These days, loyalty programs and rewards apps are more popular than ever. In fact, according to retail industry publication Retail TouchPoints, 86% of shoppers have joined a loyalty program to collect reward points. We all love saving money and earning free rewards, and loyalty programs help accomplish both goals.
However, if you’ve ever used mobile coupon apps or rewards apps like Ibotta, you’ve probably forgotten to redeem a coupon code or rebate while shopping. Many rewards apps require preselecting offers and scanning receipts to earn points. For busy shoppers who don’t have the time or desire to do that, these apps inevitably fall short.
Thankfully, a rewards app called Dosh is changing the game. If you’re tired of missing out on savings and want to automatically earn cash-back rewards for shopping at hundreds of retailers, Dosh is a must-have app on your smartphone.
How Dosh Works
While Dosh has only been around since 2016, this rewards app has quickly grown into one of the most popular shopping apps and as of January 2019 had paid over $50 million to users, according to TechCrunch.
Dosh stands apart from the competition because of its simplicity and availability. If you want to turn your smartphone into a source of cash back each time you shop, there’s no better app to try.
There are four simple steps to start benefiting from Dosh.
1. Download & Create an Account
Dosh is a free app for Android and iOS. You must create an account through the app rather than the Dosh website to get started.
Creating an account only requires your phone number. Dosh sends a verification code to new accounts, and you need a valid U.S. phone number to sign up. Once you enter this code, your Dosh account becomes active and is ready for the next step.
2. Link Debit & Credit Cards
Dosh can give you cash-back rewards automatically because you connect your debit and credit cards of choice to your Dosh account. Instead of scanning receipts and bar codes to earn rewards, Dosh monitors your spending and detects when you shop at a Dosh partner.
You can link an unlimited number of cards. Linking any card you shop with is a good idea since it ensures you never miss out on cash back. If you frequently use cash-back credit cards and travel reward cards, prioritize adding these to earn even more rewards when shopping.
Dosh accepts Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. Currently, you can’t link prepaid visas, Discover cards, or department store cards. Cards take up to a day to link to your account. The name on your Dosh profile must match the name on your cards, and you can’t share cards between multiple Dosh accounts.
If you have security concerns, Dosh’s commitment to security should be reassuring. Dosh uses bank-level 256-bit encryption and never sells your data to third parties. Additionally, Dosh doesn’t store banking information. The app uses Braintree, a PayPal banking vault service, to store all financial information and remain secure.
3. Shop & Earn
After you link your cards and can see them under your linked cards tab, you’re ready to earn cash back for shopping. Cards typically take up to 24 hours to link successfully.
The easiest way to earn with Dosh is to shop at its partners. Dosh partners with hundreds of retailers, with popular options including:
- Sam’s Club
Each retailer displays the cash-back amount you earn for shopping at their locations. Typically, offers range from 1% to 3% cash back, although rates are subject to change and depend on the retailer. However, you don’t have to activate offers before shopping, so Dosh is a form of passive income once you link your cards.
Note that if you pay with a debit card and want to earn cash back, you must use it as a credit card and not enter the numeric security code, or PIN, you established to use the card. Additionally, all cash back can take up to 10 days to appear in your Dosh account balance.
4. Redeem Rewards
Many receipt-scanning apps and rewards platforms let you redeem a variety of free gift cards once you reach a certain threshold.
Gift cards are nice, but cash is ultimately the most flexible reward. Thankfully, once you earn $25 in rewards, Dosh lets you cash out through PayPal, Venmo, or direct deposit. You can withdraw as little as $5 from your account balance, which is a useful feature if you want to stay above or close to $25 for easier withdrawals in the future.
Other Ways to Make Money With Dosh
Getting paid for shopping at Dosh partners is the primary way to earn cash back. However, reaching the $25 withdrawal minimum takes time, even for avid shoppers.
Thankfully, there are several other ways to make money with the Dosh app.
1. Complete Online Offers
Dosh lists online offers under your Offers tab within the app. These are additional cash-back offers you can complete by shopping directly through the Dosh app to receive credit.
Each offer displays the cash-back reward amount and brief details. You can also tap on individual offers to read the complete set of requirements, redemption limits, and other relevant information from the retailer. Common examples of online offers include signing up for subscription boxes and trying streaming services.
2. Complete Local Offers
Another option to earn with Dosh is to shop for offers in your area. Local offers are also under the Offers tab, and you can also use the in-app map to find nearby Dosh partners.
This feature is similar to Capital One Shopping’s local offers feature. Essentially, Dosh lists nearby partners in your area to make it easier to find reward opportunities when shopping. There’s also a list of offers that covers an approximately 50-mile radius aside from the in-app map.
This feature isn’t different from regular shopping at Dosh partners. But the local map makes it easy to find nearby opportunities. It’s also useful for discovering smaller Dosh partners you might otherwise miss.
Like online offers, tapping on an offer brings up more information about the retailer and their specific requirements to earn cash back. If you’re on the go, check for local Dosh offers to find easy opportunities to earn nearby.
3. Refer Friends
Dosh pays $5 for every friend you refer to sign up. Your referred friend must install Dosh through your link or enter your unique Dosh referral code during sign-up within 48 hours of installing the app. Additionally, your referred friend must link a card and redeem a Dosh offer before you earn $5.
