Shop Smarter is a cashback rewards platform that partners with thousands of online stores and offers a variety of shopping categories. The company states that members can earn 10% on all purchases year-round, and they also offer additional chances to earn during certain holidays. The platform is not a pure gift card reward program like Fetch Rewards, but it does allow members to cash out their earnings via check.
While Shop Smarter has thousands of partner stores, the amount of money members can actually make is far less than what might be expected. In order to get the full benefit of this service, members will need to spend more than $100 a month on qualifying purchases. This is a fairly high threshold, and it will be difficult for many people to meet this goal, especially considering the monthly subscription fee of $9.97.
If you want to find a better alternative, there are plenty of free cashback programs available that don’t require any monthly subscription fees. The best of these options are Rakuten and Ibotta, both of which have partnered with more than 1,000 retailers and have an average payout rate that exceeds Shop Smarter’s.
While it’s possible to find coupons and other deals through Shop Smarter, the company’s primary function is to direct users to third-party eCommerce websites through its affiliate links. This means that the company’s profit margins are derived from the commissions it receives when a user clicks on these links and makes a purchase. This model can be risky, as the company has seen several complaints from customers that their offers do not credit as expected.
In addition, the company’s website is somewhat cluttered with advertisements and offers that are hard to navigate. This can be distracting for shoppers and may cause them to abandon their shopping carts and leave the site altogether. The company claims that it has a team of customer support agents to assist with questions, but this doesn’t appear to be the case in practice.
Shop Smarter is not a scam, but it is a money-grab website that takes advantage of users who do not spend enough to justify the monthly subscription. While it’s not as bad as some other scams, it is definitely not worth the money that you might be able to save by using a different cashback reward site instead. If you plan to use this site, be sure that you’ll actually be able to earn at least $1,200 a year in order to offset the cost of the subscription fee. Otherwise, you’re likely to be disappointed by the low payouts.