Cash back is a phrase everyone loves to hear. I know I love earning cash back on stuff I was going to buy anyway; it feels like free money! Probably because it is.
However, I don’t always have time to save my receipts and track all the rebates and cash back opportunities – and there are tons of them now. Luckily, that’s where Dosh comes in.
Today, I’ll take a deep-dive into all that Dosh has to offer, so you can decide if it’s the right cash back app for your needs.
What is Dosh?
Dosh is an app that gives you automatic cash back for your shopping, travel, or dining purchases. You can earn up to 10% cash back at Dosh’s partner restaurants and retailers, and Dosh offers up to 40% (!) cash back on hotel stays.
How does Dosh work?
The most important thing about Dosh is that it’s automatic. You don’t have to track discount codes or save your receipt and upload it later, which always seemed a little archaic to me.
Instead, you connect your debit or credit card and let Dosh do the tracking. It scans your transactions and finds the ones eligible for a cash back offer, then puts the cash straight into your Dosh wallet.
Save up $25 or more and cash out directly to your bank, Venmo, or PayPal account. Or, if you’re feeling generous, give your accumulated Dosh savings to the charity of your choice. Talk about an easy way to give back.
When you’re ready to join Dosh, download the app for your phone. Tap around to see what offers are available this week if you like – you’ll be able to find them all later if you just want to get straight to the sign-up.
Dosh will ask you for some personal information as you set up your account, starting with your email.
Then add your phone number (for verification purposes), your name, and a password.
The last and most important step to signing up for Dosh is to enter the account number of a debit or credit card.
Dosh is very clear that they do not store your data and they do not store your card number or bank information. None of that information stays on Dosh servers; instead, they use Braintree, which is a PayPal payment processing service.
Once you’ve signed up, you can enable notifications (or not), allow Location Services (or not), and start customizing your preferences and browsing for deals (that’s the fun part).
How much does Dosh cost?
There is no cost to use Dosh. In fact, the whole point is that they pay you, in the form of sweet, delicious cash back. It’s free to use and free to set up an account.
However, there is a cost to not use Dosh. Something I noticed in the fine print is that if you ghost them (by leaving your account inactive for at least a year or more), they will deduct a service charge of $4.99 a month from your account. That charge helps them cover the costs of servicing your account if you’re not using it.
Importantly, though, they’ll only deduct that amount from your Dosh wallet. They won’t charge it to your credit card and they’ll never let your account go into the red to cover this charge. Once you hit zero, you’re at zero. If you just keep using your account and earning cash back, you’ll never even need to worry about this.
In addition to earning cash back on your card-linked purchases, Dosh offers other juicy perks, too.
This is my favorite Dosh feature. I just can’t keep up with remembering to save my receipts, or turning on a browser extension just to earn cash back. With Dosh, you can just set it and forget it and it will track everything for you in the background. All you have to do is show up and cash out your savings … just the way I like it. Hassle-free.
Huge list of restaurants and retailers
As with any cash back service, if the retailers aren’t good, what’s the point? Luckily, Dosh has the kind of big-name brands you want. Just today I found deals at Anthropologie, Costco, Urban Outfitters, Casper, and Toms for between 5% and 8% cash back.
There are instant offers, mobile offers, and online-only offers, so if you want extra savings, it pays to open the Dosh app before you start a shopping trip.
Earn big with worldwide hotel bookings
The hotel savings right now are huge.If you’re ready to book a vacation, you could get an instant $20 on top of 40% cash back. I mean, it’s like they’re paying you to travel, almost.
Stay domestically at places like New York City (for $117 a night, not a typo) or go abroad when travel restrictions lift and see more of the world. For example, a hotel in Quebec will earn you $35 cash back; Disney’s Pop Century Resort in Lake Buena Vista, FL will net you $42.
My experience using Dosh
I love cash back and savings apps, but I just don’t have the bandwidth in my life to track every single purchase. I need something that’s going to do the heavy lifting for me so I can focus on important things. (And by important things, we all know I mean television.) Still, my time is for me, and I appreciate any app that is going to give me more free time and more money.
I enjoyed testing the interface of the Dosh app, how easy it was to set up, and the reward offers that I would actually use. Dreaming about hotel bookings is just what the doctor ordered as fall closes in and winter peeks around the corner, so I loved just scrolling through all the travel possibilities — and seriously, there are some crazy-good deals on bookings right now.
Who is Dosh best for?
So, is Dosh going to be a good fit for you?
If you can get cash back for a purchase, why wouldn’t you? You might as well scoop up the money Dosh is ready and waiting to hand out. If you’re going to make the purchase anyway, at least do it so you can earn cash back on it.
Busy and overworked
If you like automated everything, especially when it comes to money, add Dosh to your list of must-have apps. After the one-time signup process, you can be as hands-off as you like, and just circle back when it’s time to collect your cash.
If you’re already putting travel expenses on your credit card, make sure you add Dosh cash back to the rewards your getting. Nothing says “I travel for cheap” like getting twenty bucks just for pressing “book now” – and that’s on top of your cash back rewards, not instead of.
Who shouldn’t use Dosh?
Of course, no app is perfect for everyone.
If you don’t use plastic, then there’s no card to connect to Dosh and no way to track savings. So if you’re a cash-only spender, Dosh probably isn’t right for you.
While you can definitely connect your debit card to Dosh to take advantage of the cash back offers, you have to remember to swipe it like a credit card (signing instead of entering your PIN) when taking advantage of local offers. If you run your card as a debit card, the transaction just goes straight to your bank instead of being scanned by Dosh’s credit partners.
Pros & cons
- Automatic cash back — You’ll get money back for your everyday purchases.
- 15,000 retailers and restaurants — Dosh offers a huge selection of partners, including the big brand names.
- Big savings on travel — You’ll get up to 40% off hotel stays PLUS an instant $20 cash back savings.
- Privacy concerns — For the app to work, it has to be able to see your transactions.
- You must use plastic — You have to use your card, not cash or your PayPal account, to pay.
Dosh vs. competitors
Dosh has a lot of competition in the cash back space. Here’s how it stacks up.
|Capital One Shopping
|App, browser extension
|Automatic cash back
|Coupon codes, price alerts
|Thousands and growing
Capital One Shopping
Capital One Shopping focuses more on coupon codes. All you have to do is sign up with your email and download the browser extension (which is free). Capital One Shopping will automatically pop up when you’re looking at a product and will input coupon codes, or alert you of rewards opportunities.
Much like Earny, Capital One Shopping will also tell you when the right time to buy a product is. It’ll take a look at your most viewed products and keep an eye on the price.
Dosh is a simple, easy-to-use cash back app that works automatically to earn you cash. No extra steps necessary and no coupon codes required.
You can earn up to 10% on the stuff you were going to buy anyway, and cash out your earnings or donate them to charity. Dosh will also help you save cash on hotel stays and travel purchases.