To find your referral code, tap the Refer tab in the Dosh app. This page lets you copy your Dosh referral code or share a link to download Dosh through texting and social media.
You can also share specific offers to earn a referral bonus. If you see an offer your friends or family would enjoy, that’s an easy way to encourage them to install Dosh.
4. Dosh Travel
Dosh Travel partners with over 600,000 hotels across the globe, making it easy to save money on hotel reservations outside of using a hotel rewards credit card. As long as you book an eligible hotel through the Dosh app with a linked card, you can earn up to 40% cash back.
According to Dosh, cash back stacks with your existing credit card rewards. Cash-back rewards appear in your Dosh account within 30 days. Hotel resort fees, which can include costs like security deposits, aren’t included in the Dosh reservation amount. You must be 21 or older to book through Dosh Travel. Currently, it’s only possible to book one room per reservation, so Dosh Travel requires multiple reservations for large groups.
If you want to save money with cheap travel deals, add Dosh Travel to your list of resources the next time you compare hotel prices.
Dosh is quickly becoming one of the most popular rewards apps, and it’s for good reason. In particular, two key features make Dosh worth downloading.
1. Passive Earnings
Once you link your cards to Dosh, you never have to lift a finger unless you want to shop through the app or search for local offers.
If you don’t have time to track rebates and search for coupons, taking a few minutes to create your Dosh account will pay dividends for years to come. This passive nature is undeniably Dosh’s greatest strength, especially if you don’t have time for other rewards programs.
2. Unlimited Cards
Another useful Dosh feature is the ability to link unlimited cards. While there’s no right answer to how many credit cards you should have, 75.5% of Americans have at least one credit card, according to a 2018 Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta study.
If properly managed, having multiple credit cards can help you save more money each year. Since Dosh lets you add an unlimited number of cards, you don’t miss out on the chance to save even more when shopping at Dosh partners.
There are other benefits to using Dosh, including:
- Availability. Dosh is only available in the United States. However, Dosh works at over 100,000 locations across the country. When you factor in online deals and Dosh Travel, there’s no shortage of opportunity to earn rewards with Dosh.
- Cash Rewards. A major weakness of apps like Fetch Rewards is that you can only redeem gift cards. Dosh doesn’t have gift card rewards, and cash is king. As soon as you reach $25, you can cash out and spend your earnings as you see fit.
- Multiple Ways to Earn. Spending at Dosh partners is the easiest way to earn. However, the ability to shop online through the app and complete local offers makes Dosh more robust. Additionally, earning up to 40% cash back on hotel stays makes this app a must-download for avid travelers.
- Reward Stacking Potential. Dosh doesn’t have a clear policy outlining whether credit card rewards and loyalty program stacking is possible. However, some users report that Dosh stacks with other popular rewards apps like Drop and Pei. Additionally, you can always test Dosh alongside websites like Rakuten and Honey to try and stack cash-back rewards. If a reward doesn’t credit on a particular website, you can always unlink your card from Dosh and relink it after your shopping trip. Finally, nothing stops you from extreme couponing or looking for in-store deals. Dosh is ultimately a passive way to earn, and it’s still a good idea to try other rewards programs that potentially pay more cash back.
While Dosh is one of the most popular rewards apps, there are still several downsides to consider.
- High Redemption Minimum. Apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51 have a $20 redemption minimum. That’s relatively standard in the world of rewards apps, although competitors like Fetch Rewards only have a $3 minimum. Dosh’s $25 minimum is steep. If you don’t shop through the app or complete local offers, reaching $25 takes time. Dosh somewhat makes up for that by allowing you to withdraw less than your full account balance once you reach $25, but it’s still a disadvantage.
- Cards Only Link to One Account. A credit card can only link to one Dosh account. If you have a joint bank account or share credit cards, only one person can add the associated card to their Dosh account. If there’s a primary shopper in your household, that won’t be too impactful. However, if your family members are avid credit card users, this limitation is worth considering.
- Referral Program. A $5 referral reward isn’t terrible in the world of rewards apps. However, Rakuten pays $25 for referrals and also pays new users $10 after they complete their first eligible purchase. Similarly, Ibotta regularly has $10 referral bonuses. Referrals are helpful for redeeming your first reward on any app, so Dosh’s $5 bonus, while nice, isn’t as good as some of the competition.
- No Discover or Department Store Cards. If you’re an avid user of cards like the Discover it Cash Back card or the Discover it Chrome credit card, you’re out of luck with Dosh. Granted, that only impacts a specific group of potential Dosh users. However, Discover Bank has several powerful rewards credit cards, so it’s a shame they don’t work with Dosh. Similarly, department store cards don’t work with Dosh, which limits your saving potential.
Free money rarely if ever falls into your lap. In fact, most side gigs require time and effort to make money. Similarly, popular rewards apps and shopping browser extensions usually require some interaction to earn rewards.
Dosh stands out from the competition because it’s one of the few apps you can set and forget until you want to cash out. You can’t dramatically change your finances with it. However, if you want to get paid to shop at stores you already enjoy, this app is a must-download.
You should still make the most out of your rewards credit cards and loyalty programs to maximize savings. Hopefully, the next time you shop will be a fun exercise is seeing how much cash back you can earn from your favorite retailers.
Have you used the Dosh app before? Were you happy with how much money you made?