Cashback apps can help you save on holiday shopping

Most give you a percentage back on your total

As shoppers are swiping and clicking their way to record holiday spending, there are some easy ways to put a little jingle back in their pockets. A wide variety of cashback apps and websites do just that.

SAN ANTONIO – As shoppers are swiping and clicking their way to record holiday spending, there are some easy ways to put a little jingle back in their pockets. A wide variety of cashback apps and websites do just that.

A few popular apps or websites are Ibotta, BeFrugal, GetUpwards, Swagbucks, Topcashback and Rakuten (formerly Ebates.)

With Rakuten, for example, when you shop through the app or the browser extension, it alerts you if there are specific offers from the retailer you’re shopping. You click to activate the rebate and get a percentage of your total back, typically between 1% and 10%.

Every quarter, Rakuten sends a check.

Some of these services will also give you extra dollars for getting friends to join. The cashback sites typically earn a commission from the thousands of retailers they list.

Fetch Rewards is another popular one. When users scan receipts from any store, they score points. When enough points are accrued, they can be cashed in for gift cards.

Before signing up for any cashback app, it pays to research which ones best match your spending habits.

Consumer advocates say beware of overspending, too.

“The temptations are there for the websites that offer cashback, and that’s fine if you were going to buy it anyway,” said Consumer Reports’ Elliot Weiler. “It may not be a good idea if you get caught up in the hoopla.”

Also, beware of sites that require you to pay. Most are free. And make sure to check the privacy policy to see if and where they may be selling your data.


About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.