Every once in a while I hear about some new app or website that claims to save users a ton of money. Well… this makes me pause and ask a bunch of questions. That’s why I decided to do a Paribus review – Paribus is a free money saving app that finds you savings and just gets you refunds, no questions asked.
Like, say you order a new vacuum online from Walmart for $200 and a week later the price drops to $180 – Paribus claims it will get you that $20 difference. For free.
You’re a little skeptical now too, aren’t you?
I mean, could it really be that amazing? There has to be some catch.
Here’s the thing… I’ve reviewed the app and I don’t believe there is a catch. Seriously.
Now, there are some things that might feel scammy, which I will get into in this Paribus review. But overall, Paribus is a legit way to save money on your purchases.
Don’t believe me? Read on…
M$M Paribus review 2019
What is Paribus?
Paribus is a price monitoring app that scans your online purchases and helps you take advantage of price drop refunds. Paribus calls itself “your personal price adjustment agent.”
To save you money, Paribus…
- Tracks your purchases
- Sees if you’ve missed coupons or if a price drops
- If they find an opportunity to save you money, Paribus negotiates on your behalf for a refund
Paribus starts working for you after you’ve made purchases. It negotiates refunds of $3 or more, and in some rare cases, they might negotiate for a smaller amount.
Since the app was created in 2014 by two Harvard alums, Paribus has found over $30 million in potential savings for customers. And in 2016, it was acquired by Capital One.
How does Paribus work?
At the start of this Paribus review, I gave you the example of buying a vacuum from Walmart and Paribus getting you a refund when Walmart eventually puts the vacuum on sale. Here’s how they do that…
First of all, many large retail stores offer something called a price drop refund. That means if you buy something and the price drops in X number of days or weeks or months, the company will honor the new price and pay you the difference. However, not many people know about these policies or want to go through the hassle of contacting the company. Honestly, that’s a lot to keep track of.
Paribus wants to make it easier for you to get those price drop refunds.
To get your refund, Paribus uses what they call the Paribus Receipt Fetcher. It scans your emails to find items you’ve purchased online at any of the merchants they monitor. When Paribus notices that the merchant has dropped the price of an item or if you’ve missed a coupon, they use your email account to contact the merchant and get your refund.
Yes, you read that correctly. Paribus reads your emails, and then emails the merchant using your email address and name. That’s the scammy part that some people are concerned about. In the terms of service, it states “You authorize Paribus to act as your agent in performing the Service.”
I know what you’re thinking… I’m supposed to give Paribus access to my email account!? Why would I ever let an app do that? That leads right into my next question about the Paribus app…
Is Paribus legit?
We give out a ton of data to websites, third party apps, and online businesses. This happens all day every day. In fact, many people have already authorized third-party apps to read their emails… maybe you just don't realize it.
I’m not trying to go all Black Mirror on you, but this is just the world we live in.
And when I say “read,” that’s not actual people reading the email you wrote to Aunt Janet about your amazing vacation to Mexico or ragey emails you wanted to send your ex but tucked into the drafts folder instead. Paribus is only looking for and analyzing specific types of data, which is:
- The names of merchants it monitors
- The names of products
- Prices of those products
- Dates of purchase
If you’re really worried Paribus reading through your personal emails, you can create an account through one of its supported email servers. You can set up your account to import relevant emails to Paribus. You can read more about this in the “How do I sign up for Paribus?” section of this review.
Here’s what Paribus has to say about how they collect and use your emails:
“Paribus uses proprietary technology that scans only ‘subject’ and ‘sender’ email fields to identify potential online order related information. These fields remain encrypted.
At no point does Paribus or Capital One review a user email that isn’t identified by our technology as an email that may be relevant to one of Paribus’s customer offers.”
And, they have a promise to never sell or share any of the data they collect.
To keep the data that they do collect safe, Paribus uses:
- Dedicated firewalls
- VPN services
- Intrusion prevention systems
- Stringent access controls
I have been more than willing to give up my personal information to financial apps before (for example: Personal Capital is one I use every day), and I’ll continue to do it if I know they will help me save or manage my money.
And Paribus can save you money. I’ve heard from countless people, including a number of them in my M$M Facebook community that they confidently use Paribus. The app has gotten them refunds and even free months of Amazon Prime (more on that in a second). That’s good for me.
I think when you read further into this Paribus review, you’ll understand a little bit more about how this app is working for good and not evil.
How much does Paribus cost?
Paribus is 100% free to use. You don’t pay to sign up, and you don’t even need to give them your credit card info to use the app.
Paribus makes money on advertisements.
Before they were acquired by Capital One, Paribus did take 25% of each refund they found for you. Not any more. The app is now 100% free for users.
