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Practically everyone has a smartphone these days. And believe it or not, it’s useful for more than Facebook scrolling and funny cat videos. In fact, if you’re not taking advantage of the times and using a variety of free money tools, you’re basically leaving money on the table.
You’re definitely not going to get rich just by using free money tools, but it’s literally never been easier to save and make money thanks to your smartphone. Most of the tools in this list allow you to make and save money answering a few simple questions, sharing your receipts, and our personal favorite: doing nothing.
And most of them are easily accessed and/or downloaded to your iPhone or Android device.
Top 10 Free Money Tools
Without further delay, here is a list of the 10 best free money tools everyone should have on their smartphone.
1. Credit Sesame: Free Credit Monitoring, Score Report, and ID Theft Protection
Paying for credit reports has long been a thing of the past, but Credit Sesame has upped the ante.
When you create your free account, Credit Sesame will send you monthly updates on your credit score, constantly monitor your report for suspicious activity, and even provide $50,000 in complimentary bonus identity theft insurance.
Each month, you can track your loan payments, view your interest rates, check your credit score, review your credit ratios, and see how you might be able to save money by refinancing existing debt.
Access to Credit Sesame is secure and available 24/7 via the web and iPhone/Android apps.
2. Ibotta: Earn Rebates by Scanning Your Grocery Receipts
Ibotta consistently ranks in my top 3 favorite free money tools for a reason: it is the easiest way to get cash back by shopping like I normally do.
Here is how to get started:
- Sign-up for Ibotta here (you’ll qualify for a $10 bonus once you redeem your first offer).
- Check out local cash back offers before you go shopping and add them to your grocery list. Offers change frequently, but I have great luck with offers on items such as toiletries, milk, beer/wine, fresh produce, laundry detergent, diapers and baby formula, and over the counter medicine. (Ibotta has recently expanded offers to include new categories, including Travel, Clothing, Electronics, and Restaurants.)
- Redeem offers by snapping a photo of your receipt on your smartphone.
- You can request payment in the form of cash via Paypal or Venmo or receive gift cards to a variety of stores. The minimum payment threshold is $20.
3. Paribus: Keep Your Email Receipts and Get Money Back When Prices Change
Call me frugal, tight, cheap, or worse – but I hate when I buy something and discover it went on sale a few days later.
This where Paribus is a life saver.
When you sign-up and link your online shopping accounts to Paribus, it will constantly monitor your purchase receipts in your email inbox for price changes within one month of your purchase. They do all the heavy lifting for you by contacting the store and asking for a refund for the price difference.
Paribus keeps a portion of the savings in order to make their service profitable, but it still works out to be a great deal for users.
Pro tip: After signing-up for Paribus, save all of your emailed receipts in a sub-folder of your inbox.
4. Cancel Your Unused Subscriptions Effortlessly
We all sign-up for services and programs with the best intentions, only to find out months later that we don’t really use them – think gym memberships, car wash clubs, newspapers (yes, they’re still a thing), and even Netflix.
Recognizing this kind of waste is one thing, but putting in the time and effort to call customer service and cancel wasted subscriptions? That’s a lot of effort.
One of the most savvy free money tools, Trim, analyzes your spending trends and creates a list of services that may be putting a drain on your accounts. When you sign-up and connect your banking and phone information, Trim will help you identify subscriptions you may want to cancel.
Trim recently helped me save nearly $800 on our cable bill.
Like Paribus, Trim keeps a portion of the money they help you save, but you still come out ahead.
5. Sell Your Unused Electronics on Decluttr
This isn’t your grandmother’s garage sale.
If you have old CDs, DVDs, Blurays, cell phones, video games, tablets, etc., you can simply scan the bar codes and Decluttr will make you an offer to take your unused junk off your hands.
The process is typically smooth, and most earnings range up to $3 per item. If you have a big inventory to unload, Decluttr may even make you a bulk offer.
Decluttr’s biggest advantage? You get to sell your stuff online and avoid coordinating meetups or shipping to individual buyers.
6. Ebates: Earn Cash Back Online and In Store
If I were giving out an award for Easiest Way to Earn Cash Back, it would go to Ebates – and it wouldn’t be much of a contest.
Here’s how it works:
- Sign-up for Ebates and shop online through their website and in store (in store shopping is a relatively new Ebates feature). *You’ll be eligible for a $10 bonus when you complete your first purchase through Ebates.*
- You’ll earn cash back, often around 6-8%, just by purchasing through your favorite Ebates-approved stores.
- The stores pay Ebates for a commission referring business their way, and Ebates passes on a portion to you.
- Ebates will send your cash back in the form of a check or via PayPal.
- Bonuses: Several Ebates-approved stores offer Double Cash Back on a rotating basis, and their bonuses from referring friends are tough to beat.
7. Personal Capital: The Preferred Personal Finance App of 1.6 Million Users – and It’s FREE!
If you’re looking for one piece of financial software to help you monitor every aspect of your financial life in one place, it’s Personal Capital.
With Personal Capital, you can
- track your income and expenses on your smartphone
- monitor your budget
- keep track of your net worth
- follow your investments
- and plan for your retirement
The Personal Capital dashboard shows a complete picture of all of your financial accounts and evaluates whether you’re on track to meet your financial goals.
8. ShopTracker – Share Your Amazon Purchase History and Make Money Every Month
Would you like to make money every month just for allowing one of the best free money tools to take a peek at your Amazon purchase history? ShopTracker, one of the industry leaders in online data and research, is right up your alley.
Start by signing-up with Shop Tracker – don’t worry, your information is 100% private and secure. They’re only interested in the boring stuff, like your product purchases, category, order date, condition of item(s), and other data that won’t reveal your identity.
Here is how it works:
- After signing-up, download the ShopTracker app to your devices and answer a few basic questions about your Amazon use.
- Login to the app and share your Amazon purchase history with Shop Tracker. They will send you a code for a $3 Amazon gift card within the next two days.
- For every month that you take a few minutes to answer quick questions about your Amazon purchase history, ShopTracker will send you additional money.
If you’re 18 or older and live in the United States, it doesn’t get much easier than this, so get started today.
9. Top Cash Back
It’s called Top Cash Back for a reason: they offer cashback and discounts on online purchases and Free Cashback rewards that don’t even require users to make a purchase.
Start by signing-up (it takes less than 30 seconds) and verifying your email address. From your dashboard, you can search for a specific retailer using the search bar at the top, browse different categories of retailers using the navigation bar above, or visit the Offers page for the best cash back deals of the day.
Next, start shopping using the pink “Cashback” button next to the retailer’s name. This will take you to their website while ensuring that any purchases you make are credited in your Top Cash Back account.
Just make your purchase exactly as you normally would, and then Top Cash Back will calculate the amount of cash back you’re due, and any cash back earned should show on your account Earnings page within 7 days – although it’s often a lot sooner.
With no minimum payout thresholds, $5 bonuses for referring friends, and a promise to never sell your information to anyone, signing-up with Top Cash Back is a must.
Pro tip: if you redeem your cash back in gift cards rather than cash through PayPal, you get an additional 3% bonus!
10. i-Say: Use the App and Get Paid for Sharing Your Opinion
These days, big data makes the world go ’round. And the i-Say app allows you to get in the game and make money for sharing your opinions.
What makes i-Say different than a lot of other survey providers? Potential payouts. Some surveys on i-Say payout up to $95 – just for one survey.
Most other i-Say surveys offer $1-2 for completion, but they only take a few minutes. And with easy redemption of points through PayPal or gift cards, i-Say has a firm spot in our list of the best free money tools.