It’s rare to find a rewards app that offers you a little bit of everything.
On the flip side, apps like apps like Caddle or Ibotta mostly help you save money when shopping in-store for groceries or other household essentials.
The bottom line is that most reward apps are either designed for online shopping or in-store savings, not both.
That’s why Shopkick, one of the most versatile shopping apps around, is so interesting.
Since its inception, Shopkick has helped users earn over $85 million in free gift cards just by shopping in-store and using the app to save money online.
In this Shopkick review, we’ll discuss the pros, cons, and all the fine details of this app to find out if it’s truly worth downloading and how much you can expect to earn per month by using this app when you shop.
Let’s get to it!
What is Shopkick?
Shopkick is a free rewards app for Android and IOS that lets you earn points (or kicks as they call it) by scanning items, walking into certain stores, making in-store purchases, shopping at online partners, and more!
Founded in 2009, Shopkick has accumulated over 7.5 million users, making them one of the largest shopping rewards apps around.
Shopkick is only available in the United States. However, we had to write a Shopkick app review simply because of the sheer number of options you have to save money with this app.
How Shopkick Works – How Do You Earn Kicks?
Shopkick has a few ways to earn kicks, which can be redeemed for gift cards at a wide range of merchants that we’ll discuss later in this review.
Currently, there are 6 main ways you can earn kicks:
1. Walk Into Stores
The easiest way to earn kicks with Shopkick is just by entering specific stores.
That’s right, you don’t actually have to buy anything to start saving with this app.
Shopkick actually partners with more than 250,000 stores, so you’re bound to find some opportunities to earn here.
Here’s how Shopkick stores pay you for walking inside:
- Open the Shopkick app.
- Make sure bluetooth, microphone, and WiFi is enabled.
- Walk into a participating store. You can find local offers within the app’s interface.
- Your phone will automatically recognize you’re completing a walk-in offer.
- Kicks will be awarded to your account.
It’s that simple! Once you have everything enabled, all you’re really doing is opening the app and walking inside nearby stores to earn points.
Walk-in offers don’t pay that much, but if you’re the primary shopper for your household, you might as well earn free money for visiting stores you shop at anyway.
2. Scan Barcodes
When you’re in a Shopkick partner store, you can also scan specific barcodes for various products to earn even more kicks.
Note that you don’t have to make a purchase here to qualify; Shopkick is merely interested in getting you to visit specific stores and to interact with products from their partners.
Here’s how to scan barcodes with Shopkick:
- Go to the “Earn” tab within the app.
- Select “Kicks Nearby.”
- Select the store address you’re currently in.
- Tap the scan icon.
- Scan the barcode and earn kicks.
Be sure to scan under good lighting and double checking that you have the right store address and the right product as well.
Again, like walk-in offers, this generally pays under $1 for your efforts. However, if you’re already in a Shopkick store, you can easily complete these tasks while you shop.
Plus, you don’t have to spend money to earn kicks with these first two options, which is pretty stellar.
3. Purchase with Linked Card
Shopkick rewards users for shopping in-store at their partners. However, to track your purchases and reward you with kicks, you need to link a Visa or MasterCard to the Shopkick app.
Once you link your card and wait around 24 hours for verification, you’re good to go. Anytime you shop at a qualifying store, you automatically earn kicks for your purchase.
This is definitely one of the best ways to earn kicks and your rewards are much higher than simply walking into stores or scanning barcodes.
Just note that your purchase only qualifies if it’s a credit transaction, not a debit transaction.
Shopkick doesn’t store any credit card information in their personal data base. They work with Visa and MasterCard to manage your linked credit card, so it’s 100% safe to link your card.
4. Purchase and Upload Receipts
On top of using a credit card to earn kicks, you can also scan receipts from eligible stores.
Here’s how to scan receipts with Shopkick to earn:
- Go to the “Earn” tab.
- Select “Kicks Nearby.”
- Choose your store.
- Select the “receipts” icon.
- Browse the list of receipt-eligible products that are available.
