Last updated: November 2019
You’ll find coupon and cash-back apps and websites all throughout the personal finance blogging world.
The problem is that many of these only work in the U.S. and/or only work for online purchases. As a Canadian who barely shops online, I was looking for one of these cash-back opportunities that would work for me.
And you’ve probably already guessed it, I found one called Checkout 51.
Checkout 51, a Canadian company, works in Canada and the U.S., and works for purchases made in store or online.
It’s free to use, and they will give you up to $5 for free just for signing up through an affiliate link like this one right here.
Checkout 51 is focused on grocery stores, but as you know, grocery stores sell a lot more than just food these days. This includes things like over-the-counter medication, household supplies, personal care items, pet supplies, entertainment and technology items, and even alcohol (where it’s legal to do so).
How Does Checkout 51 Work?
It’s really easy. Especially if you’re already familiar with cash-back and reward programs apps.
1. Sign Up
Don’t have a smartphone? That’s okay! You don’t need one to use Checkout 51. You can do everything using their website if you prefer.
2. Find Offers
To find offers, simply browse through the offers for the week. If you see one you like, load it to your profile by clicking on the + beside each offer.
New offers go live on at midnight on Thursdays and are good until 11:59 PM the following Wednesday. You can set up push notifications and/or emails to be alerted when there are new offers and bonuses available. (If you’re a PC Optimum member, this step works pretty much the same way as it does with that program.)
3. Make Your Purchases & Redeem Offers
To redeem an offer, purchase the item(s) in store or online, and keep your receipt. From within the app or while logged into their website, select the items purchased from your redeem list.
4. Upload Your Receipt
You will then be asked to take and upload a picture of your receipt (as proof of purchase) and that’s it! This step is easier to do through the app, but can be done through the website, as well. Once their system processes your request, you’ll see the cash-back amount added to your account.
The amount of cash-back you get varies per item. Most have similar values as coupons, starting from $0.50 but can be upwards of $10, depending on the offer.
5. Cash Out
To cash out, you have to reach a balance of $20 and then you can request payment. Currently, payments are made via cheques in the mail only, but they are working on setting up PayPal options soon.
I’ve been using the app for about 6 months and have accumulated $61.05 worth of cash-back points already. (That is including the free $5 bonus.)
What I Like About Checkout 51
There is a lot to like about Checkout 51. Here are some of the features I like the most:
No Change Necessary
The thing that I personally like the most about Checkout 51 is that I don’t have to change my shopping habits at all in order to use it. The only thing I do differently is I ask for the receipt and keep it with me rather then putting it into a grocery bag.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes
Browsing, loading and redeeming offers literally takes me 5 minutes or less to do each week. I make it a habit to redeem my offers when I get home, just to be sure I don’t forget and miss out.
As I’ve already mentioned, it’s free to use. You can get a $5 bonus just for signing up with an affiliate link. And then you can share your own referral code (affiliate link) with your friends and family to get even more cashback if they sign-up, too.
You Can Shop Anywhere
You can use Checkout 51 with any store – even online retailers. Or better yet, shop at your local stores and support small businesses within your community.
Combine Your Offers
You can use it with other offers, such as coupons or other cash-back apps (unless otherwise stated, that is).
For example, say you needed to buy toilet paper. With a Swagbucks account, you could order toilet paper online through Amazon or Staples and get cash back for this purchase through Swagbucks AND through Checkout 51. Or you could print off a coupon through Swagbucks and earn SB points for your purchase AND get cash back through Checkout 51. And if you have a cashback credit card, use that, too!
No Need to Plan Ahead
Because everything with Checkout 51 is done after you’ve made your purchase, you don’t need to clip coupons ahead of time if you don’t want to. This is also super helpful if you end up picking-up one of the weekly offers from the grocery store that you didn’t plan to get ahead of time.
A Chance to Win $500 Each Month
As yet another bonus, each week you can also enter to win $500 simply by uploading any grocery store receipt for $60 or more.
What I Don’t Like About Checkout 51
There are a few – but just a few – things that Checkout 51 could do better.
No Paypal – Yet
Having to request a cheque and then wait for it to arrive in the mail isn’t ideal. So it could take some time before you actually get that cash back. However, the option to cash out via PayPal is currently in Beta testing and is available to some users already. They will be releasing this option to all users soon.
It is limited to users in Canada and the U.S. only, at this time.
Some Fine Print
Occasionally, certain offers will have more fine print, such as claim limits or offers only being available from certain retailers. Personally, I have not run into this, but be sure to check and make sure your purchases are eligible.
You Won’t Get Rich Quick
Otherwise, the only other “downside” I can think of is that you won’t make a ton of money using Checkout 51. But the same can be said for pretty much every other coupon and cashback websites and apps out there. Every little bit helps though, right?
You Should Check Out Checkout 51 For Yourself
There really isn’t any risk with trying out Checkout 51 for yourself. Especially when you can get a free $5 bonus.
Maybe you’ll love it, maybe you won’t. But chances are there are at least a few offers available on products you already buy, so why not get a little cash back for them?
What cashback apps and websites do you use? Have you tried Checkout 51? Leave a comment below to let us know what you think!
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