These days, there are lots of applications out there that do amazing things, but one of the best ways that you can use your smartphone is to save money.
But the problem is that there are lots of different applications out there that claim to save you money and you have to be discerning as to which one to choose. Some of them are downright scams and offer you nothing but a bunch of ads every time you try to use it, others are biased and try to steer your choices towards a particular product.
Then there are poor substitutes and clones of decent applications that you should simply avoid installing the first place in favor of the actual applications that they are trying to copy.
With all that in mind, how do you choose the best coupon applications?
The first thing is to understand that there are different applications for different groups of products or services. One coupon app might help you save money on groceries while the other only offers discounted prices when you decide to eat out, go on vacation or decide to have a day at the spa.
With all that in mind, we have come up with the 10 best coupon applications currently available. All of these are available for at least android and iOS, and some of them are available for other platforms as well.
Read on for the top coupon apps for the USA, at the bottom we have also listed our picks for the UK.
Shopkick is not so much of a coupon application as it is a rewards app. It saves you money at the stores that you shop at the most by allowing you to earn rewards points that they call kicks.
You can earn at both brick-and-mortar stores and by shopping online, and you can collect your kicks until you have accumulated enough of them to be able to trade them for a gift card to major retailers like Walmart or Amazon.
So, basically you get money towards gift cards by doing the same shopping that you would’ve done anyway. They do this by partnering with some of the largest chain stores that you probably already shop at.
You can earn six by visiting the stores, scanning the barcodes of items within the stores or by buying items. You can even earn kicks when you are not at the store by watching videos and viewing products on the store’s website.
Another great app is Spent, and the nice thing about this is that you don’t have to present any sort of coupon in order to get the rewards and discounts.
You just link your debit or credit card to the app and you will accumulate cash back when you use your card at places like Starbucks, Huber and even online shopping at Amazon.
The way that they justify the cash back is by you allowing them to track your spending for market research. This doesn’t affect how you shop or how you spend your money.
Amazon is a particularly great place to use this app as prime members get 1% cash back on any current purchases that are listed on prime as well as past purchases retroactive before you installed the application.
This one works in the background to give you cash back rewards, so you may as well have it installed.
Honey is a terrific idea for an app and one of the most innovative applications to come out of the coupon sector in a while.
What Honey does is simply fill-in promo codes that it finds online whenever you do your shopping. For example, did you know that it is almost always possible to enter a coupon code at places like Papa John’s and get at least 30% off of your order?
Before this application came along, lots of people are paying full price for their pizza orders that didn’t have to. The nice thing is, even if you usually look for discount codes and Promo codes, it can kind of be a pain to do it every time and this application does all the work for you instead.
This is another great app for Amazon as well because it shows you the lowest possible prices on that site.
RetailMeNot is a website and mobile app that lists promo codes from hundreds – and perhaps thousands – of different major brands.
People enter promo codes when they come across them and then vote when they are able to use them or not. This way, the promo codes that work most often are automatically sorted to the top of the screen for you to use at a particular restaurant, store or online retailer.
A single month of searching for promo codes on this website and adding them to the checkout page whenever you shop online could end up saving you hundreds of dollars. That’s how significant the discounts are.
Once you find the promo code and copy it, then the app or website will automatically open a page on the retail website that you want so that you can enter the code easily; this makes it simple and easy-to-use.
Groupon offers more of a specialized type of service. It is a place to find big discounts that you purchase upfront. For example, if you know that you are going to be eating at a certain restaurant next week, then you might want to go on group on and see what kind of deals they are offering.
What if you could purchase a $50 gift certificate at that very restaurant for just $25 today? It is very quick and easy to pay with your group on gift card and it retains the cash value that you spent.
That means that even if your coupon points expire and you’re not able to use your gift card, you can still redeem it for the cash value that you paid for.
Groupon offers all kinds of different discounts from spa services to restaurants to full day passes at resorts and amusement parks.
CouponSherpa is one of the coupon applications it has actually been around for quite a while. Basically, it is a huge mecca for printable coupons that you can use at all kinds of different stores.
