- Automatic savings
- Earn free gift cards
- International coverage
- No savings guarantees
- No cash rewards
These days, there are plenty of ways to save money when shopping online. There’s a wide variety of mobile coupon apps that make cutting costs with couponing immensely accessible. Similarly, popular browser shopping extensions like Rakuten and Capital One Shopping make it incredibly easy to earn rewards and find great deals online.
One money-saving platform that’s growing rapidly in popularity is Honey. If you want to effortlessly save money when shopping online and to earn cash-back rewards, this free browser extension is worth installing.
Key Features of Honey
Honey is a free shopping extension that was founded in 2012. More recently, Honey has made headlines following PayPal’s acquisition of the company for approximately $4 billion. According to PayPal’s investor press release, Honey has more than 17 million members and helps users save more than $1 billion per year.
Honey was already a useful money-saving extension before the acquisition. Considering that Honey is PayPal’s largest acquisition to date, it’s clear there are big plans for the future of this platform that should excite any savvy online shopper.
And, with a variety of couponing and deal-finding features, Honey offers several ways for you to save money when shopping online.
1. Honey Browser Extension
The Honey browser extension is the main way you use Honey. To create an account, visit www.joinhoney.com and connect a Google, Facebook, or PayPal account. Alternatively, you can sign up with your email address.
Honey can currently find savings for 40,000+ stores in the United States, Canada, Australia, India, the United Kingdom, and websites that support international customers. This widespread coverage makes Honey worth trying for pretty much anyone who shops online.
Currently, Honey is available on the following web browsers:
- Google Chrome
- Microsoft Edge
Once you install the Honey extension, you can use other money-saving features this platform offers as long as the extension is active when you shop.
2. Automatically Apply Coupon Codes at Checkout
Honey’s main feature is automatically applying coupon codes before you make an online purchase. Honey also lets shoppers know if they’ve found the best price for a specific product, so you don’t have to waste precious time shopping around at multiple retailers.
The extension isn’t intrusive either. The Honey icon simply turns orange and displays a number to indicate how many coupon codes it can use to try to save you money. You only need to click on the extension and hit “Apply Coupons” for Honey to get to work.
Coupon codes don’t always redeem because some promo codes expire or have caps on how often shoppers can use them. However, Honey’s main strength is that it saves users time and money without any extra effort. With Honey, you can score savings through coupons and also avoid the hassle of searching for discount codes yourself.
3. Price Droplist
Another way to save money with the Honey browser extension is to add products to your Droplist.
This feature is similar to Capital One Shopping’s Watchlist feature and lets users monitor the price of specific products to know when they drop. Items can sit on your Droplist for up to 120 days before you have to re-add them.
This feature is only available for U.S. members. Droplist works with dozens of retailers, including:
- Best Buy
Additionally, Droplist is more robust than Capital One Shopping’s Watchlist feature. Users can add product variations, such as color or size, as parameters in their Droplist. It’s also possible to set a minimum price drop amount in your account settings that determines if Honey alerts you about a price decrease.
Droplist doesn’t factor in shipping, tax, or handling into price alerts. However, if you aren’t in a rush to make a purchase, Honey’s Droplist feature is a powerful money-saving tool that helps you shop at the right time.
This feature is also very useful if you’re shopping for high-ticket products like electronics, where prices can fluctuate more than inexpensive goods.
4. Honey Gold Rewards & Bonuses
Honey Gold is Honey’s free rewards program that pays members for shopping at more than 5,500 Honey partners. If you have the Honey browser extension installed, you’re already a member of this program.
Unlike cash-back platforms like Rakuten, which award a fixed amount of cash back, many Honey Gold offers award a random percentage range that varies between sites. Some Honey Gold offers pay a fixed percentage of cash back as well, and generally, you can earn 1% to 5% back for shopping.
Your browser extension notifies you when your purchase is eligible to earn Gold. To claim Gold during a purchase, you simply click the “Activate” button on the extension.
