Paribus Review: A Middleman for the Refund Claims Process

A graphic of the Paribus app on an iPhone and iPad

In 2014, two Harvard grads founded Paribus, a New York City-based company, when they noticed most retailers have policies in place to refund consumers if the price of their purchase subsequently drops. The problem was that people rarely have the drive or time to keep track of it all.

In 2016, Paribus was acquired by bank holding giant Capital One, which is why it was able to start offering its service for free instead of taking part of the savings it found for users. Capital One uses this free service to help it reach a wider potential customer base, with the hopes that if you like the app, you’ll open an account with them.

The company says it has found over $29 million in potential savings for its users to date. Users give the app an average 4.0/5.0 rating on the iTunes App Store, based on about 1,200 reviews.

What is Paribus?

Paribus is a price tracking service which syncs with your email account to scan for receipts.

Instead of acting as a search engine through which users can find the best prices, or provide users with coupons, like many rival cash back and rebate apps, Paribus backtracks all of your purchases. In the case of a price drop, the company will submit refund requests on your behalf.

The platform tracks purchases from more than 25 major retailers and hotel operators. It also monitors for late deliveries from select retailers. Stores that it currently negotiates with include Amazon, Target, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, REI, and Wayfair.

How Paribus Works

Paribus requires your email address to create an account. the platform is available via an iOS app or the web.

Its algorithms work by first identifying purchases within the past 30 days based on shipping and order confirmation emails found in your inbox. The platform then continuously monitors and compares price changes for these items in real time.

Once an eligible claim is detected, Paribus engages with the retailer on your behalf. They’ll files a claim requesting a refund or provide you straightforward instructions on how to do it yourself.

Paribus notes that you should keep in mind that retailers have different refund policies. Some may be cut and dry, but others may require action from you to complete your refund.

How to Get Your Cash

When Paribus succeeds and a retailer issues a price adjustment, one of two things will happen. Either:

  • you are credited funds directly to the original form of payment you used
  • you are provided the equivalent amount in store credit

There is no cash out minimum.

What You Need to Know Before Using Paribus

Unlike many cash back and savings apps, Paribus does not offer a welcome bonus for new accounts. Paribus differs from other popular savings apps in a few ways.  Notably, it does not work with partners via an affiliate marketing model that encourages the company to direct traffic to retailers or certain brands.

Users that are skeptical about cash back apps, and particularly the incentive that cash back companies have to entice you to spend more of your disposable income, may find peace of mind that Paribus is working for you exclusively. In addition, after you create an account and provide your email address there’s little action needed.

That being said, simply creating an account with Paribus does not guarantee you will receive any refund but you’ll have a better chance at getting price drop refunds with the free service.

See all our favorite cash back apps here: Best Cash Back Shopping Apps for Every Shopper.