According to a Bankrate.com survey, nearly two thirds of young people (age 18-29) don’t have a single credit card. As lucrative as credit card signup bonuses can be, most young adults eschew the chance to take on debt and prefer debit.
Does passing on credit cards mean you’ll skip the rewards too? Thanks to the Drop App, the answer is no. If you sign up for Drop, you can earn gift cards by simply spending as you normally would.
Is this really the free money Unicorn we all want? Unfortunately, it’s not. Here’s what you need to know before you sign up for Drop.
You Don't Have To Spend More To Earn Rewards
Drop is a shopping app. It bills itself as a savings or rewards app, but it isn’t. It’s a shopping app.
When you sign up, you choose your five favorite stores (including some big names like Amazon and Starbucks). Then, you hook up your credit (or debit) cards to the app. When the app sees a purchase, you earn points. When you have enough points (at least 5000), you can exchange the points for gift cards. You won’t lose points unless you close down your account.
If this sounds innocuous, that’s probably because it is. With Drop, you don’t have to spend extra money to earn rewards.
But You Might Spend Extra
Of course, you don’t have to spend extra to earn credit card rewards, but “rewards-chasers” can spend themselves into debt trying to earn a signup bonus. The fact is, Drop will “help” the average person spend more, not less. In fact, it has incentives in place to get you to spend extra money with their partners.
For example, you’ll get “offers” for extra points when you spend a certain amount at your favorite store. You’ll also earn “supercharge” bonuses when you hit up your favorite location at least 5 times.
From a marketing perspective, this is pure genius. You’ll feel like you’re winning when you spend more.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to install an app that will nudge you to spend more. You can install far more destructive apps. But be honest with yourself. You will spend more if you install the Drop app.
Or Your Friends Will
If you happen to have superhuman willpower (enough to resist the siren song of a coupon), then Drop is a great app for you. Except that the app will encourage you to invite your friends to join the app. In fact, it will reward you with more points when your friends join. Getting friends to sign up is probably the fastest and easiest way to earn points without spending extra, which is great for you.
Unfortunately, if your friends have spending problems, Drop will encourage them to spend more too.
Still, Free Gift Cards
For the right person, Drop can be a great way to earn a few gift cards without sacrificing their budget. For the sake of your wallet, I would recommend not allowing Drop to push notifications to your phone. That way, you can check your offers only when you’re planning to spend anyhow. Your reward rate will vary from time to time, but most users will earn between 1-2% in gift card rewards for every dollar they spend. You need at least 5,000 points (worth $5) to redeem a gift card.
The cool thing about Drop is that it can be used in conjunction with browser extensions, coupon codes, and credit cards with rewards. In general, I don’t think chasing rewards is a great use of time. Learning to invest, building your personal brand at work, and side hustling are far more lucrative options. However, Drop is a decent way to pick up a few pennies along the way.
If you can’t resist the rewards, don’t download the app, but if you’re okay seeing targeted ads, then download Drop and get a few free gift cards.
Drop App is still in beta. If you have early access, use the promo code to join: getdrop
For the right person, Drop can be a great way to earn a few gift cards without sacrificing their budget.