Paribus is a very interesting app for online shoppers. The platform allows its users to take advantage of numerous refund and discount policies at major retailers and is almost totally effortless. Paribus is owned by Capital One (the massive credit card company/bank).
Best of all, Paribus is totally free.
There are a lot of programs out there offered by retailers that most consumers simply don’t know about.
Even if a consumer educates themselves, staying on top of the rebates and discounts that they are entitled to is a lot of work. Add to that the trouble in actually filing the necessary forms to receive the money from the retailer, and it is easy to understand why these programs are so seldom used.
Paribus is specifically designed to interface with some of the most popular online retailers (in the USA), and all of the accounts that it needs access to in order to do its job.
The platform is almost totally effortless, which means that it needs to have unfettered access to all of your retail accounts, your email, and perhaps even your bank account.
That last part sounds a little freaky, no?
If the idea of turning over the keys to your kingdom to an app that doesn’t guarantee you anything sounds a little off, you wouldn’t be the first person to think so. Keep in mind that Paribus is owned by one of the largest credit providers in the USA and bravely follow me a little further!
Please Note: Paribus compensates us when you sign up for Paribus using the links provided
What is Paribus?
Paribus is almost certainly 100% on the up-and-up and if you shop online a lot, it could really be a big help. Have you ever bought an item, only to find it advertised a week later by the same retailer at a lower price?
Well, Paribus is specifically designed to eliminate this problem.
Most major retailers have programs that will refund the difference between the purchase price of an item, and its discounted price within a specified amount of time.
You probably remember seeing an item at a cheaper price after you bought it, but you may have missed others because you simply weren’t paying attention.
How Paribus Works
Paribus is like a very well informed retail assistant that never sleeps, knows all the rules, and is constantly pouring through your purchases to find out if a retailer owes you money.
It might seem a little creepy that the app needs so much access to your accounts at first, but once you start getting money back from online retailers like Walmart, Paribus will probably start to grow on you.
Not only does Paribus know all the rules, but it will also apply for all the rebates and discounts for you. All you have to do is set up the app, and it will do the rest.
Let’s say you buy a new laptop from an online retailer, and a week later it is discounted by $100. Not only did you pay more, but it was also delayed when the company shipped it to you.
Did you know that you could receive that $100 difference in cash, and also a payment for the delayed shipment?
You might not know the exact policies of the online retailers you use, but Paribus does.
When Paribus sees that there was a price drop on the laptop you bought, and a shipping delay, it will spring into action. You could wake up with an email telling you that there is $100+ coming your way, and you didn’t have to do anything more than choose to use Paribus!
Is Paribus Legit?
If you are worried that Paribus is out to scam you, it isn’t going to happen. It is easy to see why some people might be nervous about giving an app so much information, and also the ability to read through their email, bank records as well as their shopping accounts online.
The fact that Paribus is free may also seem suspicious, but it is all good!
Paribus uses advanced security to make sure your data stays safe.
According to the company, “Data is transmitted securely via SSL (TLS 1.2) bank-grade encryption. Any sensitive information stored is encrypted using AES-256.”
Additionally, you can take some steps to make sure your online life is insulated from the ‘real’ world.
Is Paribus Safe?
Whether or not you plan to use Paribus, pay attention to this section.
You might think that shopping online is safe, but there are always risks. It is true that a person can recover from identity theft, but it takes time and will be a lot of hassle.
The same precautions that you can use to isolate Paribus could (and should) be used online by any shopper, so the maximum level of safety is achieved. If you have a single bank account you use for everything, you are playing a very dangerous game.
It is very easy for your personal security to be compromised online. It is impossible to say what a bad actor could do with your information, but it won’t be good.
Staying Safe with Paribus
Let’s start with more than one bank account. If you like to shop online or have a debit card you use for purchases over the internet, it would be a good idea to have a dedicated bank account for your online activities.
Any losses that do occur due to data theft would be limited to the amount of money you store in your specialty designated online bank account, and it could also be used for Paribus. The same thing goes for email.
Paribus is set up to work with Gmail, Yahoo or Microsoft, as the company needs to keep all the data super secure. You can set up a special email account that you only use for online shopping, or anything related to it.
Are you starting to see the picture?
Using isolated accounts for all of your online shopping means there is very little damage that hackers (or an app gone mad) could do to your financial life. If you plan to use Paribus, go ahead and get a Capital One credit card. Should the app goes rogue, you can just tell Capital One they need to get a handle on their product!
Seriously, if you look around for negative reviews of Paribus, you will find people complaining they didn’t get any money back. Paribus doesn’t guarantee anyone any money, nor is it a magic money pot. It can only claim money from retailers when they owe you, which is well beyond the control of the app.
Paribus Sounds Cool, How do I Sign Up?
Using Paribus to claim any money that you might be owed is pretty simple. All you have to do is register with the email address you use for online shopping (or the one you just set up, so you are super safe online) and follow the instructions on how to complete the process.
