How to Save Money and Earn Gift Cards with Fetch Rewards [2019]

This app makes earning rewards for shopping easier than ever
11/19/19 | By Robin Kavanagh
Smiling man looking at smartphone

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Not too long ago, if you wanted to save money at the grocery store, you had to spend hours clipping coupons out of ad inserts from the Sunday paper. Times have changed.

Advances in technology and partnerships with national brands have taken some of the guesswork and tedium out of finding the best deals. Now you can simply earn rewards by downloading an app and using it when you shop.

Fetch Rewards is one such app that is worth checking out. Like many similar apps, like Ibotta and Shopkick, Fetch Rewards allows you to accumulate monetary credits for purchasing certain items. However, this app makes the process of getting those rewards much easier for consumers. You can shop anywhere, access a wide range of qualifying products, and all you have to do is scan your receipts to get credits.

Here is a closer look at Fetch Rewards and why you should add it to your smartphone.

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What is Fetch Rewards?

Fetch Rewards is an app for Android and iOS that gives users rewards points for scanning grocery receipts, which then can be cashed in for gift cards. It gives people an easier way to save with coupons by removing the extra steps of choosing products, clipping, and going to specific stores in order to benefit from deals offered by manufacturers.

Fetch Rewards was founded in 2013 by Daniel Litvak, Tyler Kennedy, and Wes Schroll, and has raised over $51 million in funding. A statement from Schroll on the company website says that he came up with the idea of an app to help people save on groceries easily after he started living on his own in college. He wants people to be able to save on the products they already buy, regardless of where they buy them.

It seems that Schroll is making that happen, as Fetch Rewards has built relationships and deals directly with hundreds of popular brands, such as Huggies, Jell-O, Dove, Bubly, and Kleenex. More than a million users now have the flexibility of shopping at the stores of their choice and earning points for purchasing products from participating brands. 

How does Fetch Rewards work?

Fetch Rewards is very simple to use. You do your shopping, upload a receipt to the app, and then see if you’ve earned any points. In the Fetch Rewards world, 1,000 points earn you a $1 credit. Credits get banked until you’re ready to trade them in for gift cards through the app.

Getting started with Fetch Rewards

To get started, download and install Fetch Rewards from your phone’s app store. From there, you’ll create an account using an email address, Facebook, or Google account. You’ll be asked if you have a referral code. If a friend referred you and you have a code, add it and you’ll earn 2,000 points after you scan your first receipt. If you don’t have a referral code, enter REWARD in that field and you’ll get 2,000 points when you scan your first receipt.

When you get to the home screen, you’ll be directed to the little camera icon and encouraged to upload a receipt. Tap on the icon to activate the Scan function. Follow the prompts, which tell you exactly how to position your receipt and if you should take multiple pictures of it to get all the information the app needs to award points, and upload a receipt from any place you’ve bought groceries. It could be from a grocery, warehouse, convenience, drug, liquor, or big box store — it doesn’t matter.

Once your receipt is scanned, you’ll see how many points you’ve earned for completing the upload. For my first scan, I didn’t have any products that qualified for points, but was given 750 points for uploading a recent Food Lion receipt. I also got an offer for 500 bonus points for scanning another receipt. Outside of these offers, I expect to earn 25 points just for uploading a receipt.

Save Money and Earn Gift Cards with Fetch Rewards

After my upload was complete, I was given a list of items that the app read based on the text and codes from the receipt. None of them were correct, however, and I was able to search for products that could match what I purchased. It also allows you to scan a barcode for products you purchased that are listed on the uploaded receipt but not recognized, just to make getting rewards easier.

Point values for qualifying purchases can range from 250 to 3,000. They are awarded based on whether or not you purchased a product from a participating brand and if there are any special offers being applied (special offers generally are worth more points). You can browse through all the brands that participate and add the brands you like to a shopping list within the app. Specific products are not added to these lists, just the brands.

To find out how much you will be rewarded for buying a specific product, go to the Discover tab on the bottom of the screen. This provides you with options to browse products by recently added, category, amount of points awarded, and offer expiration. Tap on a product you want to buy, and you’ll see the offer details, how many points you’ll earn, and have the option to add that product to your shopping list.

Save Money and Earn Gift Cards with Fetch Rewards

Do you need to do this? No. You can simply shop and scan receipts, then take whatever points you’re awarded for scanning and buying qualifying products. But if you’re looking to maximize your rewards from this app, searching through the special offers to find products you would buy anyway and adding them to a shopping list you can easily access while you shop is a smart option.

Your points accumulate with every scan and can be viewed at the top of the app’s screen. When you’re ready to cash in on your points, tap on the Rewards icon at the bottom of the screen. There, you’ll be able to search for e-gift card options by keyword, category, or point value. Categories include entertainment, gifts, home goods, electronics, and even charities, and you’ll need a minimum of 3,000 points for most rewards.

Once you decide on the reward you want, you’ll have instant access to it in the My Rewards tab. Tap on the reward to see more details about how it can be used.

Who can use Fetch Rewards?

Anyone who wants to earn rewards for their normal purchases will find a lot of value in using Fetch Rewards. This app takes the best features of other rewards/coupon services and makes them easier and more convenient to use. All you need is an email address, Facebook or Google account, and a smartphone to be part of the Fetch Rewards community.

How to earn with Fetch Rewards

The best way to earn rewards with Fetch Rewards is to shop. You get points for submitting receipts, buying participating brands, and purchasing specific products that offer bonuses. Unlike with other similar apps, you don’t get points for visiting specific stores or scanning barcodes.

