Alright. I want to start off this post by clarifying that this is not repeat information! I have done a few posts on smartphone apps like ibotta and Find & Save that are rebate apps that give you cash back on your purchases with receipt scanning involved. I love these apps because they are perfect for getting me cash back at certain stores . However, my post today is about receipt scanning apps that earn you cash for just submitting receipts. Really—that’s all you need to do. Your receipts are then submitted securely to companies that do market-data research to hone in on what’s popular for consumers (that’s why you’re able to earn from submitting receipts).
These three apps are ones that I use absolutely all the time. When I do any kind of shopping, I use either ibotta (for most major grocery stores) of Find & Save (for Aldi and retail stores) and redeem my rebates after my grocery trip. THEN I also open up each of these three apps and scan my receipt. So not only am I earning from my rebate apps, but I am also earning simultaneously from these three receipt-scanning apps… all from the same receipt.
Does it take a while to add up? Yes. But is it time consuming? No. It probably takes me about 30 seconds total to scan my receipt into all three apps. I don’t know about you, but I’m always willing to sacrifice small chunks for my time to save money!!
Below is my review of what are (in my opinion) the TOP 3 receipt-scanning apps for smartphones.
RECEIPT SCANNING APP #1- Receipt Hog
This app has been around for quite a while (and can also be used in the UK!). It actually is my least favorite of the three, which is why I’m going to get it out of the way by writing about it first. However, still earns me easy cash, so I can deal with a few things that annoy me about the app.
Once downloading the app and signing up, you should be automatically rewarded some points to get you started.
PLEASE NOTE: There is also an option to connect your email for more points (it’s a large number like 500 points or the equivalent of $2.50). However, please read the fine print people. I nearly did it and then read that it could read and edit all your messages or something totally bizarre like that. So needless to say, I passed on this initial opportunity for points and wanted to warn you all as well to heed caution.
Once you’re set up, you can start scanning receipts. Your receipts can NOT be older than 14 days.
How it works:
Receipt Hog values your receipts by assigning them a coin value (which eventually you redeem for $$) depending on how much you spend.
Sometimes they won’t even award you coins, but rather a “hog spin”… which basically looks like a casino slot machine. If you get a match, you will be rewarded a few coins. Many times the odds are (shockingly) not in your favor and you will receive nothing because you didn’t luck out with your spin.
And sometimes instead of awarding you even hog spins, they will award you just an entry into their monthly sweepstakes with (I’m guessing) millions of other Receipt Hog users. Receipts that qualify for only sweepstakes are receipts from restaurants, bars, bakeries, cafes, and gas stations.
This system is one of the things that annoys me about Receipt Hog (I wish that all receipts counted towards coins and not just spin at the slot machine), but again, I don’t want to complain too much all things considered.
HOW RECEIPTS ARE VALUED
Here is a breakdown of what receipts are valued at what:
I took the following information from https://receipthog.zendesk.com/hc/en-us which has a list of commonly answered questions.
“Coin-receipts will receive a coin value based on the total amount spent on the shopping trip, with larger totals being worth more! Here’s the standard breakdown for U.S. users:
<$10 = 5 coins / $10-$50 = 10 coins / $50-$100 = 15 coins / $100+ = 20 coins.
Here’s the standard breakdown for users within the U.K.:
<£10 = 5 coins / £10-£50 = 10 coins / £50-£100 = 15 coins / £100+ = 20 coins.”
As far as redeeming coins goes, Here are the current rewards and what you need to earn them. They also have identical rewards, but for PayPal.
MY EARNINGS OVER TIME
I have 602 coins currently and have been using this app for 2 months and 2 days, pretty diligently scanning receipts. It is the slowest earning app out of the three for sure, but… I’m (sort of) getting close to the $5 mark.
Pros of receipt hog:
- Easy to use
- Other ways to earn besides scanning receipts (hog slots, occasionally surveys, sweepstakes for points)
- Can cash out at $5 minimum
- Receive payment quickly (2-3 days)
Cons of receipt hog:
- Picky with types of receipts it accepts
- More receipt processing issues than other apps I’ve been using
- Once you scan your receipt, a little screen pops up where you have to select who did the shopping out of your family (Man, Woman, Boy or Girl) and rate their experience from 1-5 stars. Takes like 2 seconds, but still kind of annoying to have to do it for every receipt.
- For the average shopper, takes longer to earn with than other apps
- No incentives or referral program for referring friends
RECEIPT SCANNING APP #2- YAARLO
This receipt scanning app I would have not recommended a few months ago, but it has come a long way since I started using it, so now I’m definitely comfortable recommending it.
