Best Cash Back Apps in Canada: Earn Money When you Shop Online or In-Store
If you’re looking for new ways to earn cash, consider signing up for one of the many cash back apps available to Canadians. Not only can you make money with a free app, but the ability to access digital coupons and other discounts will also let you save money. I’ve reviewed cash rebates websites in the past, but today’s list covers many apps that combine rebates with other cash back rewards.
How Do Cash Back Sites Work?
Cash back sites and apps let you earn cash (or points that you can convert to cash) in several ways, from completing surveys to purchasing products from retail partners to completing various in-app activities. Every app has its unique spin, and its rules vary, but the goal remains the same – to help you earn extra money for your loyalty.
Cash Back Apps Canada: The Best of the Best
To help you earn extra cash, allow me to present what I think are the best cash back apps and websites for Canadians. For an app to make the list, it needed to offer actual cashback (or points that you can convert to cash) – discounts or free merchandise wouldn’t cut it.
As you will see, the apps featured pay out cash in various forms, including cheques in the mail, PayPal cash, direct deposit to your bank account, Interac e-Transfers, and gift cards. So, here is the list, in no particular order.
What Is It?: Prepaid Visa card offering cash back and more
What We Like: Generous referral bonus of $20
Koho is a prepaid Visa card and mobile app that makes earning cash back easy. Sign up is 100% free and you get 0.5% cashback on all of your purchases. If you sign up for Koho Premium, which is a paid subscription, you will earn 2% cash back on three major spending categories: groceries, dining out, and transportation (Uber, gasoline, transit purchases, etc.)
Premium is $9 per month or $84 per year. In addition to the bonus cash back, you don’t pay foreign exchange fees when you spend outside of Canada. Other Premium features include price matching, priority customer support (no waiting in line), financial coaching, and one free International ATM Withdrawal per month. For most shoppers, the premium account is likely not worth the fee, so make sure you take advantage of its benefits before signing up.
With two exceptions, you can use your Koho account as your regular bank account; you can’t write cheques, nor can you accept non-Koho e-Transfers. You can, however, send unlimited e-Transfers from your Koho account and use the card to make purchases wherever Visa is accepted.
The generous referral bonus stands out. Any time you send a friend to Koho, you’ll receive $20 when they sign up and make a purchase. Your friend will also get $20. That’s more than what most cash back apps offer.
- Free prepaid Visa card
- 0.5% standard cashback
- Up to 2% cashback with Koho Premium
- Instant Pay unlocks a payroll cash advance
- Send free, unlimited e-Transfers
- Spend anywhere Visa is accepted
- Refer a friend and earn $20
What Is It?: The cashback rebate website
What We Like: The sheer volume of cashback offers
Rakuten, formerly known as eBates, is one of the most popular cash back websites for good reason. You can earn up to 30% cash back when you shop online at more than 750 Rakuten partner retailers. You may even stumble on a special offer, like double the cashback.
Rakuten earns a commission from popular retail brands for sending customers their way. When you buy, they split that commission with you. Because millions of products are sold through Rakuten, there’s plenty of money to go around.
To get started with Rakuten, sign up for free on their website. You’ll get $5 just for signing up. Then, browse the offers and shop for items at your favourite online stores directly from the Rakuten website. If you open an account with Rakuten, don’t forget to check out the deals on special shopping days, like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day.
You have three ways to receive your Rakuten cash back: a big fat cheque in the mail, PayPal cash, or in the form of electronic Amazon.ca gift certificates. The minimum payout s $5, and payments are processed every three months on the following dates: May 15th, Aug 15th, Nov 15th, and Feb 15th.
List of Rakuten Retail Partners
Rakuten partners with more than 750 retail brands, including the names listed below:
The Home Depot
- Free to join
- Earn cash back at more than 750 brands
- Up to 30% cash back
- Look for bonus offers
- Earn $5 for signing up
- Referral bonus when friends make their first online purchase
- The minimum payout is $5, sent quarterly
What Is It?: Canadian-based mobile rewards platform
What We Like: Automated earning by linking your debit card to Drop.
Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Drop is a mobile rewards platform that boasts more than 1 million members. Like other cash back apps, it’s free to join, but Drop has some features that make it unique.
Unlike Koho, you don’t need a dedicated card. Instead, you link Drop to your regular debit card so it knows when you spend at Drop partner stores. You don’t need to clip coupons, upload receipts, or swipe a loyalty card to earn points, just go about your shopping like you normally would.
