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9 Best Mobile Coupon Apps to Save Money Shopping With Your Smartphone

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Extreme couponing is a great way to save money on the things you buy everyday. Done the old-fashioned way — clipping physical coupons from newspapers, flyers, and catalogs — it’s also extremely time- and energy-consuming.

Let’s face it: No matter how frugal they fancy themselves, most consumers simply don’t have the bandwidth to coupon on anything approaching a consistent basis. I consider myself an above-replacement deal-hunter, and I can count on both hands the number of times I’ve redeemed a physical coupon at the supermarket in the past five years.

Good thing old-fashioned couponing is going the way of the newspaper classified. Just as job- and junk-posting apps are plentiful today, coupon apps are multiplying faster than you can say “deal!”

Coupon apps make it easy to find, save, and use digital coupon codes and physical coupons redeemable for merchandise at brick-and-mortar stores. Others deliver cash back at the point of sale, not unlike cash back credit cards (without the credit check and potential credit score damage). Some can even reduce shopping bills after the fact, thanks to handy receipt-upload functions that deliver retroactive discounts or cash back.

Top Couponing Apps to Save Money

Armed with your favorite coupon apps, you’ll clip coupons no longer.

These are among the best on the market today, though you’ll want to check your phone’s app store periodically for new arrivals. All offer savings opportunities at dozens, hundreds, or thousands of retailers.

That’s isn’t to downplay the utility of top retailer coupon apps like the Target app, which offers in-house discounts on hundreds of products at any given time and pairs beautifully with the Target REDcard‘s across-the-board 5% discount on in-store and online Target purchases. It’s simply overwhelming to catalog every single worthy retailer coupon app.


1. Ibotta – $20 Bonus When You Sign Up

Ibotta remains one of the most popular mobile coupon apps on the market, and it’s not difficult to see why.

For starters, Ibotta is eminently user-friendly. It boasts a vast array of participating retailers — about 275 in all. And its geolocation feature makes it a snap to find stores and products in your area.

Here’s how Ibotta’s in-store process works. Open the app and complete simple tasks to load offers on products at participating retailers near you. Load your store loyalty cards to connect your retail rewards accounts and maximize your return on spending. Then, go shopping!

If you’ve loaded your loyalty cards, you’ll automatically receive any cash back for which you’re eligible within 48 hours of the sale. If you haven’t, simply snap a picture of your receipt and Ibotta will match your purchases against cash back-eligible items. You’ll still receive your cash within 48 hours.

Want to save a trip to the store? You can also earn cash back on mobile purchases when you use the links or codes served in the Ibotta app.

Unlike some coupon apps, Ibotta pays hard cash. Cash out via PayPal once your rewards balance hits $20, or load your earnings on a gift card to redeem directly at your favorite retailers.

New to Ibotta? Sign up now and receive a $20 bonus.

  • Cost: Free
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Pros: Load your loyalty card to automatically claim rewards. Scan receipts to earn cash back. Shop at hundreds of online retailers using the Ibotta app.

2. Rakuten

Formerly known as Ebates, Rakuten is a digital coupon and cash back app that promises up to 40% off select purchases with more than 2,500 retailers — though, of course, you won’t save 40% on every purchase made with Rakuten stores.

Rakuten offers multiple ways to save through its user-friendly app:

  • Coupon Codes. Rakuten offers fresh coupon codes from dozens of participating retailers. Redeem at the digital point of sale for instant savings.
  • Affiliate Cash Back. This is Rakuten’s bread and butter. Browse the app for offers from thousands of affiliates, then click the link and check out without closing out the app or browser window. Once the purchase is complete, provisional cash back is logged to your account, pending retailer verification.
  • Double Cash Back. Purchases with select retailers earn double cash back when made through the Rakuten app. Many of these deals are time-sensitive, so check the app frequently and act quickly when you see a store you’re planning to patronize in the near future.

Rakuten credits cash back to user accounts once the retailer verifies the purchase. This can take a while; Rakuten’s customer service team is happy to answer questions in the meantime. But you’re guaranteed to receive one payout per quarter. And, for a limited time, earn a $10 bonus when you create your Rakuten account.