HOW IT WORKS/HOW RECEIPTS ARE VALUED
Yaarlo accepts almost any receipt and rewards a certain number of points based on a percentage of your total purchase. So for example, if I spend $100 at Aldi (grocery store), Yaarlo would reward me 25 points. 100 points = $1.00
Here is a breakdown of the percentages at which the number of points are based off of:
- Grocery Store: 25%
- Gas Station: 10%
- Retail Store: 25%
- Local restaurants: 25%
- Pharmacy: 20%
- Personal and Entertainment: 20%
- Fast Food Restaurants: 25%
- Wholesale Clubs: 10%
I included a portion of my past receipts stored in the app so that you can see a bit more of the app.
Here are the current cash out options:
I have had very few issues with this Yaarlo at all and they have also added some cool features to the app since I started using it. They now also have a section called “Shop ‘n Earn” which is very similar to Ebates. Basically, you can get a percentage of cash back based off of your total purchase at featured stores. Here are a few examples below.
I think this app has a lot of potential. They are still working on a few upcoming features for the app, but they don’t interfere with its current use.
MY EARNINGS OVER TIME
I’ve been using this app for about 2 months and 2 weeks and have earned almost $7 by just scanning receipts. I haven’t taken advantage of the “Shop ‘n Earn” portion yet since Ebates has (literally) about 1,800 more options at this point. They also have surveys you can take to earn more points, but I haven’t delved into these because I have found from experience that surveys in situations like these (where you are redirected to another site) are often too time consuming, not user friendly on mobile devices, and not worth the small amount of points, cash, whatever rewarded. But that is just my opinion.
Pros of YAARLO:
- Easy to use
- Has nice additional features such as “Shop ‘n Earn” which can help you earn quicker if you’d like
- Variation of points rewarded due to type of purchase helps you earn much quicker than with Receipt Hog (I’ve earned about 3x as much in nearly the same amount of time)
- Accepts and rewards points for almost any receipt you submit
- Accepts e-receipts (although they have to be printed out and then submitted through the app. No screenshots allowed).
- Has incentive for referring friends (although not amazing). Earn $1 (or 100 points) for each friend that signs up with your referral code, and you will also earn $1 (100 points) for signing up by someone’s referral code. Earn your first 100 points ($1) to get you going by using my referral: MALLORYB650
Cons Of YAARLO:
- Can still take a while to earn
- App still developing (although this doesn’t interfere with current use)
- Has a little bit more of an “archaic” look in ways as far as interface goes, but still works fine.
- I haven’t cashed out yet, but have read online it takes 5-7 days to receive your payment or gift card.
- Sometimes they mess up categorizing receipts. They do have customer support, but I’ve never taken advantage of it since it wasn’t that important to me. So I can’t vouch for how helpful they are.
Again, if you download this app and want to start off with $1/100 points (after scanning your first receipt), use my referral code: MALLORYB650 when signing up.
Receipt Scanning App #3: Receipt Pal
This is my favorite receipt-scanning out of the 3 because it takes the least amount of time (not that any of them take very much time in the first place!).
How it Works/how receipts are valued
It’s pretty brainless. Just snap your receipts. A checkmark shows it’s approved and a clock shows it’s pending approval. Once a box is completed (4 receipts), you will be rewarded 100 points. They also have quite a few options for cashing out.
My Earnings Over Time and rewards available
I’ve downloaded this app on the same day I downloaded Yaarlo. I currently have 2,550 points. I could have redeemed for a $5 e-gift card by now or a $25 Restaurant.com gift card. But at 3,500 points you can get a $50 Restaurant.com gift card, so I’m holding out for that. I think it’s pretty amazing that just mindlessly scanning receipts for the last 2.5 months is going to have earned me $50 for Restaurant.com. I’ve listed other rewards below.
Pros of Receipt Pal:
- Accepts any receipt (except hand-written or screen shots of online orders)
- Really user-friendly and straightforward to use
- Accepts e-receipts. All you do is forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will see it immediately reflected in your “box” as it is processing.
- Decent cash out options for low point thresholds.
- Rewards are sent instantly to your email when you choose to “cash out”.
- Minimum cash out is $1 at 400 points.
- Receipts can be submitted within 30 days of purchase, which is a longer time frame than the other apps.
Cons of Receipt Pal:
- No referral program
- All receipts count for the same value
- You can scan a max of 20 receipts per week
**EDIT** Since writing this post, I have been informed that Receipt Pal is temporarily not accepting new people right now because they are overloaded. I take this as a good sign that they are gaining popularity! I suggest trying to download the app in a few days when hopefully they start accepting new people again!
All in all, these are all great apps to earn a little extra cash/gift card money here and there. While it does take some time to redeem rewards, it requires little effort. And when you’re on a budget… every dollar matters! We are always looking for easy ways to earn and save (even in small ways) and these apps make it as easier than ever!
Well… that’s all for now. Happy earning!