Capital One Shopping Review 2021: What We Love (and Hate) About It

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Capital One Shopping is a browser extension that helps you find relevant and working coupon codes for things you purchase online. It's free to use and will generally save you a percentage off each purchase you make online.

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I suffer from a common shopper’s conundrum: I love finding ways to save money, but I hate shopping around for the best deal.

In the past, every time I would get ready to check out online, I’d open a new tab and type “[SITE NAME] coupon codes” into Google. Sometimes I’d search through pages of deals only to find that none of them worked.

Eventually, I stopped trying. But then every purchase came with a twinge of guilt because, I thought, “I could be spending more money than I need to. What if there’s a deal I don’t know about?”

That’s why when I heard of Capital One Shopping (formerly Wikibuy) in 2017, I immediately looked it up and added the browser extension. I was beyond excited for a tool that could help me save money with little to no effort on my part.

Like any app, Capital One Shopping has its pros and cons. But more than three years later, it’s still the online shopping companion I rely on the most.

Note: Capital One Shopping compensates us when you sign up for Capital One Shopping using the links we provided.

What Is Capital One Shopping?

In short, Capital One Shopping is a free coupon and rewards app. It’s available to everyone; you don’t need a Capital One account to use it. Capital One Shopping comes in two primary forms: a browser extension (available for Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge), and a mobile app.

The Austin, TX-based company was founded in 2014 and acquired by Capital One in 2018. Capital One Shopping currently has millions of members who, according to the site, have collectively saved over $50 million using the tool.

Is Capital One Shopping Safe?

Capital One Shopping was trusted by hundreds of thousands of users before 2017, but its membership has grown significantly over the last few years.

The browser extension, like similar programs, will collect data on your search and shopping history as well as personal and non-personal information. According to their privacy policy, that includes your:

  • User-provided information,
  • Retail account log-in credentials,
  • Social media data,
  • Payment information,
  • Transaction data,

as well as other information.

But according to Capital One’s Opt Out Privacy Notice, they don’t share your information for other affiliate or non-affiliate companies to market to you.[1] In other words, you won’t have to worry about signing up for Capital One Shopping and suddenly being bombarded with marketing emails from companies you’ve never heard of.

Capital One Shopping also has a strong rating on Trustpilot of 4.6 out of 5 stars and an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau. All in all, these are strong indicators that Capital One Shopping is a safe and trustworthy tool.

How Does Capital One Shopping Work?

Capital One Shopping comes with several handy features, including Amazon price comparison, automatic coupons, and rewards credits for online shopping.

Receive automatic rewards and coupons

The easiest and probably the most common way to use Capital One Shopping is for automatic coupons and gift card credits. You’ll need to add the browser extension in order to access this feature.

Once you have the extension, any time you’re shopping on sites that offers coupons or credits with Capital One Shopping, you’ll get a helpful pop-up notification at checkout.

When I was shopping for groceries and makeup on Vitacost, Capital One Shopping offered me 4% rewards credit and found 10 coupon codes to try out.

CapitalOne Shopping Coupon Popup on Vitacost

When you click the button for coupons, Capital One Shopping will scan through each one automatically to see which gives you the best deal.

CapitalOne Shopping Trying Coupon Codes on Vitacost

Once the coupon or credit is applied, you’ll get another friendly pop-up that tells you whether or not any of the coupons worked, how much you saved, and when your credit will be available in your Capital One Shopping account.

CapitalOne Shopping Savings on Vitacost

Reviewer’s take: This is the Capital One Shopping feature that I use most often. I love that it’s zero effort on my part. I tend to forget that I have Capital One Shopping until I get one of these notifications at checkout letting me know there’s money to be saved. If you’re all about taking the path of least resistance to save money, then this will probably be your favorite feature, too.

Get a lower price on Amazon

This Amazon-specific feature searches the web to make sure you’re getting a good deal or if another merchant or site has a better price.

When you’re shopping on Amazon and click on an item, you’ll see a Capital One Shopping button under the price that indicates whether or not there is a better price available for that product. If another merchant or retailer is selling the same item for less, then you’ll see a green Capital One Shopping button with the amount you can save elsewhere.

When you click it, the button will redirect you to Capital One Shopping site where you can see the offer and claim your savings.

CapitalOne Shopping Best Price Feature on Amazon

Reviewer’s take: This feature is great when it works. However, sometimes Capital One Shopping misses a beat. It may direct you to the homepage of a seller if the deal has expired, which can be confusing. Or sometimes you’ll find that the item is out of stock with the other merchant.

If something like this happens, you can let Capital One Shopping know back on the site. When you click the green button on Capital One Shopping to claim your deal, you’ll get a helpful pop-up that asks “Was this a good result?” Even if you didn’t get the deal you expected, you can inform Capital One Shopping and help improve the experience for the next user.

View your watchlist for price drops

This is another Amazon-specific feature. If you’ve found an item you like with a price you don’t, you can click the white “W+” button to add it to your watchlist.

