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Your Full Guide to the Drop App

Last updated: November 12, 2019
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The Drop app is a rewards app, targeted at millennials, which promises to reward users for everyday purchases, no additional work needed. The app has grown quickly, boasting over 1 million users as of last year. But of course, it comes with a question: How does it work?

In this article, we’ll look at Drop, how the app works, and how it tracks and rewards you for your normal purchases. We’ll look at some reviews and answer if it’s a scam or not. Finally, we’ll get to some frequently asked questions. After reading, you should have a good sense of everything Drop.

What Is the Drop App?

Drop is part loyalty program, part shopping app, and part cash-back service. People who download the app choose five rewards partners, which can be stores like Starbucks, Walgreens, or McDonald’s, and then earn points for spending at those stores.

Drop users don’t need to get a new card, as the app links directly with your existing debit or credit cards.

Drop was founded in 2015 in Toronto and expanded into the United States in 2017. In 2018, the company said it had reached 25 full-time employees, with plans to grow to 75 full-time employees.

People who download the app can use Drop in several ways. For one, they can shop directly through the app, paying for items and getting points automatically credited for their purchase. They can also just shop at their partner stores as they normally would, and if they pay using a linked credit or debit card, they’ll get credited with those points.

This is the big hook of Drop: It’s advertised as a convenient rewards app for millennials. It links to your accounts and simply provides you with points for shopping at the places you already shop, without any additional work.

Points can be built up and then redeemed for gift cards to popular brands like Amazon, Starbucks, Dunkin’, Chipotle, Macy’s, Lyft, Target, and more. If you already have a cash-back credit card, this app lets you effectively earn double the points on purchases.

How Drop Works

drop app: shopping online with a credit card

The Drop app is available for iPhone and Android devices and can be downloaded for free in the App Store or Google Play. When you download the app, Drop will first ask you to pick five brands that you shop at a lot. These can be apps like Uber or Lyft, grocery stores like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, and even major retailers like Amazon and Walmart.

Our big warning: If you do download the app, choose the five brands wisely. You’re not allowed to go back and change them, so make sure these are places where you consistently spend money, if you want to maximize rewards.

From there, you link your debit and credit cards. This is a stage that gives a lot of people pause, and with good reason — Drop is an app downloaded off the internet, and it’s always good to pause before you link credit card information with an app. From all accounts we’ve read, this is a secure connection. Drop uses 256-bit encryption and says it doesn’t store any of your banking data on their system.

They use a similar connection to your debit cards that other banking apps like Trim, Digit, and Acorns use. Again, this is entirely your decision, but for Drop to track your spending and reward you for it, they need this access.

If you do go ahead, once you’ve earned enough points for a gift card, they’ll send you an email with everything you need to know. When getting a gift card, what’s nice is that you’re not limited to the five brands you chose — you can get gift cards to any retailer they’ve got on there.

Reward points roughly work out to about 1% back in gift card value.

Is Drop Legit?

This is the big question, and any time an app asks for your banking information, you would be wise to be cautious. According to the numerous Drop app reviews we’ve read, Drop is safe. They don’t store your banking information on their servers, and use 256-bit encryption to access your accounts through your bank. They can’t touch your money. This isn’t a massive, million-user scam being run here.

That being said, Drop can see everything you spend money on. This is part of using the app, of course, in that it needs to know when you shop at the five partner retailers. But it does see your transactions, just like your bank can. If this makes you uncomfortable, it might not be the right app for you.

We’ve also read a few reviews that complained about Drop taking too long to issue rewards for purchases. This makes sense, however — Drop will want to wait until a purchase is verified by the credit card company and make sure the item isn’t returned, before issuing rewards.

This can sometimes mean a slight delay before you’re determined eligible for your gift card, but that is how a lot of rewards programs work.

The positive reviews out there are mostly praising the app for its ease of use. There are no coupons to save and clip, no real work to be done. You can shop through the app to get Drop points, and they sometimes will send you shopping opportunities to earn extra points, but for most users, you can set Drop and forget it. It’s not quite free money, but it’s pretty easy to use. You can shop as you normally would, and every once in a while, a gift card will show up in your inbox.

Again, these typically will only run to about a 1% value of your purchases from that store, but for grocery stores or Amazon, those numbers can add up quickly and earn you rewards faster than you might imagine.

Frequently Asked Questions

drop app: person shopping on their smartphone

So far, we’ve looked at how Drop got started and walked you through how the app works. We’ve also looked at whether or not it’s legitimate and how it securely accesses your data. Let’s get to some of the most frequently asked questions.

1. What’s better: Drop or a cash-back rewards credit card?

Drop’s biggest advantage over a cash-back rewards card is that it can be applied to a debit card, meaning users don’t have to put debt on a credit card to earn points. That’s really the only advantage, however. Cash back rewards cards let you earn cash back on all purchases, not just the ones you make at five pre-selected brands. And you actually get money, not points which can be redeemed for gift cards.

However, you can always use Drop along with your credit card rewards to earn extra rewards points on purchases.

2. Are there faster ways to earn gift cards than just normal shopping?

Yes. If you want to earn bonus points, you can visit the app to see special offers or purchase items directly through the app. Drop also sometimes offers a sign-up bonus when you refer friends.

3. How does Drop compare to other shopping apps?

Drop stands out from other apps because there isn’t as much active work required. You can earn points at places like Swagbucks or Ibotta and redeem those points for Amazon gift cards or other rewards. But to earn at those places you often need to shop at specific stores that designate or scan certain items or even visit stores in person. They dictate where you go.

Drop just asks you to shop as you normally would. The one downside: You do need to grant them access to your spending habits, which the other apps don’t ask you to do.

4. How do I reach Drop customer service?

Drop doesn’t advertise a public phone number, but they do have a form you can fill out at their support page. You can also email them directly at [email protected]

Earn Points With Drop

Drop works like a loyalty program, cash-back program, and shopping app all in one. For most users, the appeal will be that you can link the app with your cards, shop as you usually would, and then get rewarded for purchases you make at the places you spend the most.

While it may not be as good a deal as credit card reward points, if you feel comfortable sharing your spending habits, Drop can be a nice way to earn extra rewards in the background, without any additional work on your end.

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