With the price of everything from gas to groceries on the rise, there is no time like the present to learn how to be frugal and thrifty. Many companies receive a commission when you shop online using their link. Those companies, in turn, will share some of the extra funds with you through cash back programs. 

Cash back apps are not the same as cash back credit cards. With cash back apps, it is not tied to a point system set out by the credit card. Cash back apps are like couponing: it is easy to cash in on your purchases and save money without the hassle of searching for paper coupons. All you need to take advantage of these savings is your smartphone and the information provided here about which apps are the best.

Read on to learn what apps are available to Canadians and how each one works. You will also be able to earn cash back on a purchase from more than one app, so you will multiply your savings by downloading all of the available apps and using them diligently.

What are cash back apps, and how do you use them?

Cash back apps are as simple as they sound.  Make a purchase, and earn cash back through various apps. Some apps will require you to scan your receipt, so hang onto receipts from every purchase. Other apps will credit you if you link your debit or credit card to the account.

Cash back sites earn money while still passing on some savings to you. They use an affiliate link, and when you shop through their link, they earn a commission that they share with you for using their site. Sharing the reward provides an incentive for you to continue using their links instead of shopping directly with the retailer.

This process is much more straightforward than using clipped coupons, but the bonus is that you can continue to use coupons and often earn cash back in more than one way on the same purchase. Sometimes, you will even end up getting the product for free! Plus, you can get money for referring your friends.

Most apps require you to earn a certain amount before getting a payout. There is often a $20 minimum to cash out, and then the money may be sent in a variety of different ways. Some companies will send you a cheque, and others will give you options.  You may be able to have the money deposited to your PayPal account, receive a Visa card, or choose an Amazon gift card. With all of these options, what’s not to love?

A bonus?  The apps are free to use. Some of the apps will take a bit of time to set up. You will have to register, confirm details, and possible link payment cards.

Once set up, they generally do not take long to use each time. You can earn cash back when you are shopping online or in-person. Keep reading to learn how to earn cash and rewards through apps that are available in Canada.

KOHO

KOHO is one smart financial account. You earn money on what you spend and what you save every time you use your account. Now it offers cash back on every purchase with a greater percentage back when purchases are made at brand partners.  You will get .5% cash back on every purchase and up to 10% on purchases at brand partners.

KOHO is a spending and savings financial account that helps you to track your purchases and earn money on every dollar spent.  You load money into your account and use your KOHO card to earn.  KOHO runs through Visa, and the card would be used like any other credit card, either online or in person.

Even though you use it as a credit card, the money is already in your account.  That means you are spending within your means and not paying high credit card interest rates.

When you earn cash back with KOHO, you will also earn interest on the amount in your account.  

Does it cost money to use the app?

KOHO is a free app with no hidden fees.  You can opt to pay for a premium account which gives a higher cash back percentage on purchases.  You can opt for a 30-day free trial if you want to try it out.

And do you remember that you can use more than one app or savings program at a time?  If you use My Points to sign up for KOHO, you will earn 17000 points in your My Points account!

PC Optimum

PC Optimum is an app that helps you save money and it sends you personalized offers based on your spending trends.

Every Thursday, the offers are updated.  You earn points on grocery purchases at Real Canadian Superstore and No Frills.  The offers are tailored to you.  It is not something that you usually see a coupon or deal for but I have an offer of 400 points for every $2 spent on the product.

With PC Optimum, 10 000 points is redeemable for $10 off your next purchase.

Where can I earn points?

You can earn points at No Frills and Real Canadian Superstore including the liquor store.  You can also earn and redeem points at Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix as well as at Esso gas stations. At the grocery store, you will earn points on the available offers that have been tailored to your shopping habits.  At the other stores, you earn points per $1 spent.

What’s new in 2021?

They have recently added PC Health to the rewards.  PC Health is an app to help you track your wellness journey, and you can complete activities in the app to earn points.  The app takes you on a health and self-care journey and gives you tasks to complete to help you track your progress.  Each task usually gives you around 20 points.  There are also some larger tasks like booking a physio or massage appointment that can earn you 5 000 points!

Rakuten

Rakuten, formerly called Ebates, is one of the top-rated and most popular cash back apps. Using Rakuten is easy. It is an app where you can earn cash back, and they even offer coupons for some retailers. 

