You asked and we're here to answer: Is CoinOut a scam?
The answer is no... they really do pay people to upload receipts. This is awesome and all, but the next logical question to ask is: how much can you actually make? In which the unfortunate answer is: not very much.
But overall CoinOut is a nice little app for making some extra change that you otherwise wouldn't be making. In this review we'll be covering all you need to know... how the app works, how much you can realistically make, cash-out options, complaints and more.
CoinOut is a free app that allows you to easily earn small amounts of cash-back for uploading receipts of store purchases and then cash out your new-earned money for cash or gift cards.
Some things that separate this particular app from competitors, such as Ibotta and DOSH (both on our list of top 45 apps for making money), is its simplicity and the ability to get cash-back from anywhere that gives valid receipts.
The app received a lot of media attention after being featured on the hit show Shark Tank on ABC in 2018, which led to a deal between the CoinOut's CEO, Jeffrey Witten, and one of the investment "sharks", Robert Herjavec.
Here is a brief overview of how it works, but we'll go into more detail next...
The app is completely free to download and use. How the heck can they pay people money and allow the app to be used for free? I'll go over this shortly. It is available for android devices on Google Play and for IOS devices on the App Store.
After downloading the app you will enter your phone number and they will send you a password code to confirm your phone.
That is all you have to do to get started.
*Note: Before cashing out money you will have to fill out your profile more, such as your name, email address, etc.
Next you will take your receipts from wherever it is that you just shopped and upload them with the app.
When you open up the app you will see a large "SCAN" button in the middle of the screen... you can't miss it.
When you click on this things couldn't be any simpler.
The app will use your phone's camera and provide a rectangular area to take a picture of the receipt in. You are going to want to zoom in enough so that the edges of the receipt are close to the border of the frame.
Some of the requirements for the receipt include that it is:
*Note: A lot of receipts have a bunch of promotional crap beneath the purchase information, such as coupons, etc. This doesn't need to be included in the frame.
What Types of Receipts Does CoinOut Accept?
They say that they accept all kinds and this seems to be true as long as the requirements above are met.
Grocery store receipts, sporting goods receipts, gas station receipts, clothing store receipts, restaurant receipts, etc... all seem to be fair game.
After uploading the receipt cashback will usually be credited to your account instantly. It will be labeled as "active" if it has been approved and "pending" if not.
*It's nice that they give you cold hard cash, and don't have some confusing point system like a lot of apps do.
If you make a purchase at a store and choose to have a receipt emailed to you then you can get cashback by emailing these receipts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you shop online through the app there is no need to upload receipts.
You will be able to click on "all stores" to see all of the available sites you can shop on to earn cash back.
This will bring up a list of the various stores and some details on the cashback offer, including how much you will get back.
There is a long list of stores that CoinOut is partnered with here. Some of these include:
After clicking to "shop now" within the app you will be directed to either download a store shopping app, if available, or you can just go to the website.
Your purchase will be tracked automatically and cashback will be put in your account after your purchase is approved. The time frame for this will vary depending on the store. It can take several days and you will be notified via text message when it goes through.
The badges section provides promotional offers, bonuses and badges.
For example, right now they are offering me a 2x badge if I purchase something through the app as talked about above... at any store.
This will then provide me with 2x the cashback from in-store purchases for one week... not too shabby.
You will find all sorts of promotional partner offers in this section, and these change frequently. Some other examples of what is available to me right now includes...
The good news is that there is no minimum to cash out.
Even if you only have $0.06 in your account you can cash out.
The options are PayPal, Amazon gift card and direct deposit.
PayPal is the only option with a minimum, in which you must have at least $10 to make a withdrawal.
Currently they are giving members $0.75 for every confirmed referral.
You will be able to go to the "share & earn" area inside the app to get your own unique referral link, which you can then use to get people to join.