According to Drop, they partner with more than 500 popular retail brands, making it easy to earn points. Once you reach $25 in Drop earnings, you can redeem your rewards for a variety of gift cards. With Drop, 1000 points equal $1, and you get a 5,000 point bonus just for signing up ($5), not bad! Also, if you become a Drop Premium member by linking your debit card to the app, Drop will pay you 1,000 points per month. It’s that easy. There are other ways (other than shopping) to earn Drop points, such as paid surveys and playing in-app games.
- Canadian-based mobile rewards app
- Earn when you shop with your regular debit card at Drop partners
- Drop automatically tracks your points when you shop
- Earn points when you order grocery and meal delivery (Uber Eats, Hello Fresh, etc.)
- Over 500 retail partners
- Redeem points for gift cards
- The minimum payout is $25
What Is It?: Earn cash back by linking your debit and credit cards
What We Like: Low minimum payout of $15; receive cash via free e-Transfer
Ampli is a popular Canadian cash back app formed in partnership with RBC, Canada’s largest bank. However, you don’t have to be an RBC customer to use Ampli. Connect any Canadian debit or credit card to their app and Ampli will automatically keep track of eligible purchases you make from Ampli partners, rewarding you with points. You can make purchases online or in-store and earn.
The best part is that Ampli cashback is in addition to any credit card or other loyalty rewards you collect. For example, if you earn 5% cash back with Ampli on an item that you purchase with a 2% cash back credit card, you’ll realize a combined reward of 7%. This is known as rewards stacking, and it’s a great way to maximize your earnings.
Perhaps what I like most about Ampli compared to cashback apps is the low, $15 minimum payout threshold, and the fact that you can send your cash earnings to your primary bank account via a free Interac e-Transfer. There is no need to settle for gift card rewards or wait for a check to arrive via snail mail.
Like most cash back apps, you won’t get rich with Ampli, and the cash back rewards will vary on different items. Over time, however, the savings can add up. Because of Ampli’s partnership with Royal Bank, you can rest assured that their app employs the latest in financial technology, the highest levels of online security, and that your privacy is protected. For more information, check out our full review of Ampli.
- RBC-backed cash back rewards app
- Works by linking your credit and debit cards
- Earn cashback when you shop at Ampli retail partners
- Cash back is added to your Ampli account within five business days
- The minimum payout amount is $15
- Receive cash by sending yourself a free Interac e-Transfer
- $5 bonus for referring a friend
What Is It?: Free online rewards membership platform
What We Like: The number of different ways you can earn
Swagbucks is one of the original cash back apps and one of the most popular worldwide. What sets Swagbucks apart from many of its competitors is the sheer number of ways that you can earn points, known as Swagbucks. Once you’ve accumulated enough Swagbucks, you can redeem them for gift cards or PayPal cash. By installing the Swagbucks extension on your Chrome or Firefox internet browser, Swagbucks can automatically credit your account when you shop.
As mentioned, you can earn Swagbucks in many different ways: by taking surveys, watching videos, checking out exclusive deals and offers online, searching the web, playing online games, and using the Swagbucks mobile app.
You can also unlock coupons from Swagbucks partners by claiming deals on their website. Based on a quick scan while writing, I noticed offers from Hudson’s Bay, Indigo, Walmart, Canadian Tire, eBay, Old Navy, Best Buy, Home Depot, Sport Chek, Lululemon, and more.
The benefit of dealing with a massive brand like Swagbucks is having access to many retail partners; over 1500, according to Swagbucks. Learn more in our Swagbucks Review.
- Free to join
- The large number of ways to earn
- More than 1500 retail partners
- Claim online coupons from top retailers
- Redeem Swagbucks for gift cards and Paypal cash
- Download browser extension for automated earning
- $5 signup bonus
Great Canadian Rebates
What Is It?: Canadian-based cash back rebate website
What We Like: Shop for deals all in one place.
Great Canadian Rebates works a lot like Rakuten. Sign up for free on their website, and shop for deals at more than 500 GCR partners, including Walmart, Amazon.ca, Best Buy, Sportchek, The Shopping Channel, Staples, Expedia.ca, and more. The cashback offers vary between stores and items, but I’ve seen offers as high as 8%
If you can get past the fact that the GCR website is quite dated, they make earning cash easy. There’s no need to jump around to your favourite stores online, you can access them all on the Great Canadian Rebates website.
There are a few ways you can get paid with GCR: eGift card, direct deposit to your bank account, and PayPal account transfer.
