8 Apps That Will Help You Save The Absolute Most On Black Friday And Cyber Monday
It happens every year: the holiday season just kind of sneaks up on you. Soon you’ll need to bust out that wallet and start shopping for plane tickets, enough groceries for a feast, festive decor and presents, lots of presents. It isn’t called the most expensive time of year for nothing!
If you want to save the absolute most money possible, adding some cash back apps to your shopping routine will be a huge help. We suggest starting to use them now as a way to start saving up some extra cash for the holiday season, and then later when Black Friday and Cyber Monday roll around really make sure to take advantage of them when you can.
Every App You’ll Need To Make And Save Money While Holiday Shopping
Turn Your Grocery Receipts Into Gift Cards For Your Holiday Shopping
- Where It Shines: Fetch Rewards turns your receipts from grocery, hardware and convenience stores, plus restaurants and more into gift cards. It has partnered with thousands of brands to earn shoppers rewards points on their products that can be redeemed for gift cards. Just upload your receipts, those become reward points and points become gift cards that can be used to help you save on holiday shopping or even given as a gift. It’s that simple.
- How It Pays: Choose from hundreds of gift card rewards directly from the app to places like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Sephora and Nordstrom.
Average Cash Back Earned: Active users have accumulated several hundred dollars a month in gift cards.
- Amount To Cash Out: 3,000 points or $3.
- Where It Works: Fetch Rewards works with all major grocery stores, including Whole Foods, Target, Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Costco, Aldi, Wegmans and BJ’s, as well as restaurants and food delivery services like Shipt, Instacart, Caviar, DoorDash, Grubhub, Starbucks, Panera Bread, Dominoes, Burger King and more.
- Sign Up Bonus: Use code TMMLOVESYOU to get 2,000 bonus points immediately when you upload your first receipt.
An All-In-One For Those Looking To Earn Extra Holiday Spending Money Quickly
- Where It Shines: Get up to 15% cash back pretty much everywhere you’ll be doing your holiday shopping online. In addition to cash back shopping, you can also earn cash towards your shopping with couponing (earn cash for printing and redeeming them), getting paid for taking surveys and polls, trying apps, watching videos and more.
- How It Pays: Cash via Paypal.
Average Cash Back Earned: Depends on how much a person shops online, though there are lots of opportunities to earn cash. Since 2000, InboxDollars has paid out $80 million to its members.
- Amount To Cash Out: $30 (and you automatically start with $5 when you sign-up).
- Where It Works: Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Macy’s, Sephora, Cabela’s, eBay, Lowes, Groupon, JCPenney, Kohl’s, QVC, Bed Bath & Beyond and so many more.
- Sign Up Bonus: Sign-up and start with an automatic $5 in your account.
Get $750 Deposited Into Your Cash App To Pay For All Of Your Holiday Shopping
- Where It Shines: Flash Rewards is an Android-only app that gives people cash for completing “deals,” which can include playing games and trying advertised offers, like apps, subscription services, financial services and more. Right now, it’s offering $750 to anyone who completes 20 deals. You have 60 days from when you complete your first deal to complete all 20 and purchases may be required to complete select deals. Depending on the deals you choose, it is possible to do all of them in a few days. Once completed, claim your reward and you’ll get $750 deposited into your Cash App account in a week.
- How It Pays: For the Cash App promo, money gets direct deposited into your Cash App account. Otherwise, you earn coins for completing deals, which can be redeemed for gift cards from Visa, Amazon, Nintendo and more.
- Average Cash Back Earned: Between playing games and trying apps and services, you can earn anywhere between a few dollars to $75 in coins, the app’s currency, upon completing a deal. Stick with this special promo and you’ll see a whopping $750 in your Cash App account.
- Amount To Cash Out: A minimum of $5 (5,000 coins) is needed to cash out.
Earn A Few Hundred In Cash And Gift Cards Before The Holidays With Short Surveys And Focus Groups
- Where It Shines: Earn gift cards and cash towards your holiday shopping taking surveys based on your interests that pay up to $45. Surveys start at just 3 minutes long, so you can do them in your free time, and they cover everything from a product’s advertising to brand recognition and more. With every completed survey, you’ll earn points that you can redeem for cash and gift cards to places like Amazon, Groupon, Target and more. Survey Junkie also offers focus groups, which can pay even more. The app has more than 20 million members and a 4.4 star rating on Trustpilot resulting from more than 30,000 reviews. It pays out $1 million in cash rewards to members monthly.
- How It Pays: Cash by Paypal or bank transfers using Dwolla, and gift cards to popular retailers, including, Amazon, Target Groupon and more.
- Average Cash Back Earned: Active users can earn a few hundred dollars a month with this app, especially when they take advantage of doing focus groups.
- Amount To Cash Out: A minimum of 500 points ($5) is needed to cash out.
Get Some Extra Holiday Cash From This Site That Has Paid Out $20 Million To Its Members
- Where It Shines: Branded Surveys matches its members with surveys according to their interests, so you’ll never spend time taking a survey you don’t care about and you can earn quickly. The surveys pay up to $5 apiece and are for major companies like Apple, Walmart, and FedEx. This has the potential to earn you a good chunk of change to cover some of your holiday shopping.
- How It Pays: In cash via PayPal or direct deposit.
- Average Cash Earned: Some users earn up to $500 a month.
