no waiting or processor, I got my first $20 deposit within a minute of requesting it. If you want, you can also convert them to gift cards to places like Amazon and Starbucks.

For a limited time, you can get $10 when you download the app with my referral and redeem a rebate within 7 days. (and then once you do that, you start unlocking other bonuses like $2 for redeeming 5 rebates)

Get $10 from Ibotta

2. Fetch Rewards

Fetch Rewards is an app that lets you scan your receipts and earn gift cards. You don’t have to clip coupons, check expiring deals, or pick offers ahead of time. Just scan a receipt and you get savings on the things you purchase. It’s super simple and one of the simplest ways to save.

The app lets you scan grocery receipts up to 14 days after you make a purchase and you still get all the points. You can convert the points to gift cards from hundreds of stores including Amazon, Chipotle, and others. It’s really easy.

There are also Fetch referral codes to help you get started with free points.

Earn points from Fetch

3. National Consumer Panel


National Consumer Panel, a partnership between Nielsen and IRi, collects consumer behavior information. (we mentioned them before but this is the main panel and not the app)

When you sign up, you answer a single survey to assess availability. You are issued a scanner if they’re available (or access to their mobile app). All you have to do is scan all of your purchases and you’ll earn rewards.

Besides scanning your purchases, you can earn rewards for answering surveys about shopping habits, meals, etc.

Learn more about National Consumer Panel

4. Shopkick

Shopkick is an app that will give you “kicks” when you shop, check in participating stores, and scan your receipts when you purchase items. You can also earn kicks in other ways, like watching videos on the app.

It’s run by Trax, which describes itself as a leading provider of computer vision solutions and analytics for retail, and Shopkick is headquartered in California.

When you join with our referral, you get 500 kicks when you sign up with our code (CARD584935) and earn 10 kicks (excluding video kicks) in 14 days. You can do that just by walking into (or really close to) a CVS.

Learn more about Shopkick

5. Drop

Drop Logo

Drop is a very simple rewards app that doesn’t require you to scan receipts, but rewards you for shopping just the same. Download the app, link your debit or credit cards, and then shop as you would normally. They will give you rewards based on the transactions they see, it’s as simple as that. No photos, no activating offers, just earn rewards.

Learn more about Drop

BONUS. Receipt Surveys

Every look at the bottom of your receipt? Most of the time it’s an entry into a sweepstakes, which is OK but not something you’ll win on a regular basis.

Sometimes there promotional periods where the store is really looking to get answers – so they pay cash or offer a discount on your next purchase. It’s easy to always expect the sweepstakes and not read it carefully but next time you check out, take a quick peek. You might be surprised that they’d give you $5 off your next purchase just for answering a short survey!

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About Jim Wang

Jim Wang is a forty-something father of four who is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Vanguard's Blog. He has also been fortunate to have appeared in the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Entrepreneur, and Marketplace Money.

Jim has a B.S. in Computer Science and Economics from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in Information Technology - Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. His approach to personal finance is that of an engineer, breaking down complex subjects into bite-sized easily understood concepts that you can use in your daily life.

One of his favorite tools (here's my treasure chest of tools, everything I use) is Empower Personal Dashboard, which enables him to manage his finances in just 15-minutes each month. They also offer financial planning, such as a Retirement Planning Tool that can tell you if you're on track to retire when you want. It's free.

>> Read more articles by Jim

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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7 years ago

I’ve been using a combination of ReceiptPal and Receipt Hog. It takes just a few seconds for me to take a photo of my receipt, and then I just throw it into recycling. It’s not quick money by any means, but really, I view it like doing small amounts of savings. After a while, you just end up with some money without even noticing it. I’m almost about to cash out $30 from ReceiptHog and $100 from ReceiptPal, but it took me over a year to get to that number. Still, $130 for receipts isn’t too bad. Factoring in that… Read more »

7 years ago

I too pair up ReceiptPal and Receipt Hog. While not “big” money it is easy and only takes a few seconds. Have a penny jar, when full I use Coinstar at Walmart and also use their savings catcher. One receipt three redemptions.

7 years ago

ShopKick is another app to check out. You get “kicks” for various things depending on the store- sometimes just walking in to the store with the app open on your phone (many grocery stores and department stores), sometimes scanning items at the store, sometimes kicks for purchases of certain items (receipt scanning), and sometimes kicks for $ equivalent (by having the cashier scan a QR code in the app before making a purchase, Best Buy is the only one I know that does this but there’s probably others, BB gives 2 kicks per dollar). I don’t think you can redeem… Read more »

6 years ago

Beware of the Checkout51 app. They used to be great. Now theycreate their own rules that customers not aware off and ON PURPOSE decline offers. Customer buys item because it has quantity available that week and system reads 1 item instead of “all” . Contacted support their said “i redeemed”. Big fat lie. I wouldn’t buy the product in the first place. Only bought because it had available that moment. The app wouldnt let me load receipt in the first place if it had “0 remaining”. They dont know how their own app works. On purpose declining offers. I deleted… Read more »

KG Woltz
4 years ago

What is your ibotta referral code?

Alison D. Gilbert
4 years ago

I find Fetch Rewards very convenient. I prefer it to ‘ibotta’ for one reason. In order to benefit from ‘ibotta’, the item(s) to apply discounts to have to be chosen before one goes shopping. Is this correct or do I not understand how ‘ibotta’ works?

Getting credit card Welcome Bonuses and cash rewards are so much easier than using digital coupons. But the latter is necessary as part of a money-saving lifestyle either for survival or splurging on other purchases like vacations.

I hope that eventually, I will get the hang of the coupon cash saving systems.

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