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Checkout 51 Review: Get Paid to Grocery Shop!

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Checkout 51 is one of the many apps that rewards you to upload your grocery receipts in exchange for cash.  It also offers cash back on gas as well.

Known as an Ibotta alternative, is it one to add to your phone or is it a waste of time?

Seeing I have mentioned it a few times already, such as in my how to get free groceries post, I figured it was time to dive in and review it in depth.   Can you make a lot?  Is it easy to use?  We’re about to find out.

Checkout 51 Reviews

As always, my reviews are 100% honest, non-biased and I only recommend apps that I would personally use.

If you find yourself doing most of the grocery shopping, then you may want to stick around and read this review to see if you can benefit from this app.  You may be able to pocket a few extra dollars after every shopping trip.

What is Checkout 51?

Checkout 51 is a cashback app where you can get cash back and rewards every time you upload your receipt or even fill up your gas tank.  It’s as easy as adding offers from the app, uploading your receipt to confirm you bought it and getting the reward.

The app was founded by Godfrey and partners Pema Hegan and Andrew McGrath, and they came up with the name in reference to a virtual 51st checkout lane that shoppers visit on the internet to redeem their cash after shopping at the grocery store.

The company was founded in 2012 and is currently operated by News America Marketing, a marketing business owned by News Corp.  If you’re into coupons, you may be familiar with the SmartSource magazine, which is a small coupon circular sent out with the Sunday newspaper.  You can also download coupons form the website as well.



Signing Up

To sign up for Checkout 51, you can either connect your Facebook or Google account, or if you wish, you can sign up with your e-mail.  It’s up to you.

After, you will then let Checkout 51 know about your family profile as well as your birthday.  In providing this information, it can help the app target your profile with specific offers.  It doesn’t take long, I promise.

Whichever option you choose, it only takes three minutes at most to sign up.

At this moment, it’s only open to U.S. and Canadian residents.

Your Dashboard

Immediately after signing up, you can then access your dashboard.  It will look something like this if you were to use your phone…

On your main page, you can see your offers, as well as access a few menu items near the bottom: my list, redeem and profile.  I will explain how all of these work below.

Checkout 51 also offers a desktop version, but I find the phone version to be much easier as you can upload your receipt easier with your phone’s camera.

Your Offers

At the time I was writing this review, the world was going through the coronavirus scare and the offers posted on the app were nowhere near what were usually posted.  There were some basics posted, though.  However, just because the offers were limited, it doesn’t really matter as all you need to know is how these offers work.

On the offers page, you will see everything that’s catered to you, and if you see anything you plan on buying or already bought, then you can click on the link and it will take you to an offers page that looks something like this…

For example, when I clicked on the “loaf of bread” offer, all I had to do was purchase any loaf of bread and then add the offer.  In doing this, it will add it to your “List” and “Redeem” section.

Whenever you land on these offer pages, just make sure you read the fine print to make sure you qualify.   For example, the loaf of bread offer was limited to one offer per account and excluded gluten-free bread.  Like any offer, reading fine print can save you a lot of headaches.

Can I use these offers at any store?

Unless it states in the fine print that it can only be used at a specific store, then, yes, you can use your receipt from anywhere as long as you’re buying the item specified.

Can I use it online?

Yes!  You can use the app online as long as you receive an itemized packing slip confirming you received your order.  It should contain the date, store and the name/logo to qualify.

Can I use coupons?

Yes, you can shop as usual and use coupons.  In some cases, however, the fine print may prevent you from doing so.  Again, it’s important to read that fine print to ensure it’s allowed.

Can I use other apps?

Yes!  I stress this a few times in this review, but try to download as many of these apps as possible and take advantage.  It’s a great way to earn a lot while grocery shopping.  Refer to my many ways to get free groceries post to see how you can take advantage.

TIP:  Offers will change every Thursday at 12:00 a.m. in your time zone and will expire the following Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. in your time zone.  In order to take advantage, you must upload your receipts when offers are live.

Your List

In this section, the app will show you everything that you added that you want to eventually redeemed.  If you want to make any changes, you can do so at this time.

Be sure to check out this list before redeeming to make sure that everything is on your receipt.  If it isn’t, you will find you will get rejected.

If I were done and wanted to redeem, then I would need to make sure that one loaf of bread showed up on my receipt to ensure I get my reward.

Redeem

When you’re ready to redeem, the app will ask that you add all of the offers from their app and be certain that they show upon the receipts you’re about to upload.

Just click on the circle next to each one to confirm you have it and then continue to snap a picture of your receipt.   After you upload, it can take up to 48 hours to credit your account.  You will then be able to see your total earned as well as your receipts pending approval in the profile section, which I will get into next.

In order to cash out, you will need at least $20, in which they will then send a check to your address on file or to your PayPal account, whichever option you want.  Once you cash out, it can take five to 15 days to send out a check.

Your Profile

Inside your profile section, you can view a few important snippets, such as the receipts pending approval, the total earned as well as your trip history.  Here, you can also refer your friends if you know of anything who could benefit from the app as well.

As you can see, the receipt I uploaded is in its pending approval stage.  Once it approves, my balance will then update to the right amount.

There’s not much to do in the profile section other than being able to see how much you have earned as well as the receipts pending approval.  The refer a friend can also come in handy if you know of people who can benefit from the app.

What the Internet Is Saying

Of course, it’s not always about me and my personal views.  So, for that reason, I always dedicate a section to what the internet is saying so that you can get a better idea as to what is good and bad.  Listed below, I combed the many popular third-party review websites and here’s what I found:

The Pros

  • It’s very easy to use.
  • 100% free to join.
  • Processing is very timely with receipts often confirmed within 24-48 hours.
  • A BBB rating
  • You’re technically getting paid to grocery shop.


The Cons

  • Many reports saying the best days are behind it.  It was noted that it was great when it was released but has steadily declined.
  • The items on the offer page always seem to be the same with very few updates.
  • It could be hard for you to find deals to use.
  • Minimum payout rate ($20) is kind of high to some.

Final Thoughts

Checkout 51 isn’t my favorite receipt scanning app, but it’s one to at least check out weekly to see if you can take advantage of any offers.  In my experience, you will be lucky to make $1 to $3 a week if you grocery shop frequently.  It’s not going to be much, but it will greatly depend on how much you shop.

To be positive, it’s easy to use and only takes minutes to add your offers and upload a receipt.  Try it out for a few weeks and see how much you make as it’s very dependent on what you buy as well as which offers you take advantage of.  Chances are you will end up using a much better option like Ibotta.  It’s not to say Checkout 51 is garbage, but in my experience, the offers just aren’t there.

Remember, if you use these apps, you can always upload your receipts to more than app to maximize your earnings.  Be sure to check out the many Ibotta alternatives that work just like Checkout 51.

Now, I leave it up to you.

Have you used the app?

What do you think of it?

How much have you made?

As always, feel free to sound off below.

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

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