Gold points appear as pending in your account within 2 to 14 days of your purchase. Purchases also remain pending for 60 days on average until merchants confirm your purchase was not returned or canceled.
Once you accumulate 1,000 Gold as a U.S. member, you can redeem free gift cards to a variety of retailers like:
Rewards are also available in several other countries, including:
- New Zealand
Furthermore, Honey has an European Union rewards tab that includes gift card rewards to retailers like H&M Germany, Spotify Italy, and ASOS France. Overall, it’s an immensely internationally-friendly rewards program, which is different from reward apps like Ibotta and Fetch Rewards that focus on the United States.
Note that depending on the currency, you may require more or less than 1,000 Gold to redeem a reward. For example, A $10 Canadian Amazon gift card costs around 800 Gold, whereas a $10 Amazon UK gift card is approximately 1,300 Gold.
U.S. members also earn additional rewards by completing a Honey Gold bonus. This is a time-sensitive welcome bonus new members can opt in to complete within 24 hours. A Honey Gold bonus pays $5 to $20 for completing a purchase at a specific retailer.
Ultimately, Honey Gold is a mostly passive way to earn cash back when you shop online and is another fantastic feature of this shopping extension.
5. Explore Page
The Honey Explore page is another way to find savings and cash-back rewards on Honey.
The Explore page lists trending Honey partner sites where its members frequently shop. This page also highlights stores with a high number of working coupon codes and current Honey Gold rewards.
Here you can easily find “hot deals” on products that are on sale, bestsellers, and new arrivals. Using the search bar also lets you browse specific products or categories to hunt down deals. If you have a specific purchase in mind, search for it on Honey before starting your online shopping trip to save time and money.
6. Referral Program
Honey Gold has a decent referral program that lets you earn Gold for inviting new members to join Honey.
The referral process is straightforward. You invite your friends via email or social media with your unique referral code. Once your referral earns their first bit of Honey Gold through an eligible purchase, you earn 500 Gold, which is worth around $5 depending on which country you redeem gift cards for.
Invitations never expire, and you can refer up to 200 users for a total of $1,000 in Gold. It generally takes 60 days for your referral’s Honey Gold purchase to credit, so remember to be patient with your referral earnings.
7. Amazon Best Price
Honey members can’t earn Gold by shopping on Amazon. However, Honey is still an incredible way to save money the next time you buy something there.
Honey has numerous Amazon-specific features that make it easy to find the best deals. Most notably, the Honey browser extension works as an Amazon price checker and compares prices between thousands of sellers. Honey even factors in shipping rates and Amazon Prime discounts.
Furthermore, the extension has price history data for Amazon products. Honey collects price data from every Honey member, and this feature makes it easier to spot price trends and to avoid buying at the peak price.
Finally, although you can’t earn Gold, automatic coupons at checkout and Honey’s Droplist feature still work for Amazon products. If you do most of your online shopping at Amazon, installing Honey is a wise move.
8. Honey Smart Shopping Assistant
Honey’s app works slightly differently than its browser extension. The app is a catalog of millions of items from hundreds of stores. It organizes the latest deals and trending items in a central shopping portal. The app lets you add items to a single cart even if they’re from different stores.
The app has a pop-up notification if the retailer you’re shopping at has available coupons. You need to copy and paste coupon codes into the checkout field with the mobile app, so it’s a bit more tedious than the browser extension. However, Honey can apply coupon codes automatically to some retailers, so it’s not always a manual process.
Honey’s app also rewards Gold on eligible purchases and lets you add products to your Droplist. Overall, the Honey app is perfect for anyone who frequently shops on their smartphone and is a nice addition to Honey’s web platform.
9. Honey Tips
A recent addition to Honey’s platform is Honey Tips, which help you make more informed buying decisions.
Like Honey’s coupon codes, tips can pop up while you’re shopping to give you advice on products you’re considering purchasing. For example, if you’re on Amazon, Honey might inform you the product you’re viewing is at a historically low price and it’s the right time to buy.
