Katy mentors and educates young professionals and helps those beginning their careers and financial journeys to make informed decisions.
Looking for a rewards app to boost your cashback? Drop is becoming one of the more popular apps for cash back.
Read on to see if it's right for you.
What Is Drop?
Drop is a Canadian-based app that gives you cash rewards for everyday purchases.
You earn points by linking your credit cards and making normal purchases with them or by making purchases through their online portal.
Points can be redeemed for gift cards at common retailers.
Drop Cash Rewards Review
I've tried almost all the bonus cash back services available, and Drop has stayed in my regular rotation for the past six months since I signed up.
Why is that?
Well, it's super passive, and they have deals I actually use. Your time is valuable. You might think you'll regularly use an app if it's making money, but it becomes hard to keep up with. You're better off with something passive.
Signing up for Drop is easy, but it does require an app download. Once it's set up, it doesn't require any work from you.
Now, the money you'll make with Drop won't be huge. There are other apps out there with bigger payouts. But they have a lot of work and hoops to jump through that Drop doesn't require.
Read on to learn about how to use Drop and why I recommend it.
How to Earn Rewards
You can earn points through Drop with two methods: making purchases with a linked card and making purchases through the in-app portal.
Let's talk about the first, truly passive one: linking credit cards.
Drop gives you bonus points for the first two cards you link. However, the process of linking cards can be a hassle. Unlike similar apps that have you enter the credit card number, Drop makes you log in to the bank account.
The biggest “technical difficulties” complaint that users have is not being able to link their cards. For mine, I had no problem with logging into Chase and adding my Freedom card. But I’ve had the app for a few months, and my Capital One login hasn’t worked yet!
The best part of Drop is the points you earn automatically just by making purchases like you normally would with your linked card.
Right now, there’s only a limited number of stores (20 or so) available
Some big businesses that are available include:
- Target (0.8% back)
- Walgreens (0.8% back)
- Starbucks (1.2% back)
- Safeway (0.8% back)
They offer a few other more specific retailers also, like H&M and Chipotle.
A big drawback here is that Drop only lets you pick five retailers, and you only get to make the choice once. There's no changing them once you get signed up, so make sure you select what you want.
Online Cash Back Portal
Many businesses like Ebates and Upromise offer a certain percentage of cash back when buying with their links. Drop offers the same thing through their mobile app.
The percent rewards through Drop aren't any higher than you would find elsewhere. For example, Walmart is only 0.2%, and Ebay is 0.15%.
Portals through credit card lenders will be higher for major retailers (Chase and Discover gives 5% back on Walmart, and services like Ebates will give you a bigger boost for more obscure purchases if you're willing to comb through them.
Reasons to Use It
Let's get to it; what are the pros?
- Link cards that are already linked to other services like SB Local, Yelp Rewards or Dosh
- Completely passive earning with the linked card
- Additional points for online purchases made through the app
Reasons to Not Download Drop
There are some drawbacks to consider:
- Online purchases must be made on mobile
- Cash back percentages through the online portal are low
- You can only pick five stores to automatically earn points with by using the linked card
How to Redeem Points
Unlike other competitors that allow you to cash out points to a PayPal account, Drop only allows users to redeem their points for gift cards. Thankfully the gift card selection is large, and the cut-off is fairly low ($5 is the lowest).
The gift cards are sent to you via email and work just like any gift card code.
Maximize Your Cash Back
Here are some tips to maximize the points you can earn through Drop.
Credit Card Reward Stacking
When combined with cards that offer 5% back on rotating categories or an everyday card that gives you 1-2% back, you can stack rewards with Drop to earn very quickly with low effort.
At the very least, Drop has the potential to be a low-maintenance addition to your credit card rewards strategy. The linked cards earn points from the five selected stores with no action from you.
Credit card reward junkies use manufactured spending strategies to make purchases on a rewards card that they turn back into cash or at least apply to purchases beyond the category intended by the rewards company.
Drop's online portal doesn't give points for gift card purchases, so there's not an easy way to game the system there. But with the five retailers you chose to earn automatic cash back, it doesn't matter what you buy. So, for example, you could buy gift cards at Target to other retailers you use and earn a little bit back on those right away.
Other Money-Saving Apps
Drop can be fun but is ultimately a hands-off, waiting game. How else can you save money in the meantime?
Apps like Ibotta take a bit more work but give you cash back on groceries and other items.
If you're looking for clothes or household items, the bargain shopping apps like Wish or Geek can be a huge money saver. But be sure to check out my Wish review for some cautions before you buy.
© 2018 Katy Medium