Best Coupon Apps

Dosh puts saving money on autopilot for users

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Back in 2009 when the show Extreme Couponing was founded, consumers gathered paper coupons from newspapers and magazines before spending hours cutting them and organizing them into coupon binders or folders. Obviously, a lot has changed since then. Paper coupons still exist, but technology has made saving money with coupons way easier than it used to be.

The best coupon apps can make savings with coupons or coupon codes automatic, or they can help you earn cash back for each dollar you spend. Some require you to scan receipts, yet others let you rack up rewards or score discounts when you connect the debit and credit cards you shop with to your account. Investopedia compared several dozen of the top coupon and coupon code apps on the market today to find the best of the best.

The Best Coupon Apps for 2021

Best Overall : Dosh


Dosh

Dosh

We chose Dosh as best overall due to the fact your savings are automatic with no work required on your part. Dosh also applies savings to more types of purchases than some other coupon apps, including travel purchases made with more than 600,000 hotels.

Pros
  • No paper coupons or receipt scanning required

  • Automatically adds savings when you link payment cards to your account

  • Earn up to 40% back on hotel stays with select partners

  • Works for app purchases and in-person purchases

  • Get rewards for referring friends

Cons
  • Redemptions only available once you accrue $25 in your account

  • Must connect your credit and debit cards to the app

We chose Dosh as the best coupon app overall due to the fact that you can set it up once and forget about it. This app automatically applies savings to purchases you make with connected credit or debit cards with participating partners, which include brands like Instacart, Walmart, Pizza Hut, Sephora, and more. Dosh is available for iOS and Android devices. 

We like the fact that Dosh works for purchases made using your mobile device or in-person purchases made in participating stores. Dosh also has its own travel portal that lets you get up to 40% back on stays with more than 600,000 hotels worldwide. When it comes time to redeem your cash back, you can transfer amounts of $25 or more to your bank account or PayPal account, or use your rewards for a charitable donation.

Finally, Dosh uses bank-level security (256-bit encryption) to keep your information safe. They also feature multi-factor authentication to help prevent unauthorized access to your account or payment details. The app also has excellent user reviews across Google and Apple app services.

Best for Groceries : Ibotta


Ibotta

Ibotta

We chose Ibotta as best for groceries due to the fact they offer 500+ exclusive offers for grocery pickup and delivery.

Pros
  • Get exclusive savings on groceries, including grocery delivery from Walmart or Shipt

  • Get a $20 welcome bonus for downloading the app

  • Bonus offers available

  • Mobile app and browser extension available

  • Easily link your loyalty accounts to your Ibotta account

Cons
  • Must have $20 in rewards before you can cash out

  • Must manually add offers to your account before you shop

  • Some offers require you to submit a receipt

Ibotta is a coupon add that helps you save money at participating retailers, including grocery stores. We chose it for our ranking based on the extra savings you can accrue on grocery purchases, including delivery and pickup. Specifically, the app boasts more than 500 exclusive offers on grocery delivery with brands like Walmart and Shipt. 

You can get a $20 bonus just for downloading the app, and you can add special offers to your account from there. Cash back will then be added to your account when you make eligible purchases with retailers including Lowe's, Hotels.com, Kohl's, Best Buy, Staples, and more. 

Note that Ibotta works for online and in-person purchases, and that the app currently partners with more than 1,500 brands and retailers. Ibotta has also paid out more than $797 million in cash rewards since its founding in 2012. Redemptions with Ibotta are available once you have at least $20 in cash back in your account (or $25 for select gift card redemptions), and you can redeem for transfers to a bank account or PayPal. 

Ibotta is available for iOS and Android, and it has mostly excellent reviews with Google and Apple app stores.

Best for Automatic Savings : Honey


Honey

Honey

We chose Honey as best for automatic savings since this app and browser extension automatically looks for and applies the best coupon codes and savings to your cart.