You’ll be able to search depending upon your particular region and it contains printable coupons that will work in department stores, mall stores, specialty retailers, restaurants, grocery stores and more.
However, the company has long since expanded past their beginnings as a printable coupon warehouse. They now have tons of deals and coupon codes from those same stores.
You can go with printed coupons, Promo codes or a combination of both that save you the most amount of money.
If you want to turn your paper coupons into digital ones, there is also an application called SnipSnap that will allow you to digitize paper coupons to make them easier to use.
GroceryIQ can help you do your shopping better. The real strength in this act lies in the fact that it is able to coordinate grocery shopping between all members of the household.
For example, you can build a shopping list that everyone can contribute to and then searched for coupons for those items. You can even add your stores loyalty card and make sure that everyone has the same grocery list and crosses items off when they buy them.
Someone can add an item to the grocery list at the very last second at home while the person at the store picks up the item because they received an alert about a new item added to the list.
Being able to coordinate shopping among all members of the household is great, but being able to save money on those items is what really makes this app something special.
Ibotta is probably the best grocery store coupon application in the world. All you do is compare this app with the grocery items that are on your list and find coupons that that your needs.
Then you can go to your grocery store and buy the items that you were going to get anyway, save the receipt and then once you get home you can open up the app again and redeem those coupons by scanning the barcode on your receipt.
You get credit for the purchase usually within a few minutes but sometimes as long as a single day and once you have reached their $20 threshold you can cash out directly to PayPal.
If you love getting significant amounts of real money on the items that you were going to buy anyway, then you definitely need to check out this application. It is one of the best out there for shopping for groceries.
Walmart Savings Catcher & Others
Some of the stores out there have their own applications that you might want to use to get deals. This is the same with restaurants as well.
For example, McDonald’s as an application that you can check for terrific deals before you go there for lunch. A lot of times you can get buy one get one sandwiches in deep discounts on what you are going to spend money on anyway.
Walmart has a terrific app called the Walmart Savings Catcher and Target has one as well. With Walmart, you can compare prices with other stores after you’re finished shopping and you will get a cash reward if another store charged a lower price than you paid at Walmart.
Targets application is called the Target Cartwheel and it is an in-store coupon app that allows you to save between 5% and 50% on discounted items after you activate the offers. It is a simple scan of the barcode on the app to get the additional savings at the register.
Ebates is one of the oldest and most reliable coupon applications and websites out there. It is a lot more than just a coupon application.
Ebates gives you a small percentage back for your entire purchase. This could be as much as 40% depending on the retailer. However, it is usually somewhere around 3% to 5%.
There are more than 2000 online retailers including some of the biggest stores out there like Macy’s, Lowe’s, Walmart and JCPenney that are partnered with Ebates and you get additional cash back when you link your credit card to your Ebates account.
You also get cash back at stores when you shop in person. You get your rewards quarterly paid by check and sent to you by mail as soon as you have at least five dollars earned. Ebates is completely free to join and should definitely be on everyone’s phone.
Coupon Apps in the UK
Here are our two picks for people shopping in the UK – the two most popular apps for saving money and earning cashback on your purchases.
The bottom line is that there are lots of great coupon apps out there. The ones that were listed here are definitely the 10 best, but they are changing all the time so you need to do your research and keep up with what is going on in the world of coupon applications.
If you can install a coupon app on your phone that gives you cash back or cash rewards without you having to do very much work for it than there is no reason not to have it. Sure you might be providing a little more information for retailers to adjust their marketing strategies, but at least you are being compensated for it.
Download the applications that we have discussed here or go take a look at their websites and see what you think.
Obviously, having too many coupon apps on your phone isn’t going to work out very well. You have to pick a few that you will be able to keep up on and manage.
The more you have that require very little maintenance, the more you can have that require some work to be able to earn money from them.
This is also just the beginning when it comes to coupon applications. Stores that are not currently participating are certain to purchase be in the future once they see business going elsewhere because they have a coupon.