You can shop at your favorite online stores, including Walmart, Amazon, Sephora, and many others. All you have to do is click on the link to the store from the Rakuten app and do your shopping.  Rakuten will then keep track of your earnings and deposit them into your account.There are over 2000 stores on the app with varying amounts of cash back available from 1% up to 40%.

Is it available in Canada?

There is nothing more frustrating than finding an excellent cash back app to realize it is only available in the US. Rakuten is available in Canada.  Not only that, you can earn cash back when you shop at Canadian and US retailers.

How do you redeem your cash back?

Once you have accumulated a minimum of $5, you can request a payout.  You can get a cheque in the mail or deposit money to your PayPal account. You can also check to see your previous payouts.

What are some current cash back offers?

Rakuten offers 6% cash back at Under Armour, 9% at Lenovo, and 9% at The Body Shop.

Swagbucks

Swagbucks is fun. Along with earning cash back on purchases, you can also earn by taking surveys, playing games, browsing sites, and referring friends.

You can earn rewards shopping at places like Indigo, Staples and Tickemaster! When you shop at these retailers through a Swagbucks link, you will earn Swagbucks points for every dollar you spend. Along with a percentage of cash back, some online retailers also offer coupons when you shop through the provided link.

How do you redeem points?

Points can be redeemed for gift cards to your favorite places, or you can take cash via PayPal.

The best Swagbucks deals

Bluehost – Creating a website comes with an expense, but now is the time if you want to try it out. Hosting a website through Bluehost starts at $2.95 a month.  If you sign up through Swagbucks, you will get enough cash back to cover a full year of hosting.

Drop

When you shop using links to retailers provided by Drop, your purchases are automatically tracked when you use linked cards.  They will keep track of your rewards.  You will earn points 1000 points, which is equal to $1, that you can redeem at places like Amazon, Netflix, and Starbucks.

Is there a fee?

The app is free, and when you link your debit or credit card, you will be given 5000 points. That’s already $5 in your pocket.

What kinds of online shopping will give me points?

You will earn points when you shop at many different retailers for goods or services.  Amazon, Uber, Sephora, and Lulu Lemon are just some available options.

My Points

My Points is another app where you will get paid when you shop online via their link. With over 1900 stores available, there are many shopping options!  You will also earn points through surveys, polls, watching videos, and reading emails.

How else can I earn points?

It may seem a little overwhelming at first as there are many ways to earn points every day, even if you are not shopping.  When you complete surveys, you can unlock more deals.  For instance, a survey may be worth 10 points, but you unlock an exclusive survey worth 250 points when you complete it. Points can also be earned when uploading receipts from any in-person shopping trip.

How can I redeem points?

Points can be redeemed for various gift cards, including Bath and Body Works, Amazon, iTunes, Cineplex, and many other options. The other option is to have them send money to your PayPal account.

Are there any other perks?

When you make your first online purchase of $25 or more, you will receive a $10 bonus!

Shopper Army

Shopper Army is similar to other sites and apps where you are shopping through an affiliate link.  Shopper Army will get a commission from the sale and share a piece of that with you.  The percentage of cash back varies from one retailer to the next.

Are there other ways to earn points?

Shopper Army has missions that you can complete to earn even more rewards.  You can complete surveys, watch videos, and test products. You earn points during your downtime.

How else can I use the site?

Because users are sent products to test, the site also has reviews of many different products. If you are curious about something you have not tried, you can check to see if there are any reviews for the specific product.

What are the rewards?

You can choose to redeem your points for cash paid to your PayPal account, or you can convert them to gift cards.  To get cash, you need a minimum of $35.  Gift cards can be earned with a minimum of $5.

Ampli

When you with a card connected to your Ampli account, they will credit your account with cash back. You just have to make the purchase with a card linked to your account. You will earn points when you shop at places such as Sephora, Boston Pizza, Indigo, and more.

How do you cash out?

When you have earned $15 or more, you can request an Interac e-transfer to deposit the money directly to your account.

Are there any other features?

You can complete in-app challenges to earn even more points and accumulate them quickly.  You will also be rewarded with $5 anytime someone else signs up through your referral.  

Is it safe to link my payment cards?

Ampli is backed by RBC and adheres to strict security procedures to ensure the safety of your banking information.  They have paid out more than $2 million in cash back rewards to date.

Brim Rewards

Like KOHO, you load your Brim card with money and then use it like a prepaid credit card.  You can use the card or upload it to a mobile wallet for contactless payment.

Can family members share an account?

