A lot of personal finance tips revolve around the concept of earning more and/or spending less. But what if there was a way to save more while spending money? Meet the awesome Drop App!
In a nutshell, Drop (available both on iOS and Android) lets you supercharge your debit cards and credit cards to get rewarded with extra points when you spend money at your favorite stores. Some might say this is not the perfect way to manage your finances, as the basics of the App is to get rewarded for spending money. Which is true! But still, the concept is really interesting and there’s not a single downside to using it, so why not get rewarded for spending money you would have spent anyway.
I’ve been using Drop for a few months already, as it’s been available in Canada since mid-2016. They successfully managed to build up a base of 70,000 millennial-aged customers in Canada, and they are now coming to the U.S. (the app is currently rolling out in private beta in the US). Also, it’s nice to see some awesome Canadian App being so successful once again, like Mylo or Wealthsimple, so I had to talk about it! So here it is, my complete Drop Review!
How does Drop work
Drop initial setup can be explained in as few as three simple steps:
- Link your debit or credit card(s)
- Start shopping at your favorite stores and earn points while shopping
- Get rewards from your favorite stores with your easy-earned points
But a few key differences set Drop apart from other apps and services out there:
- Users can link both their credit and debit cards to the app.
- Drop collects various rewards programs on one app, thus eliminating the need to keep physical loyalty cards.
- Drop uses an algorithm to target users with offers and rewards they’ll like based on their spending habits.
- It’s totally free to use Drop and Drop points do not expire.
- Drop is safe to use. They use the same back end provider that Mint, Acorns and others use. You can read more about their security set up here.
- Each point is worth 1/10 of a penny. For example, 1,000 points is worth $1.
Get started with Drop
Drop has already been available for a few months in Canada, but for the U.S there is no public link to join at the moment, as it’s still in Beta. However, if you live in the U.S and want to join right now you can use a referral invite code. My referral code is: pq5vv. You will get started with 1,000 points ($1) for joining. There are only four simple steps to get started with Drop.
- Register on Earnwithdrop.com or download the iOS App or the Android App
- Enter an invite code (mine is: pq5vv)
- Link at least one debit or credit card
- Choose five initial brands from where you want to earn points
Once done, any purchases made with one of your linked cards at your selected brands will earn points. That’s as simple as that!
Drop lets you earn points which you can use towards gift cards whenever you shop at participating brands with one of your linked cards. However, initially you only get to choose 5 brands where you will be able to earn points through Drop. That’s why you need to choose carefully, because you can’t change (at the moment) these brands after you make your selection.
Also, offers, brands and rewards will be different whether you’re in the U.S or in Canada of course. Aside from these recurring offers, there are also 1-time offers which you can activate from time-to-time. Drop uses an algorithm to target users with offers and rewards based on their spending habits.
Here are some offers you might choose from in the U.S. (whether it be 1-time or ongoing offers):
- Amazon.com (20 points per $1 spent)
- Starbucks (15 points per $1 spent)
- Uber (15 points per $1 spent)
- Walmart (10 points per $1 spent)
- McDonald’s (10 points per $1 spent)
- Target (10 points per $1 spent)
Drop already has partnered with many major brands and there’s not doubt you’ll get some rewards easily at one of your preferred store. Here are some rewards you might choose from in the U.S.:
- $5 Starbucks = 5,000 Points
- $10 Amazon.com = 10,000 Points
- $25 Lyft = 25,000 Points
- $50 Hotels.com = 50,000 Points
- $50 Best Buy = 50,000 Points
- $100 American Airlines = 100,000 Points
Bonus & Referral Program
Once you have signed up for a Drop account, you can participate in the Drop referral program to earn extra points when referring your friends to both the Drop App and also to the special offers that are available from select merchants. When a friend signs up for Drop with your invite code and link their card, you will both get 1,000 bonus points.
If you want an “Invite Code” to get started with 1000 Drop points, feel free to use mine (be careful as it’s case sensitive): pq5vv
Aside from one-time and recurring offers, you can also earn points when you do qualifying activities and other app-related activities. You can see all the bonuses available in the”Discover tab” and then “Unlock Bonuses“. Here are some of these bonuses:
- 1,000 points ($1) for joining Drop
- 1,000 points ($1) for each referral.
- 2,000 points ($2) points for adding your second card
- 5,000 points ($5) after referring five friends
Finally, one last way to earn Bonus Point is with Supercharge Bonus. Drop Supercharge is a game of snake that is available to play every time you spend 5 times with your offers. If you’re old enough you might remember the snake game, from Nokia cell phones. This is a simple snake game where you get to earn extra points for basically.. playing snake!
What makes drop perfect is that it does not interfere at all with any other reward programs. Drop also works both on debit and credit cards and with a wider selection of retailers to shop from and offers to redeem (with a list constantly evolving!), Drop makes the perfect App to improve your savings without changing anything to your spending habits.
But the best part in my mind is that there are literally no downside of using it. Imagine if you use a cash-back credit card (like Tangerine if you’re in Canada) and shop online through Ebates to one of the participating retailers, which in turn allows you to earn Drop points with your linked credit card. That’s basically a three-in-one combo for a single shopping trip! I guess you could say that’s the ultimate savings method.
With an ever increasing connected world and with people not willing to carry on yet another loyalty card, just remember that all of this is done auto magically, without any user interaction! The downside? It can get addictive and you should not fall prey to spending more than you intend to somewhere just to earn points, but if you were willing to buy something at a specific store in the first place, why not get rewarded three times for it!