Back in the day, people saved by collecting coupons and rewards cards. But in today’s digital world, a few taps on your phone can save savvy shoppers hundreds each year through apps that offer rewards or refund a percentage of your purchase.
These popular cashback and rewards apps are the coupons of today, giving you quick and easy access to the best deals without the need to mess around with flimsy paper coupons.
Today, we’ll go through 10 apps that give you the most value for your money — or return some of your money instead.
What Are Cashback and Rewards Apps?
In short, these apps earn you rebates or rewards when you buy something. It’s typically a small percentage of cashback on your purchase or a reward that can be applied to a future purchase. Over time, the savings can add up nicely, especially since there’s an app for just about every purchase.
How Do They Work?
The apps are usually straightforward to use: you first download an app (often for free). Then, instead of buying directly from a shop or brand, you access the store through a link from the app.
But How Can These Apps Afford to Give Away Money?
Well, some cashback and rewards companies build relationships with stores and brands. They receive a commission for any purchases made through their apps. Then, they share a part of their commission to the consumer as cashback or reward.
Others earn their keep by monetising the data on their users. They track where you shop and what you buy, then sell the data to advertising and marketing firms who want to better reach their target markets.
Are They Safe to Use?
While legit apps exist, there are also plenty of scams going around. Be careful of any company that promises big rewards for minimal spending or any reward that sounds too good to be true.
To find and use cashback and rewards apps safely, follow these tips:
- Learn about the company behind the program. Before you install any app, find out more about the company that runs it. In this digital age, you’ll be able to find consumer reviews and complaints online.
- Use an app that fits your shopping patterns. Different apps reward customers differently. Some offer coupons to help you snatch the best deals. Some track your purchases and give you rebates when you shop at partner retailers. Think about your shopping habits and choose an app that works best for you.
- Go through the fine print. You’ll need to sign up for a free membership to enjoy the savings. Read the fine print before you sign up. Understand what personal information you’ll be disclosing and how the app works to dole out rewards.
- Protect sensitive information. Don’t recycle a password you’ve used for another platform: instead, use a password manager to create and remember unique passwords for your apps. Also, be mindful of the permissions the app asks for. You should also ask yourself whether it makes sense for an app to have certain permissions.
10 Best Cashback and Rewards Apps for Singapore
BEST FOR SHOPPING AND DINING DEALS
ShopBack is one of Singapore’s first online rewards programmes. It gives you anywhere from 1-90% cashback on almost everything you buy online, depending on the deals available at the time.
What makes it especially appealing is that the cashback is on top of any store or credit card promotion. You can also get your cashback deposited directly into your bank account (rather than having to apply it to a future purchase).
There are thousands of brands on ShopBack, including Sephora, Lazada, Foodpanda, Amazon, and even travel sites like Expedia.
Read also: Is Amazon Prime Singapore Worth It?
2. ShopBack GO
ShopBack GO is their mobile app dedicated to shopping and dining rewards. You first link your credit or debit card to the app, then select a promotion and pay with the linked card to receive cashback on your purchase.
This app is known for its great dining-in offers. They also have many well-known brands spanning lifestyle, fashion, groceries, and even car rentals. Like ShopBack, ShopBack GO allows you to deposit your rebates into your bank account.
MilkADeal is a major cashback programme from Malaysia. The local MilkADeal platform features big-name partners like Taobao, Amara Hotels, Amazon.sg, Sephora, and Zalora, to name a few.
One of the things that sets MilkADeal apart from the other apps is its generous referral programme. While cashback sites usually offer a one-time payout for every successful referral, MilkADeal tops off the usual one-time payout with an extra 5% on all your friend’s purchases.
Shopee is an e-commerce giant that’s taken Singapore by storm since 2015 with its discounts, deals, and giveaways. Even if you don’t know what it is, you must have seen the questionable Shopee ads with Ronaldo and Jacky Chan.
Shopee is a hybrid marketplace where shoppers can buy from small sellers on its main platform and bigger brands directly via Shopee Mall. Shopee also has a dedicated supermarket. Altogether, there are thousands of brands and products on the platform to satisfy just about everything you can think of.
When you shop on Shopee, you’ll earn Shopee Coins and cashback, which you can later use to offset your purchases. You can also earn daily vouchers and freebies.
Grab is no longer just a ride-sharing app. With GrabPay, you can pay for your rides, food, and shopping to earn GrabRewards points. You can then use these points to redeem vouchers and enjoy discounts on everyday purchases.
The more you use GrabPay, the higher your tier — and the more points you’ll earn for every $1 spent.
The best part is that your points don’t have a fixed expiration date. As long as you make one cashless Grab transaction a month, you’ll get a six-month extension on all points.
BEST FOR FOOD AND DRINK DEALS
6. Burpple Beyond
Burpple Beyond is the food review start-up’s premium subscription. It gives you 1-for-1 deals with partner restaurants, cafes, bars, and more. Membership is valid for 12 months and starts at about $4 per month.
You’ve probably heard of Chope as the online reservation site. But that’s not all it is: on top of “choping” your restaurant seats, you can also get 1-for-1 dining vouchers and over 50% discounts on some meals.
Unlike Burpple, Chope doesn’t require a paid subscription, meaning anyone can enjoy the discount perks whenever and wherever you want.
BEST FOR HEALTH AND WELLNESS DEALS
iHerb is a popular wellness platform that offers a convenient way to get vitamins, health supplements, and protein powder at a lower price than physical retailers.
At iHerb, shoppers get credits equivalent to 10% of their order with the discount automatically applied to their next purchase. You’ll also find bulk discounts and free delivery for orders over US$40, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find another vitamin shop with a better deal.
BEST FOR LIFESTYLE DEALS
9. Fave (previously Groupon)
If you’re looking for something new to try over the weekend, Fave is the platform to scour for good deals. Fave stores thousands of promotions and discounts of up to 80% across Singapore. This cashback app has over 5,000 partners ranging from staycation hotels and spas to restaurants added daily. Be spoilt for choice as you browse the various categories from retail, attraction, fitness, beauty, and even home care deals. Plus, you can even earn up to 50% cash back with your purchase.
Klook is THE platform to go to for your weekend outings and holiday deals. Here you’ll find everything from discounted tickets for day tours to car rentals and last-minute food deals. Klook also offers travel guides and discounted attractions for those who want to plan their next vacation.
All you have to do is browse through the location you want to go to on the website or app, then choose from the activities, attractions, and deals listed. You can also look through their various categories for the best deals. What’s more, Klook is also a featured merchant on many cashback and rewards sites like Shopback, which means you get even more savings and bonus rewards.
What Fits Your Shopping Habits Best?
There are plenty of exciting cashback and reward platforms available, so you should think about your shopping preferences and look for deals that best suit your needs.
Also, bear in mind that these rebates and rewards involve you spending money to earn them: there’s no point in spending for the sake of getting the cashback or rewards. Think of it instead as a bonus on your usual spending or special plans that you already intend to make.