To save on everyday purchases and entice you to buy certain products or services, the latest shopping apps and web portals get right down to business. They give you rebates for buying everything from auto parts and groceries to clothes and appliances -- from your smartphone or computer -- or alert you to rebate deals as you shop so you can take advantage of the latest consumer incentive programs.
Bonus: You don't need to earn and redeem points. Your savings go right into your PayPal account or are sent to you in the form of cash or a pre-paid merchant or Visa gift card.
Want to get in on the action? Check out the latest rebate apps and websites.
ibotta (free, iOS, Android)
With the ibotta app, earning cash rebates is a multistep process. Use the app to pre-select featured products that you think you’re going to buy on your next shopping trip. For each product, complete the app’s required tasks, which may include taking a short poll or reading a recipe. There were 36 retailers and 38 groceries or personal care products to choose from as of this writing. Rebates accumulate in your ibotta account. You can send them to your PayPal account or donate them to any school in America. Age-old budgeting tip: Just like with couponing, select products you’d normally buy anyway.
This new online mall features over 550 leading stores. Each affiliate "etailer" pays you 1 percent to 75 percent of a product’s purchase price; rebates vary per etailer. You can use the portal to buy everything from books and clothing to furniture and software from leading merchants. Reaping rebates on CashBackCat.com is easy. Just register at the site with your e-mail address and password. Your account will immediately be credited with a $5 sign-up bonus. Then, begin shopping by store, product or category. If you shop by product, the site’s comparison tool will display retailers with the best prices. After purchasing, rebates will be credited to your CashBackCat account. When they amount to $25 or more, you can have them deposited to your PayPal account or request a check by mail.
GoRebate uses your current location to access rebate deals wherever you are. You can also search for deals by location, category or retailer. At your fingertips will be the rebate details: the reward, which is typically a prepaid Visa or merchant gift card or check; the purchase you need to make to earn the reward; the deal deadline and other specifics, such as whether you’ll need to submit your sales receipt and UPC code from the product and when you can expect to receive your rebate. Bonus: GoRebate tracks the rebates you’ve submitted through the app so you can make sure to get what's due.