Checkout 51 Review: How To Start Earning Cash Back

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Checkout 51 is a free website and app that helps you earn cash back on gas and groceries by uploading pictures of your receipts.

In this article, I’ll take a close look at four things to know about Checkout 51 before you use it. 

I downloaded the app to check out Checkout 51 myself and compared it to other cash back apps to see if it’s worth it. 

4 Things To Know Before Earning Cash Back With Checkout 51

Whether you’re shopping for groceries, getting gas or filling prescriptions, Checkout 51 may be able to help you save. You can visit the website or download the app for iOS or Android to begin earning cash back on eligible purchases. 

Once you create an account, you can activate offers and make qualifying purchases to earn cash back both in-store and online. You can also earn cash back at gas stations, take surveys to earn additional cash and save on eligible prescriptions. Once your account balance reaches $20, you can request a check. 

If you’re ready to start earning cash back with Checkout 51, here are four things to know

Below, you’ll find detailed information on Checkout 51 including what to expect once you’ve created an account and how to start earning cash back.

What Is Checkout 51?

Checkout 51 launched in 2012 and was acquired by News America Marketing in 2015. According to a press release, the app was ranked Best for Cash Back in 2014 by Consumer Reports and had paid out nearly $15 million in savings to consumers by 2015.

It’s free to create an account with Checkout 51. The company earns its money from the brands that it partners with, according to the website. That means you’ll never have to pay for access to Checkout 51. 

When I looked into Checkout 51 myself, I downloaded the app first. At the time of writing, the app had a 4.1 rating on the App Store from 5.6K reviews and a 4.3 rating on Google Play from 70.9K reviews. After I downloaded the app and created an account, I visited the website and logged in. While you don’t have to have the app to use Checkout 51, I found that it’s definitely more user-friendly than the website. 

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How Does Checkout 51 Work?

Checkout 51 works by earning money from partnering brands in exchange for encouraging customers to buy their products. Once you’ve created a free account, you’ll be able to shop at online stores directly through Checkout 51’s website or app while earning cash back. You can also activate cash back offers before shopping in-person or getting gas and upload your receipt after the sale to earn cash back. 

You can browse offers online and in the app and claim the ones that you’re interested in redeeming. Once you activate an offer, make the eligible purchase and upload your receipt (if it was an in-person sale), your cash back will accumulate in your Checkout 51 account. Once you reach $20, you’ll be able to request a check.

Below is more detailed information on each step of the process from registering with Checkout 51 to claiming offers to earning cash back. 

Get Started

The first step is to create an account. You can register online or download the app for iOS or Android. When I signed up for Checkout 51, I used the iPhone app. 

Signing up for Checkout 51 on the iPhone app

To register, you’ll need to provide your name, your gender and an email address and create a password. Then you can choose whether or not to enable location services so that the app can find offers in your area. If you do, you’ll be able to confirm your location and also enable push notifications if you want. 

Then you’ll be asked a few basic demographic questions. According to the app, this helps it show you more relevant offers. 

Once you’re logged in, you can begin browsing cash back offers from the website or app.

Claim Offers

Now that you’ve set up your account, you’ll be ready to start saving and earning cash back from Checkout 51. From the website, you can browse bonuses and featured offers and narrow your results by categories and stores. But again, I found that the app offers a much more user-friendly experience.

Offers available on the Checkout 51 app

Here are a few ways to claim offers and begin earning cash back with Checkout 51.

In-Store and Online Shopping

Across the top of the app, you can choose how to save or earn cash back. The “Shop” tab is where you can explore cash back offers for in-person purchases. I found more than 60 offers ranging from groceries to home essentials and personal care to medicine and health to pets. You can click on an offer to read the conditions; many offers are time sensitive and apply only to certain sizes or at select stores. Once you find a cash back offer you’d like to activate, click “Add Offer” before making the eligible purchase. 

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If you’re more interested in shopping online, you can click the “Online” tab to browse cash back offers for online stores. I found 11 offers ranging from up to 5.25% cash back at Sam’s Club Online to $4.01 cash back on DoorDash orders. To activate these offers, click “Shop.” Then you’ll be redirected to the company’s website. As long as you make your online purchase through Checkout 51’s website or app, your cash back will be credited once the purchase has been verified by the retailer.

Gas

In addition to earning cash back online and in-store, you can click the “Gas” tab in the app to browse nearby cash back offers on gas. In the app, you’ll see the current prices at nearby participating stations and the amount of cash back you’ll earn per gallon. You can tap on the filter in the top-right corner to select your preferred grade of gas, which can be updated at any time. 

Earning cash back on gas with Checkout 51

You can click on an offer to read the conditions, see the exact address of the gas station and activate it. Once a gas offer is activated, you’ll have to purchase the gas within four hours and pay with a credit or debit card. You must upload your receipt within 24 hours of adding the offer to earn cash back. 

