As we round the corner to December, it’s time to think about the holiday season and plan ahead. The festive season shouldn’t be a time of worrying about what to buy your partner’s cousin twice removed or how much all this gift-giving will cost you come January. To help, we rounded up some of the best apps to help you stay organized, pick the perfect gift and save cash. 

Here are five apps that will help put the ho ho ho back into your holidays.

1. For cash back

Shop smarter this holiday season with Ampli. Every time you shop with one of our 45+ partner brands using a card linked to the app, you’ll earn money. You’ll also find great special offers on your app with partners like Mastermind Toys, H&M, and Sephora, which will save you even more. After all, who of us couldn’t use some extra cash back over the holidays? 

Download Ampli for free on iOS or Android.

2. For Secret Santa

Gift giving is a quintessential part of the holidays, and the beauty of Secret Santa is you can spread Christmas cheer without blowing your budget. But what do you do when you’re stuck buying for that one picky relative? Enter Elfster. Once you download the free app, you can invite others to participate. Make a wish list of gifts you’d like to receive (just like you did as a kid), then Elfster’s Secret Santa generator randomly draws names. Elfster also ensures you don’t end up with yourself, which definitely takes the fun out of things.

Download Elfster for free on iOS and Android

3. For sticking to a holiday budget

Giving to others can bring so much joy; it’s easy to lose track of how much you’ve already spent – especially when it comes to kids. But this season, you can keep your holiday budget in check with Santa’s Bag. The free app helps you keep track of your gift lists, including stocking stuffers and expenses. Set a budget for each person on your list, and as you shop, the app helps you keep track of what you’ve bought and what’s left in the budget. You can also split gifts between more than one recipient. Santa’s Bag offers suggestions for gift items, and there’s a countdown to let you know how many more days you’ve got left until Christmas morning. 

Download Santa’s Bag for free on iOS.

4.  For holiday gift inspo

Do you need inspiration for what to buy your loved ones this year? Pinterest can help. With more than 200 billion pins to browse, there’s no shortage of gift ideas available. For the uninitiated, once you sign up for Pinterest, you can use the search bar to get inspo on everything from Christmas gift ideas to holiday wreaths to holiday gift baskets. Pinterest is also a great resource for do-it-yourself gifts that not only help keep you on a budget but lets you explore your creative side. 

Download Pinterest for free on iOS and Android.

5. For custom and vintage gifts   

Most of us would agree that 2020 is like watching Groundhog Day on repeat. Life feels repetitious enough and who wants a predictable present? With Etsy, you can instantly access thousands of one-of-a-kind gift ideas right at your fingertips. Like this handcrafted, black walnut knife rack for the serious home chef, peach moonstone ring, vintage travel art poster, or this emerald green dog bed. After all, an Instant Pot under the tree is so 2019. 

Download Etsy for free on iOS and Android.

Looking for more holiday tips? Read more about 5 virtual gift ideas for the holiday season and holiday gifts under $100

Shop early and earn cash back this holiday season

It’s never too early to plan for the holidays. Tapping into technology means you can knock off all the items on your gift list and have more quality time to spend with your loved ones. Make the most of the holiday season with Ampli. Download the app, and you can earn cash back when you make purchases online or in-store at partnering retailers like The Source, The Bay, and Mastermind – all across Canada.

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial, or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services is expressly given or implied by the Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

  • Amp up your
    cash back

    Meet Ampli, the Canadian cash back app that
    gets you more from your everyday purchases.
    Enter your number and we’ll text you a link to download
    for free. Or find us on the App Store & Google Play!


    Download the app to start getting cash back on your everyday purchases.