In this article I’m going to explain how you can get paid to scan receipts on your phone. You will also discover what the best apps to use for this earning method are.
Why can you get paid to scan receipts?
Basically, there are businesses out there trying to figure out how to sell you their products. Having purchase history data from shopping receipts helps them to understand your habits and preferences as a consumer. Market research companies can therefore use this as an alternative to paid surveys for data collection.
How do you get paid to scan receipts?
It’s easy to get going. Firstly, you need to install and register on the receipt scanner apps of your choice. Secondly, you need to open the scanning feature in the apps, and photograph your receipt using your phone’s camera. If the receipt is too long to fit in one shot, you can divide the receipt up into multiple photos. Thirdly, you should check that the information on the receipt is clearly visible before submitting it for review.
You receive points in the app for each valid receipt that you scan. Once you reach a minimum requirement of points, you can redeem either PayPal cash or an Amazon UK gift card, depending on the app.
Which apps pay you to scan receipts?
Here you will find the four apps I use to snap my receipts in exchange for cash. While some of them are slightly better than others, I recommend using all four together to get the most value.
1. StoREwards review (Invite code: 1gzhz)
StoREwards (pronounced “Store Rewards”) is a replacement for the now-defunct app Receipt Hog.
The points system on this app is pretty ridiculous. The £2 minimum cash-out is expressed as 22,000 “coins”. Users get 600 coins for each valid receipt, which works out at 5.5p. I have to question whether there is really a need for all those extra zeros. It just seems like a trick to make it look like you’re earning more. Patient users can get better value for points, by saving up 100,000 coins for a £10 cash-out.
There’s also a daily login bonus system, which gives you 100 extra points per day for maintaining a login streak. This is basically the equivalent of scanning an extra receipt each week. It’s underwhelming, but it still gets you to the minimum withdrawal limit faster.
A major strength of this app is that it accepts multiple receipts from one retailer with the same date. This isn’t always the case with this kind of app. It also pays in PayPal cash, which is what we really want.
If you’d like to join, please use my invite code 1gzhz for a sign-up bonus of 250 coins.
+ One of the higher-paying receipt scanner apps
+ Bonus points just for logging in daily
+ Accepts more than one receipt per store, per date
+ Pays to PayPal
– Needlessly complicated points system
2. Huyu review
What Huyu does well is actually making it clear how many points you’ve earned. 1 point is worth 1p, and you get 5 points (5p) for every valid receipt that you scan.
Huyu tried to be innovative by including an automatic detection feature, to capture receipts that your camera is pointed at. Unfortunately, this often fails to recognise receipts that are in plain sight. It tends to be more efficient to just photograph the receipts and crop the images manually.
If you try uploading multiple receipts from one retailer with the same date, only the first one will be credited. It seems unethical that they should collect additional this data without paying you for it. When I do have multiple receipts of the same store and date, I actually make a point of giving them the one with the least amount of data.
The minimum amount you need to redeem a reward is 500 points (£5). Although Huyu has a large variety of gift cards on offer, they’ve sadly neglected to provide a PayPal option. I therefore recommend choosing either an Amazon UK or Mastercard gift card.
+ Points system is easy to understand
+ Simple app interface
– Does not credit you for more than one receipt per store, per date
– No PayPal option
3. Shoppix review
The £5 minimum PayPal cash-out is worth 3200 “tokens”, meaning the 30 tokens you get from one valid receipt are worth 4.6p. You can get incrementally better value for your tokens by saving up for the £10 or £20 cash-outs.
I also found that it doesn’t support all of the retailers that I would have expected. For example, it doesn’t accept receipts from Co-op.
A nice feature of Shoppix, on the other hand, is that they award you with scratch cards for using the app regularly. You can win a decent amount of extra tokens this way.
+ PayPal cash-outs
+ Win extra points from scratch cards
– Slightly underpays for receipts compared to their competitors
– Doesn’t support all major retailers
– Only credits one receipt per store, per date
– Arbitrary points system
4. Amazon Shopper Panel review
Amazon Shopper Panel is easily the highest paying receipt scanner app. Unfortunately, it only pays in Amazon UK gift card credit (as you might have guessed).
A major drawback of Amazon Shopper Panel is that there is a limit on how many people can participate in this program. I was fortunate enough to join at a time when the app was accepting new members. If there aren’t any spaces when you apply, then I recommend joining the waiting list.
In contrast to some of the other apps, Amazon Shopper Panel is very clear about how much their users can earn. You can receive £5 in Amazon UK gift card credit a month in exchange for uploading just 10 receipts. Paying at a rate of 50p per receipt means this app gives you 10 times the value of its competitors. Furthermore, the app will sometimes offer you decently-paid microsurveys for amounts such as 25p.
+ Much higher paying compared to similar apps
+ Well-paid microsurveys
– Limited places available in the program
– Only pays in Amazon gift credit
Tips for using receipt scanning apps
- Break up your grocery shopping into multiple transactions at the self-checkout machine for extra receipts (works for StoREwards and Amazon Shopper Panel).
- Look out for receipts that other shoppers abandon in the self-checkout area.
- Don’t bother saving up for higher cash-outs. It will take too long, and we don’t know how long the apps will last. Your funds could be invested for further profit rather than sitting in the app.
- Avoid doing the surveys on receipt scanner apps. They are incredibly low paid relative to the completion time. Amazon Shopper Panel is the exception to this rule- Their microsurveys pay well.
Should you get paid to scan receipts?
In conclusion, I believe it is worth adding receipt scanners to your routine. The benefit of using these apps is they essentially give you a small discount on your everyday purchases. I consider my earnings from these apps as a form of cashback, which will go into my savings account.
Although this type of app doesn’t pay much, there is also a very low time commitment involved. Grocery shopping is something that people already have to do anyway, so why not monetise it? It is very quick and easy to take photos of receipts on your phone when you return home. The extra income you get from this method certainly adds up over time.