How Does Honey Make Money?

Learn about Honey's business model and how to use it safely.
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If you’ve looked for good deals while shopping online, you’ve likely come across Honey. Honey is a free browser extension that automatically searches across the internet for the best coupon codes to apply to your online purchases.

It is no surprise that Honey has become a great hit with online shoppers as it saves money, time, and the hassle of manually finding deals. However, as with any online service, there are concerns about privacy and data usage among users. The looming question: Does Honey sell your information?

Honey will collect information that you provide them directly and indirectly, including data about your shopping habits. Still, it asserts that none of this is sold to third parties. In this article, we’ll discuss the Honey extension, looking at how it works, how it generates income, whether it is safe to use, and tips on how to use it safely. Buckle up as we uncover the buzz behind Honey.

In this article
How does the Honey app work?
How does Honey make money?
Is Honey safe to use?
How to use Honey safely
Honey FAQs
Bottom line

How does the Honey app work?

Honey is a tool designed to easily integrate with your online shopping activities. To get the tool, you only need to visit joinhoney.com and click the Add to [browser name] button. The Honey website will detect which browser you’re using to access its site. Once the extension is installed, it will appear in your browser’s toolbar.

Honey has compatibility with Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, and Microsoft Edge, and it has a mobile app for iPhone and Android.

As you visit retail sites and head over to the checkout area, Honey will spring into action and automatically apply the best coupon to your order from its extensive database of codes.

Honey works by scanning its database for applicable discount codes on the site, testing them, and then using the one that provides you with the best price. This process takes only a few seconds compared to the time it takes to manually search for discount codes online.

Honey also has a price tracker feature known as Droplist. With Droplist, you can monitor the prices of specific items over time and be notified when the price drops, ensuring you never miss a good deal. From clothing stores to food delivery services and even travel booking websites, Honey has affiliations with thousands of online stores, making it an almost universally applicable tool to save money.

You can also use the rewards program, Honey Gold, to earn cash back. When you shop at a Honey partner store, you earn Gold points based on how much you spend. Once you earn 1,000 Gold points, you can redeem them for a $10 gift card or donate to charity.

How does Honey make money?

You might be wondering how Honey makes money, given that it's a free tool. The answer lies in Honey's relationships with online retailers. Whenever you make a purchase using a coupon found by Honey, the company earns a commission from the retailer. This is a typical affiliate marketing strategy, a common business model for online platforms that direct traffic or sales to retailers.

Is Honey safe to use?

When it comes to privacy while using Honey, the main concern tends to be "Does Honey sell your information?" It's crucial to understand what kind of data Honey collects and how it's used to answer this question. According to Honey's privacy statement, the company collects personal data you provide them directly. This includes your full name, email address, and shipping details.

In addition, the Honey extension collects indirect data about your shopping activity while you’re browsing online. This involves items you have viewed or searched for, their prices, and all your purchases.

Honey claims that all this data collection is necessary for the app's functioning by personalizing your shopping activities, providing better customer service, and of course, finding the best coupon codes.

Most importantly, Honey asserts that it does not sell your personal information to third parties. Like many online services, Honey shares user data with third parties in certain situations. These include when service providers perform functions on their behalf, companies within their corporate group, and in a business merger or acquisition.

It’s important to understand that Honey’s data practices do not vary much from the online services we use daily, so there shouldn’t be much concern. They have mechanisms in place to protect your data and align with industry privacy policy standards. If you’re concerned, however, you may want to rethink using the Honey app or ensure you take extra precautions.

How to use Honey safely

If you wish to take extra precautions while using Honey, here are some tips for maintaining your online privacy:

  • Use a VPN: A virtual private network, or VPN, encrypts your online activity, providing an additional layer of privacy when using services like Honey.
  • Employ a password manager: A strong, unique password can enhance security. Consider using a password manager like NordPass to help create and store complex passwords.
  • Adjust your privacy settings: Customize the privacy settings on your browser and within the Honey app to control the amount of data you share.
  • Clear computer cookies regularly: Cookies can track your internet activity. Regularly clear your computer cookies to limit the amount of tracking information accumulated.
  • Read privacy policies: Stay informed about how your data is used by reading the privacy policies of the services you use. If something concerns you, consider whether the service is necessary for you.
  • Use anonymous browsing: Browse in incognito or private mode. This way, your browser won’t store your search engine history, cookies, or form information.

Remember, being vigilant and proactive about your digital privacy is the best way to ensure a safer online experience.

Honey FAQs


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Is Honey legit?

Yes, Honey is a legitimate service. It's a subsidiary of PayPal, a well-established and respected company in the digital payments industry.


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Does Honey work on Amazon?

Yes, Honey does work on Amazon. It can help users find better deals, track price drops, and even show a product's price history. However, it's important to note that Honey might not always find additional savings if Amazon's price is already the best one available.


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Does Honey actually work?

Honey works by automatically applying coupon codes at checkout, saving you the time and effort of searching for these codes manually. The service also provides features like a price tracker, which can notify you when the price of an item drops.


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Is Honey a scam?

No, Honey is not a scam. It’s a legitimate online shopping tool that has been helping users save money since 2012. Although Honey does collect your shopping activity data, it is upfront about its practices and, most importantly, does not sell your data to third parties.

Bottom line

While Honey can certainly save you money and time when shopping online, it’s crucial to be aware of the data you share with them while using the service. Understanding the privacy implications of any online tool is important. Honey collects direct and indirect data but assures its users that this personal data isn’t sold to third parties.

If you wish to use the Honey mobile app or Honey browser extension, you should also consider our safety tips to enhance your online privacy. This includes using a VPN, adjusting your privacy settings, regularly clearing your cookies and search history, and being diligent about the online services with which you share your information. Consider using one of our recommended no-log VPNs for the best privacy protection.

In summary, Honey is a legitimate tool that will save you money. But like all online services, it's important to use it responsibly and be aware of the data you share. Happy and safe shopping!

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Author Details
Ryan Clancy is a freelance writer and blogger. With 5+ years of mechanical engineering experience, he's passionate about all things engineering and tech. He loves bringing engineering (especially mechanical) down to a level that everyone can understand.