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CoinOut App Review: Cash for Receipts?

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The CoinOut app, as seen on the hit TV show, Shark Tank, will pay you real cash for your receipts.

It’s one of the many apps that work like this, but is it one of the better ones?

In today’s review, I download the CoinOut app, show you how it works and then let you know if it’s worth taking up space on your phone.  As long as you shop (I’m sure you do), there’s a good chance you can take advantage of the app.

What is the CoinOut App?

The concept is simple as the CoinOut app will give you randomized rewards whenever you take a photo of your receipt.  That’s it.  Take a picture of a receipt and get paid.  The company will then use this purchasing data to show you relevant offers within the app.  Your information will never be sold.

In 2018, Jeffrey Witten and Andy Pliszka launched the app, shortly being featured on the very popular TV show, Shark Tank.  Shortly after, the app took off, processing more than three million downloads a month and becoming a top 100 iOS app in 2019.

During the show, Robert Herjavec, one of the investors, made a $250,000 investment in exchange for a 15% equity.



Signing up for CoinOut

To sign up for the CoinOut app, you can do so either via the Google Play Store or iOS, whichever phone operating system you have.  At the moment, it’s only available for smartphone devices and doesn’t have a desktop version.

To sign up, you will need to provide your mobile number to log in, and that’s it.  I tried a VOIP account, but it didn’t let me, so keep that in mind.

Once you do so, it will run you through a simple tutorial letting you know how the app works.

Your CoinOut Dashboard

After you browse through the quick tutorial, the app will take you to your dashboard, which looks something like this…

Let’s take a look at how this dashboard works.

All Stores Badges

On the top, the store badges lead you to the retailer’s official website, where you can earn a certain amount of cash back.  If you click on the “all stores” button, you can view a full list of merchants participating with the app as well as how much you will get back.  This changes at any time, but for the most part, it’s many companies you have heard of.

For example, in that screenshot, you will get 2% back if you were to use their special Hotels.com link.

A lot of companies participate in cash back offers, but always make sure you’re getting the best rate as they all vary.  And, to know if you’re getting the best rate, I highly recommend CashBackMonitor.com, a free website that compares a ton of sites, letting you know who’s offering the best rate.  For example, when I was writing this, I could get 4% cash back, double that rate, with a competitor.  Again, as long as you compare, you can get the best rate.

The app does note that even if you make a purchase, you will have to wait for up to 48 hours to see it pending on your dashboard.  Then, even when confirmed, it can take up to 90 days to see the credit.  This will depend on the merchant being used.

All Badges

Aside from all of the all stores badges, there’s also an “All Badges” link, which will take you to an offer list of sorts.

Here, you can view the many offers, and if you were to sign up for one, you would get a bonus.

So, for example, that screenshot above would net you a $30 bonus if you signed up for Stash and followed the guidelines.  If you click on the “view offer,” it will tell you everything you need to know.

Now, just like the cashback offers, many sites, such as Swagbucks, offer deals just like these, so it doesn’t hurt to look around to make sure you’re getting the best bonus.  For example, Swagbucks pays out the same rate, so this seems to be an aggressive offer.

In-Store Offers

The in-store offers aren’t as prominent, but it’s a tiny button located near the scan button.

If you were to click on this, you can see the many offers you can only redeem in store.

For example, when I was playing around with the app, there were maybe 10~ offers at best, most of which looked to be newer items on the market.

If any are of interest, click on the offer to see more information and then buy it.  When you purchase it, you will see the bonus pop up once the app confirms you purchased it.

Taking Pictures of Receipts

Aside from getting cash back from shopping and offers, most of your money will come from taking pictures of your receipts.  This is what the app is to be used for after all, right?

To take a picture, it’s as simple as clicking the “Scan” button and then snapping a picture of the receipt.  In doing so, just make sure it’s in a well-lit area and you follow the rules I mention in my next subheading.

Once taken, you will receive an automatic amount of cash back, again, as long as the rules are followed below.  The better the quality is, the more you’ll earn, according to the company.



Receipt Rules

Whenever you upload a receipt, there are a few things that you will want to keep in mind so that your receipt is accepted.

  • your receipt must be uploaded within two weeks of purchasing
  • include the date, store, total and line items in your picture
  • do not upload more than once
  • no coupons, lotto tickets, barcodes or bank receipts allowed

Generally, 99% of your receipts are accepted as long as you’re getting it from a restaurant, retailer, etc.  And, as long as you take a picture on a flat surface with clear lighting, you shouldn’t have a problem getting it accepted.

Referrals

And, lastly, another way you can earn even more cash is simply by referring your family and friends.  This can be done via the “Share & Earn” link, where you can request and share a link.

Every time someone uses your link, you can earn; however, they don’t tell you how much you can earn as it can change.  I have seen payouts ranging anywhere from $0.50 to more than $1.75 back in the day.

How Much Can I Earn?

According to the FAQ, they set a range each day of a minimum and maximum amount you can earn from a receipt.  The amount you receive is random and is not based on the type of receipt you upload.

On average, I have found receipt ranges to be anywhere from $0.01 to $0.15 per receipt, with a maximum upload of four to six receipts.

So, let’s say you earn $0.05 a receipt and you can only upload four a day, that’s $0.20 a day or about $6 a month.  Is that a lot?  That’s up to you to decide.  Just remember that you will need new receipts to upload.

Aside from uploading the receipts, you can earn from bonus offers, cash back options, people you refer, etc.

From what I read online, users make anywhere from $0.20 to $5.25~ per month.

Once you hit a $20 balance, you can cash out via PayPal.  In doing so, it can take up to 10 days to review your cash out, with processing times taking anywhere from two to three days.

What Are Others Saying?

While I’m writing this, the app has a decent 4.3/5 rating on the Google Play Store and 4.7/5 on iOS.  Not bad.

As always, though, there are both good and bad things being said, most of which I highlight below…

The Good

  • easy to use
  • make money with just about any receipt
  • 100% free
  • decent in-store offers
  • high app rating
  • quick to upload receipts
  • all data is secured
  • they don’t sell your data

The Bad

  • almost every receipt is worth a penny or two now
  • you never know what you can earn
  • limit as to how many receipts yo ucan upload in a day
  • glitches
  • a very high $20 minimum payout threshold
  • unknown referral payment

Final Thoughts

The effort is low with this one, but you won’t make much.  Even if you upload four to six receipts a day for 30 days straight, it’s going to take you nearly four months to hit the minimum payout.  That’s a lot of receipts!

While they have a cash back and offers section, it doesn’t seem like anything special.  If you want good cash back rates, go to CashBackMonitor.com.  If you want to complete offers, I would recommend better options like Swagbucks and InstaGC, to name a few.  I don’t think CoinOut is a good option for these two methods.

While you can make money uploading your receipts, it will take quite some time.  It’s not a scam and it’s definitely legit, but you have to ask yourself if your receipt is worth a few pennies every time you snap a pic.   If so, download it!  If not, I would move on to the million other ways to make money.

As a final note, if you love this concept, there are many other receipt scanning apps that you can add to your collection to make even more.

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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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