Get Paid To Shop For Groceries! Sort Of...
Updated: Jul 25
(Would you rather listen to this post instead of reading it? Check out my podcast, "Money on the Brain". Listen to episode #6 for this post.)
The world of mobile apps is pretty amazing when you think about it. According to Statista, there are almost 2.5 million apps for Android users alone. Half of those probably have something to do with making cat videos for YouTube, but still.
A friend recently recommended an app called Fetch Rewards. She said it will pay you for undertaking one of life’s most dreaded tasks- grocery shopping. I’d rather do my taxes than shop for groceries. But now I can get paid for it? I had to investigate.
At the top of the website is their slogan: “Easy savings at any grocery store, every time.” Fetch Rewards works like this: you scan grocery receipts. This earns you points. Then you trade the points for gift cards.
That’s it? Sounds good. It also sounds too good to be true.
I had to try it.
After I signed up for my (free) Fetch Rewards account, I went shopping and scanned my receipt by taking a picture of it. Then I clicked “submit”. Fifteen seconds later, I was awarded 125 points.
The entire scanning and submitting process took about 30 seconds. Easy.
So how does Fetch make its money? Ads. Usually, as soon as I scan a receipt, a message will pop up on my Fetch screen and say something like “Buy Tropicana Multi-Serve next time, and you’ll earn more points!”
The ads and messages are very easy to disregard though. They should not deter you in any way from trying out Fetch Rewards. They are small, unobtrusive, and easy to ignore.
I’ve been using this app since July, and I earn 25 points per receipt at minimum. Certain company’s products will get me extra points. If I buy Ore-Ida, Tostitos, Planters, Pepperidge, Breyers, and/or Cottonelle products, I’ll get bonus points. It’s easy to get 100 or more points for one shopping trip.
The rewards are arranged in five tiers: ranging from 3,000 points to 50,000 points. Every thousand points is worth one dollar on a gift card. Once you accrue enough points, you are eligible to redeem the points for a gift card from among 18 different categories and dozens of stores.
The choices are varied and reputable. There are dozens and dozens of options- I stopped counting at forty, and I hadn’t even gotten to the letter “D” yet.
You can choose a gift card from businesses like Best Buy, CVS Pharmacy, Panera, Apple, Hotels.com, Old Navy, and T.J. Maxx, for example. And if you’re feeling charitable, you can choose a charity gift card from non-profits like American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, and Girls Who Code.
I decided to wait until I had earned 10,000 points so I could request a $10 gift card. It took me about six weeks. I was relieved when I requested the gift card that I didn’t have to give them any more personal information. I chose a $10 gift card for Wal-Mart. Fetch then sent me a digital gift card on my phone.
The next time I went to Wal-Mart, I redeemed it by clicking on it and showing my phone to the cashier. I held my breath, expecting her to accuse me of trying to scam her or something, but it worked! My total was instantly reduced by $10.
So should you try Fetch Rewards*? Absolutely. You’re not going to retire early or anything by using it, but getting a $10 gift card once every six weeks or so will be nice. The time required is only about 30 seconds per shopping trip. So why wouldn’t you use it? I can’t think of any reasons.
I still think grocery shopping is the pits, but earning gift cards for doing so makes it a little more bearable.
*If you decide to try Fetch Rewards, enter my referral code when you sign up: 412QR. We’ll both get at least 2,000 points as a bonus.
*UPDATE: Since this post, I have redeemed enough points to earn two more $10 gift cards. So in the seven months since I started using Fetch, I've "earned" $30. That puts me on pace for $50-$60 for an entire year. Not bad!