How Honey (joinhoney) the Coupon app works


How Honey (joinhoney) the Coupon app works

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Time is money when it comes to online shopping, so when you are browsing a stores website and thinking to yourself, “Is there a coupon or promo code I can use?”  No more brainpower needed when you download the app Honey.  We know that you love browsing coupon websites like Retailmenot or, but who isn’t annoyed when a coupon does not work, and you continually click on other promo codes to find the right one.

What is the Honey App Exactly?

The Honey coupon app acts as a downloadable browser extension working on most web browsers including:

  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Edge
  • Safari
  • iOS and Android (but this part doesn’t work all that well to be honest)

When you download the Honey extension and activate your account, you are now allowing the app to find coupons whenever you are on an e-commerce website.  For example, you enter Kohl’s online and you are about to check out.  Hit the Honey extension icon on the top right corner of your browser to let Honey do it’s magic!

honey will know
When You Checkout (like this) Honey Will Start Working!!

[click_to_tweet tweet=”Think of Honey as the annoying kid in class that raises their hands every few seconds.  But in this case, Honey raises their hands with different coupons when you checkout online! @honey #coupons” quote=” Think of Honey as the annoying kid in class that raises their hands every few seconds.  But in this case, Honey raises their hands with different coupons when you checkout online!”]

How to Get Started with Honey?

It’s so simple to get started with the Honey app.  You’ll need to do a few things:

  • Get an account on Honey
  • Make sure you are logged into the extension
  • Shop as usual
  • Get notified at the checkout of any coupons
  • Let Honey Make…Honey?

What Are Some Brands That Work With Honey?

You’ll be pleased to know that Honey works aggressively through its userbase (rewarding users to find coupons and sending it to them), along with a full team looking for exclusive coupons.  Stores like:

  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Kohls
  • Macy’s
  • JCPenney
  • Domino’s Pizza
  • Papa John’s
  • Eat24
  • REI
  • Target
  • and many more

If you don’t see a coupon work for a website, add it to the Droplist (a function within the Honey App) to be notified when there is a coupon! 

Other Features of Honey

It’s a Coupon Website

If you visit the JoinHoney page you’ll find a website similar to RetailMeNot, offering more of a visual database to find coupons and deals if you prefer to actually hunt for them.  While this kind of goes against what the Honey app does, it’s still an available feature.

Honey Gold

gold member

Honey also wants to keep your business, so they offer loyalty in the form of cashback whenever you successfully checkout using one of their coupons.  In order to redeem Honey Gold make sure you:

  • Successfully added the Chrome Extension
  • Are Logged in
  • Check to see what each store offers
  • Buy from the store using Honey
  • Get Honey Gold (not an instant process)

honey gold

Honey Travel Search

You could also look for travel using Honey, although this is somewhat of an untested feature.  In this area, you’ll earn what is called Honey Travel Keys, or as we like to call them…Travel Coupon Codes.  The gist of this section is to apply a Honey Key using Honey’s own Travel site and applying a key at checkout for additional savings.  We suspect that the site operates much like a in offering steeper discounts when you directly use their site as opposed to Expedia or Priceline.  Although there may be savings opportunities here, we just can’t recommend a deeper look into this function as of yet.

honey travel

Apps Similar to Honey

Technology is a very volatile marketplace because there are always competitors no matter the unique value of a service.  Apple has Microsoft, Google Assistant has Amazon Alexa.  So with Honey, it’s no surprise there are several competitors within the space that do the exact same thing!


It wasn’t so long ago the people at Piggy contacted me about working with them.  What a shame… I would’ve probably written about them as the main content here ;).  Either way, Piggy is a respectable alternative to the Honey app, with not only a decent cashback website (similar to the Ebates model) but sporting their own Chrome Extension as well.



Took long enough for the largest internet cashback website to get into the extension game.  Ebates has always been the king in the online cashback space, but they are still somewhat newer to the extension world.  Ebates offers an extension as long as you are a member of their site.

We could look into Retailmenot’s Genie app, although we can tell you that it’s pretty much the same as Honey, although we recommend Honey because it’s the pioneer of the Automatic Coupon Extensions!

How Does Honey Make Money?

Yes, the Honey app is perfectly legal, safe, and easy to use.  You aren’t giving any personal information like credit cards away, although you are giving your tracking cookies to Honey so that they can make money.  How it works is that they have partnered up with sites like through Affiliate Marketing.

Answer: They get a commission if you successfully checkout with one of their coupon codes.

They may still get commission even if a code doesn’t work, and if you have clicked on their extension while browsing, and no coupons work, they likely placed a tracking cookie to receive a commission.  However, even sites like Retailmenot make money this way (with or without working coupons).  I’d certainly be interested to hear how much Honey earns off of non-working coupon codes.  My guess: lots

We talk about Affiliate Marketing quite a bit on The Cashback Dad.  If you are interested in learning more, get started with our own network!

Why we may be against Honey

While all is fun and dandy when you automatically insert coupon codes in a checkout, this actually means that you will be taking commissions away from much smaller businesses.  Remember, PayPal purchased Honey for a whopping $4 billion dollars and they aren’t cash short.

When these codes are inserted at checkout, if you found out about the sale of a product from another blogger or website, Honey then grabs the sale at last minute and essentially takes commission.

I’ve actually worked for a client that had most of their sales come from Honey and took a lot of the commissions away from other sites.  This is definitely normal in the Affiliate industry, and is a growing concern for many other sites.  On one hand you can applaud the tech behind this extension and on the other hand you may force browsers like Chrome and Safari to invent new processes to block sites like Honey.

Case in point, with $4 billion in hand I don’t think they need the commission that came from a small mom and pop blog.  But to the general public, most people have zero clue how Honey makes their money and yes, it’s mostly from taking sales from other publishers.  In fact, unless you are curious to find out how they earn on the Honey site, it’s barely visble on the “About” section but it’s pretty vague too.

Nothing above tells you that when you shop from one source and come close to buying that Honey can swipe the commission away at last moment.  One big step for big ass business, one giant step backwards for the poor old small time blogger.

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