Digital Deals: The 4 Best Coupon & Comparison Shopping Apps
By Carolanne M. Chavanne, CFP®
Everyone loves a good deal, such as a sale at your favorite clothing or grocery store. Savvy shoppers know that saving a few dollars here and there can really add up.
Here are four of the best coupon and comparison shopping apps to save you a little time and money.
1. Rakuten (formally eBates)
Rakuten has continued to lead the space regarding digital money-saving hacks. This app is so easy to use because it saves you money on things you're already buying. The app is full of coupons, but best of all, you earn cash back on all your purchases by depositing money into your PayPal account or receiving a check in the mail. Some of their top retailers include Target, Walmart, Sephora, and Macy's, and they offer discounts from many smaller retailers as well. Also, they often run promo events where you can earn up to 10% cash back on select purchases.
You can use Rakuten on your mobile device or browser with its Google Chrome extension.
Gone are the days of visiting multiple coupon code websites only to discover that none of them are valid anymore. Honey does the legwork for you by automatically checking different promo codes when you're about to check out. The app pulls its codes from all over the internet and will automatically apply the ones that work. Honey is best used when shopping online through its browser extension.
Drop is a super handy phone app that will earn you cash back on items you're already buying. All you have to do is link your credit or debit card, and Drop gives you reward points by shopping at top retailers like Walmart, Amazon, Lyft, Uber, and Trader Joe's. Once you have a certain number of points, you can redeem them for gift cards at places like Amazon, Starbucks, and Walmart, which are as good as cash. If you don't want to link your payment card, you can also shop within the app and earn points.
Another Drop benefit is that it can work simultaneously with other coupon apps like Rakuten or Honey and works with your existing credit card rewards. So, realistically, you could save on the item's price in the first place (win), then you could earn points on Drop to accumulate in your account (win), and then you could receive 5% cash back through your credit card (win). It's a win–win–win!
If you're a lifetime couponer, you know how rewarding it is to save money by presenting a stack of coupons at checkout. Luckily, SnipSnap makes it easy to bring that couponing experience to the digital age. Using the phone app, you can scan a product while in the store, and SnipSnap will pull up all available coupons and even tell you if it's better to buy the product online or in the store. SnipSnap will also let you scan in any physical coupons you have lying around and keep them organized in the app for you. SnipSnap is perfect for people who do more shopping in person and want to present their coupons at checkout.
Couponing and finding the best deals doesn't have to feel like a full-time job with all the technology at your fingertips. Keep these apps in mind the next time you shop.
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