One thing people from all different walks of life have in common today is that they’re trying to save money. This is especially true in today’s financial climate, which is being exacerbated by inflation and a bevy of other persistent factors. Fortunately, we have a tip that may be able to help; all you need is an iPhone and a free app.

The free Shopkick app for iPhone (and even Android smartphones) lets you earn free cash by participating in low-effort activities as you shop at stores. Shopkick offers a points-based system in which completing certain tasks earns ‘kicks,’ which can be redeemed for gift cards, PayPal funds, or miscellaneous physical prizes.


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Shopkick is one of my favorite iPhone apps of all time, and with it, you can earn redeemable kicks via any of the following methods, which we’ll discuss in much more detail later in this piece:

  • Walking into certain physical stores
  • Scanning the UPC (barcode) labels of specific items at certain physical stores
  • Buying certain items at certain physical stores
  • Buying items at online stores
  • Viewing advertisement-based videos

If you go grocery shopping or pick up household necessities at big box stores, then chances are you’re already visiting many of the supported storefronts where you can go to earn kicks and later redeem for cash rewards. To me, it’s common sense to bring this app with me while I’m out and about. It doesn’t add much time to the shopping experience, and I get rewarded (sometimes rather handsomely) for doing it.

Assuming you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering how Shopkick works and how you can get started, so we’ll jump right into the meat and potatoes of this awesome app for you below:

Physical Store Walk-ins

When visiting physical storefronts to pick up groceries, common necessities, or the occasional impulse item, you should have your iPhone out and Shopkick app open. This is because you can earn kicks just for walking through a store’s front door. It knows when you’re at the store based on a combination of your current location and a signal from a white Bluetooth transponder mounted above the storefront’s front door.

Walk-in kicks vary from one store to the next. I’ve seen some earn as little as 10 kicks, and some as high as 250 kicks. Higher walk-in kick rewards tend to be more ubiquitous during holidays or some special shopping event. In even rarer circumstances, the Shopkick app may ask you to walk to certain parts of a store to earn walk-in kicks, such as the fitting room of a department store.

Physical Store UPC Scans

After you’ve slipped through the front door of a store, you can also earn kicks by scanning certain items. The app will tell you what you need to scan to earn kicks, and like walk-in-based kicks, the reward values vary. I’ve seen some scan rewards as low as 5 kicks, and some as high as 200 or even more.

Scanning items is done by going to the item pictured inside of the store and scanning the UPC (barcode) on the packaging of that item. A purchase isn’t required to earn these points – you just need to find and scan the item’s barcode. Your current location is used during this scanning process, so don’t try to scan items you might already have sitting around at home because it won’t register with the app.

When scanning item UPCs, it’s important to make sure you scan the correct item. There may be different forms of that item, such as blueberry yogurt, strawberry yogurt, or peach yogurt. If the Shopkick app shows a blueberry yogurt and specifies that it must be blueberry, then you must scan the blueberry yogurt and not the strawberry or peach yogurt to earn your kicks.

Physical Store Purchases

The last way that you can earn kicks while visiting a physical storefront is by buying featured items in the app. You don’t need to make purchases to earn kicks, however if you do happen to buy any of the featured items, then it can benefit your rewards. To do this, you simply scan your purchase receipt via the app after buying a featured item.

Buying featured items is perhaps one of the fastest ways to rack up kicks, and since common household items are often featured by Shopkick, chances are you’ll be buying some of those items anyway. With that in mind, you might as well capitalize on the incentives. Kick rewards accumulated from buying featured items range from the hundreds to the thousands, and they add up quick when you buy more than one featured item.

Online Store Purchases

Next up are online stores – these are websites that you can make purchases from without even leaving your house. Shopkick provides an in-app portal where you can visit and shop on your favorite websites and earn rewards for doing so. For example, a website may offer anywhere from 2 to 50 kicks for every $1 spent, regardless of what you’re buying.

Lots of common websites are included in Shopkick’s portal, such as Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, eBay, and a bevy of others. Since most people are already buying from these sources, it simply makes sense in my mind to earn free rewards while buying from them instead of putting that money in someone else’s pocket.

Viewing Advertisement Videos

Shopkick offers another easy from-home method of earning kicks, and that’s viewing advertisement videos. Rewards range from 1 to 5 kicks per video watched. These videos tend to range from 15 to 90 seconds in length and even feature an auto-play mode so that they can play back-to-back without any use intervention.

The app stuffs advertisement videos in every tab of the app, but the dedicated Discover tab provides some of the most fruitful video advertisements that update daily. You don’t necessary need to pay attention to the videos, but they need to play and complete for you to earn the kick(s) reward.

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