- Buy an eligible product and upload the receipt for proof of purchase.
I wouldn’t suggest dramatically altering your shopping routine to earn kicks this way since receipts might only pay a few dozen kicks.
However, it’s worth checking for opportunities to earn before shopping to ensure you don’t miss out.
Extra Reading – The 18 Best Cashback Apps That Actually Pay.
5. Make In-App Purchases
Shopping online is another way to earn kicks, provided you shop directly through the Shopkick app.
Once you’re ready to shop, here’s what you do:
- Go to the “Earn” tab.
- Select “Kicks Online.”
- Make an online purchase from one of Shopkick’s sponsored partners.
- Earn kicks after roughly 72 hours. This is just to ensure you’ve actually completed a purchase.
This is what I mean about Shopkick being a versatile rewards app.
You can literally earn points whether you’re in-store, online, or just by scanning products as you browse through a store. Plus, most of these options don’t require you to actually spend money.
6. Watch Videos
Shopkick also includes in-app videos, which you can watch for a certain amount of kicks.
Although these videos are easy to watch, the amount of kicks you earn from them won’t make you rich. In fact, this is probably the lowest-paying Shopkick gig out of all your options.
Videos are useful to add a few more points to your account if you’re close to cashing out, but other than that, they don’t pay too well.
Redeeming Kicks – What Shopkick Rewards are available?
One kick is worth $0.004, meaning every 250 kicks is worth $1 in gift cards.
Redeeming your kicks for different rewards is fairly simple:
- Go to your Kicks Center.
- Select “See All Rewards.”
- Choose the reward you want.
- Select the amount you want to redeem.
- Tap “Redeem.”
Afterwards, Shopkick will send you an electronic gift card code within a few business days.
There are a lot of gift card options to choose from, and you can also choose to have your rewards sent as Paypal cash, which is another nice touch for this app.
Plus, you have numerous gift card options available:
- Best Buy.
This is just scratching the surface, and Shopkick has even more gift card rewards. Checkout full list here if you want to see all your options!
Keep in mind, the minimum amount of redeem a gift card on Shopkick is $2. However, different merchants have different redemption offers.
For example, Walmart and Target have $2 and $5 gift card rewards, but Amazon starts at $5.
There’s still plenty of options to cash out quickly, which is a plus for Shopkick, but you’ll have to browse through the free gift card options to see what’s available.
Which Stores Work with Shopkick?
There are plenty of popular Shopkick stores and brands where you can earn rewards for shopping, including:
- Best Buy.
- TJ Maxx.
- Whole Foods.
But before the list goes too long, it’s important to know that every user will have a slightly different experience.
A lot of major retailers will have options, but offers change and it depends on your area as well.
I recommend downloading the app and seeing what’s available for yourself because that’ll really give you the most accurate answer.
As long as you live in a relatively populous city you should have some opportunity to earn, but you’ll never know until you start trying!
How Much Can You Really Earn?
This is admittedly a tough question to answer because like any rewards app, your earning potential depends on how much you shop.
However, there are some fairly standard ballparks each Shopkick earning option has, so keep these in mind when deciding if this app is worth the download.
As an example, we’re going to assume you went into a popular grocery store and did a quick shop:
- Walking Into The Store: 25 kicks.
- Scan 3 Items: 90 kicks.
- Buy 1 Eligible Item: 200 kicks.
- Watch A Video: 10 kicks.
Total Kicks: 325 (Worth $1.30)
I still think it’s unlikely to earn a free gift card on a single or even second or third shopping trip because you need at least $2 in kicks to redeem a prize.
But, if you’re consistent with this app and shop for your household, you can realistically earn some free gift cards every month or two.
Extra Tips & Ways to Earn Kicks
Keep the following Shopkick tips in mind if you want to earn extra kicks the next time you head out to the store:
1. Turn On Notifications and Bluetooth
Turning on these 2 simple features will make it so that you never miss an offer again. This lets Shopkick notify you when there are specific promotions in your area and other easy ways to earn.