*If you want help out this blog then you can sign up through my referral link here: https://coinout.com/referrals/new?r=HYGJXJQ. I'll get credited with $0.75 and you will get credited with the feeling of helping someone out 🙂
To be honest, the referral program is a letdown. Cashback apps like Ibotta offer $5 per referral... but it's better than nothing.
Don't get too excited now. If you thought this was a way to make bank then you thought wrong.
You won't be able to just upload receipts all day... there is a limit.
The receipt limit will change on an ongoing basis. You will have to login to the app to see what the limit is at any given time.
Usually this is around 6 - 7 receipts per day, which should be plenty for most people.
I'm not entirely sure what they look at when coming up with the limits.
Featured Retailers Bonuses
On the homescreen they will sometimes have badges for featured retailers where you can earn a little more than usual.
It seems that there is no "normal" rate. I've personally been earning $0.06 per receipt and have heard of others earning the same... as well as some earning $0.07 - $0.10. However, there are a lot of people complaining about only earning $0.01 - $0.02 per receipt.
Does the going rate change? Does it depend on where you live?... where the receipt is from, etc.?
We don't know. They don't offer an explanation for this but it does seem that if you upload more than 1 receipt per day the reward amount will decrease as you go.
If you earn $0.06 per receipt...
Let's say that you are earning $0.06 per receipt. Now if you upload 7 in one day that equals $0.42. And if you upload 7 per day for the whole week that will equal $2.94.
Now let's say that you have a 2x badge... this would mean you can earn close to $6 per week.
There are other bonuses too, such as the promotional offers under the badges section. But you won't always find something you are interested in here.
This is pretty much a best-case scenario however. It seems that most people using this app are earning $10 - $20 every 6 months or so. The numbers will vary greatly so unfortunately there is no good earning estimate I can give.
Unfortunately for those looking to hack the system, it doesn't seem there is any easy way to do so.
When you upload the same receipt more than once your account may be credited with money for a short period of time, but it will likely be labeled "pending", and will soon be canceled.
As a little trick I scanned a picture of my keyboard. This resulted in a quick +$0.06, which was soon taken back out...
There is no information as to what exactly the app looks at with receipts.
Does it look at the receipt number and the items bought? And then validate them with the store?
If it doesn't then it may be possible to fudge some numbers on the receipt to make it appear as if it is a new one, but this might not be worth it because if they find out they do hold the power to close your account.
The only real hacks are to play by the roles. Try to earn badges and max out your daily allowed receipts each day.
There are a few complaints we'll go over, but overall the app has very good ratings.
On Google Play there are over 11k ratings with an average of over 4 out of 5 stars. And on the App Store there are over 37k ratings with an average of over 4.5 out of 5 stars... pretty darn impressive.
But there are several complaints worth mentioning, which include:
As mentioned, sometimes you will only get as much as $0.01 for a receipt, which isn't really worth it. The only reason for using this app is the hopes that you will get more than that.
But we don't really know why the payouts can be this low sometimes.
Some people claim that after using the app for a while it happens, such as this person claiming that you will only earn about a penny for each receipt after the first week...
Photo Capture Issues
What do you do if you went on a shopping spree and the receipt is longer than the scan window?
Well, this seems to be a problem that there isn't any good answer for since they want to see all of the listed items on a receipt.
The good news is that most receipts will fit... assuming you aren't a shopaholic.
CoinOut is not a scam, far from it.
They do pay their members and are a well respected app.
As mentioned earlier, they even have the famous investor from Shark Tank, Robert Herjavec, investing in the app.
The app makes its money from partnership promotional deals and affiliate partnerships. For example, when they get someone to shop at one of their featured stores, they get a kickback from the purchase total. This is how most cashback apps work.
Yes, about as safe as an app like this can be.
Your money that you earn within your account is even insured by the FDIC up to $250,000... not that you will even come remotely close to earning anywhere near this amount however.
Overall I think that CoinOut is a nice little app that deserves it's place on many people's phones.
It won't earn you as much as apps like Ibotta do per cashback offer, but the upside to CoinOut is that you can upload ANY receipt, which is something no one else is really allowing.
