6 best rewards apps for students on a tight budget

6 best rewards apps for students on a tight budget

So the other day I was taking a study break—which typically involves scrolling through my timelines for a good laugh or two—and I came across an ad for a rewards app. I clicked the link and it took me to an app that rewards you for shopping; I couldn’t believe it. I used to do a ton of shopping when I was in high school, but now that I’m in college on a tight budget, I only shop for the essentials—books, a book bag to carry my books, oh, and food to eat so that I’m strong enough to carry those books. 

But all jokes aside, discovering a rewards app for students on a tight budget was the best thing to happen to me since acing my bio exam! I was so excited that I started to look up how many other apps were out there that can help students like me. Luckily for all of you, I’ve listed my top six because I couldn’t choose just five. I did, however, try to make sure I included a few different types of apps to get a little something in there for everybody. Check them out. 

The 6 Best Rewards Apps for Students, In My Opinion

1. Shopkick

So this first app on my list is the one that I mentioned earlier—the one that started this whole list thing. And if you can probably already tell, it’s my favorite. It’s an app called Shopkick, and it gives you rewards for literally going shopping. How Shopkick works is that you download it on your phone and then you get points, which it calls “kicks,” for doing stuff like walking into stores and making your purchases. You can even earn kicks without having to go to a physical store by watching videos and shopping through the app. You can then trade your kicks in for gift cards, which are just as good as cash. I also really like Shopkick, because it turns every shopping trip into a fun scavenger hunt for kicks. Now when I take a study break I’ve switched it up and I scroll through the Shopkick app to see how many kicks I can earn.

2. BookScouter

I know I joked earlier about books taking over my budget, but they seriously do! It seems like books in college cost way more than they should but they’re a necessity that I can’t avoid—trust me, I’ve tried. Thankfully, I discovered an app that can help us college students spend less money on books. BookScouter is this super dope app that you can use it to find the places that give you awesome value on your books. It works both ways, too, because I can use it to find places (usually online) where I can purchase books at really low prices and then I can use it again later when the semester is over to find the places that are paying the best prices when it’s time to sell my books back. It’s usually just a few bucks here and there, but when your budget is as tight as mine, every dollar counts.

3. Google Opinion Rewards

The first time I heard about Google Opinion Rewards, I was kind of like, “Nah, I’m good.” It’s because the way this app works is that you have to earn your rewards by answering questions. I mean, I’m all about earning rewards but I wasn’t too thrilled with having to answer a bunch of questions to do so. But then I gave this app a try, and, I have to be straight up about it, I didn’t really mind it at all. One of the reasons I like it is because I didn’t have to spend a lot of time answering the survey questions; they were pretty short. In exchange, the app gave me Google Play credit, which I can use to buy other apps and games in the Google store. This is perfect for me because I love a good photo editing app and the good ones usually aren’t free. 

4. iPoll

This next app is called iPoll and it’s a lot like Google Opinion Rewards, but the big difference is that instead of getting Google Play Credits, you can gift cards for answering questions about things you’ve bought or places you’ve visited. You do you, and you get gift cards for it. Easy. I also like that you can take more surveys on the iPoll website so you don’t have to use up the battery life on your phone. This app is a little bit more limited than Google Opinion Rewards in terms of when you can take the surveys to earn your gift cards, but you can set it to send you alerts on your phone to let you know whenever there’s a new survey available. 

5. Foap

This next app is pretty cool for the picture-taking enthusiasts out there. While I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a photographer, I do happen to love playing around with filters and taking and editing photos on my phone. I typically upload my favorite photos to Instagram but when I discovered Foap, I started uploading my photos and videos there too. Foap is for creators to sell their content, which is a big mood right now, to be honest. I’m more than happy to sell some of the pictures and videos I’ve been taking with my phone. The way Foap works is that you upload videos and photos, and if a brand wants to use it for their own content, you get paid for it. How much? It depends. But note that whatever price you charge, you have to split the profit with Foap.  

6. Sweatcoin

If taking polls or snapping pics isn’t your thing, you should be able to relate to this next app. Sweatcoin rewards you for walking. That’s right! You can earn rewards for working out or for simply walking across campus from class to class. If you walk enough, you get what the app calls sweat coins, and then you can trade them in for health stuff like energy drinks, health bars, running shoes, and even some digital wearables like watches. Everyone always talks about ways to avoid the dreaded “Freshman 15”—using Sweatcoin is definitely one of those ways.

So there you have it, the best six rewards apps for students on a tight budget—some help you earn while others help you save. I know you might not have time to try them all so if you had to choose one, I’d definitely recommend the one that started this all for me: Shopkick. Let’s face it, you have to shop for the things you need so why not have fun and get rewarded while you do it?  
It’s time to get your kicks! Shopkick makes shopping a rewarding experience even for college students on a tight budget. Download the app today!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shopkick

Shopkick is the fun and easy way to earn free gift cards for the shopping you already do. Download the app now!

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Apu Battan

VP of User Growth

Apu Battan is the VP of User Growth at Shopkick.

Apu is first and foremost an analytics leader, with close to 15 years of experience in helping to make decisions through the objective lens of data. Apu has always been a strong advocate for Shopkick’s most valuable customer — the user. He is passionate about acquiring the right users for our business, delighting them with the best product experience, and growing them into loyal, high-value users in the long term. Prior to Shopkick, Apu served as an Analytics Leader at Intuit for close to six years, and at Netflix, Electronic Arts, and Microsoft before that. 

Apu holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Birla Institute of Technology and Science,  and a master’s degree in integrated manufacturing and systems engineering from North Carolina State University, Raleigh.