With Brim, you can obtain additional cards for your account.  It is even safe to give a card to your teenager because you can set spending limits on each card which means everyone will not have access to the total credit limit.  You are also able to track spending with instant purchase notifications.  If needed, you can also lock the card.

Because it is like a credit card, you can pay off the balance all at once or opt for monthly installments.  

What are the rewards?

You will earn rewards when you shop with your Brim card as with other apps.  You can also redeem your rewards at any time when making a purchase, or you can apply your rewards to your Brim card balance.

You will earn base points with each purchase, but some retailers may offer accelerated earn options.  For instance, you may gain 2 points per $1 spent on your first purchase and then 4 points per $1 spent on your subsequent visits.  Basically, the merchant is rewarding you for your loyalty.

TopCashBack

TopCashBack is an online shopping cash back app.  You can earn cash back from over 4380 online retailers.  The percentage made will vary from one merchant to the next.  Along with many of the popular retailers offered by other sites, you can also shop at stores such as LEGO Canada, The Outnet fashion outlet, and Rockport Canada.

To earn cash back, go to the TopCashBack site and shop using the store links provided on their page.  To make using TopCashBack easy, you can install a browser extension or use the mobile app.

Be sure to check out the offers tab to see what is available.  Aside from cash back, you may be able to get coupon codes for some retailers.

How do I redeem rewards?

TopCashBack offers choices for your rewards.  You can accept payment through PayPal, bank deposits, or Amazon vouchers.

Great Canadian Rebates

With Great Canadian Rebates, you can earn cash back simply by shopping online.  You can shop from over 500 retailers, including some US retailers that would typically not ship to Canada.  

All you have to do is shop through the links on their site.  If you refer family and friends, you will also earn cash back on their purchases for five years.  There is also a welcome bonus of $2.50, so you start getting money in your pocket as soon as you sign up.

How do I collect rewards?

The rewards will be credited to your account, and you can redeem them for Amazon gift cards or cash deposited to your PayPal account.

Is the site easy to use?

Using Great Canadian Rebates is easy, and you can customize it with your preferences. Categories and deals are displayed in Dropdown menus at the top of the page.  The next tab is quick links that you can customize with the retailers you shop with frequently.

Caddle

Caddle is a cash back app where you upload receipts for cash back on purchases of certain items.

Each Thursday, the cash back offers are updated, and they will run for the week.  If you purchase one or more of the items, upload your receipt, and the cash back will be deposited in your account. It’s like using a coupon, except you don’t have the hassle of paper copies in the store. 

You also won’t get the savings immediately as you would with a hard copy of a coupon as you have to wait until your account reaches $20 before you can cash out. If you do have a coupon, you can double up!  Use your coupon in the store and upload your receipt to the app to multiply your savings.

Can I earn money in other ways with Caddle?

Caddle offers a $1 referral bonus for anyone you invite who signs up.  They also have daily surveys you can complete to earn cash.  As well as uploading receipts for certain products, you can also get cash back for certain stores.  If you buy anything at Walmart, Dollarama, Real Canadian Superstore, and a few others, you will get cash back for uploading the receipt.  

How do I cash out?

You can cash out with Caddle when you have $20 or more in your account. The only option right now is to get a cheque in the mail.  

Checkout 51

Checkout 51, like Caddle, offers cash back when you purchase certain items. Some of the items are brand specific, and some are not.

It works pretty much the same way – new offers are loaded each Thursday, and when you purchase any of the items, you upload your receipt to the app.  You can buy them anywhere with some offers, while some are specific to a particular store.  For instance, there is an offer of $5 cash back on Purex bathroom tissue if you purchase it at Costco.  If the offer says it is for select retailers, click on the offer to see where you would need to purchase the item.

Checkout 51 is one of the best apps for cash back on groceries.  They tend to have a variety of offers, and you can also multiply your savings if you use paper coupons.

What is the best way to use the app?

Because some of the offers are limited in number, I like to check the new offers when they come out on Thursday.  You can add the offers to your list by clicking on the plus icon.  Some of the offers allow you to use it once, while others allow multiple purchases of the item, and you would receive the cash back for each one.

Buy the items as soon as possible and upload your receipts to ensure the offers you want don’t run out! Make sure you read each offer to ensure you purchase the correct item and the correct quantity.  Some offers give you cash back if you buy two but they must appear on the same receipt.  You also want to make sure that you are purchasing the correct size.  Some of the offers will require you to scan the item’s barcode when you upload the receipt, so it is essential to get the right size.  

