A hand holding a stack of dollar bills.

Coupons are a classic money-saving tactic that have been around since your mom cut them out of weekly mailers. But putting money back in your pocket through cash back coupon apps? That’s still fairly innovative. Move over, PennySaver.

So what is cash back? And how does it work? Here’s a quick guide to the ins and outs.

What is cash back?

You may be familiar with cash back credit cards, where you get a percentage back of what you spend. For instance, a credit card with 1% cash back means that for every $100 you spend, you get $1 back. This $1 is stored in your account, and you can opt to receive it as a credit to your balance or as a deposit to a linked bank account. Translation: You get rewarded to use the card.

That’s how cash back works when it comes to products as well: You receive a cash refund after making a specific purchase. For instance, you might buy two bottles of brand-name ketchup and receive $0.50 cash back from the product’s manufacturer. But, much like how your credit card stores cash rewards in your account, you need a place to store product-based cash back offers — that’s where apps come in.

How do cash back apps work?

First, download an app like ours. Our app makes it easy for you to:

  • Search for specific products you need to purchase now
  • Peruse categories for great offers on items you don’t need now but typically purchase
  • Check out what your favorite brands or stores might be offering
  • Save featured cash back deals for later

When you find a deal you know you’re going to use — let’s say your favorite shampoo has an offer for $2 back — you’ll “activate” it with a tap of your finger. After you purchase your shampoo, you’ll need to upload your receipt by snapping a photo of it in the app. Alternatively, you can link your store loyalty card to the app, which will scan and sync your transaction history. You can link our app to loyalty cards like Target, Walgreens, Big Y, Walmart, Stop & Shop and more. This means if you bought your shampoo from Target and have synced your loyalty card to our app, no need to upload a receipt — our app will find it!

Redeeming your cash back is easy. Once your shampoo’s cash back offer is processed, that $2 will pop up in your account. And, similar to a credit card, linking a PayPal or bank account to the app allows you to seamlessly move the money you’ve earned.

Is this safe?

Using cash back offers is a great way to save. They easily put money back into your wallet, which you can then use on anything you like. But you might be wondering if it’s safe to connect your bank account to a cash back app. Rest assured that as long as you use a reputable provider, your personal information is safe and protected.

However, you’ll want to be mindful of possible scams that are out there. If an outside-an-app cash back offer sounds too good to be true — like 50% cash back, which is pretty much unheard of — it might be from a fraudster. Requiring you to pay upfront is another red flag. Finally, a sense of urgency, like an amazing limited-time offer (!!!) that sends you dozens of notifications, is often a telltale sign that the coupon or shopping app isn’t legit.

Start saving today

If you’re curious about how you can start earning cash back on your purchases, all you need to do to get started is to download our app and open an account. We provide step-by-step instructions on uploading receipts, connecting loyalty apps and more. Have fun scooping up those cash back deals!