The 8 Best Mobile Shopping Apps

Coupons, price comparison apps, deal alerts, and other shopping apps

If you're a shopper of any kind, consider using one of these free mobile shopping apps to save money while you shop or even after shopping. Some of them display coupons or online discount codes to use as you check out, while others load discounts directly onto your loyalty card or notify you when something is on sale.

of 08

Enter Your Zip Code for Local Deals: Flipp

Navigating through the Flipp app.
What We Like
  • Digital coupons.

  • Convenient access to store flyers.

  • Easy to match items to sales.

What We Don't Like
  • Search locations by ZIP code only.

  • Some major retailers aren't listed.

Flipp is a mobile shopping suite with multiple features. You can browse ads, load coupons onto your loyalty card, upload receipts to earn rebate money, and build a shopping list.

Use Flipp to search for deals by store or category. Scroll through the categories to find deals in household, baby, and health products. Or, pick a store to see all the specials in that store. You can also go to the Load to Card section to find and import deals directly into your loyalty card.

If you've chosen rebates, select Redeem Rebates to scan the receipt and verify with Flipp that you made those purchases. Then, redeem rebate earnings through PayPal after you've made any amount.

Download For:

of 08

Cash Back for Regular Purchases: Ibotta

 Navigating through the ibotta app
What We Like
  • Good deals make trying new items appealing.

  • Excellent selection of stores.

  • Can link to store loyalty cards.

  • Notifies when you're near a store that accepts Ibotta.

What We Don't Like
  • Camera may not focus well or capture light text.

  • Photograph receipts for stores without a loyalty card.

Ibotta has you scan your receipts to get money back on your purchases.

Open the app and search for a store. Maybe it's one where you just shopped or will visit soon, or maybe you're just scoping out prices. Find the deals the store is offering and then add them to My Offers. After you pay for your items, select Redeem and scan your receipt.

Or, you can earn cash back by linking qualified store cards to the Ibotta app. If you link your cards, you won't need to scan your receipts.

Ibotta also works with some online stores. Choose where you want to shop online and then open the store's website through Ibotta. Ibotta will monitor what you buy and reward you for using their app to make the purchase. Then, cash out through PayPal, Venmo, or a gift card.

Download For:

of 08

The Best Deal and Coupon Alerts: Slickdeals

Navigating through the Slickdeals app
What We Like
  • RSS feeds front page for popular and trending deals.

  • Automatic alerts for items.

  • Deal discussion forums.

What We Don't Like
  • Includes deals placed by advertisers.

  • Requires an account.

Slickdeals is one of the best shopping alert apps. You can set up alerts to notify you when certain types of deals are active, and then you can quickly open the app for more details.

For example, to be notified when there's an Apple iPad for sale, add the word iPad to a new deal alert. Then, add other criteria for a more specific alert, such as a deal with a rating above three on the Black Friday Deals list (vs. Cyber Monday or Hot Deals).

You can also browse deals on Slickdeals. There are sections for Trending, Top Coupons, Grocery, Travel, and more. For more specific searches, go to the Categories section and select a category such as Popular Deals, Autos, Babies & Kids, Health & Beauty, Computers, or Occasions.

In addition to all of this, Slickdeals offers coupons to several stores, and they have discussion forums where users can talk about new and exciting deals that they've found. You can even set up deal alerts for those forums.

Download For:

of 08

Find Deals and Get Cash Back: Rakuten (Formerly eBates)

Rakuten website
What We Like
  • Link credit cards to earn cash automatically when you shop.

  • Earn rebates on items you'd buy anyway.

What We Don't Like
  • Must shop through app to earn rebates.

  • Must run debit card as a credit card to receive cash back.

  • Paid only via PayPal or check.

Every three months, Rakuten (formerly eBates) pays real cash on purchases you made through its app.

Sign up for an account, choose which store you're buying from, and then complete the purchase like normal from the retailer. All the cashback details happen in the background, and then you're notified when you earned money for shopping.

Rakuten is also a good choice if you're shopping for deals without a destination in mind. For example, if you find that you can book a hotel through Rakuten and get 10 percent back, but booking without Rakuten offers no deals, you can then decide to use the Rakuten app to get 10 percent back on your purchase.