You can either shop as you normally would and see what your points your purchases earn, or shop strategically to maximize how much you get back for your weekly shopping. The reason for this is that Fetch Rewards offers between 250 and 3,000 points for qualifying purchases. If you buy a product from a participating brand, you’ll get some points. If you buy a product that has a special rewards offer, you could get thousands of points.

Making these purchases are very easy, no matter which strategy you choose. That’s because at the time this article was written, Fetch Rewards has partnerships with more than 260 national brands that most people are likely to add to their shopping carts. Here is a look at some of the product categories and brands you’ll find.

Baby

This category is a little sparse, but if you’re a Huggies fan, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to earn. GoodNites, A+D, Little Swimmers, Pull-Ups, and Huggies are all participating brands.

Beauty & Personal Care

This is one of the more-populated categories, with 23 brands. They include St. Ives, Dove, Suave, TRESemme, Vasoline, and Q-Tips.

Grocery

Surprisingly, there are only 11 brands in this category, but the products span a wide range of needs. Participating brands include Lipton, Stove Top, Amazing Grains, Knorr, and Shake ‘n Bake.

Magazines

This is by far the most populated category on Fetch Rewards, with 41 titles to choose from. They include Better Homes & Gardens, Coastal Living, Eat This Not That, Entertainment Weekly, Health, Time, History Channel, Parents, InStyle, Shape, and more.

How to redeem Fetch Rewards

Claiming Fetch Rewards is very easy, and everything is done within the app. You’ll need at least 3,000 points to claim most rewards, so once you bank that amount, tap on the Rewards icon on the bottom of the app screen.

Save Money and Earn Gift Cards with Fetch Rewards

There are currently 18 categories of gift card rewards to choose from. Tap on a category to see where you can redeem your points for gift cards. You can also search by name or by point value to find a gift card you’re interested in. Once you choose the card you want, tap on the amount you’re trading points for and continue through the verification prompts.

When your reward is ready, you’ll find it in the My Rewards tab. From there, you can tap on the reward and find instructions on how to use the credit. Here is a closer look at some of the Fetch Rewards gift card categories.

Electronics

There are currently six options in this category. You can choose gift cards from Best Buy, Dell, Fitbit, GameStop, Garmin, and Nintendo. Card values vary from $5 to 50.

Charity

You can choose to donate points to any of 12 charities, which will then receive a donation from Fetch Rewards for the amount you designate. These organizations include the American Cancer Society, Charity Choice, City Year, Clean Water Fund, Code.org, Foundation for Angelman, Girls Who Code, Habitat for Humanity, Huntsman Cancer Foundation, National Park Foundation, Special Olympics, and The Nature Conservancy.

Mastercard/Visa

Though Fetch Rewards doesn’t allow you to trade points for actual cash, you can do so for Visa or Mastercard gift cards, which are as good as cash. You can get them for $10, $25, and $50 denominations, but the cost will be slightly more than 1,000 points per dollar. For example, you’ll need 11,500 points to get a $10 Visa or Mastercard gift card.

Travel

This is an exciting category for those who like to fly, cruise, and stay all over. You have eight card options to choose from brands including Uber, Southwest Airlines, Delta, Princess Cruise Lines, Hotels.com, Celebrity Cruises, Global Hotel Card, and Airbnb.

Common questions about Fetch Rewards

Is the Fetch Rewards app legit?

Yes, Fetch Rewards is a legitimate app that pays you in real gift cards. The company has been in business since 2013, has raised more than $51 million in capital, and has offices in Wisconsin, Chicago, and New York City.

Is the Fetch Rewards app free?

Yes, the Fetch Rewards app is free to download and use. The only money you have to spend is on the groceries you buy for the receipts you submit.

Can you use Fetch Rewards and Ibotta?

It is a great idea to use both Fetch Rewards and Ibotta to double your shopping rewards. They are two separate apps, but some of the products that will earn you rewards are the same. With Ibotta, you have to designate what products you want to buy at specific stores. You can compare this information with qualifying purchases through Fetch Rewards and then submit receipts to both apps. Doing this will multiply the points you earn for a single purchase.

How many points do you need to earn Fetch Rewards gift cards?

Most gift card rewards require a minimum of 3,000 points. Since 1,000 points are equivalent to $1 with the Fetch Rewards app, the smallest gift card reward offered is $3.

Do Fetch Rewards points expire?

Points will only expire if your account has been inactive for 90 days. Fetch Rewards considers an account inactive if no receipts have been submitted within that timeframe.

How to sign up for Fetch Rewards

Download the app from either Google Play or Apple’s App Store. You can sign up using your email address and creating a password, or you can use your Google or Facebook accounts to log into Fetch Rewards.

Other money-saving apps to consider

If you think Fetch Rewards isn’t the right fit for your lifestyle, there are lots of other money-saving and earning apps out there to consider.

Ibotta

Ibotta is a shopping app that allows you to choose money-back offers for purchasing specific products at grocery stores. Scroll through the offers at stores you often shop and choose ones that you like. Then buy the products and scan your receipt to get cash back for the purchase. The money accumulates in your account until you decide to withdraw it.

Shopkick

The Shopkick app lets you earn points for visiting stores, scanning products, watching videos, and making purchases both in-store and online. You can trade in your points for gift cards from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, eBay, TJ Maxx, and more.

Drop

The Drop app turns shopping in-store and online using your credit or debit cards into opportunities to earn cash. Choose five brands you purchase from most often, then link your debit and credit cards. You’ll earn points when you use those cards to purchase items from those brands, as well when you make purchases through the app’s special offers. Points can be traded in for gift cards.

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