What a revolutionary concept — get paid for shopping. No, not with the companies that hire you to be a “secret shopper,” but using apps and websites that pay you in gift cards and freebies just for signing up and doing your regular shopping, for the holidays or year-round. Here are five free apps and websites to check out before the check-out line:
- Smoopa rewards you for submitting a bargain price you spot on your shopping travels, which can be added to apps that provide comparison pricing, such as RedLaser. The more you share, the more points you accumulate, which you can redeem as cash via Paypal.
- Shopkick rewards you with points – called “kicks” – for walking into a store, even if you don’t buy anything, or scanning the barcodes of specific partner brands. Your kicks generate a gift card to spend or to redeem for a specific product in a specific store. Benefits include Macy’s, Old Navy, Crate & Barrel and Exxon/Mobil.
- CheckPoints works similarly, but is weighted toward grocery and pharmacy chains including Albertson’s, RiteAid and CVS.
- Points2Shop is an online program that rewards you with points or cash you can turn into prizes like household products, tablet computers, smartphones, iPods, toys, concert tickets and gift cards. You earn points or cash by completing surveys or offers, watching videos, playing games, etc.
- FieldAgent is another app that requires you to do more than just walking around with your smartphone in your pocket. You get instructions of what to do — such as snap a photo of a particular product in a particular store — to qualify for points. Each “mission” is worth $2 to $12, depending on its complexity.
As I’ve said before and often, it takes time to save money. These apps and websites can help you do both.