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Shopkick Review - Easy Money? Hard or Soft?

I think the most valuable thing is my time. I value it highly. I don't have any more or less than you, so you should value it as well. That is why I like to be paid for almost everything I do, and for data on where I am and where I go. I do it with Panel and Google Opinion Rewards, but there is another competitor in this space, although with a different spin. If you were offered some cash to visit your local Target this Friday, would you? What about getting paid to scan barcodes, with the intent of them showing you an ad due to potential interest? Sounds like too much? Let's take a look at Shopkick.

Shopkick Logo

Shopkick is an iOS and Android app released a few years ago with a simple premise: get some points(kicks in their case) for visiting certain retailers, then lure you to certain products by offering points to scan their barcodes, potentially selling you on them. Like other apps I have reviewed, it is profit sharing. Shopkick gets money for getting you into the store, getting interest in products, etc. and shares it with you. I've been using it for a few years, and throughout that time, the app has evolved. Currently, the app allows you to make points in the following ways:

  • You get Kicks simply for walking into certain stores, and activating the app.

  • You get Kicks for scanning certain product barcodes, then answering a question or two about them.

  • You get Kicks for purchasing certain products, and scanning the receipt that shows you did.

  • You get Kicks per dollar spent at certain retailers(either with a scanned barcode at point of sale or linked card in the app)

  • You get Kicks by using their built-in in-app shopping portal and purchasing through sites like Groupon, ebay, and Apple.

The first two are the most appealing to me, because they require NO money put in on your part. This is just free money. The amount you get depends on how much time you have, and how much effort you want to put into it that day. Some days I just get points for going to Best Buy, but I don't bother scanning anything. I'll get the points, and if I buy something, I will show the app barcode to the cashier, and get points from that too. It's all pennies, but again, it's FREE pennies. If you just have the app installed, it will give you a notification when you get close to a store that has potential kicks.

Shopkick app screenshot

You can open the app and it will show you what opportunities are close by. The easiest one are of course the walk-in Kicks, and buying stuff with a linked credit card. It is an awesome thing to have if you visit malls. You could potentially visit several stores in one trip, even if you don't scan any barcodes, you still get some Kicks. It also gives you something to do if your significant other insists on looking around for a long time. Kicks for purchases are stored in your "bank" for 45 days right after you make a purchase, then released. I've earned a little over $90 over six years. Not much, but neither is the effort I've put into it. Which is another reason why I really love the app. The other thing is almost instant redemption. You pick a reward, use your points, and the gift card shows up almost instantly in the app. I've earned the last point at a Best Buy, then redeemed for a gift card I used on that trip.

The only negative for the program is the referral program. You get 250 kicks for referrals' first in-store action, and that's it. 250 kicks is worth about $1. You can refer people from within the app. This aside, Shopkick gets a hard recommendation from me. It is free money for doing almost nothing, and that's what matters. You can reach Shopkick's website by clicking their logo above.

Get boning!

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