Shopkick Review 2021: Is Shopkick Legit or a Scam?Cash Back
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- Basics: Shopkick is a free app that lets you earn gift cards to major retailers without spending any money, although making purchases increases your earnings.
- Pros: The app is fun and engaging, and offers a variety of ways to earn points both online and IRL.
- Cons: Earning points may be time consuming, online shopping must be done through a mobile device, and IRL options may be limited by location.
Lots of apps reward you for making purchases, but Shopkick (use promo code LOGAN for a $5 bonus), one of the top rewards apps, lets you earn gift cards without buying anything.
You can earn points just by walking into participating stores, and by scanning items with no obligation to buy them. If you do buy any of those items, though, you can earn even more points by scanning your receipt afterwards.
There are more ways to earn points, too, with and without spending money.
Our Shopkick review will cover the app’s pros and cons and explain how it works. Shopkick won’t replace your day job, but it can help you earn points toward gift cards every month, even if you don’t buy a thing.
How Shopkick Works
To start using Shopkick, download the app on an iOS (10.0 or later, including iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch) or Android (6.0 and up) device. From there, you’ll have access to a wide range of options for earning Shopkick points, or kicks.
Earn Shopkick Points Without Spending Money
- Walk into select partner stores
- Scan barcodes of select products with in-app scanner
- Watch online video ads
- Look through product listings for “surprises”
- Refer friends to Shopkick
Earn Shopkick Points With Purchases
- Purchase select items and submit your receipt through the app
- Shop at select partner stores with a linked credit card
- Shop at select online partner stores through the app
Redeeming Shopkick Points
Kicks can be redeemed for gift cards for select retailers such as Amazon, Starbucks, Target, and Walmart. Every 250 kicks gets you $1, and you can earn hundreds of kicks in a single transaction.
These are just some of the brands currently offering gift cards on Shopkick:
- Best Buy
- Foot Locker
- JC Penney
- Old Navy
Where Shopkick Works
Shopkick gives you the option to earn kicks online or in physical stores. You may find it easy to work it into your regular shopping routine.
While purchases typically lead to greater rewards, you can earn 25 or more kicks simply by entering partner stores.
To make this work, you have to turn on Bluetooth and allow Shopkick to track your location. The app will then update your homepage to show you participating stores nearby.
Participating stores have installed small Shopkick boxes inside their front doors. When you walk into a store, your phone picks up an inaudible signal the box sends out, and you get your kicks.
The store pays Shopkick a commission for getting you through the doors, so you won’t get any kicks for walking past the store or lingering nearby — you have to actually go in.
Kicks for Scanning Products
Once in store, the app will show you products you can scan for 10 kicks or more each.
You don’t have to buy the items you scan in order to earn kicks, but if you do buy them you can submit your receipt through the app for an additional 100 or more kicks.
Furthermore, when you make purchases at partner stores using a credit card linked to Shopkick, you’ll earn a certain number of kicks for each dollar spent.
All things considered, you could earn several dollars or more on a single shopping trip.
The downside to Shopkick, of course, is that you can only earn kicks this way if you live or work near participating stores.
Shopkick is cagey about which stores offer kicks for showing up, but they seem to include major retailers such as Target, Walmart, Best Buy and T.J. Maxx.
You’ll only know for sure what’s available to you once you sign up and head out.
Shopkick connects with a number of online retailers to give you kicks for every dollar you spend. As with physical stores, you can also earn kicks without purchasing anything by interacting with content in the app’s Discover feed.
You’ll receive 200 kicks simply for linking your credit or debit card to the Shopkick app. Linking a card also allows you to earn kicks on future online purchases.
Shop Through the App
Make sure to shop through Shopkick in order to earn as many kicks as possible. You’ll only receive rewards if you access the target site through Shopkick.
Referrals are one of the most efficient ways to earn gift cards through Shopkick. When someone you refer downloads the app and either enters a partner store or scans a product barcode, you each receive 250 kicks. Keep in mind they need to perform one of these actions within one week of signing up.
Finding New Referrals
Finding new referrals can become challenging after a while, but you can send a referral code to anyone — including fellow shoppers who are curious about why you’re walking around scanning products. This is a great opportunity to introduce people to Shopkick and earn referral rewards.
Earning Points With Referrals
You can earn up to 25,000 kicks, or $100, by referring friends and family members to Shopkick.
Unfortunately, you’ll stop earning kicks after 100 referrals, but you’ll still walk away with $100 in gift cards.
How Much Can You Earn on Shopkick?
Everyone’s experience with Shopkick is different, but you could earn a surprising amount of gift card value even if you don’t spend any money. On the other hand, it’s important to set realistic expectations before using the app.
