My Sister-in-Law’s Clever Grocery Receipt Hack I Wish I Tried Way Sooner (Now I Do It Every Trip!)

published Jun 11, 2024
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Woman looking at a receipt after shopping at the supermarket
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One of my favorite pastimes is a trip to the grocery store. Where I live in New York, I’m lucky to be just a short drive away from supermarkets and specialty chains. I cook a lot at home, so I tend to shop two to three times a week. 

Over time I noticed my receipts just hanging out in my wallet (and my inbox), accumulating space and not much else. Then, a few months ago, my sister-in-law introduced me to Fetch, a shopping rewards app. As someone who shops multiple times a week, I was instantly intrigued at the idea of earning rewards just for going on a grocery run. 

I downloaded the app and have been using it for a little over two months now. I just wish I’d heard about it sooner. 

Credit: Mara Weinraub

But First, What Is Fetch?

Fetch is a free rewards app where you earn digital gift cards for logging your receipts. You get a flat 25 points for each receipt you log, and you can easily earn more depending on what you buy or where you shop (more on that below). 

Purchases are not limited to just groceries, either; they also include clothing, beauty and personal care, electronics, pet supplies, and baby items from a number of retailers, including Best Buy, Gap, Target, and Petco. Select food delivery services and restaurant receipts are also accepted, though certain transactions, including movie, concert, airline and other experience tickets are ineligible for rewards.

Credit: Mara Weinraub

How Does Fetch Work?

Signing up is easy. Once you download the Fetch app, you’ll enter in some basic information, including your name, email, city, state, ZIP code, and birthday. That’s it. You’re ready to log your receipts.

Simply snap a photo of your physical receipts to start earning points. (This is my favorite way to earn rewards!) Since I started using the app two months ago, I’ve already earned 4,300-plus points just by snapping paper receipts with my smartphone. You can also accumulate points with online purchases — just link the email associated with your online purchases to your Fetch account to earn points for all your e-receipts. The app will automatically verify those e-receipts.

There are some restrictions: Receipts must be submitted within 14 days of their transaction date. If you try to submit a receipt past the 14-day period, the Fetch app will notify you on the spot it’s been rejected. You can also submit up to 35 receipts within a seven-day period. The 35-receipt limit is based on the date you log the receipt, not the date of purchase.

Redemption offers vary by retailer. For example, to earn a $3 Target gift card, you’ll need to accumulate 4,500 points, or up to 54,000 points for a $50 gift card. Similarly, a $5 T.J. Maxx gift card is worth 5,750 points, or 52,000 points for $50. I’ve been holding off on redeeming my points, until I can earn those higher dollar gift cards.

Credit: Mara Weinraub

More Ways to Earn Points

Beyond logging receipts, you’ll earn more points depending on what you buy or where you shop. There’s a list of current promotions in the “Offers” section that shows just how many points you’ll earn on specific products, including toilet paper, mayonnaise, cat food, frozen foods, and more. (For example, two boxes of Barilla pasta purchased together are worth 1,000 points.) You can filter these deals by reward size, category, expiration date, and more. Certain conditions, like participating retailers or dates of purchases, apply, so I recommend reading the fine print. 

You can also accumulate extra points when you buy products featured in the app’s “Boosts” section. Broken down into Boost, Super Boost, and Max Boost, you’ll earn 10, 20, or 30 points, respectively, for every dollar spent on name-brand items from Kodiak, Beyond Meat, A1, Old El Paso, Jif, and more. The brands change periodically, and Fetch seems to add new brands often, so it’s good to check before a big shop.

There’s even a “Fetch Play” section, a new in-app feature where you earn points for playing games within the game library. You’ll also earn points when you refer a friend (or family member, in my case) to the Fetch app: 3,000 points for you and 1,000 points for your friend once they snap a receipt. 

What’s So Great About Fetch?

If you’re a frequent shopper like me, this app is a great way to earn rewards for purchases you’d make anyway. I like having the flexibility in choosing how I want to redeem my points. I select gift cards for retailers in a variety of 14 categories, including entertainment, fashion, health and beauty, home and office, travel, pets, and charity, or simply opt for a Visa gift card.

What I Wish Was Different

I often shop at Costco (this freezer find makes the best two-ingredient dinners!), H Mart, and Trader Joe’s and tend to buy store-brand items, which typically aren’t included in the “Offers” and “Boosts” sections. Some of my favorite name-brand products aren’t featured in the app all that often either, so it can take time to accumulate enough points to redeem those larger dollar gift cards. I’ve also noticed promotions are frequently tied to confectionery and chocolate items. 

I’m all for a bag of sour gummies, but I wish there were more meal-planning staples in these deal sections. In general, a wider variety of brands and products would help maximize my point-earning potential. 

My Final Thoughts

Despite the fact I’m not reaping all the rewards benefits in the app, I still like using Fetch because I know I’m getting some of my money back — even if it’s just a fraction — in the long run. As grocery items and food prices continue to remain high, I like the feeling of being rewarded for the purchases I make. It’s a win-win.

Have you tried Fetch? Tell us about it in the comments below.