Just don't expect too much. If you use the app remind yourself that, although not much, you are basically earning free money.
You can also check out our list of 45 apps for making money if you are looking for some other options--or RebateKey, which is an awesome website for huge discount shopping that most people don't know about.
Also, don't forget to take a peek at how I make a living working online--if passive online income is something that is of interest to you.
Now it's your turn: What do you think about CoinOut?
Leave your comments/questions below. I like to hear back from my readers 🙂
Rebate Key is a free membership site where you can get rebates on Amazon products and products selling elsewhere online--supposedly up to 100%.
But can you really and is this place really as great as people claim it to be? You've probably seen posts on Facebook from people getting their rebate checks and maybe you want to join, but are hesitant to because it may sound a bit too good to be true.
This is where I come in. I've done a lot of digging around and in this Rebate Key review I'll be going over all you need to know about this place beforehand--such as how it all works, how much money you can save, the types of products available and what you have to be careful about, pros v cons, and a bunch more.
Let's get to it...
In a nutshell... Rebate Key (found at RebateKey.com) is an online rebate site where you can buy products from online retailers, submit a claim, and get a rebate back within 35 days. The product rebates they offer range from 25 - 100% off!
It's like those old rebates that you had to mail in, just everything is done online, which makes it easier for you. And the nice thing about it all is that you don't have to worry about getting your rebates--because RebateKey helps to ensure you will get paid (I'll go over how in a bit).
A rebate is nothing more than money paid back. When someone buys something and they get a partial or full refund, that is a rebate.
With RebateKey you are able to buy items with the promise of getting partial or full refunds on the price paid--so that you can potentially get products for free.
For a short little video presentation of how it works you can watch this:
How Is This Possible?
For those thinking that this sounds a bit too good to be true, fear not. Offering rebates is a marketing tactic that has been around for years. The idea behind rebates is that more customers will buy a company's product and this will lead to a snowball effect where word-of-mouth marketing further increases sales, this time normal sales without rebates. Additionally they can help increase brand loyalty and repeat customers.
So by offering rebates and giving people great deals on items, companies have the hopes to increase their overall earnings in the long run.
Rebates are good when companies are just starting out or when launching new products--before they gain any popularity. It is becoming increasingly popular with sellers launching new products on Amazon, which is the reason most of the products you will find here are being sold on Amazon.
Most sellers that offer rebates on RebateKey are looking for product reviews. You don't have any commitment to leave reviews for them, but they will be able to message you through the platform and might ask you to leave one.
What's In It for RebateKey?
Of course they charge the seller a small fee for each sale--a $2.95 fee per sale to be exact. (this doesn't affect you--the buyer)
The signup process is painless, so don't worry. If you have a Facebook or Google account you can use it to signup with a few clicks. If not you will be able to enter your name, email address, phone number and create a password.
They will send you a verification code via text message to your phone that you will have to use to confirm your account. They don't sent out the typical email confirmation link for some reason.
*You are only allowed one account per household. If you violate this agreement they reserve the right to close your account(s).
Once logged into your account it will look something like this...
You will have a menu on the left-hand side (on a desktop computer) and all the products with available rebates will be right there in the center.
You will be able to browse the products and see what the normal price is, what the final price will be after you get your rebate, the rebate %, etc.
You will find all sorts of products here. As you can see below, right now I can get a 50% rebate on a bicycle seat, a 100% rebate on apple cider vinegar detox capsules, a 40% rebate on a set of salt and pepper grinders, and so on...
Supplements and personal care items seem to be the most common for what you find here however.
After you find a product that you like then simply click on it and it will give you more details. I clicked on a supplement called HempFlex for dogs and as you can see it has a 100% rebate, is sold on Amazon and there are 10 more available...
To complete the purchase I will be directed to Amazon, and there I will purchase it at it's full price as I normally would.
All you do is click on "Buy Product" and then it will give you some instructions--click it again and it will direct you right to the product for purchase.
