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Shopkick: A Rewards App That Helps People Save Money on Shopping

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Whether you count shopping among your favorite hobbies or dread spending money in any form, the free Shopkick app can make all of your purchases more fun. Based in Redwood City, California, and founded in 2009, Shopkick is on a mission to reward consumers for the shopping they already do as well as drive sales for retailers without the use of coupons or discounts.

Earn Kicks to Exchange for Gift Cards

“We were one of the first ways that retailers could really reward shoppers for walking into store locations,” Kris Barnard, Shopkick’s director of consumer content, explained.

Shoppers are rewarded with kicks—Shopkick’s version of reward points—for completing a variety of actions through the Shopkick app. They can then redeem those kicks for gift cards to their favorite stores.

Shopkick helps to earn reward points shopping for your favorite brands at local stores and online
Shopkick helps you earn reward points shopping for your favorite brands at local stores and online

“We started offering high-value kicks as a form of currency, taking the app from just rewards for walk ins to other options that allow users to earn,” Barnard continued. “Now you can earn kicks for walking into stores, scanning specific products, and purchasing specific items. Depending on the location, you can earn for your entire receipt or through a linked card purchase where you get a matching kick for every dollar spent.”

With over 270,000 participating retail locations across the U.S., the opportunity to earn kicks adds up quickly. Major retailers and brands partnering with Shopkick have included Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, Home Depot, Walmart, Walgreens, Lowes Home Improvement, Michael’s, Petco and Best Buy.

While locations offering Shopkick rewards vary by city, Barnard said consumers will find plenty of participating retailers in every state.“The number is growing really quickly,” she said. “And of course, going into the end of the year, we have all kinds of new retailers signing up every day.”

But the reward opportunities don’t stop with brick and mortar establishments. Shoppers can earn kicks for their online purchases as well. “You use the app as your portal to online shopping,” Barnard said. “You get on the app, click on a retailer, and then earn kicks while you shop their website.” Shopkick rewards online shoppers with kicks for visiting specific retailers, viewing select products, watching product videos, and making purchases.

Earn rewards in-store for scanning products and submitting receipts, or visit online stores, view products, and make online purchases
Earn rewards in-store for scanning products and submitting receipts, or visit online stores, view products, and make online purchases

Tips to Maximize Your Earnings

“The Shopkick app is a lot of fun,” Barnard said. The app has been downloaded more than 20 million times, with the average active user spending more than 2.5 hours per month in the app.

“We hear from our users all the time that they love the game element of the app,” she continued. “It becomes not only super rewarding but addicting to earn kicks.”

To rack up the greatest number of reward points possible, Barnard suggested users make a plan each time they go out shopping. “Open the app and check out where you can get walk in kicks,” she said. “Personally, I have made decisions about which shopping center to go to based on how many kicks I could earn at the stores there.”

She also encourages shoppers to check the app daily. “Kick rewards are always changing,” she added. “If you keep checking back, you maximize the number of kicks you can get. This can also be important when you’re mobile browsing. There are certain weeks where you can earn even more kicks with certain mobile partners.”

Linking a credit card is another simple way to increase your ultimate savings. “You can double the mileage you get from other loyalty and rewards cards,” Barnard suggested. “Basically, if you link a credit card you use to earn travel miles, you can also use that as a way to earn kicks.

Shopkick is perfect for travelers. The app will show you the kick-earning retailers that are closest to you no matter where you are in the United States. Whether you’re waiting at the airport or taking a road trip, you can earn more rewards through mobile shopping as well.”

Finally, “Invite your friends,” Barnard concluded. “It’s fun to use Shopkick together, and you’ll earn 250 kicks for every friend who accepts your invite into the app.”

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