At some point in my transition from being a free-spirited 20 something to an old lady, I because obsessed with cash back opportunities. I’m definitely not as into it as some people, but if there’s a punch card or point system I can use for a retailer that ends in me getting a discount or something free in the end, you can better believe I’m participating.
The biggest place this comes into play is with credit cards. One gives me more cash back when buying plane tickets while another gives me additional cash for buying groceries… it’s a complicated system that can get better if it’s stacked right. For instance, if a loyalty program scores me 10% off a purchase and my credit card gives me another 3%.
Last week I can across a iOS and Android app that caught my attention for such endeavors: Dosh.
The way the app works is pretty simple. You link your credit card and then when you shop at its participating stores they’ll give you cash back, typically somewhere between 3-10%.
Unlike some other programs where you have to select a cashback offer at a store before you shop, you automatically opt-in to every cash back opportunity on Dosh when you sign up, making it a set it and forget it type of experience.
Within the app, you can see places near you where you can earn cash back as well as places online you can shop and earn cash back. In my neighborhood, the app works with a number of places I already go on the regular. You can also get things like 7.5% back at Bed Bath & Beyond online and discount hotel rooms.
A lot of the online stores are the same ones that Chase offers me cash back deals for, but in the case of Chase I have to log into my account, see that they’re a participating discount, and then click through the link of Chase’s website to get the deal. With Dosh all that happens just by swiping your normal card.
You can cash out your Dosh balance to your bank account or PayPal once you have $25 saved up. You’ll also need to have a credit card linked to your account at the time.
One weird thing: When I initially went to add my credit card, Dosh refused to let me add my most used cards because it’s already connected to Yelp. I was a little put off by them knowing my card was connected elsewhere and annoyed that I couldn’t take advantage of both with my most-used card. It doesn’t appear as though the same cash back deals are available on both services in my area, so ¯_(ツ)_/¯ .
Another thing to note: Dosh is giving all the cash back in exchange for getting information about you it can pass along to a retailer. So now instead of the bar down the street knowing that “someone” purchased three martinis last Friday, it knows that a woman my age did. They know how to market themselves better, and they’re building a little loyalty in the process – given the choice of the bar where I get 10% off and the one where I always pay full price, I’m always going to go for that discount.
If you don’t want info like that shared, then this one isn’t for you.
That said, if you’re in the market for a cashback program, this one is pretty easy since you don’t have to opt-in to anything and just shop with your card like normal. You’re not going to get rich, but you might make enough to buy a few more martinis.