Last Updated on November 12, 2020
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 is not a shopper, and rarely shops online, I was looking for one of these cash back offers that would work for me.
And you’ve probably already guessed it, I found one! It’s the cash back coupon app Checkout 51.
Checkout 51 is a free cash back app that works in Canada and the USA, and works for purchases made in store or online. It’s a very convenient and great way to use coupons to start saving money.
The app offers cash back rewards on everyday items and makes it easy to browse grocery offers. Although it is focused on grocery stores, 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).
They will also give you up to $5 for free just for signing up through an affiliate link like this one right here.
Sorry! The referral bonus has temporarily been put on hold as of July 31, 2020.
How Does Checkout 51 Work?
It’s really easy. Especially if you’re already familiar with cash back reward programs apps like Ibotta.
1. Sign Up
The first step is to earn cash back is to sign up and create a profile, which can be done online or through downloading the free app.
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 grocery offers, simply browse through the offers that are updated every week. If you see one you like, load it to your profile by clicking on the + beside each offer.
New offers are updated every Thursday morning at 12:00 am (no matter what time zone you are in) and are good until the following Wednesday at 11:59 pm. 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 snap a photo of your receipt (as proof of purchase) for the app to scan and that’s it! This step is easier to do through the Checkout 51 mobile 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 50 cents but can be upwards of $10, depending on the offer.
5. Cash Out
When your account balance reaches $20, your money can be redeemed by requesting a payment. Currently, payments are made via cheques in the mail only, but they are working on setting up PayPal account options soon.
Within my first 6 months using Checkout 51 I’ve accumulated $61.05 worth of cash back savings!
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 every 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.
(When the referral program was running, you could also get a one time $5 bonus for signing up with an affiliate link. And then you could share your own referral code (affiliate link) with your friends and family to get even more cash back if they sign-up, too.)
You Can Shop Anywhere
Checkout 51 makes it easy to save money with your favorite stores and favorite brands including Huggies, Kellog, Dove and Tide. Because you’re not limited to shopping only at the supermarket or drug store, you can earn cash back with participating online retailers and at the gas station (coming soon to Canada!).
Or better yet, shop at your local grocery store and support small businesses within your community.
It even works if you are on food stamps, as long as you have the receipt.
Stack Your Offers
You can combine the Checkout 51 offers with other coupons, grocery offer apps or money back offers (unless otherwise stated, that is) to earn even more cash back savings.
For example, say you needed to buy toilet paper. With a Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) account, you could order toilet paper online through Amazon or Staples and get cash back rebate for this purchase through Rakuten AND through Checkout 51.
Or you could find printable coupons through Swagbucks and earn SB points for your purchase AND get cash back through Checkout 51.
Do you have a cash back credit card? Use that, too! What about a loyalty card or store card where you can also earn cash rewards?
Some cash back offers within the Checkout 51 app can also be claimed multiple times, which is great for extreme couponing.
No Need to Plan Ahead
Because everything with Checkout 51 is done after you’ve made your purchase, you don’t need spend time coupon clipping ahead of time if you don’t want to. This is also super helpful if you end up picking-up one of the weekly grocery offers while grocery shopping that you didn’t plan to get ahead of time.
It also means no more holding up the line and the cashier as you fumble to find the manufacturer coupons you printed or checking which store coupons have expired.
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 – Checkout 51 features that could be 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 and deposited into your bank account. 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.
Only Available in Canada and the USA
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 although you are earning real cash back and saving money on groceries, you won’t make a ton of extra cash if you use 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 creating a Checkout 51 account for yourself.
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 earn 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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