Sponsored by Capital One Shopping
For all but the most committed bargain hunters, trying to find the best deal while shopping online can be overwhelming. Pulling up countless websites to compare prices, scouring the web for coupon codes only to find they’re expired, trying to figure out which app or credit card will give you the best rewards for your purchase — it can take longer than figuring out what you want to buy in the first place.
Capital One Shopping, available as both a free browser plug-in and a smartphone app, can streamline the process by doing all that work for you. Here's what it offers:
Built-in price comparisons. Buying an item only to see a lower price somewhere else is always aggravating. Capital One Shopping can compare prices at 30,000 retailers in seconds — taking shipping costs into account — to show you where you’ll save the most money.
Instant coupon codes. If there's anything more aggravating for online shoppers than finding a lower price somewhere else, it’s realizing they could've saved big with a coupon code. Capital One Shopping will do the legwork for you, automatically applying the coupon code that will get you the lowest price. It even tests the codes first to make sure they still work.
Rewards just for shopping. You were going to spend the money anyway, so why not get a little something back in the process? Using Capital One Shopping will earn you credits that can go toward gift cards at major retailers.
Reviewers give Capital One Shopping high marks. Dollar Sprout praises how seamlessly it finds coupon codes. Money Under 30 says it’s particularly effective at comparing prices across websites, although it notes that Honey, a similar service, might be a better bet for anyone who shops primarily on Amazon because it's more adept at finding the best bargain on the same product from different sellers.
The biggest downside: To bring you the deals, Capital One will be gathering your personal data, including your shopping habits. Of course, if you do any online shopping, you're already being tracked in some form or another, and Capital One says it doesn’t share this data with marketers. Still, it's worth considering.
Another caveat: It's still possible you'll find a lower price for a particular item by searching on your own. Capital One Shopping will show you the best deals from retailers they have relationships with — and while that list is quite lengthy, it’s possible a niche site offering a lower price may slip through the cracks.
You can set up an account for free at Capital One Shopping. You can also download apps for your smartphone from Apple's App Store or Google Play.