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[OP]
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Jun 6, 2009
956 posts
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Cash back apps

It would be nice to have a tread to discuss cash back apps. Cash back apps can be used on top of loyalty programs and credit card rewards to maximize return on each purchase.

Which ones are you using and are worthwhile? Which ones have you tried and were disappointed with?

I've been using Checkout 51 for many years and I love it. You get cash back on selected items (mostly consumable goods and cleaning products) no matter where you buy them. Take a picture of your receipts, watch your cash back accumulate and request a cheque once you accumulate at least $20.

Caddle is another one similar to Checkout 51, but I haven't tried it yet. Has anyone tried it?

I also recently started using Receipt Hog, an app where you upload your receipts in exchange for "coins", redeemable for cash or gift cards, "no matter where you shop or what you buy". It sounds simple enough but the process to accumulate coins is actually quite convoluted and it's not true that any receipt will get you coins. But I'm still willing to give it a shot for a few months to see if it's worthwhile.

I also downloaded Paymi and Ampli, two apps linked to you debit/credit cards that offer cash back at specific stores, but I never used them. I found the list of merchants extremely lackluster, many of which I had never heard of, with annoying conditions like minimum spend, making it clear that I would never accumulate enough to redeem.
Last edited by epiphano on Aug 10th, 2021 8:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
35 replies
Sr. Member
Mar 25, 2015
784 posts
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Few other not mentioned things:
Dipp - similar to Ampli, data mining your transactions for some cashback among running promos - https://www.getdipp.ca/
Rakuten, GCR - proxy to buy stuff from partners, does data mining what you buy in browser session, but pays well at times
[OP]
Sr. Member
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Jun 6, 2009
956 posts
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Montréal
dimon222 wrote: Few other not mentioned things:
Dipp - similar to Ampli, data mining your transactions for some cashback among running promos - https://www.getdipp.ca/
Rakuten, GCR - proxy to buy stuff from partners, does data mining what you buy in browser session, but pays well at times
Kudos to Dipp for posting their offering on their website. At least you know what you're signing up for. But again, a lot of brands I never heard of.

Another one I downloaded but have yet to try is FoodHero. Technically, it's not a cash back app, but it offers heavily discounted products (30% to 60%, mostly perishable food) that grocery stores want to get rid of.
Jr. Member
Aug 2, 2021
181 posts
194 upvotes
Ive used Ampli to some success. Even if you dont shop at their listed merchants, they often have general cashback promos. 0.50 back on "coffee" no matter where you buy it. Same with "groceries" or "bubble tea"

Its not alot, but I get up to the $20 minimum every few months for doing nothing.
Sr. Member
Dec 26, 2019
723 posts
1246 upvotes
Which of these apps are set it and forget it? I have Ampli and like that I can earn money with absolutely no effort. I just log in once per month to refresh my balance since some of my cards get signed out. Easy way to make $50 per year.
[OP]
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Jun 6, 2009
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reversi wrote: Which of these apps are set it and forget it? I have Ampli and like that I can earn money with absolutely no effort. I just log in once per month to refresh my balance since some of my cards get signed out. Easy way to make $50 per year.
Paymi, Ampli and Dipp. Even though Checkout 51 requires some work, I find it's well worth the effort. I've accumulated close to $350 this year so far and I only have myself to feed.
Last edited by epiphano on Aug 11th, 2021 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
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hubbabubba73 wrote: Ive used Ampli to some success. Even if you dont shop at their listed merchants, they often have general cashback promos. 0.50 back on "coffee" no matter where you buy it. Same with "groceries" or "bubble tea"

Its not alot, but I get up to the $20 minimum every few months for doing nothing.
I saw that but I didn't realize it was a recurring thing. The offer I have right now is 1% back, up to $0.25 per purchase, up to 4 purchases, at a selection of grocery stores. And a similar offer at coffee shops and bubble tea shops. Do those come back every month or so?
Jr. Member
Aug 2, 2021
181 posts
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epiphano wrote: I saw that but I didn't realize it was a recurring thing. The offer I have right now is 1% back, up to $0.25 per purchase, up to 4 purchases, at a selection of grocery stores. And a similar offer at coffee shops and bubble tea shops. Do those come back every month or so?
They do. Seems like they go on cycles. The grocery one will be there for 6 weeks and then get replaced with coffee and then come back around in a couple cycles.

The nice thing about Ampli is that you dont have to opt into offers. I will look at the app every few weeks and just notice that I got some back. Just happened a few weeks ago with Mary Browns. Stopped in on a road trip for a sandwich and some taters. $1.75 CB. I had no idea.
[OP]
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Jun 6, 2009
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hubbabubba73 wrote: They do. Seems like they go on cycles. The grocery one will be there for 6 weeks and then get replaced with coffee and then come back around in a couple cycles.

The nice thing about Ampli is that you dont have to opt into offers. I will look at the app every few weeks and just notice that I got some back. Just happened a few weeks ago with Mary Browns. Stopped in on a road trip for a sandwich and some taters. $1.75 CB. I had no idea.
I got an offer from Ampli for $1 back if I spend $10 at a dollar store. I guess I'll give it a shot and see where it leads me. But I think these offers at grocery stores and dollar stores are mostly there to keep their customer base engaged while it and their list of sponsors grow. I don't think they'll last forever.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 3, 2018
5384 posts
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GTA
We recently signed up for C051 and not impressed as we don't seem to buy a lot of items listed ... or it seems slow to collect CB.

