How To Scan Receipts for Money

October 1, 2023

There are many cash back apps available that let you scan receipts for money. With these apps, customers can purchase products and earn cash or points once the operation is confirmed. If you want to learn how to scan receipts for money, one common method is to scan the receipt using your phone’s camera. Some cash back apps like Ibotta also require their offers to be ‘activated’ before purchase and others pay a percentage of the receipt total. Choosing the right app depends on your shopping habits and the amount of effort you wish to put in to increase your balance. We recommend using Fetch Rewards as it’s the easiest way to earn cash back without complicated processes. If you want to start scanning receipts for rewards, Fetch gives you points for every valid receipt you upload.

Saving money on your everyday shopping is a simple yet powerful way to take care of your finances. Besides loyalty rewards and cash back credit cards, you can also earn money on your purchases by using receipt-scanning apps like Ibotta and Fetch. If this is new to you, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, we’ll explain how to scan receipts for money and which are the most popular receipt-scanning apps out there.

What Are Receipt-Scanning Apps?

Receipt scanning apps ar mobile applications that pay you to scan and upload receipts of your everyday purchases. They are a partnership between the app company and the retailers and brands they promote. Using purchasing history and shopping data gathered through their app, they can provide personal and non-personal information to retailers to help them target their advertising more effectively, build customer loyalty, and reduce their costs of customer acquisition. The app companies earn commissions on sales, referral fees, and advertising revenue, some of which they share with the customer in the form of cash back. 

How Do They Work?

Primarily aimed at everyday grocery shopping, these apps offer cash back in several ways, as outlined below.

  • A percentage of the whole receipt. For example, Ibotta offers up to 30% cash back on the full value of the receipt at participating retailers.
  • A dollar cash back amount on specific branded or non-branded items: Checkout 51 has this offer for Neutrogena products.
  • Referral programs. For example, Fetch offers 4,000 points ($4 cash equivalent) when you refer a friend, and gives your referral a 2,000 points bonus.
How To Scan Receipts for Money
  • Bonus offers, games, and rewards. For example, Receipt Hog rewards extra coins to winners of a slot game.
  • Money-off coupons at the point of purchase. For example, the Krazy Coupon Lady has an offer for $1 off wipes.
  • Points for just visiting a participating retailer. For example, shopkick offers ‘walk-in Kicks’ for registering entries to certain retailers through Bluetooth.

What’s In It For The Company?

By participating in a cash back app rewards program, you as a consumer have an opportunity to earn cash and gift cards. In return, the cash back app will share certain non-identifiable information about your demographic variables and shopping habits with its partners as a part of a market research program. 

How Do I Get My Money?

While the minimum cash-out balance varies dramatically from 1 cent to $20, cash back is redeemed in different ways, depending on the particular app. Some options include:

  • PayPal
  • Bank transfers
  • Gift cards
  • Check
  • Instant money off

Receipt Scanning Apps Features

Apps have become entertainment with attractive features like the ones shown below.

  • Receipt Jar has a Shakes & Golden Shakes game. It lets you earn money simply by shaking the phone up and down.
How To Scan Receipts for Money
  • Receipt Hog has regular sweepstakes to win extra coins.
  • Shopkick rewards members with Kicks by scanning the barcode of specific items.
  • Ibotta is one of several apps that allow customers to check and track the price of goods.
How To Scan Receipts for Money
  • Dosh offers discounts on hotel rooms.
How To Scan Receipts for Money

How To Choose A Receipt Scanning App

Apps need to be easy for shoppers to use and provide helpful information. Some features a potential user should look for are:

#1 Potential Earnings

Ibotta is largely considered to offer the highest potential earnings with many ways to earn cash back. However, users need a lot of effort to achieve those earnings. These are some ways a shopper can earn cash back with Ibotta:

  • A dollar amount for a grocery receipt.
  • Cash amount on a branded item.
  • Percentage amount on a total purchase.
  • Refer a friend bonus.
  • New member welcome bonus.
  • Streak bonuses on redemption of consecutive offers.
  • Themed bonuses like special Christmas offers.

Keeping track of these earning streams will take considerable time and effort.

#2 Interactivity

All the receipt-scanning apps and websites are sophisticated with bright graphics and easy-to-navigate screens. The receipt scanning function is relatively simple and the apps are generally simple to use. To distinguish themselves, the apps need something extra. Some apps encourage bargain sharing on social media, while others have detailed and interesting blog posts on savings and lifestyles or in-app games.

#3 Ease of use

Receiving cash back for receipt scanning requires some effort from the consumer. Most apps require offers to be activated before the purchase and the receipt to be scanned within a strict time limit.

There are also other rules to follow. The receipt must show specific information like the store name, itemized list, and total amount, and be clear and legible. Most apps will not accept damaged or unclear receipts because of the possibility of fraud. Many apps have (and continue to develop) streamlined the process, so some receipts don’t need to be scanned at all. This can be done by linking payment and loyalty cards to confirm the purchase electronically. It’s safe to say that these apps will continue to become easier to use as time goes on.