Do they only have offers for grocery items?

Checkout 51 offers cash back on various everyday items, and they are categorized within the app to make it easy to find offers suited to your needs.  You will also find offers on pet-related items, cleaning supplies, baby-related items, personal care, and home products.

How do I cash out?

When you have $20 or more in your account, you can cash out, and you will receive a cheque in the mail.

Mr. Rebates

Mr. Rebates offers cash back when you shop online through their affiliate links.  With over 3 000 stores to shop at, you will have a lot of chances to earn cash back. Your account will be credited within a few days of your purchase.  Right now, you can earn 8% cash back at the Disney store, 3% cash back at Gap Factory, 3% cash back at Sephora, and much more.

Will I earn rewards for referring others?

If friends or family sign up with your referral link, you will get a bonus.  You get 20% of their earnings when they purchase through the app.

How do I cash out?

You can cash out when you have $10 or more in your account.  You can have a cheque sent in the mail or have the money deposited into your PayPal account.

Receipt Hog

To use Receipt Hog, you upload receipts for every purchase – everything from groceries to dining out to purchases at the pet store.  You earn coins for each receipt that you upload. You also earn coins for referrals and linking accounts you use for online shopping.Some receipts will also qualify you for slot spins where you can be rewarded with more coins.

What are the coins for?

The coins are accumulated for your payout.  You can use the coins for Amazon cards, Visa cards, or a PayPal Payment.  Here is a breakdown of what is needed to cash out:

1000 coins = $5

2900 coins = $15

4300 coins = $25

6500 coins = $40

A few receipts may not qualify, but if you are not sure, upload it anyway, and they will let you know if it did not qualify for coins.

You need to upload your receipt during the week you made the purchase as the app resets weekly. During a week, the most you can earn for receipt uploads is 100 coins.  Then you can get bonus coins from referrals and slot spins.  

Does the app have any other perks?

You are entered into a monthly draw every time you upload eligible receipts.  Each month, there are multiple prizes of 20 coins, 200 coins, and 5000 coins.

You also “level up” each time you upload receipts. For each level you reach, there is a different reward.  Rewards may be slot spins to earn extra coins, or they just give you coins added to your account at the higher levels.  The bonus amount increases with each level you reach.

Paymi

Paymi is an app where you will connect your payment cards to the account and be rewarded when you shop in-store or online using those cards.  You will be able to get your cash back via an Interac eTransfer.  

Paymi is partnered with certain retailers that will give cash back.  Some of these include Leon’s, indigo.ca, Mary Brown’s, Burger King, and La Senza.  There are many other partner stores from which to choose as well.

Is there a referral bonus?

If you refer someone who starts using Paymi, you will be credited $5. The referral has to make an eligible purchase before you are compensated.

What is the cash-out procedure?

You can cash out with as little as $2 in your Paymi account. Keep in mind that there will be a $1.50 transfer fee.  If you wait until you have $25 or more in your account, Paymi will cover the fee for you!

Save.ca

Save.ca is a multi-purpose site that offers store flyers, cash back offers, and printable coupons. The app will only make payments via PayPal, so you need a PayPal account to take full advantage of the offerings. You can cash out with as little as $5 in your account.

Featured offers do not always have to be a particular brand. For instance, you may have an offer for cash back on any dairy milk that is 1 liter or larger.  

You can use the flyers to find the best price for items on your list and create an in-app shopping list. It is a great site to obtain coupons.  Many of them have the option for you to print it at home or have it mailed to you.

Gas Buddy

If you are on the road a lot, Gas Buddy is a must-have app. It is free to download and will help you find the best price on fuel no matter where you are.  It will show you where the closest gas stations are and which ones have the lowest price at the time.

You can also report gas prices if they have changed or have not been recorded for a particular station, which will earn you points for giveaways.

I love having this app when I am on road trips as I will know how close the nearest station is (and never panic my husband that I will run out of fuel), and I will be able to find the best price in the nearest town.

Coin Miles

You can earn Bitcoin with Coin Miles when you shop online or in-store. It is really the best of both worlds. We get to that later.

How does it work?

Link your credit card to your account and earn every time you shop with that card.  You can also shop online via the affiliate links. Coinmiles will get paid a referral commission, and they use the commission to buy Bitcoin. You get a portion, and they keep a portion as revenue.

If I’ve never used Bitcoin and am not interested, is there another way to claim rewards?

