The Drop app: An honest review
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For some folks, the best rewards are those that don’t take a lot of effort to earn. While the Drop app is pretty effortless, there’s little value to glean. But if you’re looking for an easy way to double-dip rewards from the best travel credit cards, you could get some more savings when you link them to your Drop account.
Below I’ll go through how to set up a Drop app, and let you know if it’s worth it.
What is the Drop app?
The Drop app tracks your debit and credit card purchases and automatically adds Drop points to your account when you spend at certain merchants you’ve picked from their list.
When you reach a certain threshold, you can redeem Drop points for gift cards to popular retailers, like Amazon, Dunkin Donuts, Apple, American Airlines, and many more.
Is the Drop app safe to use?
If you’re uncomfortable with sharing your bank logins, you shouldn’t use Drop.
And during its initial testing phase in the U.S., some users reported numerous issues with Drop, including purchases not posting or not being able to redeem points. These problems didn’t help with Drop’s reputation. Some customers were upset because they’d run a LOT of additional spending through certain merchants, expecting to earn a lot of Drop points.
Drop then changed its terms and conditions to exclude large purchases, repeat purchases, business spending, and gift cards. They’ve also added a limit of earning 5,000 Drop points per week ($5). You’re certainly not going to get rich with this app! But as a passive way of earning a few extra dollars here and there, it’s worth a look.
Some have also complained that Drop isn’t very responsive to technical issues or email inquiries. If you have an issue, you might not be able to get the help you need quickly.
How does the Drop app work?
Drop was first only available by referral in the U.S., but now it’s open to everyone. After you’ve joined, you’ll get your own referral link to share with friends (you’ll get 5,000 Drop points, and so will your friend, when they sign-up and link an account).
Once you’ve downloaded Drop and linked your debit and credit card accounts, you’ll pick merchants from Drop’s list to earn ongoing points. Then, you’ll earn Drop points for purchases you make with these merchants (in addition to credit card rewards points and other bonus points).
Drop works like other cashback portals such as Rakuten where you shop through the app. Once your shopping trip is done, and you’ve met the requirements, the Drop points will be added to your account. There are other ways to earn as well that include games, activating personalized shopping offers, and completing surveys.
The number of points you’ll earn depends on the merchant. You can redeem at a rate of 0.1 cents per Drop point (1,000 Drop points = $1) in increments that vary by retailer.
Here’s how to get started.
Download Drop and link accounts
When you download the Drop app to your phone, you’ll be prompted to link your credit or debit accounts to the app. This means you’ll have to provide logins and passwords for your accounts, which some folks aren’t comfortable with.
You can link accounts from most banks, including:
- American Express
- Bank of America
- Capital One
- TD Bank
- US Bank
- Wells Fargo
- Fifth Third
Even if you bank with a local institution, you might be able to find it with the search function.
Once you select your bank, add your login details. Repeat the process for each bank you want to link.
Drop uses the same encryption technology used by major banks and financial apps like Mint, Acorns, and Robinhood. Still, having to provide bank logins could be a deal-breaker for some.
Some folks choose to only link accounts that are connected to credit cards, not savings or checking accounts, to avoid the possibility of having their money tampered with.
Once you’ve linked your accounts, Drop will have access to your transaction data. That’s how they’ll track what you’ve spent at certain merchants and award points.
Choose merchants to earn ongoing points
After linking your accounts, choose your favorite merchants from the list, each of which has different earning rates.
It’s best to select retailers you know you’ll continue to shop often in order to maximize your Drop points! Remember, you can link multiple credit cards which allows you an opportunity to stack credit card offers with Drop purchases.
Here are the current rates as of publication:
- Alamo Rent A Car – 40 per $1 (0.4% back)
- Apple – 20 per $1 (0.2% back)
- Athleta – 30 per $1 (0.3% back)
- Bloomingdale’s – 7 per $1 (0.07% back)
- The Home Depot – 56 per $1 (0.56% back)
- Choice Hotels – 15 per $1 (0.15% back)
- Glossier – 50 per $1 (0.5% back)
- Macys – 20 per $1 (0.2% back)
- Nike – 50 per $1 (0.5% back)
- Rentalcars.com – 60 per $1 (0.6% back)
- Ulta – 28 per $1 (0.28% back)
For example, if you spend $1,000 at Home Depot, you’d earn 56 Drop points per $1 or 56,000 Drop points. That’s worth $56 in rewards (56,000 Drop points X 0.1 cents per point) which you can later trade in for gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, Groupon, and more.
Remember, the Drop points you earn are in addition to credit card rewards points and rotating category bonuses. So it’s a great way to double (or triple) dip rewards.
After choosing a merchant and completing a shopping trip, you don’t have to do anything more to earn points. Drop will automatically track your purchases and apply the points to your account.
The amount of time it takes to post to your account varies for each merchant. I saw some that were as little as five days and others that were up to 45 days.
Watch for special offers
Take a peek at the Drop app now and then, or if you have a shopping trip planned for a particular merchant. You’ll see how many points you’ve earned, and you’ll often get special offers for one-time spending at certain merchants (many of which aren’t ongoing!).
You don’t have to do anything except activate these offers and meet the required spending (if any). Drop will automatically track your spending and award the bonus points.
If you feel like playing a game or completing a random survey, there’s another option to boost your Drop point collection.
Redeem your points for gift cards
When you reach a certain number of points, you can redeem them for gift cards to popular retailers. For example, you can trade in 50,000 Drop points ($50) for a $50 Starbucks gift card.
Once you redeem your Drop points for the gift card you want, you’ll receive an e-gift card that will be available in your Drop wallet via the app.
Is Drop worth it?
Any opportunity to earn bonus rewards on purchases is worthwhile. If you shop at the stores available through Drop, you’re losing money by not using it. And while you’ve noticed by now that the Drop app’s earning rate is nothing to shout about from the rooftops, understand that these are extra rewards you’re earning on top of your existing multi-layer savings plan. For example, let’s say you’re spending $150 to rent a car from Alamo for a week:
- Layer 1: You’re using the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (earns 2 points per dollar on travel purchases)
- Layer 2: You have a Chase Offer on your Chase Sapphire Preferred that gives you an extra 10% back at Alamo
- You begin your reservation by navigating to Alamo through the Drop app (earn 40 Drop points per dollar, or 0.4% back)
- You sign into your Alamo account and earn airline miles or hotel points with each rental
After the dust settles, you’ll have received $15.60, 300 Chase points, and 3,500 Hilton points (for certain rental rates) by stacking deals.
One word of caution, however, is to ensure that there aren’t other online shopping portals that have a better return than the Drop App. The truth is, there’s probably a better option out there. For example, I see another shopping portal currently offering 2.1% back at Alamo — that’s 5x the rate Drop is offering.
Read our post on how to use Cashback Monitor to easily find the highest-paying shopping portal.
The Drop app lets you link your credit and debit card accounts to track purchases made at qualifying merchants. You’ll automatically earn Drop points, worth 0.1 cents apiece, which you can later cash in for gift cards to popular retailers.
The earnings aren’t great. But Drop is an easy way to earn rewards in addition to miles and points earned from the best travel credit cards and shopping portal bonuses.
You’ll have to provide your bank login information, which many aren’t comfortable with.
Have you tried Drop? I’d love to hear about your experience!
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