I’ve been a dedicated shopper since I was a teenager. Okay, so maybe dedicated is just a nice way of saying that when I was in high school, I wanted to spend as much time as I possibly could at my favorite stores, looking at new tops, trying on jeans, and chatting with the sales associates about which season I am (I’m an Autumn, BTW).
It’s hard to imagine now that I have kiddos and a career, but I spent a lot of time at malls, often just to be seen and hang out. My girlfriends and I would start most weekends with our regular Friday trip to the food court, then we’d hit up American Eagle, Forever 21, PacSun—you know, the teen classics. Occasionally we’d buy something. but usually we’d just browse—that was the joy of shopping! A joy that has now become a lifelong dedication to having fun while I survey the racks—although not nearly as often as I used to.
These days, while I still like to get together with my BFFs and go for a Sunday browse through the mall, my shopping sidekick is usually my smartphone, a few favorite apps, and a toddler. If someone would have said to my teenage self, “Someday, there will be iPhone and Android apps that pay you money to shop your favorite stores,” first, I would have asked, “What’s an Android?” But, once I wrapped my head around the future of technology, I would have said, “Pinch me, I must be dreaming!”
I mean, getting paid to go to stores I love to go to anyway…could there be anything better? In my opinion, not really—except maybe sharing my three favorite free iPhone and Android apps that pay money with you, so we can all spend more time out in the stores having fun and earning rewards together! Before I get started with my list, though, maybe you should pinch yourself so you know you’re not dreaming!
Receipt Hog: An Easy iPhone and Android App That Pays
I was drawn to this app right away because of the name. I pictured a cute little pig carrying a purse brimming with receipts, trying to collect as many as she can. That’s not exactly how this apps works, although gathering receipts is part of it. You don’t have to hold onto them and keep them all to yourself, though.
Instead, like all my favorite shopping rewards apps, you can use Receipt Hog when you go out shopping with your ladies. All you have to do is take a photo of your receipt after making a purchase. It could be for groceries, new clothes, makeup at Target, light bulbs at Home Depot—everything is eligible.
Also, like all the best free shopping apps that pay, this one makes earning rewards fun. After you take a picture of your receipts, you get to take a paid survey or play a cool little slot machine game for prizes or coins. These are then traded in for cash or Amazon gift cards. Fun and easy!
Ebates: Get Paid Money From an iPhone or Android App
The name for this one makes me think back to my shopping days in high school, specifically to the times that my friends and I couldn’t find something we wanted at our favorite stores so we had to fire up AOL and look online instead. When we still couldn’t find something at a traditional web store, we looked for it on eBay!
Except for the name—Ebates—this app doesn’t have much in common with eBay, but my ladies and I like to use it just as much. With Ebates, you can get up to 25 percent cash back on things you buy from your favorite stores. Oh, and, coincidentally, you can also get cash back on some eBay purchases, too! I guess I’m not the only one who thinks about eBay when she hears Ebates.
Shopkick: The Best iPhone and Android App That Pays You Money to Shop
The name Shopkick makes me think about myself out shopping, wearing a karate suit and kicking items into my cart as I go like some kind of shopping ninja. Shopkick is another great iPhone and Android app that pays you money to shop at your favorite stores—and even pays you to grocery shop.
It’s a little different than the other two I like to use, though. With my other two apps, the rewards only add up once I’ve made a purchase (or ten). With Shopkick, I get points (called kicks, hi-ya!) for the shopping activities I do every day, like walking into my favorite stores, scanning barcodes of featured items, and, of course, buying and trying out new brands and products. It’s my high school self’s dream come true!
Here’s a pro tip if you just can’t decide which app to pick: you can use multiple rebate apps to maximize rewards. For example, I like to use Shopkick while I’m in the store, racking up points that I can cash in for gift cards later. Then, when I get home, I like to take pictures of my receipts and double my rewards by claiming them both on Shopkick and Receipt Hog. It’s a win-win!
I might be dating myself but, when I was in high school, spending hours looking at every rack in Forever 21, apps weren’t quite yet a thing. Little did I realize then that iPhone and Android apps that pay you money to shop at your favorite stores would become a reality, one that would help me take my shopping game to the next level.
It’s a lot of fun to use these apps, too. Shopkick is my favorite, though, because you can literally earn rewards for shopping anytime, anywhere; it turns every trip to the store into a little scavenger hunt for points. It also has a really active social networking scene; you can go on Shopkick’s Facebook page to share tips about shopping or other daily mom stuff (like what the heck to feed your picky eaters). In fact, I’ve never thought about this before, but it feels a little bit like it used to back in the day hanging out at the mall with my girls!
Ready to explore the best iPhone and Android apps that pay you money for shopping—and have fun doing it? Download Shopkick for free and join a community of loyal Shopkickers who’ve already discovered the rewards of shopping with us.
Image courtesy monkeybusinessimages