Yes!  If you choose not to use Bitcoin, your rewards can also be paid out as an Interac eTransfer.  If you would like to learn more about Bitcoin and how to use it, you can always refer to their blog to learn more.

Eclipsa

Eclipsa is an app that offers cash back on specific purchases. All you need to do is download the free app, sign up for an account, and start earning.

It is a great app that offers cash back on items without being brand specific. For instance, right now, the offers are $0.25 cash back on milk, $0.25 cash back on carrots, $0.25 cash back on mushrooms, $0.25 cash back on chicken, $0.25 cash back on nuts, $0.25 cash back on vitamins, $0.25 cash back on asparagus, and $0.25 cash back on toothpaste.

Again, I will remind you that you can combine cash back offers using different apps and use coupons.  I have not paid for toothpaste in years!  There are often printable coupons, and if you combine that with cash back from various apps, you can get it for free.  Sometimes, you even get overage, meaning that you earn more cash back than what you paid.

MaxRebates

MaxRebates is an affiliate link site with a variety of online shopping options. One nice thing about this site is that you set your country to know you will be getting links where you will earn the cash back.

Your account will show two amounts – cash pending and cash payable. Once you have purchased through the link, your rebate will be deposited into cash pending. This allows for any adjustments if you have to return an item or cancel an order.  It also gives the retailer time to pay the commission to MaxRebates. After 90 days, the balance is transferred to cash payable.  Once you have reached a minimum of $10 cash payable, you can collect your money.  You can request a cheque or payment to PayPal.

GoCashBack

GoCashBack is an affiliate link shopping site that offers a signup bonus of $5.  Some retailers offer 1% cash  back, while others offer 20% cash back.  Browse the hot deals and trending stores to find what you are looking for.

Shop through the provided links to get your rebate.  When you are up to a minimum of $20, you can request your payment.  They will not mail cheques to Canada, so PayPal or Direct Deposit are your payment options.  

Dollar Dig

You can join the Dollar Dig community for free.  Shop online using the provided links, and you will earn a percentage of cash back from participating retailers. Since there are several sites and apps that operate similarly, it does not hurt to sign up for all of them.  Check each one for the rebate offer at the store you wish to shop at to see if one is higher than another.  

Dollar Dig has over 3000 stores you can shop at. The minimum amount to cash out with Dollar Dig is $25.  

Canadians have two options for payouts.  You can be paid using PayPal or Dwolla because the cheque and Amazon gift cards are available to US users only. Also, if you choose payment via PayPal, there will be a fee of anywhere between $2.99 and $4.99 deducted from your payment.

Good Shop

With Good Shop, you can earn while shopping online, and you have the option of taking cash back or donating your earnings to a charity.

As with other affiliate sites, you shop through the provided links, and the cash back will be credited to your account.  

The site is easy to navigate, and you can browse stores or search by categories such as automotive, beauty, crafts, and electronics.  

You can also search for retailers offering free shipping or coupons.  

Is there a referral bonus?

Yes!  When you refer people to the site, they become a part of your circle.  You will earn money on their purchases as well as your own. Be aware, though, that when using this site, you will want to ensure the merchant ships to Canada.  The links for Amazon are for Amazon.com and not Amazon.ca.

ExtraBux

ExtraBux is another affiliate link site that offers cash back when you shop using the links provided.  There are over 10 000 stores, and some offer as much as 30% cash back.

Along with the cash back, you can find coupons on the site that can be used.

Along with a welcome bonus of $20, bonus milestones will earn you extra cash back. Once you have made $25, you will be credited with an additional $5 bonus.  You will get further $5 bonus payments when you reach cash back increments of $50, $75, and $100.

Canadians will be paid via PayPal.  Once your account reaches $10, you can request a payment.  Payments are only made in multiples of $10, so if you have $12 in your account and request payment, you will receive $10, and the $2 will remain in your account until you cash out again.

Simply Best Coupons

Simply Best Coupons offers cash back for online purchases and also has coupons you can use.  Be sure to click on local coupons to find out where you can earn cash back at restaurants and on services such as haircuts and massages.  

There is currently no signup bonus on this site; however, it is a Canadian site, so you can take your cash back via PayPal or an Amazon.ca card.  The minimum balance for a payout is $25.  Though there is no bonus for signing up, they offer a referral bonus.

I love the transparency of this site – it is easy to find answers to any questions you may have. Because it is Canadian, you know that the links are intended for use in Canada by Canadian shoppers, though others can shop via this site as well.