Make Money

Best Money Saving Apps (And How To Earn Cash From App Referrals)

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Tired of your tight budget? Earn cash from your phone with these app referral programs!

Imagine this: Every single time you go to the grocery store, you leave $1 sitting on the counter. It’s yours, it’s waiting for you, but you leave it there.

Let’s be honest here: sometimes, you just need more money. Maybe it’s just a few dollars here and there so you can afford a coffee, or maybe you could really use some extra gas money. Whatever it is, if you aren’t making money from your phone using money-saving apps, you’re leaving money on the counter with almost every single purchase.

I love using money-saving apps on my phone. It makes the process of saving money so simple, it’s almost silly. I can make purchases of deeply-discounted services on Groupon (through Ebates, of course!), and earn cash back on my purchase of strawberries through iBotta. Oh – and every purchase is rounded up and I invest the change using the Acorns app.

Pretty sweet deals, right? Do you use save money from your phone using apps?

Did you know you can also earn cash from app referrals?

App referral programs are a pretty amazing way to either get your favorite things for free or earn cash on the side. Here’s a quick review of my favorite money-saving app referral programs and how best to share them:


I shared last year how I made over $500 from the Ebates referral program, just by sharing a great deal on an Instant Pot. Ebates has changed their referral structure several times this year, and finally landed on a $25 referral for every person. No more tiered program!

The best way to share Ebates is to share value. No one cares if you save a few cents here or there, that’s not worth their time. But share that you get a $10 rebate on your Instant Pot if you sign up now and suddenly people have incentive!

Because you only get paid on a referral when they make a purchase over $25, sharing deal ideas this way also leads to a much faster conversion.

I use Ebates with almost all my online purchases, so I can see the value of “it adds up over time.” And for those people out there like me, I like to post the pictures of my checks, along with either my referral link, or a link to my blog post review.


Groupon’s referral program is a little different, because you get paid in Groupon bucks. This credit can be put towards any Groupon purchase. This requires a little creativity when you want to cash in, but Groupon often has great deals on local restaurants, hair salons, and even eye doctors.

The “cookies” (little bytes of information that store your unique referral code in someone’s computer) expire 72 hours after someone signs up through your link. This means that in order for you to receive a referral bonus, they have to make their first purchase within 3 days of signing up.

Sharing Groupon often means sharing the amazing flash sales going on at any given time. I also like to share when I use a Groupon in my daily life, so people can have a visual of just how easy it is to use in a wide range of circumstances. I have used Groupons in everything from an eye appointment to ordering from Brandless to going on dates with Peter.

If you have never used Groupon before, what are you waiting for? Sign up today! (And find an amazing deal!)


Last week I posted a picture on my instagram of some new (to me) clothes I purchased at the thrift store recently. My favorite part of the whole thing? I paid for them using the cash back I had earned using the iBotta app!

iBotta is super easy to use if you live near major retailers or shop online. You just browse the available offers and save the ones you will be using, then scan the bottom of your receipt with your phone to match the offers. Once you reach $20, you can cash out via PayPal.

I didn’t get much use out of it when I shopped only at Aldi because Aldi isn’t an included grocery store. However, they have added so many deals for online shopping that I always compare iBotta deals against Ebates when I’m doing my online shopping. I had to travel for work, so I made my reservation through iBotta and I earned $6.45 back on my purchase and I earned another night on my rewards card.

Again, to increase conversions of referrals you have to provide value. If I find a great deal online, I often add “save x amount shopping through ebates” or “save x amount shopping through iBotta.”

Thinking out loud here, maybe I should include both, in case people favor one vs the other?


Fetch Rewards

Fetch Rewards is a newer rewards program, but I have already almost earned a $5 gift card in the couple weeks I’ve been using it, just by scanning my receipts.

Fetch works by scanning all your receipts, and you earn points. When you first sign up, you earn 200 points per receipt scan. I noticed once I reached 3,000 points (start off your account with 2,000 when you enter code H2DTB into this link) that the rewards went down to 25 points per receipt scan.

You can also earn points for buying certain things each week, similar to iBotta.

My favorite part of Fetch is that it finds the deals for you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed an iBotta deal because I didn’t see it browsing through and had already thrown away my receipt.

This one is just fun to share, because you can give every referral 2,000 points ($2) and literally all you do to save money is upload your receipt.

For every referral, you also get $2. Not a ton, but refer a few a week and you earn a gift card for all sorts of places like Panera or Dunkin Donuts.

Gift cards are also available for Walmart, Target, Amazon, etc, but I’m writing this before I’ve eaten breakfast.

I definitely wouldn’t turn down a free coffee and baked good every week. Just saying.


And now, the king of all the money saving apps, the Acorns investment app. I wrote a detailed review recently, outlining how we use the Acorns app to invest our change. I love how using this app lets us save on autopilot, while also putting our money in an actual investment account so it can start working for us.

The Acorns investment team is always making various incentives as their referral bonus, so it is totally worth it to sign up and check it out!

The Acorns referral bonuses are added to your Acorns investments, which is really awesome. They are literally investing in your future as a “thank you” for talking about them! You can withdraw at any time, or let it grow in your account.

Fun Money Is Fun

While I wouldn’t suggest quit your day job with the plan to support yourself on app referrals, it is totally possible to rock the referrals from these money-saving apps and make some extra fun money. When our budget was so very tight that first year of marriage, being able to go out for coffee and a donut guilt-free made it so much more enjoyable!

Do you use any of these apps? Have you made money from referrals? Let me know in the comments!

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earn money from your phone with these app referral programs

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