Pros
  • Browser extension works with more than 30,000 merchants

  • Automatically applies discounts to your purchases

  • Has its own rewards program known as Honey Gold

  • Get rewarded for referring friends

  • No more searching for coupon codes

Cons
  • Mobile app only works for savings at 300+ stores in the United States

  • Many average or below-average reviews online

  • Honey Gold rewards can only be redeemed for gift cards

We chose Honey as the best option for automatic savings since this app and browser extension automatically searches the web for the best discount codes available. When you shop with the browser extension, coupon codes can be automatically applied with more than 30,000 merchants. With the Honey Smart Shopping Assistant app, on the other hand, savings can apply with more than 300 stores in the United States, as well as some options in Canada and the United Kingdom.

The Honey app boasts an average discount of 17.92% on purchases, and users receive an average annual savings of $126. 

We also like the fact that Honey has its own rewards program known as Honey Gold. This program lets you rack up rewards when you make purchases at participating stores, and the rewards are also shown to you along with discount codes that can apply to your purchases. You can even earn points in the Honey Gold program for referring friends. 

Honey is mostly meant to be used as a browser extension, although the Honey Smart Shopping Assistant app is available for iOS and Android.

Best for Price Comparisons : Capital One Shopping


Capital One Shopping

Capital One Shopping

We chose Capital One Shopping as best for price comparisons because this browser extension and app automatically compare pricing on eligible items at more than 30,000 retailers. This app even includes and compares shipping costs and membership pricing.

Pros
  • Applies discounts on purchases with more than 30,000 retailers

  • Automatically compares pricing, including shipping costs

  • Earn rewards on eligible purchases

  • Mobile app available for iOS or Android, and browser extension also available

Cons
  • Rewards are only good for gift cards

While Capital One shopping is a coupon app that automatically applies discounts at more than 30,000 retailers, we chose them for our ranking based on the fact the app also compares pricing and shows you the best deal. If Capital One shopping finds a better price on an item, they'll even provide you with a link so you can purchase the item elsewhere.

In addition to applying the best coupon codes at participating stores, Capital One shopping also lets you earn rewards on eligible purchases, which can be redeemed for gift cards with retailers like Walmart and eBay

Capital One Shopping is free to use, and they report they saved their customers more than $160 million in 2019. Note that this tool is available as a browser extension, but that you can also download Capital One shopping on your iOS or Android device. Capital One shopping also has mostly excellent reviews online with the App Store and Google Play.

Best for Rewards : Rakuten


Rakuten

 Rakuten

We chose Rakuten as the best for rewards because this app and browser extension focus on offering users cash back on everyday purchases and shopping. Redemptions start at $5, so you won't have to spend more to be able to redeem your rewards.

Pros
  • Rakuten automatically applies coupon codes to your cart

  • Earn cash back at thousands of participating retailers

  • Browser extension shows rewards potential in search results

  • Has a co-branded credit card to help you earn more rewards

  • Get cash back for referring friends

Cons
  • Cash back payments are only sent every three months

  • Only 2,500 participating stores offer cash back

We chose Rakuten as best for earning rewards since this highly rated app is more focused on helping customers earn cash back than it is on helping them accrue savings. This mobile app is available for iOS or Android, but you can also add it as a browser extension to your computer. Once you do, Rakuten will automatically apply cash back rewards to purchases at participating stores. You can even link a credit card to your account and use Rakuten to earn cash back on eligible in-person purchases.

Currently, Rakuten offers cash back at more than 2,500 stores including Walmart, Kohl's, Macy's, Nike, and Ulta. You'll earn cash back on all purchases you make with participating stores, and you'll receive a check or PayPal transfer for your cash back every three months provided you have at least $5 in rewards in your account.

Interestingly, Rakuten also has its own cash-back credit card that can help you earn even more rewards. The Rakuten Cash Back Visa Credit Card offers an extra 3% back on eligible purchases through Rakuten, as well as 1% back on all other purchases. And remember, rewards with this card are offered on top of the cash back you earn with the Rakuten app or browser extension. 

Rakuten has mostly excellent reviews with Google Play and the App Store.

Best for Printable Coupons : Coupons.com


Coupons.com

Coupons.com

We chose Coupons.com for our ranking because they still offer free printable coupons you can take with you to the store. These coupons can be used to save as much money as possible on groceries, pet supplies, household items, and more.

