Contributor, Benzinga
March 24, 2023
Upside
Overall Rating:
securely through Upside's website

Upside is a free app that earns you real cash back just for doing you. It’s designed to help consumers see more monetary returns on essentials like gas, groceries, and dining. Upside offers its users a number of methods they can use to cash out, including a direct deposit to your bank account or PayPal, or even a gift card to places like Amazon, Target, or Starbucks.

Upside is available as a free mobile app for iPhone and Android users, making it the easiest way to earn cash back. Once you claim an offer and make your purchase, cash back is added to your Upside account in just 2-4 days. Overall, Upside provides a unique tool that helps you earn 3x more cash back on the essentials you need without jumping through the endless hoops of other loyalty or rewards programs.

Best For
  • Anyone looking for an easier way to earn cash back on purchases
  • Commercial drivers or anyone with a commute who buys gas more frequently
  • Smartphone users who dislike earning points and want real cash
Pros
  • Partnerships with 50,000+ businesses that provide users with tons of ways to earn more
  • Multiple cash out options ranging from PayPal to a direct bank transfer
  • Rewards are offered in cash — not points that can be redeemed only for gift cards
Cons
  • Verification of non-receipt purchases may take up to a week.
  • You may face a $1 fee when you cash out if you have a low account balance. Otherwise, cashing out is free

Upside Ratings at a Glance

Customer Service
Pricing
Mobile App
User Experience
Overall

Upside Product Offerings

Upside is a cash back  app that partners with businesses near you to help users earn real cash back on gas, restaurant and grocery purchases. But unlike other loyalty programs, Upside actually benefits the business as well as the consumer.  Upside’s cash back offers bring new repeat customers who buy more, which  generates profits for  business owners who might not have the infrastructure in place to distribute these offers on their own.

After downloading the Upside app, you’ll see a map of nearby businesses and their cash back offers. Browse the map until you find a business you’d like to visit and explore their offers. When you find a location where you want to earn cash back,, tap Claim to lock in the offer, and complete your purchase as normal using your debit or credit card. Follow the directions in the app to complete your purchase.

Upside provides cash back offers at more than 50,000 businesses, including both major names (like Circle K, Piggly Wiggly, Dairy Queen and Arby’s) as well as local chains and shops. Businesses partner with Upside to create unique offers only accessible through the app, which you can browse based on your current location. Upside’s offers allow you to claim up to 30% to 45% cash back on restaurant and grocery purchases as well as up to25¢ per gallon cash back on gas. Consumers who use Upside frequently earn an average of $340 annually.

upside review

Upside’s map-based cash back feature helps you to earn wherever you are instead of encouraging you to plan a new shopping trip to claim rewards. 

One of the major benefits of Upside is that unlike other cash back app providers, you don’t always need to upload your receipt to earn cash back. Some locations just require you to pay with a card linked in your Upside Wallet and then you’re all set..

  • Claim an offer: Tap Claim to lock in the offer you like. You will need to make your purchase within a certain amount of time after claiming the offer.
  • Pay with a card linked in your Upside Wallet: Pay for your purchase as usual with a physical debit or credit card. Ensure that the same card is linked in your Upside Wallet so that Upside can cross-reference your purchase and provide your cash back. The Upside Wallet is secured by a top-tier encryption service through Stripe.
  • Earn cash back: Cash back will be added to your account in two to four days. In some circumstances, cash back can take up to 10 days to process. You can cash out whenever you want to your bank account, PayPal, or a gift card.

Upside offers users a way to see their daily shopping materialize in cash, rather than through a points program like some other rewards apps. Upside users can choose to cash out their earnings directly to their bank account, PayPal, or a gift card.

Upside Promo Codes

You can also check out promo codes through Upside. This is a great place to save a little more on each purchase when you want to keep some cash in your pocket. Because promo codes can change often or you might not remember until the last minute, keeping an account with Upside and checking in with the app prior to checking out is always a good idea.

Today, you can use code BENZINGA25 and get a $0.25/gal bonus on your first fill-up.