Unless you’re willing to spend a lot of time watching videos and visiting stores, you probably won’t earn more than $5 or $10 in gift cards per week.
Walking Into Stores
Walking into stores and scanning barcodes, for example, may only be a good use of your time if you were already planning to go. You’ll probably earn a dollar or less for each visit unless you buy something in the store.
Purchases offer significantly more rewards, but you’ll have to spend a lot of money to earn back anything substantial. For example, if a store offers two kicks per dollar, you’ll earn 100 kicks ($0.40) when you spend $50. At that rate, you would have to spend $1,250 to earn just $10.
Sometimes, though, you’ll come across a good deal. This 4,000-kick Hulu subscription is worth $16!
Watching videos online is an easier way to use Shopkick, since you can earn kicks while commuting or even while watching television, movies or videos on another device. That said, most videos only offer around 50 kicks, so you’ll have to spend a lot of time on Shopkick to earn a few kicks.
And as mentioned above, you can earn up to $100 in kicks by getting others to use the app.
Redeeming Shopkick Points
You can redeem your kicks for gift cards to a large number of stores.
Set a Gift Card Goal
When you first sign up for Shopkick, you’ll be prompted to choose a gift card to work toward. You can always change your mind about which card you want.
Gift cards are available in different denominations, and you may have to earn a certain minimum before withdrawing kicks.
Gift Cards to Work Toward
Each retailer sets the range of gift card denominations they offer. As mentioned above, 250 points is generally equal to $1 in value, but that’s up to the retailer’s discretion.
|Walmart||500+||$2, $5, $25, $50|
|Target||500+||$2, $5, $10, $25|
|TJ Maxx||500+||$2, $5, $10, $25, $50|
|Amazon||1,250+||$5, $10, $25, $50, $100|
|Best Buy||1,250+||$5, $10, $25, $50, $100|
|Apple Store||2,500+||$10, $15, $25|
|Tiffany & Co.||75,000||$300|
Is Shopkick Legit?
Shopkick has been around since 2010. Google Play shows 10,000,000+ downloads and 224,000 reviews; the Apple App Store doesn’t show downloads but has nearly 55,000 ratings.
Shopkick has been mentioned on sites like Yahoo, Fox Business, and Rachel Ray. It’s one of the most well-known rewards apps, and most users have positive experiences.
According to the Shopkick website, users have earned $85 million in gift cards.
Reviews Are Positive
The Shopkick app has received generally positive reviews, with a rating of 4.7 on the App Store and 4.4 on Google Play.
Some of the most commonly cited issues in negative reviews include low payouts, poor customer support, and a lack of opportunities to earn rewards.
The support team writes detailed responses to many reviews, though, suggesting they care about the customer experience.
Shopkick offers pretty a pretty comprehensive help section on the website and in the app, including a search bar and a “Bugs/Technical Issues” category.
There are plenty of explainers available, as well as an informative blog and a page of Shopkick tips.
Email support is offered if you can’t find the answers you need, and the company provides timely responses to questions and comments on the app store listings and social media.
Shopkick Pros and Cons
- Free app. The app is free to download and use.
- Earn without spending. You can earn points for gift cards without buying anything.
- Referrals pay. You can earn $1 per referral on up to 100 referrals
- Time investment. It can be time consuming to earn significant numbers of kicks.
- Location dependent. Opportunities can vary widely depending on your location.
- Mobile only. The website is informative, but you can only shop through the mobile app.
Is Shopkick Worth It?
Shopkick won’t replace your day job, but you could earn $10 or more in gift cards every week simply by checking in at partner stores and submitting receipts through the app.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job
That’s not bad, especially if you shop regularly in Shopkick’s partner stores anyway. But there are better ways to generate sustainable income, especially if you have the time to start a more lucrative side hustle.
And There Are Trade-Offs
You also have to consider your personal tolerance for allowing an app to track your movements. If you’re big on privacy, this may give you pause.
On the other hand, if you’re experienced with cash back and shopping apps you may have already made peace with the inherent trade-offs.
Shopkick is a free app that lets you earn gift cards to major retailers without spending any money, although making purchases increases your earnings.
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Shopkick Frequently Asked Questions
- What kind of app is Shopkick?
Shopkick is a mobile app that rewards you for walking into partner stores, scanning specific products, making purchases, and more.
- Do I have to spend money to earn points with Shopkick?
You’ll earn gift cards faster if you make purchases through the app, but Shopkick offers several ways to earn points without buying anything.
- What can I do with Shopkick points?
You can redeem your points, or kicks, for gift cards at major retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target.
- How do I know which stores give points for walking in?
Shopkick will notify you when you are near a store that rewards visits, and how many points you’ll get.
- How does Shopkick know where I am?
You have to enable GPS and Bluetooth tracking for Shopkick to match you with partner stores.