How do I get paid?
Once Paribus has found a refund for you, they send an email (again, on your behalf) to the retailer that points to that specific retailer’s price drop refund policy. Retailers have different policies on this, and Paribus aggregates information on each company’s policy to find your refunds.
Paribus does not process those refunds – the app notifies the company that you qualify for one.
The email they send initiates the refund, which happens through the company you purchased the product from. So, back to the vacuum you bought from Walmart… Paribus sends Walmart an email, and Walmart processes the refund directly to you, using the account information you used for the purchase.
What retailers can I use Paribus for?
Paribus monitors over 25 of the largest online retailers. Here’s a list of some of the most popular ones and how Paribus can save you money with each.
- Amazon– No price drop refund, but Paribus can refund shipping charges or get you a free month of Prime if a delivery attempt has not been made by the guaranteed delivery date.
- Macy’s– Price drop refunds for adjustments and missed coupons offered within 10 days of purchase.
- Target– Paribus will notify you of price drops or missed coupons offered within 14 days of your purchase. You will have to contact Target to process the refund.
- Nordstrom– Price drop refunds offered within 14 days of your purchase are handled by Paribus.
- Walmart– Excluding Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases, Paribus helps you get refunds for price drops that happen within 90 days of your purchase. This does not apply to third-party sellers.
- Kohl’s– Price drop refunds for adjustments for missed coupons offered within 14 days of your order date.
- Costco– Within 30 days of your purchase, Paribus will help you get money back for any price drops or missed coupons.
- Home Depot– Price drop refunds handled by Paribus within 90 days of your order.
- Wayfair– If the item is still in stock and has a price drop or a missed coupon offered within 7 days of your order, Paribus will help with your refund.
You can find the full list of retailers Paribus monitors here.
In addition to those retailers, Paribus also monitors hotel reservations made through:
- Holiday Inn
If they find a better price on a room you’ve already booked, Paribus works with one of their partner companies to rebook the room for you at a lower rate. Paribus does make money off of these rebookings, but it’s paid by the booking agency and not you. You can read more about Paribus Travel here.
How do I sign up for Paribus?
If you’ve made it through this Paribus review and realized that heck yeah, I can save money using Paribus, the signing up process is super easy.
You just need an email address through one of the following email servers:
If you don’t have an account with one of those servers, you can also enable Paribus’ email fetcher to import or auto-forward emails. Here’s a link to information on setting that up.
Are there other money saving apps or websites like Paribus?
Yes! Here are a few more popular money saving apps:
There are three different ways to use Ibotta to save money on your purchases:
- Find offers through the app, select which ones you’d like to use, and then upload a copy of your receipt to the app to get cash back.
- Connect your loyalty accounts to find money saving offers without uploading a copy of your receipt.
- Shop through the Ibotta app and earn cash back on eligible purchases.
By shopping through Ebates (clicking on retailers through the app), Ebates can save you up to 40% on qualifying purchases. You are paid via PayPal or check.
Trim is an app that negotiates for lower rates on your cable, phone, or internet bills. They can also help you find and cancel unused or unwanted subscriptions.
You can learn more about Trim at Trim App Review 2019 – An Easy Way to Save Money On Bills.
What makes Paribus different from other money saving apps?
There are a wealth of apps and online services that can help you manage and save money. Paribus is different. It works in the background to find missed opportunities.
Again, going back to the vacuum… if you shop through Ebates, that app isn’t helping you find a price match when the price eventually drops. With Ibotta, you’d have to find an offer (if there was one), upload your receipt, or be enrolled in a loyalty program. And Trim doesn’t even save you money on the kind of online purchases Paribus can save you money on.
All of these apps are created to fill a unique need. Paribus works on price drop refunds and missed coupons.
If you’re looking for help on saving money with a budget, here is information on the most popular budgeting apps on the market:
- YNAB vs. Mint 2019: Which Budgeting App is Best?
- Top Mint.com Alternatives: Best Money Apps for 2019
- Personal Capital vs. Mint 2019: Which Money Tracking Tool is Best?
Paribus review – the final word
I think it’s important to approach any app that collects data with some healthy level of skepticism. Also, remember that we’re giving data out all the time, often without even realizing it.
These are good things to be aware of, but it shouldn’t always hold you back from money saving opportunities. I mean… if it really freaks you out, should you be shopping online, using social media, or using your cell phone anyway? Just sayin’.
I also want to make it clear in this Paribus review that the company is completely transparent in how they work and use your information. That’s what you should be looking at. And now that they’re backed by Capital One, you’re not only able to save more, the stakes are even higher for them to stay legit.