Money saving apps can do more than just enable you to make mobile payments, deposit checks, and monitor your savings and checking account balances. They can also help you save and manage your finances. Here are a few of the features you should look for when selecting money saving apps.
Rewards: Several mobile apps offer rewards or cash incentives based on your shopping behavior. For example, apps like Shopkick award points for making purchases from specific retailers or even just walking into designated stores. Points can be redeemed for rewards such as gift cards.
Cash back: With other money saving apps, such as Ibotta, the reward can be straight cash, delivered via a service like Venmo or PayPal. Just look for products on before you shop, activate the deal, and upload images of your receipt and the item’s bar code to earn the cash reward. You can even earn bonus cash by connecting your account with friends. Once you reach certain reward thresholds, you and your Ibotta team earn the bonus.
Coupons and discounts: A popular feature on many money saving apps is the delivery of coupons or retail discounts directly to your mobile device. Money saving apps, such as Groupon and LivingSocial, offer daily deals on products, services, travel and more. Shopping apps like RetailMeNot offer in-store coupons and online coupon codes.
Loyalty programs: Some stores and restaurants offer their own proprietary apps to offer additional savings, coupons, track spending to earn loyalty rewards and more. Other businesses use apps like Belly to manage their loyalty program. There are also apps like Key Ring that integrate all your physical store loyalty cards for your convenience.
Deal finding: Comparing prices from different vendors can be tedious, but numerous shopping apps have features that help you find the best deals. For example, apps like GasBuddy and BuyVia tell you where to shop for the lowest prices on specific products or services, such as gas, while other shopping apps such as ShopSavvy alert users to discounts when they are offered.
Privacy and protection: Security is a critical consideration for any money-saving app users, says Morgan Reed, Executive Director of ACT | The App Association, especially if the app is connected to your bank account. “When using any of these services,” Reed says, “it is critical that people use unique passwords and, when possible, two-factor authentication to keep information secure.”