How I’m Using ShopKick to Earn Free Gift Cards (With Little Effort)

Updated August 13, 2020 by Kyle

I’ve been religiously using the ShopKick app for a few weeks now and figured it was time for a progress report. I think the app has a lot of potential, and can easily earn you some free gift cards. This is especially true when you figure out how to earn “kicks” by doing pretty much nothing. I’ve already earned over 1,000 kicks by doing very little and plan on redeeming for an Amazon gift card soon. Here are the 6 ways I’ve been earning “kicks” along with some insider tips for success.

How I'm Using ShopKick to Earn Free Gift Cards (With Little Effort)

1. Have ShopKick Open When Shopping

ShopKick app

By far the easiest way to earn “kicks” with ShopKick is by simply walking into some of your favorite stores.

Check out the screenshot above, you’ll currently get 50 kicks by walking into BestBuy and 15 for entering Target.

But here’s an insider way to hack the app. You don’t always have to actually walk into the store to get the kicks.

I’ll often get kicks just for being close to the store entrance.

The takeaway is to always have the ShopKick app open when you visit your local mall or shopping center and you’ll often collect kicks without even knowing it.

2. Make It A Fun Game

Scan with ShopKick

The next easiest way to collect kicks is to scan the barcode of specific items while shopping.

Just check out the app when you enter the store and it’ll tell you the products that currently have kicks available.

In the screenshot above, I earned 10 kicks just by using the ShopKick app to scan CLR cleaner at Target. It was simple as I was in the aisle anyways buying some Comet and Windex.

Tip: When shopping with your kids, get them involved and make it a fun scavenger hunt game.

This is the magic part of the app as far as I’m concerned because you earn kicks by doing nothing.

By having the kiddos do the scanning for you, not only does it give them something fun to do, but you earn the free kicks in the process. Win-win.

Note: Before I get the nasty comments, I’m not advocating letting your pre-schoolers run loose in the grocery store with your phone. But it’s great for tweens and teens. Heck, it might actually make an otherwise boring shopping trip kinda fun.

3. Use ShopKick in Combination w/ Ibotta

It’s no big secret that my favorite shopping rebate app is Ibotta. (Full review)

I’ve been using it for years and have saved over $1,000 on my groceries with little effort.

But my luck doubled when I started using ShopKick in conjunction with Ibotta.

I was surprised with how many items were on both apps with a rebate available.

Or at the very least I can use ShopKick to scan a product (or two) located next to what I was buying and getting an Ibotta rebate on.

Great way to earn some easy “kicks” without having to walk around the store looking for specific products.

4. Check App for Buying Opportunities

Cashback with ShopKick

While somewhat limited, the app always features products that you can actually buy and earn a bunch of kicks on.

In the screenshot above, I could buy some Bailey’s from Target and earn 750 kicks by simply scanning my receipt with the ShopKick app.

The following shopping categories are featured most prominently: Beauty, personal care, health care, pet food, cleaning products, wine, beer, and spirits.

Walmart by far has the most buying opportunities available. So always check out ShopKick before you visit your local Wally World.

5. Use It When Shopping Online Too

Shop Online with ShopKick

Also check ShopKick when you shop online.

They offer kicks at a bunch of popular websites like Walmart, Overstock, Hotwire, Jet, and

You’ll earn on average 3 – 7 kicks for every dollar spent. You must shop through the ShopKick app to earn the kicks.

After you open the app, just tap on “Kicks Online” and it’ll bring up a list of all the online retailers currently offering kicks.

6. Link Your Credit Card for More Kicks

Link Credit Card with ShopKick

A lesser known, yet highly effective way to earn kicks with ShopKick is to link your credit or debit card.

By doing so, you’ll earn 1 kick for every dollar spent at a bunch of retailers.

In the screenshot above, you’ll currently earn kicks at TJ Maxx, American Eagle, and Best Buy by linking your card.

To make it happen, simply tap the profile or menu icon in the top corner of the ShopKick app.

Next tap “Settings”, tap “Kicks for Purchases”, then tap “Link Card” and choose Visa or MasterCard.

Final Thoughts

Is Shopkick going to make you rich with a plethora of gift cards every month? No.

But the app easily has the potential to land you a few $25 gift cards every year. And if you use the app in a smart way, it won’t take a lot of effort either.

It’s definitely worth a look and a smart add to your iPhone or Android device.

I’m definitely going to keep using it and earn some easy gift cards in the process.

Ask the Reader: Have you tried ShopKick? If so, how many kicks have you earned so far?

By Kyle James

Disclaimer: While Shopkick paid me nothing to write this post, and all opinions are my own, they do pay me a referral fee if you download the app and register. Money I use to keep this blog rolling with new content.


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I have been using ShopKick since 2010 with 144,264 lifetime kicks. I used the app far more when I wasn’t working. I used that as my daily activity since I also didn’t have a car at the time.

The main reason I slowed down using the app is because it’s hard to get kicks. It used to take less than two days of diligent work with the app to get a $25 gift card. This was especially easy during big shopping weekends and Christmas Eve which at one point meant I could go to three different area Best Buy, Target and Macy’s stores and get 200 kick each.

I would gain 1600 in about two hours using just the bus.

Right how I am working on gaining 700-800 kicks a day for the next two weeks.


What’s your referral code? I haven’t been able to find one that was created before mine but I’ve only had it for a couple years.