Pros
  • Free printable and digital coupons available

  • No minimum payouts required for rewards

  • You can link your loyalty accounts for automatic savings

Cons
  • May need to manually submit receipts for app payout

  • Receipt scans may be prone to problems

  • Must activate offers on app before you make a purchase

We chose Coupons.com for our ranking because they offer free printable coupons, free digital coupons, and a mobile app that lets you earn automatic rewards on eligible purchases. With the Coupons.com website, you can print an array of coupons that change over time, including coupons for food, medicines, cleaning products, and more. You can also add digital coupons to loyalty accounts you have at stores like Walmart, Food Lion, and Walgreens.

Coupons.com also has a mobile app that lets you earn cash back on eligible purchases, and there are no minimum payments required to cash out. Just keep in mind that, if you don't link your loyalty accounts to the app, you may have to scan and submit your receipts after you make a purchase. 

Anyone can log into Coupons.com and print coupons, and the Coupons.com mobile app is available for iOS and Android devices. The app itself has mostly five-star reviews with Google Play and the Apple Store.

Final Verdict

If your goal is saving money on everything you buy, the best coupon apps can make your job easier. You can still shop around and compare pricing among multiple retailers, but coupon apps can help you save more through discount codes or offers for cash rewards or PayPal transfers.

We believe Dosh is the best coupon app due to the fact you can set it up once and secure automatic savings, yet you may want to consider other options depending on your needs. For example, Coupons.com is a good resource if you prefer to print coupons and bring them with you to the store. Meanwhile, Capital One Shopping may work best if you also want help finding lower prices, and Rakuten could be best if you want to focus on earning rewards on your spending. 

Ultimately, only you can decide which coupon app might work best for your needs. Fortunately, the best coupon apps are all free to use, so you don't have to pay to find out. 

Compare the Best Coupon Apps

App Types of Coupons Operating Systems Type of Reward
Dosh Best Overall Cash back and discounts iOS and Android Browser extension Transfers to PayPal or a bank account, or charitable contributions
Ibotta Best for Groceries Cash back and discounts  iOS and Android Browser extension Transfers to PayPal or a bank account
Honey Best for Automatic Savings Discounts on purchases iOS and Android Browser extension Savings on purchases Gift cards through Honey Gold
Capital One Shopping Best for Price Comparisons Discounts on purchases  iOS and Android Browser extension Savings on purchases Gift cards through rewards program
Rakuten Best for Rewards Cash back on purchases iOS and Android Browser extension Checks or PayPal transfers every three months
Coupons.com Best for Printable Coupons Printable or digital coupons Cash back on app purchases iOS and Android Website Savings on purchases PayPal transfers for rewards

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How Do Coupon Apps Work? 

Coupon apps can work differently depending on which one you sign up for. For example, some coupon apps automatically apply coupon codes when you shop online with participating merchants. Others work with your store loyalty accounts and let you add offers you can use for savings in a brick-and-mortar store. Some coupon apps focus on helping users accrue savings on their purchases while others let users earn cash back or gift cards on their spending.

How Much Money Can I Save With a Coupon App? 

How much you'll save with a coupon app depends on where you shop and how much you spend each year. Your savings will also depend on the app you use and how much time you're willing to devote to finding the best offers. As an example, however, the Honey app boasts an average discount of 17.92% on purchases, and they say their users receive an average annual savings of $126. 

Are Coupon Apps Reliable?

Coupon apps can lead to considerable savings, yet you may find that some are considerably more reliable than others. For example, coupon apps may miss out on promotions you could find through a manual search, and some that require receipt scans are known for having their share of problems. For example, the Coupons.com app says they may have trouble reading your receipt if it's blurry or doesn't have all the information required. This could lead to missed savings through no fault of your own.

Methodology

To find the best coupon apps of 2021, we compared more than 20 of the best options available today. We started the process by checking for apps that are available on iOS and Android, and we also looked for apps that work as a browser extension. From there, we compared coupon apps based on their user reviews and rankings, discounts offered, the number of retailers or brands they work with, and whether they give you discounts or rewards. In the event a coupon app offered rewards instead of discounts, we looked for options with low redemption thresholds and multiple ways to redeem, including bank transfers or transfers to a PayPal account.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. IMDb. "Extreme Couponing." Accessed April 20, 2021.