Top 5 Cash Back Platforms You Need to Know About

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Many consumers are looking for ways they can save and spend, despite the possibility of a recession, volatility in stock markets, and general post-pandemic anxiety. The trend in recent years has been “cash back” shopping—an e-commerce phenomenon allowing consumers to earn money for shopping. But what exactly is cashback and why should you be concerned?

Cash back is appealing to many because unlike other rewards programs, it’s free and there is no need to worry about coupons or points. Cash back is simply just that—getting cash back from a purchase made. Cash back platforms allow users the opportunity to earn money back on everyday purchases such as clothing, home and garden items and beauty essentials.

These are the top five cash-back platforms:

1. Rakuten

Rakuten is a cash back platform that has more than 17 million users. Rakuten, a Japanese conglomerate, acquired Ebates in 2014, which was a well-known U.S.-based cashback platform. Rakuten was created from the Ebates business. claims to have distributed over $3.7B in cash back rewards and is now affiliated with more than 3,500 stores.

The company boasts its data driven business model that they claim is powered by their cash-back seeking Google Chrome browser extension. Rakuten users average $64. Rakuten users are eligible to earn cash back at stores and retailers like Aeropostale, J. Crew, Under Armour, H&M, Macy’s, Ulta Beauty, and more. Rakuten’s most loved feature is the option to sign up for a reward deal. Users can connect their credit card to Rakuten and they will get cash back when they make purchases with that card.

2. Chirpyest

Chirpyest, the latest cash back browser extension and platform, offers rewards with a unique twist. Chirpyest members can earn up to 30% cashback from thousands of online retailers and cash back for recommending products. Chirpyest offers cash back from some the most well-known brands in America, including Target, Nordstrom and Lululemon.

With its unique suite of cashback sharing tools and a shopping platform that allows users to save and purchase items later, the Chirpyest extension stands out from the rest. This Black-owned woman-led cash back platform already has a loyal, diverse community of members, says Chirpyest Community Coordinator Emma Kisner, “Our community is our biggest asset. In just a short time, we have a cohort of members who have already made thousands of dollars for shopping and sharing!”

3. Honey

Honey is another well-known platform. Honey was launched in 2012 and offers coupon codes to its members. It has over 17 million monthly users. Honey’s coupon finding browser extension went viral when the prototype was leaked on Reddit. In 2020, Paypal bought the company for $4 billion. Honey, which was then a competitor to Rakuten, added cash to its offering to consumers in 2021.

Honey members earn $126 annually in savings through coupons, discount codes, or cash back. Honey offers coupons from tens to thousands of retailers; however, its cash back offer is much smaller. Honey’s cash back feature also does not always imply actual cash back; the company often rewards users with Honey gold points, which users can redeem for a reduced cash back amount or a shopping credit on Paypal. Lowe’s, Verizon, Sam’s Club, Walgreens, and American Eagle are among the brands affiliated with Honey.

4. Ibotta

Ibotta, a free browser extension and an app, was launched in 2012 and is associated with over 300 restaurants, movies theaters, grocery shops, and other retail chains. Ibotta began by offering rebates for in-store purchases made at major retailers and grocery chains. Today, Ibotta offers up to 10% cash back from brands like Trader Joe’s, Albertson’s, Dollar General, Harvest Market, Giant Eagle, Food Lion, Kroger, Kmart, Ralph’s, Whole Foods, and more.

Ibotta app users can earn cash back when they shop online. They also get the same perks when they shop in stores or on mobile devices. Connect to existing loyalty cards or apps to instantly earn cash back and rewards. Ibotta’s browser extension also offers a price comparison feature.

5. Dosh

Dosh is unique in that users can connect their debit or credit cards directly to the Dosh application for quick and easy payments. Dosh was founded in 2016 and has 3 million subscribers. Dosh members can also link their accounts to PayPal, Venmo, or a charity donation of their choice, and they’re paid after accumulating at least $25. Dosh users have the opportunity to earn up 40% cash back at restaurants, shops, and hotels. Dosh also provides a “Tips & Tricks” section to help members shop smarter.


Pros and cons


Rakuten, Chirpyest, Honey, and Ibotta offer free browser extensions that automatically alert users to the available cash back on participating retailers’ websites. These extensions make it easy to get cash back by eliminating the need for searching for coupons or discount codes.


These cash back platforms have two drawbacks, which some users complain about:

The first problem is that consumers can only use one cash-back platform at a given time. Coupons not provided by the platform cannot be used with cash back.

The second issue is that it can take a while to get paid. Sometimes, it can take as long as six months. The platforms will wait for retailers to confirm that the customer has not returned the products before they pay out the cash back. Consumers will need patience.


Cash back, despite its drawbacks is still an option to receive actual money via savings. So, the ultimate question is, who wouldn’t want free money for shopping?

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