Enabling bluetooth also lets you walk into stores and immediately earn kicks for having the app open. Both of these options can be the difference between an extra gift card every month or not!
Again, don’t dramatically alter your shopping habits to earn $0.25 or some small reward, but don’t miss out on free money.
2. Shopkick Hidden Kicks
Another way to earn free gift cards with this app is to look for hidden kicks,
When you open Shopkick, head over to the discover tab. According to Shopkick, this feature lets you “go on a treasure hunt to find instant surprises”.
This is just another reason to regularly check the app for new offers and opportunities to earn kicks.
3. Refer Friends
Shopkick’s referral program is one of the most underrated feature on the app, so it had to be included in our Shopkick review.
If you refer your friends to the app, you each earn 250 kicks. You can invite up to 100 friends for up to 25,000 kicks!
Note that your referrals only qualify if they get their first walk-in or scan redemption within 7 days of joining the platform.
If you use the Shopkick referral program, make sure you tell your referral about this condition!
Shopkick won’t make you rich, but this is the case for any cashback app.
However, if this Shopkick app review hasn’t convinced you to download this app or not, here are a few pros to consider:
- Shopkick is free and easy to use.
- You don’t always have to spend to earn.
- Lets you make money doing something you were already doing.
- Notification settings alert you for chances to earn extra kicks.
- Huge variety of rewards and ways to earn making this one of the most versatile rewards app.
Shopkick is a fairly popular app and generally has decent reviews. However, there are still several downsides to keep in mind:
- 1 kick is only worth $0.004.
- You most likely won’t make more than $10 a week, if that.
- Not all stores are eligible.
- Location matters.
- It might take a while to earn.
All of these cons can honestly be looked over considering this app is completely free and doesn’t negatively impact you in any way.
Don’t go out of your way to earn kicks, but don’t be afraid of stacking Shopkick with other reward apps, cashback credit cards, or money saving practices.
Is Shopkick Legit?
As usual, I like to take a look at Reddit to see what honest users have to say about a rewards app alongside giving my own opinion.
In general, other Shopkick reviews seem to be fairly positive but honest: you can use this app to save money, but it won’t change your life.
As you can see form this Reddit thread, you can save some money, but you need to have realistic expectations.
I like the idea of using Shopkick as an app that pays you for exercising, and if you do most of the shopping for your household, I think this app is worth testing.
Final Thoughts – Is Shopkick Worth It?
Can you quit your full time job by downloading this app? Absolutely not.
But, can you save some money on your weekly grocery trip or Target run? Definitely.
Ultimately, the amount you earn with Shopkick really depends on the effort you’re willing to put into it.
If you have the app open when you enter a store, scan a few items, and scan your receipt, you can definitely gain points. These points rack up long term and can eventually save you a decent chunk of change.
Remember, the app is free and you don’t have to go out of your way to earn kicks. You’re already going to be shopping, and who doesn’t want to earn a gift card in the meantime?
Here’s what I really recommend…
Download Shopkick for a simple test run. See if there are enough available stores near you to make it worth using. If there are, turn on your notifications, shop, and enjoy your points!
If not, you’re only missing out on less than $10 a week, and there are plenty of other passive income apps that can make up that difference.
Thanks so much for giving out Shopkick app review a read!
If you want to save even more money by using your smartphone, consider giving the following apps a try as well:
- Rakuten – Checkout how I saved $500+ by using Rakuten to shop online.
- Honey – Another easy way to apply coupons at checkout and earn cashback. Read our Honey review to learn more!
- Mobile Performance Meter – Another free $36.50 or more per year just for installing this app.
- S`more Lockscreen App – Another $36.50 to $50 per year for using this Android app.
- UpVoice – Earn $75 per year for browsing the web.
Note: Capital One Shopping compensates us when you sign up using the links provided.
Daniel is a 20 year old blogger from Los Angeles with a huge love for everything entrepreneurship, finance, and investing. When he’s not blogging at Modern Teen, you can catch him playing volleyball, shooting archery, or finding new ways to make money.