Posted on Friday 10 January 2020
We all know the feeling of finding a great deal—saving money can be a rush of adrenaline. In fact, there’s even a whole show about it. If there’s anything that Extreme Couponing has taught us, it’s that saving money through coupons can have a serious payoff.
Some people claim to have saved anywhere between 70 to 80 percent on their grocery bill alone just by taking the extra time to look for coupons! But the downfall to couponing is that it can often be time-consuming, which makes saving money difficult to fit into a hectic schedule.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of sifting through magazine ads to look for coupons and deals, don’t break out those scissors and envelopes just yet! There are plenty of coupon and savings apps in Canada that make it much easier to find, save and use coupons in order to save money.
In the sections below, we’ll show you five of the best coupon and savings apps that we found for Canadians to use. And the best thing is that, even if you are new to the coupon and rewards game, any of these apps will turn you into a professional money-saver in no time!
If you’re someone who likes to shop online, Swagbucks is a great service to sign up for. Best of all, you can earn money with minimal or even zero effort. Starting an account is free, and there are a ton of ways that you can earn Swagbucks (and turn those bucks into gift cards and cash).
Use the Swagbucks browser extension to keep track of your online shopping and browsing that you would be doing anyway. When you use Swagbucks as a search engine or purchase from participating retailers, you’ll get rewarded with points.
If you have some extra time on your hands, you can rack up points faster by answering surveys, watching videos, and even playing games. It’s the “choose your own adventure” of the couponing world.
Once you’re ready to cash in, you can choose to get paid directly through PayPal or by choosing from a variety of gift cards, including Amazon, iTunes, Walmart, Visa, and more.
Swagbucks is free to sign up for, which is a huge plus. There’s also a $10 welcome bonus that you can cash in on when you spend $25 with a participating retailer, making it easy to start seeing rewards right away.
And the beauty of Swagbucks is that you can earn points with minimal effort, just by shopping and browsing online as you normally would, meaning you don’t need to make a lot of changes to your daily routine (thank goodness).
You can definitely earn some cash on Swagbucks—but it isn’t designed to bring in a huge amount of money. While it’s true that completing surveys and watching videos will earn you more points, the amount of time that they take to complete doesn’t make it an efficient way to earn cash. Treat it as a way to gradually earn points over time, and you’ll be well on your way to earning your own Swagbucks.
Paymi is pretty similar to Swagbucks in that you can get rewarded for shopping in-store and online with specific retailers. It’s essentially a rewards program that is linked to your debit and credit cards. Any purchase made at a participating retailer is an opportunity for you to earn cash back, which is automatically deposited in your Paymi account.
Paymi uses an online banking portal to securely connect your debit and credit cards. If you have a joint checking account with multiple cards, you can seamlessly connect them all to multiply your cash-earning power. And a partnership between Paymi and CIBC members means that if you bank with CIBC, you can sign up for a Paymi account directly through your CIBC banking account.
Earning cash through Paymi is all about how much you spend and where you spend it—but there is another way that you can earn money with the app. If you have friends that haven’t signed up for Paymi yet, you can send them referrals and start earning quick cash back for those referrals ($5 each, which could easily turn into a quick $20 in your pocket).
Just like Swagbucks, Paymi is free to sign up for and offers a $5 bonus for new users, which makes saving money easy from the get-go. Paymi also has a mobile app where you can see a list of participating retailers, so you can get an at-a-glance look at the best chances to earn cash back.
And it’s nice that Paymi has an established partnership with CIBC—if you’re worried about connecting your banking information to the app, that added security from CIBC should help erase any lingering doubt over whether Paymi is safe. (CIBC members also get double rewards, which is a huge score.)
While it’s not a significant issue, it is important to know that the participating retailers will change periodically, so you won’t always be earning cash back. It’s a good idea to check the Paymi app every few days just to make sure you are spending your money in the right places. It’s not an incredibly time-consuming process, but it does require an extra step.
The other con is that you do have to link your debit and credit cards in order for Paymi to work, which can make some users uncomfortable. But that linking also allows for automatic calculation of cashback earned and seamless payouts into your bank account, so it’s a bit of a double-edged sword here. If you want an app that minimizes the steps needed to actually benefit from those rewards and see cash back, entering some sensitive banking info is a necessary evil.
Drop is a mobile rewards app that acts as a shopping portal for travel, food, and shopping. Once you download the app, you can sign in and make purchases directly through the app to start earning points back. You can also choose to link your debit or credit cards to Drop and eliminate the need to shop directly through the platform (similar to Paymi).
Shopping in-app can be a great way to earn more points faster. These offers are often “boosted,” which means that you can earn even more points for shopping. And because it’s an app-based rewards program, you can sign up for push notifications or emails to keep you up to date on the latest offers.
Linked offers are only applicable when you use a debit or credit card that has been linked to your Drop account, so you’ll have to be mindful of the card that you are using for your purchases. Some examples of brands that can be included on Drop include Warby Parker, Walmart, Apple, Expedia, Groupon, and more.