Surveys and Pharmacy Savings

Checkout 51 also offers savings opportunities through surveys and at pharmacies. You’ll find these by clicking on tabs you’ll see across the top of the app. I checked out the “Surveys” tab and filled out the initial survey to determine my eligibility. After answering a few questions about my age, gender, race, work and earnings, I was offered six different surveys that ranged from 6-22 minutes long and $0.24-$0.79 in return. In my experience, this isn’t the best way to earn cash back with Checkout 51. 

The “Pharmacy” tab includes a digital copy of a prescription savings card. According to the app, you can save up to 80% on prescription medications at the counter with the card whether you’re using insurance or not. To use it, simply display the card at the pharmacy counter during checkout and your pharmacist will check for applicable savings. Unfortunately, there’s no way to determine how much you’ll save ahead of time.

The company claims that the pharmacy savings card covers more than 50,000 medications. Eligible pharmacies include Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, Walmart, Rite Aid, Duane Reade and more. Costco Pharmacy purchases are not eligible for Checkout 51 savings.

Earn Cash Back

If you’ve claimed an online cash back offer at Checkout 51, you’ll be able to shop as you would normally through the website or app. If you’ve activated an in-store cash back offer, including a gas offer, you’ll need to upload the receipt after the purchase in order to get cash back. To do this, click the “Redeem” tab at the bottom of the app.

Redeeming cash back offers with Checkout 51 in the app

There, you’ll be able to select the offers you’ve activated that are on your receipt. Then you’ll be able to take a photo of the receipt directly in the app. If you’re on Checkout 51’s website, you can also upload a photo of a receipt by clicking the “Upload Receipt” button in the top-right corner. 

Once you earn $20 with Checkout 51, you’ll be able to cash out. According to the terms and conditions, you can choose to receive your cash back reward by check, via an approved third-party electronic payment method such as PayPal or in the form of an electronic gift card. You do have to request your cash back once you’ve earned $20, as Checkout 51 does not have any automatic transfer feature or predetermined pay periods.

For more information on earning cash back from Checkout 51, visit the company’s website.

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How To Get the Most Out of Checkout 51

Claiming cash back offers through Checkout 51 is a lot like clipping traditional coupons: You have to do some planning. Check out the available cash back offers before you go to the store or gas station. Even if you’re shopping online, knowing what you’re buying, what offers are available and if you can get a better deal elsewhere can. For this reason, the best way to maximize the cash back you earn with Checkout 51 is by planning ahead. 

Note that you may find a better deal on a generic brand or at a store where the cash back offer isn’t available. For this reason, it’s always important to compare prices.

In addition to planning ahead and comparing prices, here are a few more ways to maximize the cash back you earn with Checkout 51 according to the company’s website:

  • Check for new offers on Thursdays. Offers go live on Thursdays at midnight in each time zone and expire the following Wednesday night. Check for new offers on Thursdays and upload your receipts while the offers are live before they expire. 
  • Read the fine print. Some offers are available in limited quantities while others can be claimed multiple times. Also, you can earn cash back only for the exact product listed at eligible stores. Be sure to read the fine print carefully before making a purchase.
  • Combine Checkout 51 offers with other coupons and discounts. Unless a coupon or discount states otherwise, you can combine it with a Checkout 51 cash back offer. You may be able to find additional sales and discounts in your grocery store’s weekly ad, other cash back apps, in the paper or on manufacturer websites.

Finally, be sure to claim the initial “Upload your First Receipt” offer before you redeem your first offer. You’ll earn an additional $1 for making any eligible purchase and uploading your receipt. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, Checkout 51 is a great way to earn cash back on groceries, food delivery, online purchases and other essentials. I was impressed by how easy the app is to use and the fact that you can earn cash back on gas at participating stations. 

Since I’ve signed up for Checkout 51 myself, here are a few of the biggest pros and cons I’ve found: 

Pros:Cons:
Fuel Savings: Unlike major competitors, Checkout 51 lets you earn cash back on gas. You can see local prices at eligible gas stations, claim offers and upload receipts from the app. When I checked out this feature, I saw offers up to $0.12 back per gallon.Payment: You have to reach $20 in cash back earnings before you’re able to request a check. Checkout 51 doesn’t automatically pay out, so you’ll have to be sure to request your earnings. 
Convenience: The app is very easy to use for both online and in-store purchases. With online purchases, you can shop directly from the Checkout 51 app, and the cash back will automatically be linked to your account. With in-store purchases, you can upload a receipt in the app. Limited Selection: When I downloaded Checkout 51, there were just over 60 in-store cash back offers for specific products and 11 online cash back offers. I didn’t notice any “any-brand” type rebates, and four of the 11 online offers were for just 1% cash back. Additionally, when I tried to take surveys, I only had six to choose from that took up to 22 minutes and paid out less than $0.80. 
Pharmacy Savings: Although you won’t know how much you’ll save on prescriptions with Checkout 51 until you’re at the register, the company claims that you can save up to 80% with or without insurance.Fine Print: Not all cash back offers are eligible for every purchase in the store. If you see a cash back offer that says “up to 6% back” at a retailer (or something similar), many products and/or categories are likely exempt. Be sure to read the details of an offer before you spend money.

For more ways to save money and earn cash back, be sure to check out other apps such as Ibotta, Fetch Rewards and Rakuten.

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