Breaking News
More () »

What's up with the Upside app?

Users claim the app saves them hundreds of dollars a month on things like gas and groceries. KARE 11's Alicia Lewis asked Upside's CEO how the app works.

The Upside app has been around for seven years and counting, and it is still growing in popularity among its users. Those users claim that not only is the app free, but it also saves you money on everyday things like gas and groceries. 

Here are the basics of how it works, according to Upside's CEO Alex Kinnier, who briefed Alicia Lewis during an interview. 

  1. Once you download the Upside app onto your device, you'll see offers from various participating businesses on things like grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants and convenience stores.
  2. Check out what kind of cash-back deals they are offering near you.
  3. Once you claim your offer you have to pay with a debit or credit card, snap a picture of your receipt and watch your money grow in your Upside account. 
  4. The best part is that you can cash out at any time, via PayPal or gift cards.

A common complaint raised by multiple users of the app is that the deals seemed to have started out great, but as time goes on the savings seem to drop significantly.

Kinnier says that savings fluctuate and there are a number of things that factor in.

"We can never make an offer that loses money for the store," said Kinnier. "That's a losing proposition and so the store's gross margins go up and down and at these times of inflation were seeing underlying costs go up and prices readjust and so margins can go up and down and so that does have a direct flow through on the amount of offers that can be given to the consumer to make sure both sides are always winning."

Kinnier adds that if your favorite store's savings went down, you should continue to check back because you may see offers pop back up. 

He believes Upside provides a win-win for everyone. Consumers save money, and businesses actually turn a profit from the Upside app because it brings in more business. 

"If we deliver proven profit to the merchant than we get a sliver of that from the merchant to pay for the service," said Kinnier.

Minneapolis was one of the very first markets Upside launched in seven years ago and Kinnier says the average user right now uses the app about nine times a month which equates to several hundred dollars saved per month. 

Watch more KARE11 Sunrise:

Watch the latest coverage from KARE11 Sunrise in our YouTube playlist:

Before You Leave, Check This Out