CapitalOne Shopping Watchlist Feature

Capital One Shopping will track the price for that item — on Amazon and at other retailers — for 60 days and let you know if the price drops or if it finds a better deal.

Capital One Shopping also tracks your history for products you view across multiple sites. At any time, you can visit your watchlist in your account to see if the price has dropped on any of your recently-viewed items. You can clear your history under Account Settings > Clear my product history.

Reviewer’s take: I’ve found the watchlist feature very useful, especially if you’re shopping for something you don’t need right away. For example, if I’m browsing and I find something that would make a great Christmas or birthday present for someone, then I’ll add it to my watchlist and buy it when the price drops.

You can also click the Capital One Shopping extension icon in your browser to view the product’s price history for up to the last 365 days.

Redeem Capital One Shopping credits for gift cards

Whenever you redeem an offer with Capital One Shopping, it’ll show up as a “credit” in your account. So if you make a $100 purchase with 5% reward, you’ll receive $5 in Capital One Shopping credit. For most offers, you’ll see your rewards within 7 days.

You can redeem your credit in exchange for free gift cards to places like Walmart, Lowe’s, Sephora, and Wayfair. Some gift cards start at $5, but others require a minimum of $10 or $25 to cash out.

CapitalOne Shopping Redeem Credits

Reviewer’s take: While Capital One Shopping offers a good selection of gift cards, it’s missing some key features that similar sites have. For one, you’re not able to sort gift cards by cash-out amount. The only way to see how much credit you need to redeem a gift card is to click on each individual retailer.

Secondly, though the options are good, they’re fairly limited. While other rewards sites offer gift cards to dozens or even hundreds of retailers, Capital One Shopping currently has around 37 options, and Amazon isn’t one of them.

Other Capital One Shopping Features

You may not use these features as often, but they’re convenient when you do.

Product search

If you already know what you want to buy, you can search for it directly on Capital One Shopping or by clicking the browser extension and typing in the search box.

CapitalOne Shopping Product Search

Your search will take you to Capital One Shopping’s website where you can filter options by price and brand. The search feature also works on mobile, which is debatably more convenient than the online search tool. If you’re already shopping in-store, use the Capital One Shopping app on your phone to scan the barcode. Capital One Shopping will search other retailers and let you know if there’s a better price available.

Reviewer’s take: This feature is especially useful if you’re shopping in-store or if you already know the specific item you want and you’re looking for a low price. It’s less practical if you’re browsing and need to filter by style, color, size, or material, as these sorting options aren’t available on Capital One Shopping.

I rarely use this feature myself, mostly because I rarely know exactly what I’m looking for until I find it. And at that point, I either use Capital One Shopping to look for coupon codes or add it to my watchlist.

Featured offers

When you log in to your Capital One Shopping account, you’ll see featured and trending deals from some of Capital One Shopping’s most popular retailers.

CapitalOne Shopping Featured Offers

Reviewer’s take: I don’t pay much attention to this section myself. You probably won’t do much shopping directly from your Capital One Shopping dashboard, but it’s a convenient way to explore deals and discover new brands.

Local deals

Shopping online isn’t the only way to save money with Capital One Shopping. On the dashboard of your account, if you scroll past the featured and trending deals, you’ll see a “Local Offers” section. You can earn 4% or more in loyalty credits for shopping at local businesses.

In order to take advantage of local deals, you’ll need to link your credit or debit card to your Capital One Shopping account. Whenever you make a qualifying purchase at participating local retailers, you’ll receive an automatic credit, similar to shopping online with Capital One Shopping; you can exchange your credits for gift cards through your Capital One Shopping portal.

Reviewer’s take: Depending on your location, there might not be many local deals available. I live in a college town and there are only two restaurants in my “local deals,” neither of which I’m familiar with.

Related: 17 Money Making Apps to Earn on the Go

Mobile price comparison

If you’re shopping on Amazon from your phone and need a price check, you can text the product to Capital One Shopping. They’ll send you a text back with a link to compare prices at other retailers.

Reviewer’s take: Admittedly, this feature is a little clunky. Capital One Shopping’s price comparison tools work best on a desktop, but if you’re on the go and need to compare prices quickly, it can come in handy.

Related: 16 Cash-Back Apps to Save on All Your Shopping

How Much Does Capital One Shopping Cost?

All of Capital One Shopping’s features are 100% free. There are no premium offerings, monthly fees, or additional charges to you for using the platform.

Capital One Shopping does collect your personal information and browsing history, though, and the company may use this information to provide you with additional ads and offers.

Capital One Shopping Pros and Cons

Overall, Capital One Shopping’s pros outweigh the cons. Click “Show more” in the box for the full list:

Free Price Free browser extension and mobile app.
DollarSprout Rating Easy, automatic savings.