Here is what Paribus has to say about their access to your data:
“When you sign up for Paribus, you’ll notice a blanket of permissions that we ask for. Of those, you’ll see the ability to “Read, write and delete e-mails”. Please understand however that Paribus will not delete your personal e-mails. This ability is just a part of those blanketed permissions that your e-mail provider believes third party apps need in order to operate properly.
We ask for the ability to read e-mails due to Paribus identifying your recent purchases through the shipping confirmation e-mails you receive from the merchants we monitor. We have web hooks in place so that we only scrape for purchase related e-mails from those merchants we monitor.
We ask for the ability to send e-mails so that we can contact retailers on your behalf when we find a price adjustment for you. Unfortunately, we would not be able to get those price adjustments if we sent those requests from a Paribus e-mail, as we did not make the order.”
So there you have it. Paribus needs wide-ranging permission to access all sorts of sensitive data, so it can claim money on your behalf from some of the biggest names in online shopping.
Which Retailers does Paribus Work With?
Here is a list of online retailers that Paribus works with:
- Best Buy
- Target – you have to call Target to get your refund, but Paribus is looking for it
- Old Navy
- Walmart – Paribus will look for late shipping and price drops
- L.L. Bean
- Office Depot
- Neiman Marcus
- Saks Fifth Avenue
- Home Depot
- Banana Republic
- Crate & Barrel
- Bed Bath & Beyond
I should be pretty obvious that if you like to shop at any of these online retailers, Paribus would be a very handy app. The fact that it is free is a big plus, as it used to charge 25% of the claimed money as its fee.
Paribus Pays You Directly
Paribus makes receiving payments incredibly easy. All you have to do is give it the bank account information for the rebates, and it will send the money to you.
There are no charges or fees associated with the transaction, and it is generally sent as soon as the retailer issues the refund. You will also receive an email from Paribus about what item is being rebated, and why you were owed money.
Best of all, there is no minimum amount for a rebate, which means as soon as Paribus spots some money you are owed, it will get you paid.
Paribus is a part of a growing suite of apps that can help you optimize your financial life. If you would like to maximize every dollar you spend, check out these other apps that can help you save money, or budget better.
Most people ignore money until they are a decade away from wanting to retire, and that is silly. Today, there are numerous ways for younger people to take advantage of all the new technology and connectivity we have and make better use of whatever financial resources they have!
Digit has a very simple purpose; help people save more effectively. Unlike some platforms that use ‘dumb’ budgeting, Digit has algorithms that see where you have excess money and will save it automatically. Once the money is set aside, you can do just about anything you want with it.
Read: Our Review of Digit
Some people use Digit to save up for a big ticket item, or vacation, but it would also be perfect for diverting money to a brokerage account at a robo-adviser. On the downside, Digit will cost you $2.99 a month after the first month, which is free.
For people who are earning enough money to save, Digit will probably pay for itself once the money you save starts making returns. Compound interest is an amazing force in personal finance, but you have to save money to begin with.
Shopkick is another specialty platform for people that love to shop. Unlike Paribus, Shopkick is aimed at people who like to shop in person, not online. In some ways joining Shopkick is like signing up to by a mystery shopper. Once you are on the platform, Shopkick will let you know if there are ‘assignments’ you can complete.
Most of the time you will be asked to go to a popular retail store, and do something. It might be scanning an item with your phone or a task along those lines. Once you complete the task, you will be credited with a ‘kick’. Save up enough kicks, and you can get great free gift cards!
Think about Shopkick like getting paid to go to a store you might need to stop at anyway. Needless to say, Shopkick has a loyal group of members. Since its inception in 2009, Shopkick has given away more than $80 million in rewards.
Best of all, Shopkick is 100% free. Almost anyone can take advantage of the platform, and earn some great free stuff!
While Paribus looks for ways to get you back money after a purchase is made, Ebates does its work at the time of sale. With connections at more than 2,500 stores, there is a good chance that Ebates could save you some money every month.
Like Paribus and Shopkick, Ebates is easy to join and completely free. Ebates has been in business for more than two decades and has created more than $1 billion dollars in savings during that time for its members. The platform works with both brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers, and it is very simple to use.
Once you join, you will be able to track where you are getting cash-back, and how much you have saved. Ebates makes money by splitting any cash-back its members receive, which has been a great business model for the company.
Paribus fills in a niche in your personal finances and could be worth adding to your suite of money saving (money making) apps.
Keeping track of discounts and rebates is a real hassle, but not anymore. You can use all of the apps mentioned in this article to fill in any gaps in your personal financial plan and make sure you get the most from every dollar you spend.
Once you see how much money that these apps can put back into your pocket, you might wonder why all your friends aren’t using them to save money every month. The more you save, the more you can invest, which is the way anyone gets ahead financially.
As described above, it is a good idea to have bank accounts and an email address specifically for your online shopping. It will make it easy for Paribus to do its job, and make sure you get all the money you can.