Rakuten also offers in-store cashback. You have to add your payment card information to the Rakuten app and then shop at stores to receive money after you pay. Make sure to run your debit card as a credit card, or you won't receive any cash back. Rakuten is not notified when you make a debit card or PIN transaction.

Download For:

of 08

Helpful User Reviews and Low Prices: Amazon

Shopping on the Amazon app
What We Like
  • Reviews from verified buyers.

  • Easy comparison shopping.

  • Fast, excellent customer service.

  • No shipping fee for Amazon Prime members.

What We Don't Like
  • Package tracking is sometimes delayed.

  • Different prices for the same product.

Amazon is an online retailer known for offering a massive range of products at reasonable prices.

The mobile app doesn't just let you buy things from Amazon, but you can also scan physical items to see if you can get them cheaper through Amazon. A product search tool is built into the app and you can use it to scan physical objects and then search Amazon for them. There's also a built-in barcode scanner that does the same thing. Use these tools to see if an item is cheaper on Amazon versus other stores.

While you're viewing a product, Amazon offers related items and products other Amazon users have purchased along with the one you're viewing.

Because Amazon has a huge number of users, the app is also helpful for checking user reviews for a product before you buy it, even when purchasing in stores. Just search for the item and then see what other people are saying about it.

Download For:

of 08

Digital Coupons on the Go: RetailMeNot

Shopping on the RetailMeNot app
What We Like
  • Keep coupon codes handy for in-store shopping.

  • Cashback offers.

What We Don't Like
  • Retailers may not accept a code.

  • Problems with gift card purchases.

If you're looking for an app that can give you coupons and deals wherever you are, download RetailMeNot. It works online and inside stores and restaurants by showing you a digital coupon to scan in the store or a coupon code that you can use online.

Let's imagine you're shopping for a phone charger at a Best Buy store. You open RetailMeNot, search for deals at Best Buy, and find a 20% discount for mobile charging devices. You then tap the button to receive a discount code. The cashier scans the code, and you redeem your discount.

If you're shopping in a mall, use RetailMeNot to see a bird's eye view of the stores in the mall plus all the discounts you can take advantage of while you're there.

RetailMeNot also has cashback offers that earn you money as you shop. First, open the deal through the RetailMeNot app and finish the purchase on the retailer's website. After you're done, RetailMeNot sends cash through PayPal.

Download For:

of 08

Big Cash Payouts for Travelers: Dosh

Shopping on the DOSH app
What We Like
  • Transfers to your Venmo account take one day.

  • Earn money on purchases regardless of sales or discounts.

What We Don't Like
  • Cash isn't available until you earn a specified amount.

  • Run debit card as a credit card to receive cash back.

"Link your card, live your life, get cash" is how Dosh is advertised, and that's exactly how it works: you get cash back automatically by using your debit or credit card in stores. Just remember to choose "credit" instead of "debit" when paying.

You also get cash back online when you use the Dosh app to access websites with cashback offers. Go to the Online section of the app to find websites that Dosh will pay you to purchase from, and then buy things as normal through the retailer's site.

Dosh also has a handy feature that lets you find hotels that offer the biggest cash payouts. Choose a location to see what hotels cost in that area, as well as how much cash you'll get for each booking.

You can withdraw your Dosh cash through your bank, Venmo, or PayPal account once you've collected $25.

Download For:

of 08

Best for Price Comparisons: ShopSavvy

Shopping on the ShopSavvy app

Use ShopSavvy to compare prices across a number of online and local stores. You can search for products manually or scan a barcode before you make a purchase. Comparing prices like this is the easiest way to spend less when you shop.

Here's how it works: Open the app and either search for the product or use the scanner to scan the barcode. Immediately, you see the cheapest price both online and in stores. Then you can select to see specific retailers that offer that item for a lower price.

Select an online store, and you're taken to the product page where you can buy it; there's an option to see only new products or both new and used items. If you choose a local store, you can go there or open the store's website.

If you sign up with ShopSavvy, you earn cash back on select purchases made through certain retailers. You can also save items in ShopSavvy to get price alerts when the price changes.

The home page of this app features the best new deals for your favorite brands, which is yet another way to find deals through ShopSavvy.

Download For:

Was this page helpful?