Checkout 51: The Ultimate Guide
Have you heard about Checkout 51? Checkout 51 is based out of Toronto and is looking to change the world of couponing in Canada and the US by offering consumers cash back, without them having to use a single coupon.
Here’s what Noah Godfrey, Checkout 51 co-founder, has to say about the service:
“Since the Coca-Cola Company issued the first coupon 125 years ago, coupons haven’t changed much. Shoppers have to do a lot of work to save money on groceries, clipping or printing, stuffing wallets, holding up checkout lines. Checkout 51 makes it easier to get discounts on peanut butter, toilet paper and everything else found in a grocery store.”
How does Checkout 51 work?
- Buy items at any store in Canada or the US (excluding Quebec). Yes, that even includes stores such as Costco and The Bulk Barn.
- Send a photo of your receipt. Receipts must be very clear and readable. You must send a photo of your entire receipt, from the very top to the very bottom. If you have a long receipt, you can add “sections”.
- Get cash back. You can request a cheque once your account hits $20, or you can let it grow to a larger amount. The choice is yours. Cheques will be mailed to the address you have on file.
Yes, it really is that easy! And no, it is not a scam. It works!
Is Checkout 51 a Scam or a Legitimate Way to Earn Cash Back on Groceries?
Many people have been asking me if Checkout 51 is a scam and I’m here to put your mind at ease. It’s not a scam.
Now, you may be thinking: “this sounds way too good to be true”, but guess what – it’s true.
Since they just recently came out with an iPhone app, many people have been asking me the following question: “is Checkout 51 a scam?”.
Checkout 51 is NOT a scam. It’s a legitimate way to earn cash back on your grocery purchases. I have been using the program myself since it first launched, so I know this for a fact. Many MapleMoney.com readers have also been using Checkout 51 since it launched and they will agree that it’s a great program. Many of them have received multiple cheques already (some have received more than $100 back!).
Right now, only those with an iPhone or iPad can sign up to the program (it also works on any camera-enabled iPod Touch). They are working on making it available on other phones, as well as for people who may not have a phone.
Who can be member?
Anyone can be a member of Checkout 51, as long as you live in Canada or the US. It’s free to sign up.
Each member is allowed one account per device.
Can I get cash back on multiple items?
There is a limit of 1 rebate per item, per account. If you wanted to buy, for example, 3 of any particular item, you would only receive cash back for 1 of those items, per account.
You can submit multiple receipts each week, but you can only use a receipt once. This means you can’t buy 2 of the same item and submit the receipt once for one account and again for another account.
When are new offers available to claim?
New Checkout 51 offers are released every Thursday (we post them on MapleMoney every Tuesday so you can plan your shopping trip) and are valid until Wednesday of the following week.
There are usually around 10-15 offers available and you can claim 1 or all of them, but you must hurry, as quantities are limited (beta members – who are those that signed up before this app was available to everyone – never have to worry about limited quantities). New offers are announced through email, the Checkout 51 app, and the Checkout 51 Facebook page.
Note: Sometimes you will find exclusive offers when you view available offers via the app. These exclusive offers vary by account and are based on your previous rebates. Checkout 51 will evaluate what you have purchased in the past and give you these special, exclusive offers.
Can I use coupons and other discounts and still get my rebate?
Yes, you can use coupons and other discounts and you will still receive cash back for your purchase(s).
This is a great way to get free, or close to free, grocery items each week!
When do I get my cash back?
You are able to cash out and receive a cheque once your account reaches $20 or more. You don’t have to cash out right away, but if you want to, you can.
Cheques are sent out via mail within 7 business days. From personal experience, I usually receive my rebate cheque about 1 week after I request it. They’re very fast!
I live in Quebec, can I use Checkout 51?
Eventually, yes. Right now, no. They are currently working on perfecting their technology so that it will be able to read French receipts, but currently they can only read English.
Once they are able to read French receipts, Quebec will be able to participate.
I don’t have an Apple or Android device, can I use Checkout 51?
Yes! You can now use Checkout 51, even without an Apple or Android device.
If you haven’t signed up to Checkout 51 yet – what are you waiting for? If you love saving money, but hate the hassle of carrying coupons around with you (or if you want to combine your coupon savings with your rebate savings), this is the app for you!
Checkout 51 Couponing App Review
Whether you’re an avid or occasional coupon user, you have probably heard about the new cash back/rebate application available in the (Apple) App Store and the (Google/Android) Play Store called Checkout 51. This app is still fairly new and Canadian shoppers are buzzing about it.
A beta version was initially introduced mid-August of 2012 and was publicly available in December 2012 to iPhone users (the Android version was made available on April 18th, 2013).
I have been a member for about 4 months and I have received two cheques already and am working on my third. With Checkout 51, I have saved over $55!
Like many other smartphone users, I was excited about the concept of this app, but apprehensive about the quality of the deals – as well as whether it would be a scam or not. This app is the first of its kind and the concept is very innovative. I quickly learned that Checkout 51 is not a scam. It has actually become one of my absolute favourite apps to use.
It’s easier than using traditional coupons
This free app is perfect for experienced couponers as well as those that are beginners. A huge plus is that you can access Checkout 51 straight from your smartphone and you do not have to worry about potentially losing coupons.
You can pull out your phone while at the grocery store and check the current offers, as well as the stock of the deals (as they are limited and can run out).
There are no physical coupons involved with this app so your checkout experience is simplified since no actual couponing is required while the cashier checks out your purchases.