#4 Other factors 

Some apps focus on a particular market to entice consumers to use their app. Upside, for example, offers a range of grocery and everyday cash back offers, but their main focus is on scanning receipts from gas purchases. Alongside that, they offer lots of price information about local gas stations and have cash back rewards for in-store purchases. On the other hand, Dosh has a vast range of cash back rewards on hotel bookings alongside the usual receipt scanning offers at everyday retailers. These apps target a particular type of consumer.  

What Are Some Of The Best Receipt-Scanning Apps?

#1 Fetch Rewards

Fetch Rewards Referral Code

Fetch is one of the easiest to use with no offers to activate. Customers just scan their grocery receipts to earn points. The app also offers bonus points for purchasing specific, branded products, refer-a-friend rewards, and brand club opportunities. To redeem points, customers must have a minimum balance of 3,000 points ($3 equivalent) and then they can choose from a range of gift cards. 

#2 Ibotta

Ibotta is one of the largest receipt-scanning apps and offers a range of cash back earning opportunities. Members must browse current offers and activate them before purchasing and scanning the receipt. They offer a browser extension, and cash back is applied automatically when shoppers use it. Ibotta has a wide range of bonus programs for consumers who want to maximize their earnings. The cash-out balance is the highest of all reviewed apps, at $20 which can be sent to a bank or PayPal account or taken as a gift card.

#3 Upside

Upside primarily offers cash back on gas purchases. Users can view local gas stations and the offers available. Offers are activated, and purchases must then be made within 4 hours. The corresponding receipt can be scanned, or customers can use a Check-In feature to register the purchase electronically. Upside has offers for in-store purchases at the gas station and other retailers. Cash can be claimed once the balance exceeds $10 or $15, depending on the payment method. 

#4 Shopkick

Shopkick certainly has a different model. Members can earn points (called Kicks) through their Bluetooth system just by entering participating stores. During shopping, Shopkick offers lots of ways to earn more Kicks. These include scanning barcodes of certain products, scanning receipts, and linking credit cards. As well as similar referral programs it also gives shoppers an opportunity to donate their Kicks to non-profit organizations. However, customers cannot claim their Kicks in cash, choosing instead from a range of gift cards.

#5 Receipt Jar

Receipt Jar's point of difference is a great one. While other apps are strict about accounts only belonging to the smartphone owner, Receipt Jar allows members to scan the receipts of their household members. This means that whole families can participate on one account and earn cash back faster. However, the number of accepted receipts is limited to 30 per week.

Receipt Jar also offers a gaming aspect to their service, with regular possibilities to earn more points through games involving shaking the phone. Cash-out is allowed once the accumulated points equal $5 and can be made in cash or gift cards.

How To Scan Your Receipts

Apps that require receipts to be scanned to confirm purchases use the smartphone camera. There are, generally, requirements to validate the scan with receipts needing to show the following:

  • Store name and location
  • Itemized purchase details
  • Date of purchase
  • Total receipt amount

The receipt must be clear and without creases. This is to avoid the possibility of doctored receipts. 

Many apps now offer alternative ways to confirm the purchase. The most common of these is by linking cards. These can either be store loyalty cards or credit cards. This allows the app to register the purchase information automatically.

How Much Money Can You Earn By Scanning Receipts?

There is no easy answer to this. All the receipt scanning apps have different offers, reward programs, and bonuses. Some give you cash for doing nothing at all, while others have increasing reward levels the more you participate and use them. Shoppers need to consider certain aspects when making their choice of app:

  • How much time do you want to spend claiming offers, scanning receipts, and bonuses?

If your answer is ‘not much,' then try apps like Shopkick or Fetch, as rewards are earned easily but your potential cash earning will be lower.

If your answer is a lot, then try an app like Ibotta, which has rewards and bonuses that can stack and build as you use the program more and more.

  • Do you want a simple or interactive app?

If your answer is ‘simple’, then try Fetch. Just buy and scan receipts to earn cash back.

If your answer is ‘interactive and fun', then try Receipt Hog or Receipt Jar, which combine earning cash back through scanning receipts with in-app games.

  • How can you earn the most?

Choose an app like Ibotta with the most offers and ways to earn extra points and rewards.

In Summary

There are many cash back apps available for users to install on their smartphones. These apps let users earn extra money from their everyday purchases. Some cash back apps require their offers to be ‘activated’ before purchase and others pay a percentage of the receipt total. Choosing the right app depends on your shopping habits and the amount of effort you wish to use to increase your balance. We recommend using Fetch Rewards as it’s the easiest way to earn cash back without complicated processes. If you want to start scanning receipts for rewards, Fetch gives you points for every valid receipt you upload.

Earn $347 From Our First Email