Pepper Rewards App Review: Rewards To Good to Be True?
Pepper logo

Pepper Rewards Review: Earn Rebates on Gift Cards from Top Brands

Recently, out of nowhere, an app called Pepper seemed to be all the rage in the credit card reward and deal-finding corner of the Internet. Unlike some other apps I’ve seen mentioned that just seem too convoluted to be worth it, the premise of Pepper is super simple: buy gift cards and earn rewards. While there are some other sites where you can buy discounted gift cards or other apps (such as Ibotta and Fold among others) where you can earn cashback on gift cards, Pepper’s 5% across-the-board rate definitely stands out.

So, is Pepper worth the hype? Let’s take a look at what the app offers as well as my experience with it so far.

Pepper Rewards App
Pepper logo
Pepper Rewards App: A perfect purchase companion for those seeking savings
5
Referral bonus
Earn double points for your first 15 days by using code 587870 at sign-up
Payments accepted
Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover
With the Pepper Rewards app, you can earn 5% back when purchasing digital gift cards from numerous retail and restaurant brands. These gift cards and rewards arrive instantly and rewards can be redeemed for gift cards in increments of $5 (20 rewards points). Those elements make this app a slam dunk — with the only question being “can it last?”
Pros
  • Earn 5% back on digital gift card purchases
  • Plenty of brands to choose from including Amazon
  • Redeem rewards for more gift cards
Cons
  • Rewards can only be used for gift cards, not cash

Pepper App: How to Earn Rebate Rewards on Gift Card Purchases

Pepper Refer a Friend $20 Bonus

Pepper versus Moocho

Before we jump into Pepper, I do want to mention that the app is actually a rebranding of a previous platform: Moocho. In fact, when I first started using Pepper, the transactions showed as Moocho on my credit card statements. Since then, the previous Moocho app has officially changed over to Pepper and the name on transactions has also been updated.

If you previously had the Moocho app, it should now have been updated with the new name and logo. However, there is still a small difference between the two apps: the location of the My Savings and Points buttons (as seen in the image to the left). Other than that, the two apps are the same — but only the “real” Pepper can now be downloaded from the App Store.

Signing up for Pepper and adding a form of payment

Joining Pepper is a fairly easy process. First, you’ll need to provide your name as well as your email address. You’ll be asked to create a password as well. This is when you’ll enter a referral code if you have one — but more on that later. Then, you’ll also enter your zip code and your phone number (which you’ll verify via an SMS code).

After that, you’ll be ready to add a payment card to be used for your purchases. Pepper currently supports Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. Also, the first time I used my card in the app, I was directed to Mastercard’s ID Check, which also required an SMS verification code. This hasn’t happened since, so I suppose it was just an early fraud check.

Once these steps are completed, you’ll be ready to start shopping.

Buying gift cards on Pepper

Ready to Save?

One of the most impressive things about Pepper is the number of brands it offers digital gift cards from. The list is honestly too long to write out here, but some of my favorites include:

  • Amazon
  • Sam’s Club
  • Target
  • Chipotle
  • Delta
  • Petsmart
  • Red Robin
  • Uber/Uber Eats
  • Many many more!

While most of the gift cards can be purchased in amounts starting at $5 (although Amazon’s maximum is currently just $1), others have larger minimums. For example, Delta gift cards start at $50. From what I’ve seen, there’s also a $500 per card max on most options, but there are some exceptions.

To find a brand you want to purchase from you can scroll through the options, filter by category, or simply do a search. Then, you’ll select the brand and enter how much you want to put on the gift card. After processing your payment, Pepper will present you with the gift card information, which you can either use online or in-store.

Personally, I like to take a screenshot of my gift cards right after I purchase them just so that I have a backup. However, you can access your purchased cards by tapping the profile icon in Pepper (bottom right corner), going to Transaction History, selecting the purchase, and then hitting “View gift card.” On that note, there’s also a convenient “Check balance” button here, which has worked pretty well in my experience so far.

Earning rewards

Pepper Rewards summary

So why buy gift cards on Pepper? Well, every time you do, you’ll earn rewards — effectively like a rebate on your purchase.

At this time, by default, you’ll earn 5% rewards on Pepper. These rewards are issued in the form of points, with users earning 1 point for every $5 they spend. In other words, a $50 gift card purchase would earn 10 points.

Then, these points can be redeemed at a value of $0.25 each. So, 20 points is equal to $5.

Maybe I’m alone here, but this math makes my head hurt a bit. Nevertheless, this really does work out to 5% back (buy a $100 gift card, earn 20 points, and redeem those points for $5). And, lest you forget how many points you’ll get from a transaction or how much your coins are worth, Pepper does tell you before you complete your purchase how much you’ll receive and the app’s home screen displays how many points you have along with what that means in terms of dollars. Phew.

