Capital One Shopping vs. Honey: Which One Saves You More Money?

SAVING & SPENDING - BUDGETING & EXPENSES
Capital One Shopping and Honey provide similar savings opportunities for online shoppers. But does one offer more value than the other?
Updated April 11, 2024
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Capital One Shopping and Honey are designed to help online shoppers find better deals and save money while making everyday purchases. But knowing which offers more value can be difficult to figure out.

In this Capital One Shopping vs. Honey review, you’ll learn about both products and how they work, including where they excel and what their differences are. This will help you decide whether one is a better fit for you than the other.

In this article

Capital One Shopping vs. Honey

Saving money on purchases you’re already making could be made easier when you use the right products. Both Capital One Shopping and Honey provide multiple ways for you to save money while shopping online, including finding coupons and offering rewards when you shop at participating retailers.

But it makes sense to compare the two to see which one aligns more with your shopping habits and financial goals. The table below gives a quick overview of Capital One Shopping vs. Honey so you can get a clearer picture of how they stack up against each other.

Capital One Shopping

Capital One Shopping

Honey

Honey

Online vs. in-store Online only Online only
Type of app Mobile app (iOS and Android devices) and browser extension Mobile app (iOS and Android devices) and browser extension
Redemption options Gift cards Gift cards or cash out with PayPal
Minimum cash out $0.01 minimum of Shopping Credits You can cash out once you earn enough PayPal Rewards for a gift card of your choice (100 points is equal to $1 in cashback)
Rewards expiration Capital One Shopping Credits don’t expire PayPal Rewards don’t expire as long as your account has been active for a 12-month period
Best for... Anyone who likes shopping online Dedicated online shoppers
Learn more Learn more

How does Capital One Shopping work?

Capital One Shopping is a free browser extension — available for Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari — and mobile app that could potentially help you find better deals when shopping online. It automatically searches for available coupon codes for items in your shopping cart at checkout, compares prices from participating retailers, and offers rewards for online purchases at eligible stores. If you want to keep track of a specific product with a participating retailer, you can also add it to your Watchlist and Capital One Shopping will notify you if the price for that product changes.

Since it’s free to get started with a Capital One Shopping account, there’s no downside to using the app’s services. Capital One Shopping partners with hundreds of stores to offer you potential savings, including popular brands and retailers like Amazon, Verizon, and Target. In addition, the Shopping Credits you earn from eligible purchases can be redeemed for gift cards from Sephora, Macy's, eBay, DoorDash, and more.

Download Capital One Shopping.

Capital One Shopping Benefits

  • Capital One Shopping searches thousands of merchants to see if you're getting a great deal
  • Don't miss out on a better price
  • Search and apply coupon codes automatically
  • Custom price drop alerts for products you've viewed or purchased

How does Honey work?

Honey by PayPal is a free mobile app and browser extension — available for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Opera — that could potentially help you save money on your online purchases. This includes finding coupons for you to use at checkout, showing the price history of products, and offering PayPal Rewards on eligible purchases. In addition, you can save a product to Honey’s Droplist feature to track the product’s price and get notified if the price drops.

Honey works with loads of stores and retailers to find you the best deals, including Walmart, Amazon, Target, and more. Once you earn enough PayPal Rewards from eligible purchases, redeem it for a PayPal cashout or a gift card. Available gift card options include DoorDash, Google Play, Sephora, Nike, and more.

Download Honey.

What both cashback apps excel at

Both Capital One Shopping and Honey have useful features that can help you figure out how to manage your money better on a daily basis, specifically if you frequently shop online.

Here are a few ways in which both Capital One Shopping and Honey excel:

  • Free and straightforward: You don’t have to pay a thing for either shopping app, and it’s easy to get started. In fact, you don’t have to put much effort at all into learning how to use the desktop browser add-ons or mobile apps. The features are mostly self-explanatory such as looking through featured offers and seeing deals to earn specific amounts of rewards on certain products.
  • Savings opportunities: Both apps provide multiple ways for you to save money. This includes finding coupons for you to use as you’re shopping and offering ways to track the prices of certain products. In addition, you also have the option to earn rewards on certain purchases.
  • Rewards programs: Capital One Shopping offers Capital One Shopping Credits when you make eligible purchases online, while Honey offers PayPal Rewards for eligible purchases. These rewards may have different names, but they work similarly. If you make a qualifying purchase, you could earn rewards. Once you earn enough rewards, you can use them on the available redemption options.
  • Redemption options: Both apps offer simple redemption options, including redeeming your rewards for gift cards from popular brands and retailers. If you’re using either app to save money while shopping online, earning free gift cards is another way to save money on future purchases. Honey also offers a PayPal cashout option, which makes sense since PayPal owns Honey.

3 important differences between Capital One Shopping and Honey

If you want to see where one app possibly outperforms the other, look at the following differences between Capital One Shopping and Honey. These areas can give you a better idea of why you might prefer one app over the other.

Here are a few differences between Capital One Shopping and Honey:

1. Referral bonuses

Referral bonuses are often one of the easiest and most lucrative ways to earn rewards with apps designed to save you money. Once you get started with Capital One Shopping, find your unique referral code in your account settings, and send it to your friends. Then you typically earn rewards for each friend that uses your referral link and makes an eligible purchase through the service.