This feature is only available for U.S. users. However, it’s reassuring that Honey is continuing to expand its platform to help buyers make better decisions and maximize their savings.
Advantages of Honey
Honey is one of the leading shopping extensions out there, and it’s for good reason. The sheer number of features gives shoppers more opportunities to save money and find deals. Other notable advantages of Honey include:
- Mostly Automatic. Honey’s main features, like applying coupon codes at checkout or earning cash back through Honey Gold, are almost completely automatic. Other than having to click the extension to apply coupons or activate cash back, users don’t have to do anything to find or qualify for these offers.
- Reward Variety. You can’t redeem Honey Gold for PayPal money. But the platform has an extensive list of gift card rewards for popular retailers.
- International Support. Honey works with online stores in several countries and also has gift card rewards for a dozen countries.
- Generous Referral Program. You can earn up to $1,000 in Honey Gold for referring your friends.
Disadvantages of Honey
Despite the ease of use and multiple ways to save money, Honey isn’t without some drawbacks:
- Coupons Don’t Always Work. Coupons are the main way to save money with Honey, but codes don’t always work. This is the nature of coupon websites like Honey and RetailMeNot, but it’s a downside because you don’t always save.
- Honey Gold Is Sometimes Finicky. Many retailers have Gold exclusions. Common examples of exclusions include gift card purchases or sale items, and a retailer can also mark certain categories as exclusions. Furthermore, Honey Gold can interfere with other extensions like Rakuten, so it’s important to disable all shopping extensions except the one you want to earn rewards with.
- No Cash Rewards. Earning free gift cards with Honey Gold is great if you find retailers you shop at frequently. But a lack of PayPal rewards or check payments is a downside if you just want to earn cash for shopping.
How Honey Stacks Up
Honey is one of the best coupon and deal-finder tools if you’re shopping online. And it’s international support is fairly unique in the world of shopping extensions.
But Honey isn’t the only popular shopping extension out there. And if you do most of your shopping at U.S. online retailers, you might be better off using Capital One Shopping to snag deals.
Here’s how Honey compares versus Capital One Shopping:
|Honey||Capital One Shopping|
|Available Countries||Australia, Canada, United States, United Kingdom, and many stores with international shopping support||United States|
|Automatic Coupon Codes||Yes||Yes|
|Rewards||Free gift cards||Free gift cards|
|Reward Redemption Minimum||Approximately $10||$5|
|Mobile App||Android and iOS||Android and iOS|
Honey has superior retailer coverage compared to Capital One Shopping, and it has international support. Plus, Honey has a lucrative referral program, whereas Capital One Shopping doesn’t have one.
That said, Capital One Shopping lets you earn free gift cards for online purchases and by completing local in-person offers. You have to link your credit or debit card to Capital One Shopping to complete local offers, but this offers more flexibility to earn rewards.
The bottom line is both extensions are worth using. You can also compare reward rates between each company before shopping to see if one platform helps you save more than the other. Just remember to toggle off all your shopping extensions except the one you want to earn rewards with to prevent extensions from conflicting with one another.
Honey has evolved quite a bit over the years. Automatic coupons are still the core of Honey, but features like Honey Gold, Droplist, and in-depth Amazon price data truly make this a robust platform. Plus, with the Honey Smart Shopping Assistant mobile app, it’s easy to save money when shopping on both your computer or smartphone.
Since Honey is a free shopping extension, there’s no harm in installing Honey to see how much money it saves you. Because Honey is mostly passive, it doesn’t matter if you’re a frequent online shopper or only shop occasionally.
And remember: Honey is just one tool you can use to find deals and save. You can also use tactics like shopping with a cash-back credit card and following a tight monthly budget to maximize your savings.
- Automatic savings
- Earn free gift cards
- International coverage
- No savings guarantees
- No cash rewards