Upside Customer Service

Upside allows users to get in contact with its customer support team in a number of ways, including the following options.

  • In-app help center: The in-app help center is the easiest way to get in touch with Upside’s team. Open your app, look for the icon that resembles a blue pen and tap on it to submit your message to a customer service representative.
  • Via email: To get in contact with Upside over email, send a message to support@upside.com. Use the email associated with your Upside account to minimize your wait and ensure the representative is quickly able to locate your account.

Upside does not currently provide user assistance over the phone, but the company does aim to respond to all customer inquiries within 24 hours of receiving them.

Upside Pricing

Upside is available as a free app, which you can download through the App Store and Google Play. 

Upside also has a referral program where you can earn more for each person you get to use the app. When you open an Upside account, you’ll be provided with a referral code that you can use to introduce friends and family members to Upside. Each time a friend uses your code, you and the new user will gain a bonus. Plus, you’ll continue earning 1¢/gal on each future gas purchase your friend makes using Upside..

The only area where Upside loses points is in its cash-out fees — but these only occur when you have a low account balance.While you can cash out at any time no matter your balance, you’ll face a $1 penalty when you do any of the following.

  • Withdrawing to a bank account with less than $10 in cash back
  • Withdrawing to a PayPal account with less than $15 in cash back

Upside Mobile App

As Upside relies entirely on its mobile platform, it’s important to maintain a functional yet simple app-based offering — and Upside does just that. Upside offers a comprehensive mobile app most users will be able to master in a few minutes, allowing you to view and initiate offers with a few taps. Some features showcased in the Upside app include the following.

  • Location-based offers: Upside uses your phone’s location to identify offers near you as you shop, allowing you to access offers that are both valuable and convenient to you. For example, if you need gas while you’re out shopping, you can check the app and see offers near the shopping center you’re at. Upside will locate the nearest fuel station to you offering cash back.
  • Cash out at any time: You have many options for cashing out. You can cash out to your bank account, PayPal, or a gift card.

The Upside app is available as a free download for Apple and Android users. 

Upside User Experience

Upside offers a top-of-the-line user experience, taking steps to make the process of earning cash back easier and more straightforward. While the app’s focus on claiming offers immediately before purchase does mean you won’t be able to benefit if you don’t have your phone on you or when the app is down, it offers a wide range of opportunities to earn cash.

Upside also makes it easy to locate offers within your community, thanks to its partnership with more than 50,000 businesses. You can view offers based on proximity, which helps you support nearby businesses while also getting the consumer staples you need. Frequent Upside users earn an average of $340 a year shopping at locations near them, and users have earned more than $30 million in cash back through Upside to date. 

Upside vs. Competitors

While Upside’s retail offering is unique, it isn’t the only retail-centered mobile app focused on helping consumers earn rewards on their purchases. Depending on your shopping habits and preferences, you may be able to combine multiple apps to save even more on your household bills. 

Benzinga offers insights and reviews on the following consumer tech apps. Consider continuing your research with a few of the links below. 

Upside Overall

Upside’s consumer-focused retail app takes the standard idea of cash back savings and extends the model to include brick and mortar businesses. Customers will find a wide range of ways to earn cash back through Upside offers, which are organized based on the user’s location. Upside has even removed the need to upload receipts to access all cash-back offers, which makes earning even easier. 

Before you download the Upside app, make sure you understand the permissions you’ll need to grant the app before getting paid. You’ll have to enable your location and claim each offer only shortly before making the purchase, and you’ll pay a fee if you cash out with a lower balance. Despite these minor flaws, Upside is an innovative option that can be a great mobile addition if you’re looking to see more returns when shopping and support businesses in your community. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Is the Upside app legitimate?

A

Yes, the Upside app is legitimate. Upside partners with local business owners and major names in retail to create exclusive offers available only through the app. The businesses only pay Upside once they make a profit from the partnership. 

Q

How do you get paid from Upside?

A

You can cash out through a PayPal deposit, bank transfer or gift card. 

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About Sarah Horvath

Sarah is an expert in the insurance, investing for retirement and cryptocurrency space.