Yet between both apps, only Honey currently (as of Feb 14, 2024) has a referral bonus. You get 500 PayPal Rewards points for each friend who signs up with your link and makes a qualifying purchase through Honey. Capital One Shopping has referral links you can use, but you don’t get any rewards when people use your link to get started.

Keep in mind that Capital One Shopping may offer referral bonuses from time to time, so take advantage of a referral bonus offer if you see one.

2. Price checking

Both apps give you information about the pricing of a product online, which could help you make a more informed decision on whether to make a purchase. But which app is more useful depends on what information you would rather see.

Capital One Shopping makes it easy to compare prices for the same product on different websites. For example, you could search for a product and see its price on eBay, Amazon, Staples, and more all at the same time. This typically includes tax and shipping information, as well as any available special offers or coupons.

Honey doesn’t compare prices between stores, but you can check a product's price history. This can give you an idea of how often the price fluctuates and whether it would be a good idea to wait to make your purchase if you think a price drop is coming. The only price comparison Honey does is between different sellers on Amazon.

3. PayPal vs. gift cards

You’re able to redeem your Capital One Shopping Credits or PayPal Rewards for gift cards, but gift cards are a lot less flexible than earning actual cash. For example, a gift card to Target can help you buy loads of things, but it won’t be too helpful if you want to fill your car up with gas or go out to eat at a specific restaurant. Cash is accepted virtually everywhere, so its uses are near-limitless.

Honey is part of the PayPal family of companies and includes a PayPal cashout as a redemption option. PayPal funds can be transferred to a linked bank account, so it’s easy to use the rewards you earn with Honey in the way you want.

Capital One Shopping only offers gift cards as a redemption option.

Which money-saving app should you choose?

The best money-saving app between Capital One Shopping and Honey is the one that could help you reach your financial goals. Both apps have the same end goal of saving you money, but they accomplish this in slightly different ways.

For example, Capital One Shopping likely makes sense if you'd like to see prices from different websites for a product you’re looking at. Honey only compares prices between different sellers on Amazon, so Capital One Shopping would be quicker than going to each individual website to check the price.

But if you want more redemption options than gift cards, consider Honey over Capital One Shopping. Honey’s connection to PayPal can literally pay off if you earn enough PayPal Rewards and want cash instead of a gift card.

And if you tend to shop at specific online stores without comparing prices between them, the Honey price history feature is likely more helpful than the Capital One Shopping price comparison tool. Knowing the price history can help you decide whether to make a purchase now or wait for a better time to potentially get a lower price.

FAQs

Which is better, Capital One Shopping or Honey?

Both Capital One Shopping and Honey could potentially save you money if you frequently shop online. However, Honey offers a PayPal cashout redemption option in addition to gift cards, while Capital One Shopping only offers gift cards.

Since they’re both free, it’s easy to try them both out to see which app works best for you. They’re both designed to help save you money, but you might like the features of one app over the other after you’ve seen how they work.

Is Honey safe to use?

Honey has more than 17 million worldwide members and has helped its members find over $1 billion in savings. In addition, it’s owned by PayPal, a leading global platform for digital payments. This helps give the company a safe and reliable outlook for its users.

Keep in mind that Honey does collect data while you’re shopping online. But this is only so it can alert you to different coupons and deals as you move between pages. Honey states they never sell your personal information.

Is Capital One Shopping safe to use?

Capital One Shopping is a free service that could potentially help you save money while shopping. In 2019 alone, the app helped its members find more than $160 million in savings.

In addition, Capital One Shopping is committed to protecting your personal information. This includes following industry-based best practices and internationally recognized security standards to keep your information safe. Customer authentication procedures are also in place to help protect your account from identity theft.

How do you get Capital One Shopping?

Capital One Shopping is a free service available as a mobile app and browser extension for iOS and Android devices. You can also visit capitaloneshopping.com to quickly and easily download the Capital One Shopping extension.

You will need to create a free account to be able to log in and use all the features of the service. You don’t need to have a checking or credit card with Capital One to use Capital One Shopping.

How do you get Honey?

Honey is available as a mobile app on both iOS and Android devices and as a browser extension on desktop web browsers. To get started, download the app or browser extension and create a free account when prompted. The Honey website has links for the mobile app and browser extension. You’re able to use all of Honey’s features for free once you’re logged in.

Bottom line

There is no overall winner between Capital One Shopping and Honey, but you can see that both shopping tools have their benefits and drawbacks. In some cases, it could make sense to use both apps together to utilize their unique features and find the best deals possible while shopping.

Depending on what you're buying, it could also make sense to use whichever app offers the better earning potential. If a specific product can earn Shopping Credits or PayPal Rewards, use the app that offers more of its rewards. In addition, remember that you still have to pay for your purchases when using Capital One Shopping or Honey, so it’s best to only use them for things you planned to buy anyway.

If you use one of the best cash back credit cards to make your purchases, you’ll stack credit card rewards with rewards from money-saving apps.

Capital One Shopping Benefits

  • Capital One Shopping searches thousands of merchants to see if you're getting a great deal
  • Don't miss out on a better price
  • Search and apply coupon codes automatically
  • Custom price drop alerts for products you've viewed or purchased

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.

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