What sets Drop apart is that users are prompted to pick their five favourite brands from the list of participating retailers. Once you set those five brands, you’ll be ready to start choosing specific offers directly from those brands—so ideally, you’ll be earning points with retailers that you are already spending money on.
The Drop app is available on Google Play and iTunes and gets consistently high ratings for ease of use and intuitive design. If you do most of your online shopping via your phone (which most of us tend to do anyways), Drop makes it easy to open up the app and get to spending—and earning!
You’ll have regular purchasing power from your core five brands, but their rotating deals are also a cool way to experiment with different stores that you might not have spent money with otherwise.
Because Drop syncs with your debit and credit cards, the app uses 256-bit encryption to keep your banking information secure. It’s also worth noting that your credentials are not stored on Drop’s servers, so the app cannot access your accounts (this is likely why your only option to redeem is via gift cards, rather than depositing cash directly into your checking account).
Points earned on Drop are redeemed for gift cards instead of cash, so if you’re looking for a cash-earning app, Drop might not be the one for you. And while choosing five of your favourite retailers to earn points with eliminates the need to continuously check for participating retailers, it can feel a little limiting (especially if your favourite brands aren’t partnered with Drop).
You’ll still get the opportunity to choose offers from different brands, but your primary everyday earning power will come from that core selection. And some reviewers have mentioned issues with getting in touch with customer service, so that’s a consideration that you should take before signing up with Drop.
One of the most time-consuming aspects of couponing is searching through paper flyers to find the best deals each week. And let’s not even think about the process of cutting them out, saving them in an envelope, and bringing them with you to the store! For a much quicker and cleaner process, you can simply sign up for Flipp and look at digital ads from local retailers.
Enter your zip code and you’ll be taken to a range of weekly ads and coupons in a variety of categories, such as Home & Garden, Pharmacy, Groceries, Pets, Fashion, and more. All of the search results will automatically be catered to retailers that are in your area, making it easy to see what’s on sale in your immediate area.
You can search for items through Categories, or you can browse with a new tab called Deals. The Deals tab highlights trending and popular sale items and sorts them by the total discount (so if you’re really looking to save money, this is the place to go). When you find a flyer that you like, you can mark it as a favourite, and “clip” individual items to add to your shopping list.
Flipp also lets you connect your loyalty cards to the app, eliminating the need to carry around a ton of cards on your keychain (or, at the very least, ensuring that you will always be able to use your loyalty card, even if you lose it).
Flipp is a great way to merge paper-based advertisements and coupons with an ever-increasing digital environment. It eliminates the need to search through physical coupons and flyers, and makes it easy to keep track of potential savings directly through the app.
Users can save ads and create shopping lists, and Flipp tells you exactly when a deal starts and ends. Even better, their local-based search automatically eliminates the need to go searching for the top retailers in your area, turning coupon-hunting into a seamless, automated process.
Flipp has a desktop version and a mobile app for Google Play and iTunes, so you can choose to access deals on the go via mobile browser or app.
By and large, the most common criticisms about Flipp revolve around users experiencing technical difficulties. The ability to share shopping lists and current deals with friends and family members seems to be a bit glitchy, as well as a few reported issues with viewing flyers on the mobile view. Flipp is still a great option for a coupon savings app, but you’ll want to test it out a few times and keep an eye out for any issues before choosing to use it over the long term.
Rebee is similar to Flipp in that it lets you access digital flyers and coupons from retailers in your area. All flyers are sorted into categories such as Health, Active, Electronics, Grocery, Children, and more.
Once you see a flyer that you like, you can mark it as a favourite and set it aside for later. You can also select individual items from a flyer and add them to your shopping list, include a specific note about the item, and even copy the link for quick sharing with friends and family members.
Rebee has a clean, colorful interface that makes it incredibly easy to view and save coupons from retailers near you. Building a shopping list is simple and straightforward, and the ability to add an extra note is a nice touch (especially if you are sharing your shopping list with someone else).
What helps to set Rebee apart from other coupon-clipping websites is that Rebee includes a direct link to purchase specific items online wherever applicable. It doesn’t really work with items in the Grocery category, but there are plenty of other categories that this works for. If you don’t want to do all of your shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, Rebee makes it easy to choose.
Rebee does not have a mobile app, so if you aren’t sitting in front of your computer, you’ll only be able to access your saved deals by opening up a mobile browser. And unlike Flipp, it’s a little difficult to see when deals start and end—dates aren’t advertised right away, so you’ll have to actually open up the flyer to see date details.
If you want to start saving some money—or maybe even earn a little bit of extra cash—the good news is that there are plenty of apps and websites available to help you do it! No matter what type of coupon and savings app you choose, keep in mind that it’s always going to be a two-way street. You’ll have to put in a little bit of effort (with some apps requiring more effort than others), but that can pay off big-time in points, gift cards, and even extra cash into your bank account. And let’s face it, no matter how it comes, we could all use a little bit of extra cash!