shopkick review
Updated July 10, 2020

Shopkick Review 2020: Is Shopkick Legit or a Scam?

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    Shopkick
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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.
    Legitimacy (Details) 10/10
     
    Potential Earnings (Details) 6/10
     
    Time Required (Details) 6/10
     
    Fees (Details) 10/10
     
    Ease of Use (Details) 10/10
     
    Customer Support (Details) 10/10
     

Lots of apps reward you for making purchases, but Shopkick, 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.

how to get more 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:

  • Amazon
  • Best Buy
  • eBay
  • Foot Locker
  • Gamestop
  • Groupon
  • JC Penney
  • Lowe’s

  • Nike
  • Old Navy
  • Paypal
  • Sephora
  • Starbucks
  • Target
  • Uber
  • Walmart

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.

Shopkick In-Store

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. If you do this while you’re out and about, the app will notify you when you’re near a store that offers kicks.

turn on location services shopkick
find stores near you with walk in kicks
shopkick kicks nearby
happy shopkicking

In-store Technology

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.

how to scan shopkick
look for the barcode icon
locate the product to scan
tap scan barcode shopkick

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.

submit a receipt on shopkick

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.

Geographic Limitations

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.

Check it out: The 15 Best Mobile Coupon Apps

Shopkick Online

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 just by visiting online stores or watching product videos, even if you don’t make a purchase.

visit your favorite online stores through shopkick
place items in card and checkout
kicks activity

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.

earn more with a linked card
link your card
pay with linked card
earn kicks with your linked card

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.

Referral Bonuses

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.

invite friends on shopkick

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.

Making Purchases

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!

hulu on shopkick

Watching Videos

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 substantial number of kicks.

Referring Friends

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.

choose a gift card to earn on shopkick

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.

Shopkick Retailers
Retailer
Kicks Needed
Denominations Offered
Walmart500+$2, $5, $25, $50
Target500+ $2, $5, $10, $25
TJ Maxx500+$2, $5, $10, $25, $50
Amazon1,250+ $5, $10, $25, $50, $100
Best Buy1,250+$5, $10, $25, $50, $100
Apple Store2,500+ $10, $15, $25
Uber3,750+$15
Disney6,250+$25, $50
Tory Burch62,500$250
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.

Getting Help

shopkick email customer support

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

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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.

4.5/5 Rating
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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.

Alex McOmie

Alex McOmie currently serves as the Managing Editor for Money Done Right. He joined the Money Done Right editorial team in summer 2019. Learn more about Alex.

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2 Comments

Shopkick has not worked at any stores in over a month. Message keeps saying they are working on the problem. Customer support is of no help at all. I have sent them 3 emails already. Good question is Shopkick legit or a scam……..

Hi Loretta. We’re sorry to hear your experience! However, we recently updated our review for 2020, and our testers reported that the app is in fact working now. I hope your experience with Shopkick has improved!

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