Note: If you want to get your rebate you have to purchase it originally at the full price, no coupons allowed.
You will find products listed on RebateKey that are sold on Walmart's website, Shopify, eBay, but the ones being sold on Amazon you can often find with free shipping too--so you can literally get products for 100% free, after you get your rebate back of course.
Tip: When there is a good product that you want you need to be quick to purchase it! When I was writing this review there was a supplement with a 100% rebate (Spirulina supplement) that I wanted--but there were only 4 remaining and withing a period of minutes it was no longer available. I missed out 🙁
After purchasing the product for the full price, you will then have 1 hour to enter your "rebate code", which is usually just your order number.
Copy that number and go back to RebateKey >> go to Purchases >> then go to Unclaimed. You will be able to click on Confirm Purchase and enter in that order number to confirm.
That's all you do. Then it's a waiting game.
In the short video posted above it states that you will be able to get a check in the mail within 30 days, but it's really 35 days. They must have changed this after they released the video.
But anyways--you wait 35 days and then you either get a check in the mail or you can choose to have your rebate delivered electronically via PayPal, which is a newer payment option they added recently.
Why 35 days?
Well what they say is that the reason behind this waiting period is to ensure that there aren't any problems, but the main reason is likely to ensure that you don't return the item purchased--since most places have a return period of somewhere from up to 2 weeks to 30 days.
35 days is one heck of a long time to wait, but luckily you can rest assured that you are going to get your money back.
To understand why you are [pretty much] guaranteed rebates (if you follow the instructions properly) it's important to understand how this works from the standpoint of a seller.
When a seller wants to list a product they have to prepay their expected daily rebates in the beginning, then they will be charged daily based on their campaign settings. This money is then held by RebateKey until the 35 days is passed without any problems.
So it's not like you have to worry about all these sellers on Amazon living up to their end of the bargain. RebateKey is well aware of the potential problems and that is why they make their sellers fork over the money upfront.
The reason I'm saying that you are "pretty much" guaranteed rebates is because the seller could refuse a rebate key (order number) entered--and in this case RebateKey will try to find a solution for both the buyer and seller. This is unlikely to happen if you do everything correctly but it still could.
As mentioned, most of the products that you will find here are supplements and personal care products, but there are others.
The fun part of it is that you never really know exactly what you might find.
Right now here is a list of all the different products available to me, many with a 100% rebate...
The truth is that sometimes the product quality can be questionable.
Many of the products listed are for new product launches, meaning that they haven't stood the test of time. Additionally, many are being sold by new sellers on Amazon, whom you may not know the trustworthiness of.
In particular you should be careful when getting supplements. Why? Well, because you put these products in your body.
Take this product for example which is available to me right now with a 100% rebate...
It's an Apple Cider Vinegar supplement manufactured by some company called Nubu Naturals.
Is this a trustworthy brand? No idea--I looked into it and couldn't really find much info on it. It's likely some small startup brand.
So should you trust this supplement?
Well, with this supplement you are just getting some Apple Cider Vinegar which isn't going to cause anyone any problems, but you get the point.
The point is that you should look into the products beforehand--especially supplements.
As you already know, you will be able to find items that have up to 100% rebates, but does this really mean that they are FREE?
Not necessarily. I know, doesn't make much sense right?... but let me explain...
First off, not all items have free shipping. A lot do, because most of the items listed are being sold on Amazon and if you are an Amazon Prime member you will often be able to get free shipping, but not everything ships free.
And even if it does ship free, you will might not be getting a 100% free product--and the reason for this is SALES TAX.
Sales tax will vary depending on what state you live in and what type of item you are purchasing. If you've ordered many items on Amazon before you have probably noticed that sometimes you are charged sales tax while other times you aren't. Some sellers on Amazon simply don't collect sales tax even when they should, which many buyers get lucky with.
So in order to truly get a free product using RebateKey, and I'm talking a 100% free product, it must...