Great Canadian Rebates Features
- Free to join
- Three ways to get paid (gift card, direct deposit, PayPal)
- Earn money by shopping your favourite stores right on the GCR website
- The website could use a refresh, although it includes several filtering options
- Minimum payout threshold as low as $10
- GCR sends payment on the 28th of each month
What Is It?: Canadian cash back app with multiple ways to earn
What We Like: Well-designed app is simple to use
Caddle partners with retail stores to offer cashback on selected products via a slick and easy-to-use mobile app. Unlike some of the other apps listed here, Caddle works by identifying eligible products, purchasing them in-store, and uploading your receipts so Caddle can verify your purchases and credit your cash back.
The Caddle cash back app is available as a free download via the Apple App Store (iOS) or the Google Play Store (Android). Once you’ve registered in the app, sign in to browse the weekly offers, which Caddle uploads every Thursday. Tap on an offer you like and follow the instructions to redeem and receive your cash.
Caddle product offers are not store-specific, so you can redeem them from any retailer who sells the item(s) you’re looking for. You are required to upload your receipts after purchasing a featured product. According to Caddle, staff will review your receipts within 72 hours before crediting your Caddle account balance. If there’s a knock against Caddle, it’s that the weekly offers are somewhat limited, and often feature specialty items not everyone will be interested in. Learn more in our full Caddle review.
- Free download for iOS and Android devices
- Weekly offers are uploaded on Thursdays
- Earn cash for completing short surveys
- A limited number of weekly offers
- $20 minimum payout threshold
What Is It?: Earn cash back rewards on groceries
What We Like: One of the best money savings apps for grocery purchases.
Checkout 51 is a Canadian cash back app you can use to earn cashback when you make in-store purchases for groceries and other household goods. Login to Checkout 51, check out the available offers and add your favourites to your weekly grocery list.
While out grocery shopping, make sure you keep your receipts. Redeem the offers on the app, and circle the corresponding item on your receipt. Then upload your receipt using the in-app camera, and the Checkout 51 team will verify your purchase and credit your account with cashback. You can request payment as soon as you reach $20 in your Checkout 51 account.
Checkout 51 Features
- Cash back app is available on iOS and Android
- The average discount is $.50-$1.50 per item
- Upload receipts after you make your purchase
- $20 minimum payout threshold
- Online purchases are eligible
- Offers are not store-specific
TopCashback lets you earn rewards from more than 4000 stores online, with varying reward levels. Get started by signing up for free on the TopCashback website. Like Rakuten, you can simplify the process by downloading a Chrome or Firefox browser extension. A mobile app is also available. According to TopCashback, members receive their cashback rewards within seven days of purchase, although it’s not always available to spend that quickly. You can receive payment via PayPal, direct deposit, or gift card.
MyPoints is a US-based cash back app that is also available to Canadians. Learn more in our MyPoints review. Like Swagbucks, MyPoints gives you several ways to earn: Shopping online, completing surveys, playing games and watching videos, and referring your friends. Highlights include the low payout threshold of $5 and the ability to receive gift cards at discounted rates. You’ll also get a $10 bonus just for signing up.
GoCashBack hits you with incredible deals the second you land on their website homepage, with “Super Cash Back” offers that rotate above the fold. For example, I spotted a 40% discount in addition to 13% cash back from one retail partner and up 65% off select items, plus 6% cashback from another. I like that GoCashBack labels which discounts are available to Canadians and which ones are for the US market.
You can request payment as soon as you accumulate $20 of cash back rewards. Payment by cheque is only available in the US, but Canadians can receive cash via PayPal, which is more convenient.
Brim Rewards is similar to Koho, the first cash back app on our list, in that it’s a prepaid credit card. Brim offers three prepaid Mastercards: the no-fee Brim, Brim World ($99 year), and the Brim World Elite ($199 year). I should note that the Brim World card is free for the first year.
Brim family cards let you add additional card members to your Brim account. You can adjust the credit limits of different family members, track spending, and lock cards instantly for security purposes. Your Brim card can be added to a preferred mobile wallet, like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, etc., allowing you to make contactless payments.
But what about the cash back? Brim claims to offer up to 30% back in points from hundreds of retail partners, including local and global brands. When it comes to the Brim cards, you can earn cashback at 1% when you shop online or in-store with the Brim Mastercard, 1.5% with the Brim World, and 2% with the World Elite.
The last two cards come with Mastercard benefits, like Lounge Key access, and numerous insurance coverages.
Final Thoughts on Cash Back Apps
Whether you prefer online shopping or in-store, it’s never been easier to earn rewards when making everyday purchases. The cash back sites listed above have partnerships with thousands of online retailers and other brand partners. None of these rewards programs will make you rich, but you can multiply your earnings by signing up for multiple apps and stacking rewards by using a rewards credit card to make purchases.