  • Cost: Free
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Pros: Earn double cash back at select retailers. Scan receipts to earn cash back. Shop at hundreds of online retailers using the Ibotta app.

3. Honey

Honey is a user-friendly coupon app that claims to deliver average savings of about 18% on customer purchases, working out to $126 per year. That’s serious money for those committed to using Honey for everyday (or, at least, every-week) purchases.

With thousands of vendors in its database, including national restaurant chains and travel booking platforms, Honey makes it incredibly easy to save. The app automatically finds digital coupons, promo codes, and instant savings opportunities, then serves them to you on a dollar-lined platter — virtually eliminating the work of scouring the Internet or newspaper for fresh coupons.

Honey finds discounts without coupon or promo codes, too. Just add items you’ve been eyeing to the app’s Droplist to receive notifications whenever the price drops.

Honey also has a handy browser extension that’s perfect for desktop shopping on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and throughout the rest of the year too.

  • Cost: Free
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Pros: Instant savings with thousands of retailers. Discounts without promo codes via Honey’s Droplist. Find instant savings on desktop purchases with Honey’s browser extension.

4. SnipSnap

snipsnapNeed to clean out your paper coupon folder? SnipSnap is your answer.

Here’s how it works. Use the SnipSnap app to snap a picture of any paper coupon and it’ll automatically upload the coupon code and all other key details to its coupon database. Once the process is done, usually in a matter of minutes, you’ll have a fully digitized coupon that you can redeem in-store or online. Repeat until your coupon folder is fully digitized.

If your paper coupon folder is already long gone, use SnipSnap to find new digitized offers at your favorite retailers. The “Discover” screen displays the coupons your friends and family members have already snipped, or you can search SnipSnap’s database for specific discounts. When you enter a participating store, you’ll receive push notifications (if enabled) alerting you to potential savings. You’ll also receive alerts as uploaded coupons’ expiration dates approach. You can easily disable location tracking in the app.

Had mixed luck with coupons in the past? SnipSnap’s store success rating synthesizes anonymized user data into probabilistic predictions of redemption success — in other words, the likelihood that your attempt to redeem a particular coupon will be successful. Your mileage may vary, of course.

  • Cost: Free
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Pros: In-store and coupon expiration alerts. Easy digitization of paper coupons. Vast database of active coupons. Social features that let you see how fellow app users are saving. Store success ratings that remove some of the uncertainty around coupon redemption.

5. ShopKick

shopkickShopKick is a heavily gamified app that doesn’t require condition rewards on completed purchases. The tradeoff: It doesn’t work properly without location services enabled and needs to be open to earn points (“kicks”), so it’s not ideal for privacy- or battery-conscious users.

To use ShopKick, simply open the app and walk into a participating retailer. You’ll receive a pre-set number of kicks just for showing up. Earn more by scanning shelved items’ bar codes and scanning receipts for completed purchases. Watch the app for real-time deals, too, and take advantage while you’re still in-store to maximize your earning power. Once you’ve earned enough kicks, you can redeem for free gift cards at major retailers like Target and Walmart, typically starting at $10.

ShopKick also runs daily challenges and contests that may accelerate your point earnings. Because it works best when users are physically present in stores, it’s best paired with long shopping ventures at the mall or high street, rather than out-and-back errands.

  • Cost: Free
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Pros: Earn rewards without completing purchases. Get gift cards from your favorite major retailers. Get alerted to deals in-store.

6. Coupons.com

Coupons.com Website Coupons Webpage Browser

Coupons.com is a mobile coupon app that offers three distinct ways to save:

  • Printable Coupons. Yes, they’re still a thing. Coupons.com’s vast printable coupons database includes hundreds of product-specific coupons redeemable at your favorite grocery stores, drugstores, and superstores. Before you embark on a coupon-printing spree, arm yourself with our favorite budget-friendly printer.
  • Digital Coupons and Cash Back Offers. Prefer to save paper? Use Coupons.com’s digital coupons to save serious cash in the real world. Simply present the coupon for scanning at the point of sale and reap the savings. For digital purchases, Coupons.com’s cash back offers deliver savings after the fact.
  • Digital Coupon Codes. No coupon required — just an alphanumeric code. Coupons.com offers active coupon codes for dozens of popular online (and offline) retailers, including Amazon, Overstock, Petco, and Target. Coupons.com doesn’t guarantee acceptance, but the breadth of the database raises the overall likelihood of success.