CapitalOne Shopping (formerly Wikibuy) offers multiple easy ways to save money, including online coupons, reward credits that can be exchanged for free gift cards, price comparison tool, and price drop tracking. When you add the browser extension, you'll get automatic notifications for deals on sites you visit. Save money with a single click.

Show Hide more

Pros

  • Completely free
  • Easy to add (and remove)
  • Convenient ways to save money with minimal effort
  • Safe and secure
  • Desktop and mobile versions

Cons

  • Gift card options are limited
  • Tracks your online activity and transaction history
  • “Best price” feature isn’t always accurate

Who Should Use Capital One Shopping?

As a Capital One Shopping user since 2017, I don’t see myself moving away from the platform any time soon. It’s an easy, low-effort way to save money on the things I’d be buying anyway, like makeup from Vitacost or a rug on Overstock.com. The money I save with Capital One Shopping is money I know I wouldn’t have saved otherwise, because I don’t like manually searching a hundred sites for a coupon code that works.

If you’re someone like me who loves the idea of saving money but doesn’t want to search every site looking for a good deal, then Capital One Shopping is probably a good fit for you. With Capital One Shopping, there’s no searching, just saving.

 

CapitalOne Shopping Logo

 

 

swagbucks logo

Browser extension Browser extension Browser extension
Automatically applies coupon codes at checkout Coupon codes are applied at checkout Notifies you of sales, coupon codes, and cash back
4.9/5 stars on Chrome store 4.8/5 stars on Chrome store 4/5 stars on Chrome store

Related: How to Save up to 40% Cash Back with Rakuten

Author
Megan Robinson

Hi! I'm Megan. I'm a personal finance enthusiast on a mission to help millennial men and women understand and make more money. Along with writing and editing content, I work one-on-one with individuals as a financial and behavioral money coach.

9 comments
Mary B
Mary B

I have read your review of the Capital One Shopping extension and am convinced that it is something I want to try. One question; I’m afraid that, initially, I will not trust it and will do my own coupon code search anyway. How likely is it that I will occasionally come across savings that Capital One missed?

Hi, Mary — I can absolutely relate to this fear! When I first started using Capital One Shopping, I would do this exact thing. What I found is that I was spending hours of cumulative time looking for coupon codes that the extension may have missed, but I never found better codes than what Capital One Shopping had in their system.

That’s not to say it isn’t possible! But I eventually decided that the extension does a really good job of finding codes, and it wasn’t worth my time trying to look elsewhere.

I also like to use the Rakuten and Honey browser extensions, just in case they have codes that are different from Capital One. But in my experience 9 times out of 10, Capital One Shopping has the best discount.

Hope that helps!

JoAnne T.
JoAnne T.

Hi Megan, thank you for your review. What stops me from signing up for Capital One Shopping is that they collect data on my payment information. I don’t like that, they collect everything else, they need to know that too? No thanks. Any privacy we might have had is long gone. Thanks for your writing, you’re very good at it.

Jane
Jane

Just now learning about Capitol One Shopping (COS)!

  • Q1: If I’m shopping on Amazon but COS doesn’t show a lower price, will I be eligible to “earn” points on COS, and use my Amex Blue Card to get 20% Cash Back on my Amazon purchases?
  • Q2: Can I use Rakuten to get Cash Back and COS to earn COS points simultaneously; or is it either/or?
  • Q3: If I do #2, will I be able to use my Rakuten credit card’s price protection feature?
  • Q4: If I find a lower price on another site, can I inform COS, so I can buy at the lower-priced store and also earn COS points?
Deb
Deb

I can answer one of your questions. I know that Rakuten will not let you stack discounts. You can only use it by itself.

Jane
Jane

Could you provide tips for searching for a better price on Capitol One Shopping? For example, I get “two hits” when searching for the best price on a specific product (e.g., a specific brand and model of a product in a specific color), but when I use COS’ “broad categories” (e.g., clothing and price range, and possibly brand), I get “100’s of hits” – too much effort to rummage through them all.

MoonShadow
MoonShadow

#1. How would COS “act” with Rakuten already installed?

#2. If both COS and Rakuten are installed on my laptop, what will happen at checkout? Do they “fight” with each other like Honey used to do?

Thanks for posting this article and pointing out useful suggestions and tools to the “elder” generation!

Annette
Annette

I’ve been using Capital One Shopping for a couple of months now. Apparently, I should keep a notebook near my computer to keep track of which purchases I used it for. So far, I haven’t had any cashback show up. More than a little disappointed, as I was looking for an alternative to Rakuten.

Hey Annette!

Capital One Shopping works by finding you coupons prior to your purchase (like Honey, if you’ve used that before). The browser extension will search the web and find coupons — it will then automatically apply them 1 by 1 at checkout to see which one saves you the most money (and then uses it pre-purchase).

That said, if/when you shop at a partner retailer, you can also hit the “Okay” button when prompted by your browser and it will activate COS Rewards (it will also work on local purchases if you link a card to COS). You can then redeem your rewards points for gift cards to many of your favorite establishments.

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