Is Using Coupon Plugins or Browser Extensions to Find Deals a Good Idea?

Jan 15, 2023 | 0 Votes by Mel - rate Your vote
Coupon browser extensions can help customers save on purchases, and while, in general, they provide a positive experience to their users, coupon extensions do have several downsides. This article will discuss how coupon plugins and browser extensions both benefit and disadvantage you, as a consumer.
Time to Buy - Is Using Coupon Plugins or Browser Extensions to Find Deals a Good Idea?

Remember the old days when savvy savers had to physically clip off discount coupons out of newspapers and magazines just to shave a few cents off an item? A time-consuming hassle, no doubt, but even with the advent of digital coupons and discount codes, having to sign up for email lists, follow brands on social media, and scour random websites in hopes that a coupon code will help you score a discount before you check out your item is no less a nuisance.

Fortunately, technology always finds a way to make these things easier. With coupon browser extensions that are designed to automatically find applicable coupons that you can use before checking out, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars when you shop online — and in some cases even in-store.

Popular browser extensions include those from Honey, Rakuten, Ibotta, Capital One Shopping, Amazon Assistant, Invisible Hand, The Camelizer, and many more. You can download most extensions for free and add them to your web browser, such as Chrome or Firefox, or use their mobile apps after which they automatically search the web for coupon codes then apply them at checkout. Some of the better coupon browser extensions even perform price comparisons, so you can ensure you're getting the best price from your chosen seller.


Shopaholics and smart online shoppers alike tend to download and install one or more of these money-saving coupon browser extensions to help them save on their purchases, and while, in general, they provide a positive experience to their users, coupon extensions do have several downsides. This article will discuss how coupon plugins and browser extensions both benefit and disadvantage you as a consumer.

How Coupon Browser Extensions/Plugins Work

Extensions identify and catalog coupons in several ways: 1) They scrape the web for applicable promo codes offered by the retailer you are purchasing from and automatically apply the most significant coupon code available to your cart, or present a pop-up list of recently used promo codes; 2) Some merchants may choose to partner with the extension and create coupons specifically for them; 3) The extension can use a qualifying code to award you cash back for eligible purchases; 4) It can tell you if an item you want to buy can be found for less on another site; 5) They aggregate product reviews and weed out those that seem fake so you can make an informed purchase; 6) provide you with a combination of coupons, cash rebates, price comparisons, and reviews that you can combine and/or stack on top of each other to get the best possible savings.

How Coupon Extensions Help You Save

Cash back and coupon extensions are designed to search thousands of online retailers for deals and discounts, so you don't have to.


The best-rated coupon browser plugins, such as Honey, Amazon assist, Rakuten, Invisible Hand, Capital One Shopping, The Camelizer, and Ibotta, are mostly free to download and can scrape for deals from thousands of websites in an easy, user-friendly way. They also tend to offer automatic coupons, cash back, money-saving features, price alerts, price history tracking, and price comparisons.

Drawbacks of Using Coupon Extensions

So, now that we know these plugins are free to use and can save you thousands of dollars while shopping, what's the caveat? In case you were wondering, coupon browser extension providers primarily earn their money by receiving a small commission from the companies issuing the coupons in exchange for driving customer traffic to them.

In this case, coupon browser extensions are not that much different from the old-fashioned Sunday coupon inserts of yore. As is with most digital versions of ads, however, coupon browser extensions are much more intrusive, especially when it concerns your personal data.

Some of the inconveniences that may arise from using coupon plugins, include:

Unauthorized Coupon Usage Customers who may not have completed a required act to earn a coupon (e.g., subscribing to a retailer's newsletter) will have access to it via the coupon extension and can tend to overextend its usage. The "unauthorized" ubiquitous availability of the promo codes may prompt the retailer to inactivate the code prematurely, resulting in an invalid one when applied to checkout (despite a posted expiration date to the contrary).

Dubious Data Collection. When they install coupon extensions, customers grant those extensions permission to read and change all data on the websites they visit and give them the ability to collect and use data that buyers may consider private. Once they access that data, the legalese included in their terms and conditions allow the extensions to use it in a wide variety of ways.

A way to minimize these browser extensions from accessing your personal data is by creating a separate user account on your browser when using coupon extensions so they have less access to your personal information during normal browsing.


Hidden Terms and Conditions. Coupon extensions can create a poor or confusing user experience while shopping online on an e-commerce site. It's not always immediately clear what coupon extensions have changed or inserted in your shopping cart at checkout, and the extensions often use intrusive pop-up notifications. Some coupon extensions offer cash rebates for buyers but don't make it very clear that there are withdrawal minimums and time windows.
In fact, even the more popular coupon extensions with millions of users have been cited for alleged privacy and security issues. This is often less about identifiable cyber breaches and more about nebulous or dense policies that are hard for users to understand.

Browser Malware. Malware and adware of all types poses serious threats to both privacy and security. Many browser extensions—including some coupon-related plugins—are malicious in nature and bring malware with them. These extensions steal usernames, passwords and personal data.

Those are just a couple of reasons why many e-commerce platforms choose to actively block coupon extensions.

Nevertheless, despite the notable data and privacy risks, the more popular coupon browser extensions still have millions of regular, satisfied users who take advantage of the combined millions of dollars in savings that these plugins help them achieve. As long as you, the customer, shop responsibly and practice common sense measures to secure your personal and financial data while using them, coupon browser extensions can seriously change the way you shop for the better.

Featured Brands

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