From that early morning coffee to the mad dash with your Uber driver, Drop is making it easier and more lucrative to shop.
Linking your everyday purchases with online offers, Drop lets you earn rewards points for buying things you needed anyway with their easy-to-use mobile app that’s rewarding you for taking care of business.
What is Drop?
Drop is a consumer-led rewards platform that can be used on your mobile device for racking up points while you shop. The genius behind this program is that you are earning rewards for things that you’re buying anyway, so you incur no extra expenses but gain rewards nonetheless. Nice!
Drop links your credit card purchases to offers that are available within its network of partner stores. So you don’t even have to do the work of looking for deals, Drop does that for you!
How does Drop work?
Drop makes the points earning experience really simple. For starters, everything is done via a mobile app. And since we’re all connected to our phones by the hip, a mobile app makes any endeavor effortless.
The process itself is very straightforward. Here’s how it works:
Get the app
Download the app to your phone to get things started. There’s an app for both iOS and Android devices, and the apps are available via the official app stores.
You can also put in your cell phone number on the Drop website to get a download link sent directly to you. Sign up for an account and create your profile to get things started.
Link your card
Next, you’ll need to link at least one debit or credit card to your Drop account. This is one aspect that not everyone will love, but really, it’s where the entire magic of the program lies.
Most rewards programs are free to use (as is Drop, by the way), and you can simply transfer the funds to a PayPal account or cash out using gift cards when you want to redeem your rewards points.
Drop requires a credit card link because the way you earn points is by shopping. I’ll explain that shortly, but I wanted it to be clear why Drop is asking for your card details. Since it’s a shopping-based experience, you’ll need a card associated with the account, so you can make purchases directly through the system. This way, you get credit for every item you buy.
Shop your favorite brands
Drop will now ask you to choose your top five brands. These are the stores that you’ll automatically earn points for whenever you shop with the linked card (you’ll still earn points with other offers, but those will need to be opted into).
You can choose from major brands like Walmart, Starbucks, Amazon, 7-Eleven, Target, Trader Joes, and more. Basically, pick the stores that you shop at the most often, so you earn the most points automatically.
Now, for the fun part. Need a new pair of boots? Head to your favorite linked shoe store, and shop away.
When you make purchases, you earn points. When you accumulate enough points, you can cash them in for prizes of your choice. The points system is also straightforward: 1,000 points equal $1.00
I already mentioned that you need to link a debit or credit card to your account. When you earn points, they are automatically added to your linked account. That means the rewards money is already there and ready to spend when you want to use it. You just have to click on the reward you want, tap redeem, and the money will arrive in your account.
After earning 5,000 points or more, points can be redeemed for gift cards, entry into contests, and more. 5,000 points earn you a $5 gift card.
Depending on which brands you choose, you can earn points faster or slower. For example, Walmart is 2 points per dollar spent, while Dunkin Donuts is 14 points for every dollar (go donuts!).
Drop continuously sends out new offers, too, so you can sign up for various promotions to earn points for other purchases you’ll make (in addition to your preferred brand purchases).
How much does Drop cost?
Good news, Drop is completely free to use. That’s really the beauty of this entire system. You’re earning free rewards points without having to pay anything.
And since you’re earning points for purchases you’re making anyway, it’s really a free deal. People looking to make extra spending money will do well with this program.
Drop is an easy-to-use rewards program with a few cool features worth pointing out. Some things that make them stand out from other rewards programs I’ve used include:
Members’ centric program
There are a lot of rewards points programs, so Drop isn’t breaking new ground in that department. What this app does differently (and well, I might add) is its focus. Usually, rewards programs focus on getting you to do the things they want (for example: take surveys, play games, watch videos, etc.). You go through the motions, and then you earn the points.
Drop, on the other hand, takes a different approach. It focuses on the user experience, making it as easy as swiping across your phone to earn points. The entire system is designed for ease of use, so you actually end up using the app all the time, helping you earn more points than you would with other types of rewards programs.
Drop is easier for a few more reasons:
- It’s a mobile app, so you’re automatically more linked to it.
- Since it’s mobile, the app is fast and easy-to-use, just swipe away. No complicated logins, systems, or dashboards.
- It’s based around shopping. And who doesn’t love that?!
It seems like such an obvious angle, but Drop has really revolutionized the industry with this simple but brilliant tweak, in my opinion.
