Paribus is a free service that monitors your online purchases and gets you rebates when the price drops.
Picture this: you’re doing some online shopping and finally buy that new travel backpack you’ve been eying. A little time goes by, and you see the same backpack for a lower price than you paid. Bummer, right?
The reality is that price changes happen all the time. Fortunately, this is where Paribus comes in.
In this post, we’ll dive into where Paribus shines and where it falls short. You’ll also learn about the main features, costs, and much more.
How Does Paribus Work?
In short, Paribus helps you save money by finding you the best prices for your online purchases.
While there are plenty of discount sites like Rakuten and MyPoints, Paribus stands out by getting you retroactive compensation for price adjustments.
The company was founded in 2014 by Eric Glyman and Karim Atiyeh, who noticed an inherent disadvantage for online consumers.
Leading merchants deploy advanced algorithms that constantly move prices around, making it impossible for the average customer to know whether or not they’re getting the best price.
Alas, Paribus was born. After amassing nearly one million users, the app was sold to Capital One, which still owns it today.
Let’s take a look at the most interesting features that Paribus has to offer.
Paribus is available both on the web and mobile app. Unfortunately, the app is only available on iOS, and has a so-so 3.9-star rating in the App Store. Android users will have to rely on the website.
Online Purchase Tracking
The main goal of Paribus is tracking your purchases so it can detect future price drops.
For this to happen, you’ll have to give Paribus access to your email account so it can track confirmation emails for purchases from select retailers.
Paribus supports most major email providers, including Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook.
Once you’re synced, Paribus monitors for receipts from more than 25 major retailers, including Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, Costco, and Target.
You can also track your Amazon purchases on your Paribus dashboard if you share your Amazon login credentials.
Retail Price Drops
Paribus monitors for price changes with a proprietary algorithm that scans your inbox for purchases made in the last 30 days.
Then, in real-time, Paribus monitors each online retailer you’ve transacted with and searches for price discrepancies.
If it finds an eligible claim, it will either reach out to the brand with a refund request or provide instructions on how to do so yourself.
Different retailers have different policies, so the amount of leg work depends on where you’re shopping.
If the claim is successful, you’ll either be credited funds back onto your original form of payment, such as a debit card or credit card, or get store credit for the difference.
Late Delivery Compensation
In addition to its price protection tool, Paribus offers compensation for late deliveries to Amazon Prime members.
If you make a purchase from your Amazon account and it arrives after the guaranteed shipping date, Paribus will be on the scene with instructions on how to file for compensation.
Have you ever planned on returning something, only to find out that you’ve missed the window?
Every retailer has different return policies, and it’s impossible to stay on top of each one. Paribus keeps it simple by letting you know exactly how much time you have to change your mind about a purchase.
Within the app, you can view all of your eligible purchases, along with the latest return date. This way, you won’t be stuck with an item that you don’t want.
Paribus is entirely free to use, and there are no costs associated with price matches, late delivery compensation, or returns.
So, at this point, you might be wondering — how exactly does Paribus make money?
It generates revenue through ads. So when you use the service, you’ll regularly see targeted ads pop up. They might be annoying at times, but it’s what keeps Paribus a fee-free service.
Signing up with Paribus is simple. All you need is to visit their website at Paribus.co and have an email address.
When you sign up, it will ask to be able to view and send emails on your behalf. You’ll need to agree to both before you can move forward.
Once your account is confirmed, Paribus will allow you to download its free browser extension, which scans the web for price comparisons and coupons. This is optional, and you don’t need to it access Paribus’ core product.
Over the first 48 hours after opening your account, Paribus scans your emails for any recent purchases from merchants that it monitors. If it finds anything, you’ll be notified through email and on your dashboard.
Paribus doesn’t offer any sign-up bonuses or promotions of its own, but if you use the rewards site Swagbucks, you could get a small bonus just for signing up.
At the moment, Swagbucks is offering 100 SB points for anyone who uses their Paribus coupon to open a new account.
The value of the points is only a dollar, but it can help you build toward a payout with Swagbucks.
The first question that often comes up when someone is considering Paribus is this — Do I really want an app to have access to my emails?
It’s a fair question and one that’s well worth asking.
