Shopkick Review – An Easy, Fun Way to Earn Gift Cards While Shopping

We’re always talking about Financial Freedom on our website.  We love those little products and apps that help us put a few extra dollars in our pockets each month.  That’s why we’ve amassed a listing over 10+ Financial Freedom products (See the full listing of Financial Freedom products here!).  

Today, we wanted to perform a detailed review over an app that we use on EVERY shopping trip.  Shopkick allows you to earn “kicks” (i.e. reward points) and cash in those kicks for some cold hard cash.  Its is easy to use, as you will see in this article.  So let’s learn about Shopkick, how to use the app, and some of our pros and cons.

What is Shopkick?  How Do You Earn?

Shopkick was  founded in 2009 (Sign-Up Link).   Users earn rewards, or “kicks”, through the company’s app for various activities.  Once you reach a certain threshold, you can redeem kicks for either gift cards or a Paypal credit.  There are many ways to earn kicks and a few of them are unique to the application.   You can earn through Shopkick in the following ways:

  • Walking Into Stores
  • Scanning Specific Product Barcodes
  • Making Purchases with Linked Credit Cards (Similar to Bumped)
  • Purchase and Submit a Receipt (Similar to Ibotta)
  • Visit Online Stores
  • View Online Products
  • Make Online Purchases (Similar to Ebates)
  • Watch Online Videos (Similar to Swagbucks)

Looking over the list, there are actually a lot of ways to earn using the app.  While we have a lot of options at our disposal, typically, we earn kicks by walking into stores, scanning product barcodes, and watching online videos (as they pop up).    I’ll walk you through an example of how we earn.

First, to earn kicks, you must walk into a participating location.  The app uses your cell phone’s location to identify all participating stores nearby.   All in all, it is  really easy to find a store that has partnered with Shopkick.  I live within walking distance of Whole Foods and CVS and within a five-minute drive from several major shopping centers.  The shopping centers include Shopkick hotspots like Target, Marshalls, Ulta Beauty, Walgreens, etc.

Once you select the store you are about to shop in, a detailed menu appears.  In this example, I selected Target.  My wife and I are always earning kicks at Target.  So it seemed like an appropriate example for this article.  The next screen highlights the ways to earn kicks at Target: Walk-ins, scanning products, and scanning receipts.   We typically use the first two.   Not all stores offer walk-in credits or allow you to scan products, so make sure to pay attention to review each store’s profile.

To earn the “walk-in” kicks, simply open the Shopkick app near the entrance of the store.   Once opened, your account will be credit.  It is literally that simple to earn rewards!   Now that you are in the store, the fun begins.   It is time to earn by scanning barcodes.  The app lists specific products to find and scan.  Hunt the product down in the store, select it in the app, and scan the barcode.   Poof!  Kicks are once again credited to your account.  It may seem ridiculous, but my wife and I really enjoy finding the products throughout the store and making sure we scan our kicks.  After a few times, it becomes addicting!  The following screenshots demonstrate an example of how to earn by walking into Target and scanning Mentos.

Shopkick Pros

Now that you have some background about the app and saw an example of how to earn, we will discuss some of our Pros and Cons of Shopkick.

Easy to use – The interface is very easy to use and we have not experienced glitches with the app.  It is easy to navigate between stores and products within the store.  Further, once you select an item, the barcode scan feature pops up immediately and recognizes the product barcode easily.  Overall, Shopkick has made this app pretty easy to use for shoppers.

Can Use Gift Card Within Minutes of Redemption – This is one of my favorite features.  Once you cross the threshold, you can redeem your threshold immediately.  Within minutes, the gift card is available for use.  This allows you to use the gift card in the store you are earning the Shopkicks.  For example, my wife and I scan product barcodes while we are shopping for items at Target.  Once I earn 1,250 kicks, I cash out a $5 Target gift card.  I can then use that $5 e-gift card when I go to check-out.

Large Pool of Participating Stores –  As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of stores to choose from.  What I like is that the app doesn’t just have superstores, grocery stores, and drug stores.  Those are the easiest places to earn kicks for scanning consumer brands.  I  like the fact that the app includes non-food stores such as Marshalls, Ulta, Old Navy, H&M, T.J.Maxx, Big Lots, etc.

Large Selection of Gift Cards –  The gift card and cash-out reward options are great.  You can receive a gift-card for the location you are shopping at (see above), a Paypal Credit, Amazon gift card, eBay gift card, etc.  Thus, you can redeem your cash-back in the manner that fits your financial preferences best.

Shopkick Cons

Not the Fastest Cash Out Period (Potentially) – It takes 1,250 kicks to earn a $5 Target gift card.  Assuming you earn 125-200 kicks per shopping trip, it may take 6 – 10 shopping trips to earn a $5 gift card.  Of course, you can earn a reward faster by referring new people (250 bonus kicks) or earning through online shopping.  However, since I solely earn by walk-ins and scanning barcodes, I focused on this way to earn in this example.

No Desktop or Laptop Interface – This isn’t a big deal for me.  I’m not walking around Target with my Chromebook trying to scan products with my webcam.  However, for people that may earn kicks by shopping online, not having a desktop or laptop interface  may be a con.  Personally, I shop online predominately on my computer.  It is easier to compare prices and coupon codes on your laptop versus your mobile phone.   So it would take a lot longer for me to earn kicks shopping if I had to use my phone to make all of my purchases.

Can’t Always Find The Products at the Location – Every once in a while, Shopkick stumps me.  It asks me to scan a product barcode that is impossible to find.  After minutes searching the aisle, it turns out the product is either not stocked at that location or the store is out of that specific product.  This isn’t Shopkicks fault.  But it is frustrating when it happens!


If you haven’t figured it out yet.  We both love using Shopkick.  The pros of the app easily outweigh the cons.  We enjoy the convenience, ease, and honestly, the fun of earning through this app.  Therefore, it is definitely worth trying out and seeing if you enjoy the earning experience as much as we do.  If not, no worries.  There are plenty of other products that will help you earn a few extra dollars and achieve financial freedom!

Here is a is a sign-up link for Shopkick!

Do you use Shopkick?  Have you used it in the past?  What are some of your pros and cons of the app?  What apps do you use to help you pursue financial freedom?

-The Dividend Diplomats

Photo Credit –

*Disclosure: there may be affiliate links above*

2 thoughts on “Shopkick Review – An Easy, Fun Way to Earn Gift Cards While Shopping

  1. Wow this shopkick app sounds awesome – my wife would be all over this if we lived in the US (unfortunately we don’t quite have the market depth for this in Australia…). If only they had this in my local supermarket – I’m in there pretty much every day of the week!

    Thanks for sharing – every little bit helps on that journey to FI!

    Cheers, Frankie

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