There are so many ways to save money. Which is a plus. But it can be hard to determine which apps are for you, and which apps won’t fit your needs. Which is a bummer.
One of the questions often fielded in the SavEars is, “What do you guys think of _____ app?” Or, its popular cousin, “What are your favorite apps for earning?” In the spirit of filling our savings lives with more pluses and less bummers, we’re digging deep and investigating the most popular earning sites and apps.
The App Spotlight series reviews new (or new to us) apps that have proven to 1) earn money and 2) not be a scam. How do we know? Every app reviewed in the App Spotlight has been tested and verified by multiple members of Couponing to Disney. We try it out first, and then report back to you.
This week’s app is….
What is it?: A mobile app that lets you earn money by entering stores, scanning products in the store and on receipts.
Shopkick offers you three ways to earn points, called kicks, and each method is easier than the last. By simply walking into a store you can accumulate anywhere between 10 to 100 kicks. Seriously. At the time of this writing, just walking into OshKosh B’gosh could earn Shopkickers in my area 120 kicks. During your shopping trip, you can scan select items with your phone for more kicks. And if you happen to buy one of those products, you can scan your receipt when you get home and earn even more kicks.
When you open the app, it will alert you what stores are in your proximity and what kinds of kicks are available at each store. Participating locations run the gamut of retail from grocery to big box to speciality. Some participating names include Walmart, Kroger, Lowe’s, Walgreen’s, CVS, Ulta, Dollar General, T.J. Maxx, Meijer, Target, Family Dollar, Aldi, Marshall’s, Costco, H&M, Carter’s, and more. Depending on where you are located and what stores Shopkick partners with in your region, availability will vary. This gives Shopkick a unique edge over other apps. There are seemingly limitless earning opportunities.
With walk-ins and in-store scanning, the gratification is instant. You are rewarded those kicks on the spot. With submitted receipts, you wait 12-24 hours in a verification period. In addition to the main earning sources, there are opportunities to collect extra kicks and bonuses during special event weekends brought to your attention by notifications.
Speaking of notifications: if you so choose to leave your bluetooth on, Shopkick has a feature that will notify you when you are approaching a location where you can earn kicks. I don’t often use this, because the data and the roaming and the battery drainage, but it could be a helpful tool when shopping in a new environment.
A fine print thing I love about Shopkick: no financial information needed. I hate apps that make me link to a credit card or give my bank information. With Shopkick, you can link your card or rewards accounts, but you don’t have to. I appreciate an app that creates multiple paths to those sweet rewards.
Who is it for?: Anyone with a mobile phone who buys things.
This could not be an easier, or more user friendly app. You open the app. You walk into a store. You scan some magazines or lightbulbs whatever is featured that day. You earn money.
This is especially great for my deal hunters out there. If you’re going to be perusing the entire store for hidden clearance treasures, why not do a quick sweep of the featured scans beforehand? You can search for deals and scan at the same time!
Where do I use it?: On your smart phone. Shopkick is free and available for download for iOs and Android. You can also access it fro their website and even Facebook!
When do I use it?: During your shopping trip and after, if you are submitting a receipt. You can also use Shopkick when shopping online.
One thing to be aware of: the app must be open on your phone, connected to bluetooth, when you are earning walk-ins and scans. This is the way the app can verify you are where you say you are. So make sure you are opening the app every time you head to a store!
Once the app is open, it practically does the work for you. A great feature of Shopkick is its user friendliness. The app walks users through all processes (walk-ins, product scans, online shopping, redemption) with step by step prompts and instructions.
Why do I use it?: To earn gift cards to contribute to your Disney Fund or whatever dream you are saving towards.
When you sign up with Shopkick, the app will prompt you to choose a reward, even if you have no kicks. Then, each time you earn kicks, it will show your progress towards your selected reward. You can change your reward at any time before you cash out.
You can cash out for a variety of gift cards for retail, dining, and entertainment including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Amazon, Starbucks, Lowe’s, Ulta, Stitch Fix, Sephora, Outback, Uber, Shutterfly, and PayPal.
Minimums will vary by reward type, with the lowest kick redemption level being 500. Most rewards will be sent to your email instantly at cash out, though certain cards may take up to a few hours.
Final Verdict: Highly Recommended. I am 100% for an app that gives you multiple ways to earn and multiple locations to earn from. This is one of those “you get out what you put into it” situations. You want to careen around Target, scanning things like you’re in your own personal version of Supermarket Sweep? You can do that! You want to just open the app, get your walk in kicks and then shop in peace? You can do that, too.Whether you’re into brick and mortar or online shopping, there are many options for kicks. Toss in the user friendliness and the instant gratification of getting kicks for in-store scans, and you have a savings app even teens can use. Make saving a fun family activity! Consider a fun date night where you and your loved one walk around a Best Buy and have a scanning items race! The couple that Shopkicks together, saves together! Use Kristin’s referral and start off ahead of the game with 250 kicks! * Fine Print: Referral bonus is dependent on and subject to change at the sole discretion of the Shopkick App*
Think you’ll give Shopkick a try? Have you already? What is your reaction so far? Tell me all about it in the comments.
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey three years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!