If it has all of the above, then you get it for free.
So to answer the question: "how much money can you save?" --this depends on how much the item costs in the first place.
If you get a $10 item for free then you just saved $10. If you get a $35 item for free then you just saved $35
Real Examples: So let's take the products that I showed earlier...
But don't get too carried away thinking that you are going to be able to save boatloads of money--there is a limit.
Members are limited to 5 rebates per day and a total of 50 per month. If you reach the limit it will be refreshed the next day or month, depending on which limit you reached.
Note: You can actually make money on top of what you save--more on this is in a bit.
So let's say you encounter some unexpected problem, such as your rebate key (order number) not working for some reason.
How do you get in contact with this place?
Unfortunately they do not offer phone support, which I think we can all agree is the best way to provide virtual support. As far as I can see your only option would be to go to the contact page and submit a support ticked, which they will be able to follow up with you through via email.
Another alternative would be to message them through their Facebook page. They typically reply "instantly".
As I'm writing this they have a 4.5/5 star rating on Facebook with over 45 reviews left--which is pretty good.
Other than that it is hard to find independent reviews from real users. But I guess this might be a good thing because usually people are more inclined to leave negative reviews complaining about things rather than positive ones--so maybe the lack of user reviews is a good sign.
That said, there are a few complaints I came across dealing with problems where the seller refused to rebate codes for whatever reason. These occurrences seem to be rare, but I guess they can and do happen at times.
Wouldn't it be pretty cool if you could make a little business out of getting rebates like this--buying products, getting rebates on them and then selling them at full-price??
That said, it would be nearly impossible for them to keep track of what everyone does with their products and if you were to resell on eBay, Craigslist, Letgo, etc. you could more than likely easily get away with it--but this is not something I would condone simply because this is now what RebateKey is intended for.
When you get paid for the first time you are able to provide social proof of your payment and get an additional payment of $20.
All you have to do is publish a picture of your self with your check on Facebook.
They also have a referral/affiliate program where you can make up to $20 for each person you get to join, but this is dependent on how active they are and how many rebates they collect.
In order to get the maximum $20 for a referral they will have to claim 50+ rebates. You can see how it works in this chart...
The total of all those commissions is $20, which is all possible for each referral if they are active.
Just kidding. Don't do this! I'm just seeing if you're paying attention.
It doesn't appear that they are accredited with the BBB but this doesn't really mean anything.
On their 'about us' page they don't tell us much, but after some further digging around and running a WHOIS search, I found that the domain was created back in 2017...
Although they could do a better job at providing additional information to us, there is no reason at all for me to believe that Rebate Key is a scam. They seem to be running a legitimate business and doing exactly what they say they are doing, which is connecting sellers looking to promote products with buyers looking for good deals--and making money in the process of course (by collecting that $2.95 fee per sale).
Seeing that user complaint websites like SiteJabber, PissedConsumer, etc. aren't filled with complaints is a very good sign. Having been around since 2017, if this were a scam we would be finding a lot more negative reviews.
RebatesKey may not be for everyone, mainly due to the limited product selection, but it is definitely worth a consideration. You may not be getting the best products from this site, but it's a bit hard to argue about product quality when many of the products have 100% rebates--meaning they are free (not counting shipping and taxes).
All in all this is a site I would recommend joining. You can at least join and see if there is anything available that you like--and if not then you haven't lost a thing--besides the maybe 30 seconds it takes to sign up.
The biggest downside to RebateKey (in my opinion) is the small product selection and the fact that you don't really know what you might find. Because of this you definitely can't do any sort of "regular" shopping through this site.
What you might also be interested in since you are looking to save on shopping are cashback apps like Ibotta and DOSH, which give you cashback on purchases. For example you might get 2% cashback shopping at a certain store or $1.25 back for buying a certain item--not much but it adds up.
What do you think about RebateKey? Have you joined and what has your experience been like? Any complaints? I love to hear from my readers so feel free to leave any comments or questions below 🙂