It sweetens your deals
My favourite thing about this app is that I’m capable of doubling and even tripling up my deals. As we all know, coupons can provide you with amazing deals on their own – but even better ones when you pair them up with a sale price.
Here in Ontario, we are not allowed to use more than one coupon per purchase (no coupon stacking), so it’s very important for us to use coupons on sale items to maximize our deals. Now, Checkout 51 allows you to receive a rebate on items that you purchased on sale (or price matched) as well as used coupons for. That’s the ultimate deal!
I love this app because it has finally allowed me to purchase items for a couple of cents, receive items for free and in some cases – make money from purchases! For example, if an item is on sale for $1 and you have a coupon to save $0.50, and a Checkout 51 rebate for $1, you will end up making $0.50 for purchasing the item!
Diversity in weekly product offers
From months of using Checkout 51, I have found that the weekly offers are quite diverse. They have a good variety every week but for some people it might take longer to reach the $20 mark depending on personal preferences and diets.
I appreciate how the offers range in food, household cleaners, to personal hygiene products as well. There are some offers that have restrictions on sizes of products and variations, but from my experience, it’s not overly limiting.
Perfectly timed offers
Since offers begin on Thursday mornings, this app allows shoppers to watch out for flyer sales that not only end on Thursday nights but also begin on Friday mornings. It is best to take advantage of the offers as soon as possible because there have been times when I’ve checked the app while at the grocery store and noticed that certain deals were all claimed.
There are indicators when the offers are low in stock (it says “not many left”), so watch for those.
I originally had the app on my iPod (4th generation with camera), but I found that the camera took low quality photos, so whenever it came to uploading photos of my receipts, I took photos with a lot of natural light or with the help of a desk lamp. Luckily, the processing team was able to read all the information on my receipt and approve them within 48 hours.
So, for those with the 4th generation iPod, Checkout 51 does works fine with this device!
Good response time
After 4 months of having this app, I have submitted a total of 10 receipts. From my personal experience, the processing time is very fast. The quickest that I’ve ever had my receipt approved was 9 minutes and the longest was 22 hours and 39 minutes.
After reviewing all my processing times, I determined that they take an average of 2 hours and 26 minutes. Much less than the 48 hours that they estimate. I’m very impressed with their processing team.
The two cheques that I have ordered have arrived in about one week, but I live in a neighbouring city of Toronto. Your cheques may take a bit longer if you live outside of Ontario. I also appreciate the fact that Checkout 51 will email you every step of the process to keep you up to date on your rebate.
Multiple accounts per household
Here’s a bonus – they allow multiple accounts per household! The only restriction is that they only allow one account per smartphone. So you and your spouse could both take advantage of the weekly offers if you have 2 devices.
If you’re looking to start couponing or you want to push your deal hunting to the next level, I would definitely recommend that you try this app out. It’s a free cash back/rebate app that has so much potential to save you a great deal of money off your weekly grocery bills.
To download Checkout 51 please visit their website.
Pros and Cons of Checkout 51
Checkout 51 Pros
- It’s very easy to use and it’s free
- No physical coupons involved
- Capable of tripling deals (sales/price matching + coupon + cash back)
- Diverse offers with good timing
- Works on Apple & Android devices, even with lower end cameras
- Quick approval time (average of 2-3 hours)
- Quick cash outs and cheque arrival time (approximately 1 week within Ontario)
- Multiple accounts per household (one account per device)
Checkout 51 Cons
- Limited number of deals, potential of missing rebate offers
- Not available in Quebec
- Without a data plan, you won’t be able to check the availability of deals while shopping
A Newbie’s Guide to the Checkout 51 App
Step 1: Sign up
It took me less than 2 minutes to open an account on Checkout 51. Plus I received a $1 bonus for joining and a $1 bonus for reading a 20 second introductory note. Ha.
Step 2: Scan the List
A quick scan of the list of current offers has me officially impressed! Here are a few items I could easily save on:
Eggs, yogurt, cereal, laundry detergents and the list goes on. I see why so many shoppers are pumped about this app. These are items I purchase often – not products I would buy just to get savings. I’m also pleased that quite a few items are not brand specific.
Step 3: Shop
Sadly for me, I joined on a Tuesday night, and these offers expire every Wednesday. With a little one home sick, I don’t think I can take advantage of this week’s deals. But – I do realize that my Vector cereal I got for free yesterday, qualifies me for a 50 cent rebate. I’m making money without even leaving the house.
Step 4: Upload a Pic
I took a picture of my receipt showing my Vector purchase and sent it in. Sending in my first receipt also qualifies me for another $1 bonus. Stop the madness.
Step 5: Cash in on Future Deals
As a hands-on learner, just trying this process once has helped me see how easy it is. And easy is key for this busy mom! Here are a few things I have learned to maximize future savings:
- Savings for the week are published on Thursdays. But you can get a SNEAK PEEK on Mrsjanuary.com on Tuesday so you can plan your shopping trip in advance.
- Shop early for the best deals. The offers expire once a set number of people cash in.
- Deals expire every Wednesday by midnight.
- You can request your cheque every time your rebates reach $20. Or you can let them accumulate before cashing out. Save up for a special something?
It feels great to try something new. I can bump my status up from Checkout 51 Newbie. Then Rookie then Expert. And isn’t that how smart shopping happens? Mastering one saving strategy at a time.
Do you use Checkout 51? Do you like it?