Here's thread on CO51 Deals:

checkout51-thread-post-deals-here-1347327/32/#p34826903

GCR:

great-canadian-rebates-gcr-2021-cc-cash ... d-2435782/

GCR is great for Credit Card Cash Back Rebates!


and Ampli:

ampli-boston-pizza-detour-coffee-mary-b ... 101/?saved


We love Ampli! Yep, we end up going to a few places we might not have visited before. However, as @hubbabubba73 mentioned, you don't have to opt in for offers (except for Wednesday Newsletter Offers) and it's seamless, as long as you have the CC linked to your Ampli account.
Penalty Box
Jun 24, 2015
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just remember, this rebate money does not come out of thin air, you are signing up to be tracked extensively in order for these cash backs and rebates. the data about your every shopping move is tracked and being used against you. if you are not comfortable with this, then dont sign up.
Say NO to the WAR!
PEACE is the answer!
[OP]
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GoodFellaz wrote: just remember, this rebate money does not come out of thin air, you are signing up to be tracked extensively in order for these cash backs and rebates. the data about your every shopping move is tracked and being used against you. if you are not comfortable with this, then dont sign up.
Sure, there's lots of consumer tracking going on, but I don't see how that's used against me. And frankly, it's not any worse than people voluntarily putting their lives on Facebook and LinkedIn for the sake of humble bragging. At least I'm getting something out of this.
Penalty Box
Jun 24, 2015
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when you don't pay for the product, you ARE the product
Say NO to the WAR!
PEACE is the answer!
Deal Addict
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Jul 16, 2019
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GoodFellaz wrote: when you don't pay for the product, you ARE the product
This isn't quite accurate. Instead, I would say:

If you aren't the customer, you're the supplier.

You supply the product, your purchasing data, to the cash back app in exchange for a bit of money. They then sell your data to their customers, though I'm not sure who their customers are.

This concept is easier to understand with Facebook as the example, since they're the company that's most often criticized with this line. Since you don't pay for Facebook, the theory goes, you are Facebook's product.

I disagree. Facebook's product is your attention and data. You supply your attention and data to Facebook, which sells it to its customers, advertisers. You may say this is a distinction without a difference, but I think it matters.

The "if you don't pay for the product, you are the product" criticism is used to argue that the company doesn't care what you want. Products, after all, are inanimate objects without any agency. They only care what their real customers want.

But companies don't only have to keep their customers happy. They also have to keep their suppliers happy.

So once you recognize you're the supplier rather than the product, it becomes clear that companies with free services, such as Facebook and Google and cash back apps, do indeed care what you want.

To an extent.

They care what you want if there's a threat you'll using cut back on using their services, thus cutting their supply of attention and data. And you'll probably only cut back on using their services if there's a comparable competing service you can easily switch to.

Facebook and Google are monopolies without any significant competitors. (If you say Snapchat or Bing, I will laugh at you.) So they have little fear you'll switch to a competitor and they milk as much revenue out of you as possible.

Cash back apps, however, comprise a competitive market. None of them hold an overwhelming market share and switching between them is easy. So they care much more than Facebook or Google care about what you, their supplier, want.
Sr. Member
Mar 25, 2015
784 posts
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@someweirdo
I think if you look at it from perspective of Facebook (insert another name here as appropriate) selling your data to some third party to let this third party get you as customer as result of details in this data, technically you're the product they sold, even if it involved data transaction in the middle, and they didn't physically sell you.

Afterall, this third party isn't interested in knowing that everyone likes to visit McDonalds, they want to know that you specifically like to visit McDonalds, so that they can offer you competitive product to earn their $$$.
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dimon222 wrote: @someweirdo
I think if you look at it from perspective of Facebook (insert another name here as appropriate) selling your data to some third party to let this third party get you as customer as result of details in this data, technically you're the product they sold, even if it involved data transaction in the middle, and they didn't physically sell you.

Afterall, this third party isn't interested in knowing that everyone likes to visit McDonalds, they want to know that you specifically like to visit McDonalds, so that they can offer you competitive product to earn their $$$.
You say Facebook sells your data, yet in the same sentence you say the product is you. This makes no sense. The product is your data (and attention), not you. You are the supplier of your data (and attention).

Also, Facebook and Google don't actually sell your data to advertisers: They sell access to your data so advertisers can deploy highly targeted ads. They don't want to sell the actual data because data is their power and they don't want to relinquish any power.
[OP]
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You people are arguing over semantics. The bottom line is if you don't want your purchasing habits to be tracked, don't use these apps, or any loyalty program or credit card for that matter. It's called market research and it existed long before the Internet. If I'm getting something out of it that's worthwhile to me, I'll participate. To each their own.
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Sep 6, 2018
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epiphano wrote: You people are arguing over semantics. The bottom line is if you don't want your purchasing habits to be tracked, don't use these apps, or any loyalty program or credit card for that matter. It's called market research and it existed long before the Internet. If I'm getting something out of it that's worthwhile to me, I'll participate. To each their own.
Image
Jr. Member
Aug 2, 2021
181 posts
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Bit of a thread resurrection, but have a DP for Ampli that I wanted to point out just in case it wasnt common knowledge.

I stacked Rakuten and an Ampli offer for a double bonus,

The Shoe Company
2% - Rakuten
7% - Spend over $100 on Ampli (apparently its $10 max)

Rakuten was the next day.
Ampli took 5 business days.
But both posted.

I assume it would be valid for other Ampli offers that are on Rakuten as well. No harm in checking. I needed to get kids shoes for school anyway.
$130.47 purchase - $10 + $2.37 CB
Not too bad considering I was buying shoes there anyway.
[OP]
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I gave Ampli a shot. I linked my credit card, made a few qualifying purchases and two weeks later, my balance was still $0. So I deactivated my account and uninstalled the app. I couldn't be bothered to contact support for 25 cents.

On a different note, I've been using Receipt Hog for a full month now and accumulated 387 coins, worth $2.38 at the highest redemption level. It's not much but it gets easier to accumulate coins starting in the 4th month.

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