To be clear, you don’t need the Coupons.com app to use the platform’s printable coupons database. The desktop version works just fine. But it’s nice to have the option to clip virtual coupons, too.

  • Cost: Free
  • Platform: iOS and Android
  • Pros: Print physical coupons for specific products. Upload digital coupons for use online and in the real world. Instant discounts and after-the-fact cash back at dozens of participating retailers.

7. SavingStar

SavingStar bears more than a passing resemblance to Ibotta, but that’s okay: There’s plenty of room for coupon apps that work through store loyalty cards.

To start saving with SavingStar, upload your store loyalty cards to the app and browse retailer-specific rebates in SavingStar’s database. Add any that appeal to you, then head to the store and shop away. As long as you use your store card at checkout, you’ll receive cash back in the app within a few business days. You can cash out via PayPal or EFT to your bank account once your rewards balance reaches $20.

Like Ibotta, SavingStar offers a way around the store loyalty card problem. If you don’t have a loyalty card or the participating retailer lacks a loyalty program altogether, just add the rebates to your account and take a photo of your receipt to match them with active SavingStar offers. You’ll see no delay in cash back delivery.

  • Cost: Free
  • Platform: iOS and Android
  • Pros: Link your store loyalty card for easy rebating. Upload receipts photographically in the absence of an active loyalty account.

8. Coupon Sherpa

coupon sherpaCoupon Sherpa immodestly calls itself “the best coupon app ever made.” I wouldn’t go that far, but some enthusiasm is warranted here, not least because Coupon Sherpa is one of the few coupon apps that offers whole-order discounts on supermarket purchases. In retrospect, it’s surprising that more coupon apps don’t do the same.

Coupon Sherpa’s coupon database also includes plenty of product-specific coupons. Start by browsing thousands of active orders in the app, using the “favorite” tool to clip and save offers you’re likely to use. For more relevant searching, enable location services, which help the app serve coupons for retailers in your general vicinity.

When you’re ready to save, simply present clipped coupons (or coupons you find on the spot in-store) at checkout. Most coupons work online and in-store, if the retailer has physical locations.

  • Cost: Free
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Pros: Get access to thousands of product-specific coupons. Easily clip and save coupons using the “favorite” tool. Turn on location services for more relevant offers.

9. Checkout51

checkout51Checkout51 offers a different take on couponing. If you’re not a fan of clipping and saving coupons, even in a streamlined digital setting, you may well prefer Checkout51’s approach. And there’s no loyalty card requirement, ever, making Checkout51 ideal for purchases at retailers you don’t regularly visit.

To begin saving at the point of sale, browse coupon offers in the app, then patronize participating retailers. Snap a picture of your receipt, upload it to the app, and wait for the cash back to roll in — typically within 48 hours of upload. Participating brick-and-mortar retailers include major grocery stores (Publix, Kroger, Safeway), top drugstores (Walgreens, CVS), and superstores like Target and Walmart.

If you have a long commute, use Checkout51 to automatically earn gas rewards at the pump — up to $0.25 per gallon. You do need to add gas offers within four hours of making your purchase, then upload your receipt within 24 hours, so some organization is required. But Checkout51 is still a great way to save money on gas without going miles out of your way to chase savings of a few cents per gallon.

  • Cost: Free
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Pros: No loyalty cards required. Opportunities to save up to $0.25 per gallon on gas. Cash back hits within 48 hours.

Final Word

Tired of extreme couponing? Use any — or all — of these apps to sever ties with the old method: painstakingly cutting coupons, stuffing them in a progressively more disorganized folder, and maybe remembering to bring them along on shopping trips.

If you’re currently committed to the couponing cause, fully transitioning to digital could save you hours each week. And, if your newfound digital couponing process increases your online buying ratio, saving trips out of the house, you’ll save even more time.

Maybe the real question isn’t what you’ll do with your hard-won coupon savings, but what you’ll do with all the time you’ve reclaimed by kicking the coupon-cutting habit.

Do you use any of these coupon apps to save big online and in-store? Do you recommend any that aren’t on this list?

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

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