Using rewards

Pepper - apply points for cash

As mentioned, with Pepper, you’ll earn points for each gift card purchase you make. Well, you can then use those points to purchase more gift cards!

To do this, just select which brand you want to redeem your points for. Then, tap the ‘+’ icon next to where it says “[brand name] Cash.” Currently, you redeem points in increments of 20, which works out to $5. Once you’ve selected how many points you want to redeem, hit the “Apply X points now” button and your corresponding dollar amount will display.

A word of warning: as I discovered, it seems you can’t undo your redemption. So, make sure you’ve selected correctly before hitting the “Apply X points now” button.

From there, you can either purchase a gift card for the exact amount of points you’re redeeming or use the points to cover a portion of your total. On that note, if you do choose the latter option you will still earn more points on the difference. For example, if you use $5 in points to purchase a $50 gift card, you’d earn 9 points on the $45 you spent out of pocket.

While some might prefer to earn actual cashback instead, considering how strong Pepper’s line-up of brands is, I think that this points system works pretty well.

Anywhere Cash

There is another type of currency on Pepper that you might encounter called Anywhere Cash. These funds actually function in pretty much the same way to regular rewards except, instead of being displayed in points, Pepper shows you the dollar amount.

The other difference between Anywhere Cash and points is how they’re earned. While points are accrued from regular gift card purchases in Pepper, Anywhere Cash is typically a reward offered as part of a bonus (which we’ll talk more about in a moment).

Pepper referral rewards offer code 587870

Referral bonus and other offers

On top of their regular rewards, Pepper also offers some special bonuses. A prime example of this is their referral welcome bonus. As of this writing (February 27th, 2024), new Pepper users who sign up using a referral code and those who spend at least $100 in the app within their first 90 days will earn $20 in Anywhere Cash. Additionally, the person doing the referral will also earn $20 Anywhere Cash. On that note, if you do want to try Pepper, you can use our code: 587870

When I first joined Pepper, my welcome bonus hit almost immediately after making my first $100 purchase. But, apparently the app got hit with some fraud when it first arrived and so things might be a bit slower now. According to the FAQ, the person making the referral should receive their bonus within 30 days of the terms being met.

On their site, Pepper also alludes to other bonuses, offers, deals, “missions,” and more. So, it may be worth keeping an eye on the app to see what other features they roll out.

“Coming soon”

Speaking of in-the-works features, the Pepper website mentions some other impending additions. This includes a desktop extension that will allow you to pay with Pepper. The app also teases the ability to keep track of your expenses and gain spending insights — which is a pretty intriguing feature for a gift card app.

Unfortunately, there’s no other timeline offered other than a “coming soon” note, so we’ll need to stay tuned for these apparent updates.

My experience with Pepper

Pepper rewards screenshot

Earning my rewards

Something I love about Pepper is the instant gratification of it all. As soon as you make a purchase, your points are applied — meaning that you can turn right around and redeem them for an additional card. To me, this is brilliant.

My Sam’s Club play

When I first downloaded Pepper, my initial idea was to buy Amazon gift cards, since those are practically as good as cash. But, then I realized there was a supported retailer I shop at even more: Sam’s Club.

In turn, I’ve taken to purchasing Sam’s Club gift cards on Pepper just before I’m ready to check out. From there, I can even copy the gift card number and paste it in the Sam’s Club app as part of the Scan & Go checkout procedure. This has worked like a charm, allowing me to effectively earn 5% back (6% if you count the 1% in credit card rewards as well) on my Sam’s Club purchases.

While I call this a “play” and it almost seems like a hack, actually, this is probably closer to how the app is meant to be used. Either way, this has been a winning strategy for me since Pepper first entered my life.

Final Thoughts on Pepper

Pepper app

What can I say? I love Pepper! Well, at least I love Pepper now.

Why the pessimism? Well, I’ve seen enough rewards apps in my day to know that they can start hot (no pun intended) but weaken over time. Therefore, while I’m excited about Pepper overall, I’m also bracing myself for disappointment.

Then again, it’s not really fair to judge an app by its hypothetical future self. So, with that in mind, I think Pepper is a slam dunk. With a great line-up of brands, instant rewards, strong return rates, and an easy-to-use interface, I honestly don’t have many (if any) complaints.

In other words, if you want to save money on gift cards, then I’d recommend checking out Pepper for yourself.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Head Writer ~ Fioney
Kyle is the head writer for Fioney. He is a personal finance nerd, constantly looking for new apps and services to test and incorporate into his own financial game plan. In addition to his role at Fioney, he's written for other publications including Born2Invest, Lifehack, and Laughing Place, as well as his own site Money@30. He also creates personal finance and travel-related videos for Fioney's YouTube channel, which has garnered more than 2 million views. Currently, Kyle resides in Springfield, Missouri with his wife of 10 years. Together, they enjoy traveling (including visiting Disney Parks around the world), dining, and playing with their dog Rigby.

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