Easy ways to earn points
Many rewards programs of this ilk are based around online surveys. While this is a good way to earn some free cash, it doesn’t work for everyone. You need to fit the specific criteria, and a lot of times you will try for hours to get a qualifying survey to no avail.
Drop, on the other hand, centers its points around something everyone does: shopping. We all need to eat, buy clothes, and get around. So, Drop just lets you monetize these everyday activities to your advantage.
This is where you can do all your regular shopping via Drop and earn points. The app will give you a list of participating stores. You just shop through the system to earn.
Some of the in-app offers require you to use your linked card, while others do not. The list of in-app offer brands is growing all the time, but in the meantime, you can find some major brands like Walmart, Apple, Nordstrom, Groupon, and ASOS.
In-app offers have terms and conditions that you’re required to meet in order to be eligible for the points earning. So, read up before you buy anything, so you don’t miss out on any of your points.
Power boost offers with linked cards
There are also power boosters. These are in-app offers that are boosted. Kind of like a super sale, power boosts let you earn more points for the same offer. Just remember to activate these boosts, or you won’t get the supercharged earn rate for the purchase.
One thing I liked about power offers is that they apply to in-store and online purchases. So, you can earn points when you’re shopping in person, too.
Refer a friend program
Drop has a pretty generous refer a friend program. Every time you refer a friend to sign up with Drop, you’ll earn 5,000 points (for the first ten friends you invite).
That translates to $50 in rewards, a hefty referral program. Friends need to actually sign up and link their cards in order for you to qualify for the referral rewards points.
Shop with Rocketmiles
Rocketmiles is an online travel agency that lets you book hotel stays. You’ll earn miles from dozens of airline mileage programs when you do, and you’ll also earn Drop points. So, it’s like double earnings.
If you travel often (or even if not, but you have a trip coming up in the near future), this is a really lucrative offer to take advantage of.
Play Drop Supercharge
Drop Supercharge is basically a game of snake (remember the old school video game that was the only one available on our dinosaur cell phones?!).
Members who have used the Power offers five times will unlock this bonus game. You play by swiping across your screen to send the snake slithering around the board. Supercharge games can boost your earn rates even more, so they’re worth playing even if you are too young to have fond memories of Snake.
Drop for Chrome
Drop recently added another cool feature. Drop for Chrome allows select members to use the Drop application when shopping online via their Chrome browser.
A browser extension just lets you take advantage of the Drop rewards potential more often. Not everyone can access this feature yet, right now, it’s a VIP, invite-only option. But Drop hopes to roll it out for everyone soon enough.
My experience using Drop
Honestly, it was hard coming up with negatives to write about this app. I absolutely loved using Drop, and I think the idea is simply genius.
I downloaded the app to my phone, and chose my frequently visited stores (Starbucks, Target, Walmart, Uber, and Boxed – I’m pretty practical like that).
Then, I wanted to test it out, so I headed over to Target (because I can always use another pair of pajama pants). I purchased my pants, and a few other items, and went to the cashier.
After swiping my card and leaving the store, I checked my Drop account. While there was no fanfare, I did earn points for my purchase. I also gained confidence in the program, which encouraged me to use the mobile app the next time I ran out of shampoo.
Using the mobile app was even easier since I didn’t have to put on shoes to do it. I was pleased to see that I still got rewarded despite having put in less effort. Altogether, it took me about three days to rack up enough points, and then…I got a free $10 Amazon gift card! I don’t know about you, but easy money is always on the top of my to-do list.
Who is Drop best for?
Drop is a great innovation that makes earning points simpler and better than other rewards programs I’ve seen previously.
It is particularly well-suited for people like:
If retail therapy is your real idea of fun, then Drop is a great option for you. You’re going to spend the money anyway, so why not earn some cash back for those purchases?
Drop makes shopping more profitable for everyone.
All of us know people (heck you might BE one those people) who you wouldn’t recognize without their cell phone in their hand. If you’re attached to your phone, no judgments! Drop will be a great advantage for you.
The mobile app is truly a breeze to use. And if you’re on your phone all the time anyway, then it will come as second nature to you to earn points for purchases you’re making on the go.
Anyone who wants to earn more for free
I mentioned shop-a-holics first because obviously, the more you shop, the more points you’ll earn. But really, anyone who shops on occasion (and I’m pretty sure that’s everyone) can benefit from this system. After all, if you need to buy paper towels, you’re spending the money anyway. So, why not earn a few points?