- Amount To Cash Out: $5 (500 points).
- Sign Up Bonus: You’ll earn 100 points just for signing up and be well on your way to cashing out.
Earn Real Cash On Groceries To Put Towards Holiday Shopping
- Where It Shines: Earn cash back on food purchases from hundreds of stores both online and in-person with this app (and browser extension). You don’t need coupons to save and you can earn on individual items or your whole shopping cart.
- How It Pays: No points or credits — get real cash via PayPal.
- Average Cash Back Earned: $300 a month for active users.
Amount To Cash Out: $20 (Ibotta offers up to $20 in signup bonuses so you’ll be able to cash out almost immediately).
- Where It Works: Any grocery store, including Walmart, Target, ACME, Whole Foods, Costco, Aldi, BJ’s, Trader Joe’s, Stop & Shop, Sprout’s Farmers Market and Star Market.
- Sign Up Bonus: Up to $20 in sign-up bonuses makes it worth it just to get started.
Use This Tool To Automatically Get The Best Deal Every Time You Shop Online (Including Amazon)
- Where It Shines: Earn the app’s Shopping Credits — which are just like cash back — when you do your holiday shopping at any of its 30,000+ partner retailers and redeem them for gift cards to dozens of top retailers. This app (and browser extension) also searches for discount codes as you shop, automatically applying the one with the most value at check out. You can use Capital One Shopping as a price comparison tool for certain retailers and price drop monitoring, too.
- How It Pays: Via gift cards to places like Walmart and eBay.
- Average Cash Back Earned: It depends on how often you shop online, but since the app has cash back style rewards for more than 30,000 online retailers, it’s safe to say you could earn a few hundred a month in gift card rewards shopping with the Capital One Shopping app or browser extension. Just last year alone, Capital One Shopping found its users $160 million in savings.
- Amount To Cash Out: Gift card cashouts start at $5.
- Where It Works: Amazon, Target, Walmart, eBay, GameStop, Groupon, Wayfair, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nike, Bloomingdale’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Instacart, Costco, AirBnB, Expedia and more.
Editor-Tested Tips & Tricks For Saving As Much As Possible On Your Holiday Shopping
1. Double Or Even Triple Up On Apps
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when using cash back apps for their holiday shopping is they just use one. A lot of these apps can be used in tandem. For instance, some help to find you discount codes, others may offer member-only exclusive deals and others simply have a broader store roster to earn cash back at. So it’s important to download several apps to optimize your holiday cash back earnings.
2. Make It A Habit To Compare Prices
Is there anything worse than buying something one day and then watching the price drop the next day? Capital One Shopping’s Browser extension will be an essential tool for your holiday shopping because you can use it to compare prices (as well as shipping times and delivery costs) on products from Amazon, Target, Home Depot and Best Buy at other retailers as you shop. Another perk of this app is its watchlist feature. Add items on your holiday gift list that you’re not willing to buy just yet to the watchlist and you’ll be alerted to price drops on them.
3. Consider Doing At Least Some Of Your Holiday Shopping Before Black Friday And Cyber Monday
While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the most popular holiday sales, many retailers start doing earlier holiday sales in October through November and December. Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Costo, Lowes and more are all having holiday sales going on right now. And with this being the second holiday season impacted by the pandemic, many shopping experts are saying people are better off starting their shopping early to avoid the rush and delays in package arrivals.
4. Sign-Up For Store Loyalty Programs
If there are any free loyalty programs for the stores you regularly shop at that you haven’t signed up for yet, do that now. Loyalty programs are a great way to earn rewards or even extra cash to put towards your holiday shopping. Wherever you can squeeze in extra savings helps!
5. Sign-Up On Retailers’ Sites Using Multiple Emails
Lots of retailers dole out promo codes exclusive to first-time shoppers usually by way of having them sign up for their email newsletter or alert texts. The holidays are the perfect time to sign up for these to score extra savings. Maybe use them on the stuff that never goes on sale even on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. To get multiple uses out of those first-time shopper promo codes, sign up using different email addresses or and a free Google Voice phone number. Plus, once you sign up for these email or text alerts, you’ll have the lead on deals before anyone else.
6. Play Hard To Get — Add Things To Your Cart But Don’t Check Out Right Away
This doesn’t work at every retailer, but it works at a lot of them — add what you’re looking to purchase for the holidays into your online shopping cart now and then abandon the cart (but make sure to bookmark the URL) for a couple of days. A lot of times you’ll wake up the next day with a promo code in your email. That’s easy holiday savings right there. Retailers like DICK’S Sporting Goods, Bed Bath & Beyond, West Elm, Kate Spade, Bass Pro Shops and Williams Sonoma are all rumored to do this.
7. Do What You Can To Save On Shipping
Shipping costs can be the thing that really tips your holiday spending over the edge. Honestly, the prices some stores charge for shipping is insane. Surcharges on certain packaged products were implemented by the U.S. Postal Service earlier this month and will continue through the peak holiday season. So why pay that extra cost when you can just select local in-store or curbside pick up? Sure, it’s not as convenient as getting something delivered straight to your door, but it is cheaper, and you wouldn’t be reading any of this if you weren’t trying to save money, right?
Want to know what the best days to shop in 2021 are? Check out our 2021 Holiday Shopping Calendar.