From cashback to discounts, these shopping apps make spending more affordable.

By Kate Rockwood
August 06, 2020
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Shopping is fun, we can all agree, but the price tag it comes with makes regular shopping sprees out of reach for many. Fortunately, clever shopping apps that help you save money while you shop—on both splurges and essentials—are all around us. Whether you’re trying to figure out how to save money and still have the finer things in life or you’re struggling to make ends meet and want to save a few dollars anywhere you can, shopping apps can make it easier.

As part of the Real Simple Smart Money Awards, we’re highlighting the best shopping apps of 2020. From offering cashback to finding discounts, these shopping apps can do it all—and they work at some of your favorite retailers or with services you already use. Read on for the best shopping apps of 2020, or click here to see the other 2020 Real Simple Smart Money Award winners.

acorns.com

1

Best for: rewards

What it is: Acorns made a name for itself with investment accounts that grow when users round up purchases and toss the difference into the market. Now its Found Money feature applies that model to rewards: When you shop at a partner brand—Nike, Walmart, Blue Apron, and hundreds more—a portion of the purchase (set by the retailer) is automatically added to an Acorns investment account.

Why we love it: If you’re already forking over money, you might as well make some in return. Many shopping rewards programs require you to spend your rewards. This one lets you save them, and even grow them.

2

Best for: making discount hunting a breeze

What it is: This free browser extension scours the internet to find coupons and track prices.

Why we love it: Honey tests all the promo codes it finds, picks the one that saves you the most, and applies it for you at checkout.

venmo.com

3

Best for: Venmo devotees who want to earn extra cash

What it is: Last October, person-to-person payment platform Venmo unveiled its own rewards program. Users with the Venmo debit card can get cash back deposited to their Venmo balances when shopping at retailers like Adidas, Starbucks, and Sephora. Rewards are either a portion of the purchase (ranging from 2 to 10 percent) or a flat cash-back amount.

Why we love it: “Rewards for debit card spending is a big win,” says Smart Money Awards judge Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, money coach and author of Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom. Plus, the generous cash back can add up quickly and is easy to use.