Evaluating cash back/shopping apps?

Other than indicating if The Penny Hoarder gets any affiliate benefits, how are the recommended apps or programs selected? For instance, right now, they suggest using Fetch in their feature articles. Ibotta used to be the more frequently mentioned option. Rakuten vs. Honey vs. e-bates. I know these articles are usually “quick bites” but I’d like to know why they recommend one over another, and if they’ve ever done a “head to head” comparison of different programs. Also, Rukuten is for name brand products (and Ibotta, but Ibotta does do “any brand” offers); but in the same article it will suggest buying store brands for maximum savings.

I know I can find this information from other sites by just searching for comparisons. I’d like to know how/when/why The Penny Hoarder recommends a specific program, as I like their sites quick read articles. I’d also like to see some more in depth articles, like head to head comparisons of savings apps.

What’s your favorite grocery shopping savings app, and why? I use a local chain’s app for e-coupons (all the ones you will find on sites like coupons.com) AND store brand savings (usually 5-25% off selected categories each week) AND $2 for every 100 points ($1 = 1 point) with various 5x products. I usually earn $150 in rewards a year, which I generally use around Thanksgiving to purchase everything for that meal, freeing up the grocery budget for gifts or travel.

I’ve used Ibotta occasionally, but never gotten a whole lot, since I avoid most brand name items. I prefer amazon gift cards for my rewards, if cash isn’t an option (either a check or direct to bank deposit).

I’ve never tried Fetch, Honey, Rakuten, etc.


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Very interesting, I too would like to see a head-to-head comparison.

I buy mostly store-branded items.

My local store is HEB. they have an app along with yellow hanging coupons which I use.

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I can’t respoind for your questions to Penny Hoarder, but I can share my experiences with cash back apps. Fetch is my new favorite and I build up points faster there to cash in for gifts cards than any other app I use. Ibotta is 2nd but it is a very aggravating app to use on my phone, it crashes constantly…I have to scan receipts while binge watching Netflix because that’s how long it takes. I’m no pro. I do not buy items because of cash back apps, but I do try to take advantage of cash back on things I normally would purchase anyway. I do not link any accounts to my email or “favorite” stores. I also do not use them for online shopping, stictly for in-store purchases. I also use Coin Out ( reeeeeeaaaaallly slow to build up cash back, but simple to use when scanning receipts anyway) Reciept Hog, Box Tops for Education, Checkout 51 (read terms, they can cancel your account for inactivity and you’ll lose the cash back you’ve built up…they are my least favorite because they seldom have items I normally purchase) I wish all the cash out apps could perform as simply and successfully as Fetch!

I use Fetch and Ibotta. Ibotta is much more difficult and I get much less from it. I had a $5 Amazon Gift card from Fetch within a few receipts.

Ibotta makes you jump through too many hoops, (Scan receipt, figure out which products you bought are applicable for Ibotta, scan product barcode) while Fetch just scans the receipt and you’re done.

Ibotta is useful if you use ibotta to make your shopping list. Fetch is good for me (or lazy folks like me)


I use Rakuten (formerly eBates) and it’s slow going, but I stick with it. I tried Fetch a couple of years ago and it didn’t agree with my Android, so I stopped using it–a shame.

@big.lew. I love those yellow coupons at HEB as well and I buy more and more store brands at any grocery store, well except for Aldi’s, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods. I’m an equal opportunity shopper; I hit 'em all? for specific items.

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