If your concern stems from the idea of someone poking through your personal emails, you don’t have to worry — Paribus is run by an algorithm, not people, that’s programmed to comb through your emails for receipts from very specific merchants.
It will never open any other type of email. Paribus does not have access to your login credentials and only views your emails for its purposes through a token provided by your internet provider.
Paribus also does not sell data to third parties and generates all of its revenue through targeted ads.
In fact, Paribus goes out of its way to keep your data safe with 128-bit encryption, dedicated firewalls, VPN services, and strict access controls.
If you’re having issues while using Paribus, its online help center is full of useful information and tips.
There’s no customer service phone number, but if you can’t find what you need in the FAQs, you can always send an email. Paribus claims that most messages are answers within two business days.
Paribus is owned and powered by Capital One, one of the biggest banks in the US.
Like most big banks, Capital One isn’t exactly known for its customer service and has a Trustpilot rating of just 1.3 stars (out of 5).
This isn’t necessarily reflective of Paribus, which is a tiny aspect of the bank as a whole, but could give you an idea of the service you might receive.
Pros & Cons
- Free service
- Automated price protection
- Secure platform
- Requires access to your emails
- Only monitors select merchants
- Limited customer service
Alternatives to Paribus
Earny is Paribus’ closest competitor and does a lot of the same things. The app links with your email, scans for price drops, and negotiates a refund on your behalf. It can also get you compensated for late Amazon deliveries.
On top of that, Earny adds a couple more cash back opportunities. You can earn upfront cash back on purchases, share shopping links with friends for points, and link to your Amazon wish list for 24/7 price tracking.
The more tasks you complete, the more tickets you’ll earn, which you can enter into Earny’s regular sweepstakes for gift card prizes.
Rakuten, formerly known as eBates, is another popular cash-back site. Unlike Paribus, it finds deals for online shoppers on the front end.
Rakuten partners with online retailers who pay a commission for bringing consumers their way — when you make a purchase, Rakuten shares a cut of its earnings with you.
It’s a good idea to use Rakuten and Paribus together — that way, you’re covered on both ends of every transaction.
Honey is similar to Rakuten, but instead of negotiating deals with retailers, it searches the web for existing coupon codes.
All you have to do is install the app, and Honey works in the background while you shop and automatically adds discounts to your cart. If you’re not quite ready to buy something, you can add it to your Droplist, and Honey will track it for price drops over time.
With its browser extension and mobile app, Ibotta finds you deals for online and in-store shopping. When you visit online retailers through the platform, you’ll find hundreds of cash-back opportunities.
When you shop in-store, you can buy gift cards from Ibotta ahead of time, which come with 10% cashback when you use them. You can also scan your receipts after your shopping trip and earn cashback for qualifying purchases.
Is Paribus legit?
Yes, Paribus is a legitimate personal finance tool that comes with some money-saving perks. It’s backed by Capital One, a well-respected bank, and has found millions in savings for its users.
Is Paribus safe?
Yes. It might seem a little strange to hand over the reins to your email to an app, but rest assured that Paribus is safe to use. The app protects your data with various safeguards, and it does not have access to anything in your email except receipts from qualifying merchants.
How do you use Paribus?
Using Paribus is simple. So simple that most of the time, you won’t even realize you’re using it.
Paribus operates in the background, and unless it finds a purchase that could qualify for a refund, you won’t really know it’s there.
Once the app finds a qualifying purchase, it will either initiate a refund on your behalf or provide instructions for getting one yourself.
While you’re waiting to see if Paribus can find you any money, you can also browse through your purchases within the app to keep track of delivery times and return windows.
Does Capital One own Paribus?
Yes, Capital One purchased Paribus in 2016.
Is Paribus Right For You?
In the world of budgeting apps, Paribus is as hassle-free as it gets.
It doesn’t cost a dime and works behind the scene to save you money. Combine this with a secure platform and the backing of Capital One and Paribus almost seems like a no-brainer.
The biggest downside of Paribus is its relatively small pool of eligible merchants. There are endless online retailers to shop from, but Paribus only monitors around 25.
Paribus also requires access to your personal email, which can understandably cause some hesitation.
Overall, Paribus is a low-risk app that could save you money over time. Who doesn’t like a little free money back in their pocket?