If you aren’t a frequent shopper, then it’ll take you longer to rack up points. But points don’t expire, so you can take your time building up towards your $5 gift cards. And free money is free money.
Who shouldn’t use Drop?
On the other hand, Drop is definitely not for everyone. For example, you won’t enjoy Drop if you’re…
A non-mobile shopper
If you’re the type who is wary of online or mobile purchases, Drop isn’t the app for you. While you can earn points making in-store purchases, the bulk of the program is based around its mobile offer.
A security-conscious person
People who hate the idea of linking their credit cards to a third-party app will not appreciate the benefits of Drop.
Despite the fact that this app uses some pretty heavy security measures, truly security-phobic shoppers won’t go near a rewards program like this (or any mobile-based shopping experience, most likely).
Not into the details
Anyone who doesn’t like reading the fine print, will probably not get a lot out of this app. Not that Drop deals are tied to tiny print and long T&C. But you do need to read the requirements to know how the deals work (expiration dates, purchase limitations, amount minimums, etc.).
Without these details, the offers will not be valid, and you won’t earn points, rendering the whole system pointless (literally?!).
A deal chaser
If you are the type to spend more just to get the prize, avoid this and other rewards programs. The whole idea of Drop is to help you earn rewards for money you’re spending anyway. If you spend more just to earn the rewards, you’ve lost the point (not to mention fed a super unhealthy addiction).
Pros & cons
- Excellent user experience — Between the smooth mobile app, the easy shopping-based earn system, and the constant flow of offers that work directly through your phone, Drop is the easiest rewards program I’ve tested out so far.
- Earn money for shopping you’re doing anyway — The fact that you are rewarded for buying things that you would be buying anyway is a huge plus in my book.
- Backfill reimbursements — Sometimes, some Drop providers (here’s looking at you Plaid) will experience delays in sending the transactions over to Drop. When this happens, members can miss out on earned points from certain purchases. Drop has a backfill order, which means it can backtrack and reapply the points you should’ve earned on purchases that weren’t logged properly during this delay. The bad thing is that it won’t always work with in-app offers. The good thing is that Drop customer service is really good about awarding you with the rewards points, even if it’s an in-app offer.
- Have to link debit or credit card — Despite the fact that Drop has built high-security restrictions, two-factor authentication, and other security measures, anyone security-conscious will automatically wince at this caveat.
- Doesn’t work with VoIP — Drop asks you to verify your account with a phone number. But the service doesn’t work with Skype, Google Voice, Freedompop, Vonage, and other VoIP numbers.
- Has lots of rules — All offers come with terms and conditions, and some can be quite lengthy. If you’re not careful about following the rules, you might be disqualified from earning points for your purchase.
Drop vs. competitors
Drop is not the only rewards program out there. While it’s definitely one of the best I’ve seen so far if you like options, here are a few more programs to consider from our list of the best coupon and promo discount tools.
|Capital One Shopping
|Varies by brand
|How to save
|Purchases made through your linked card
|Purchases made through browser
Product price comparison
|Price drop alerts on past purchases
Alerts when watchlist items drop in price
|Major partner brands
|Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks, Uber, Dunkin Donuts
|Amazon, Walmart, Kohl’s, Microsoft, Ulta, Verizon
|Walmart, Walgreens, Best Buy, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom
Capital One Shopping
If you use Google Chrome for most of your shopping, you might like Capital One Shopping a little better. Capital One Shopping is a Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, & Safari extension that hangs out in the background, helping you find coupon codes and offers on purchases you’re already making.
You’ll also earn points on what you buy, known as Capital One Shopping credits. Once you have enough of those credits, you can apply them to a gift card that you can then use to make future purchases.
If you prefer the app experience, you can download that, as well. Using your mobile device, you can scan product barcodes and let the app do all the comparison shopping for you.
Earny is another Chrome extension that helps you save money while you shop.
With Earny, if an item drops in price after you buy it, Earny lets you know. You can even add items you’re thinking about buying to your wishlist to be alerted when they go on sale.
The savings starts from the time you install the extension. You’ll get an automatic 20% cash back on your purchases as long as you click to activate Earny while you’re shopping online.
Drop is a great way to earn extra money on purchases that you’re making anyway. If you like the idea of getting something for nothing, head over to Drop to download the app right now.