Saturday, October 1, 2022
HomePersonal FinanceDrop App Review — Shop and Earn Cash Back Rewards

Drop App Review — Shop and Earn Cash Back Rewards


I love finding ways to save money with my smartphone. In fact, from mobile coupon apps to apps that pay you to walk, it’s hard to keep track of them all.

I recently came across yet another: Drop, a shopping rewards app that earns points you can redeem for free gift cards and cryptocurrency. 

Intrigued, I decided to see for myself exactly what Drop is, how easy it is to earn, and whether the app is worth the space it takes up on your phone. 

What Is Drop App?

Drop is a mobile rewards app that offers ways to earn rewards beyond shopping, such as playing games and completing surveys on your phone. You can redeem Drop points for gift cards, contest entries, and cryptocurrency. 

The app works on Android and iOS devices. The browser extension works on popular browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.


How Drop App Stacks Up

Drop is one of the best mobile rewards apps on the market. It’s easy and fun to use, offers multiple ways to earn rewards, and partners with lots of popular brands. 

But Drop isn’t the only mobile rewards app around. See how it compares to Ibotta, one of its best-known competitors.

Drop  Ibotta
What You Earn Gift cards, contest entries, crypto, charitable donations Cash back only
Ways to Earn Shopping, games, surveys Shopping only
Browser Extension? Yes Yes
Log in to Earn? No, earn anytime with a linked card Yes
Need to Activate Offers? No Yes

What Sets Drop App Apart?

Drop stands out for its versatile shopping experience, broad partner network, and flexible earning options that go beyond in-app or online purchases.

  • Hundreds of Popular Partner Brands. Drop has more than 500 partner brands, including household names like Walmart, Expedia, and Apple. Its mix of brands is more varied than many competitors, ensuring there’s something for everyone who wants to earn rewards on everyday purchases.
  • Shop Through the App, Browser Extension, or Linked Card. You can earn Drop rewards for shopping through the Drop app or Drop browser extension. You can also link your credit or debit card to earn directly and unlock additional features. As someone who shops as much on my computer as on my phone, I like that flexibility.
  • Multiple Ways to Earn Beyond Shopping. Don’t need to buy anything right now? Don’t fret. You can still earn Drop points through surveys, digital games, and contests. That makes Drop a handy app to have when you’re waiting in a long line or at the doctor’s office. I can skip the lame outdated magazines and just knock out some games or surveys to earn points. 

Key Features of Drop App

Before you opt for Drop over a competitor, it’s crucial to drill down on the key features that make Drop what it is. 

Drop Points 

No matter how you earn them, Drop points always have the same value: 1,000 Drop points equal $1. That makes it easy to calculate the value of your earnings and decide when it’s time to redeem.

There’s a wide range of point amounts, depending on the way you earn them. You may only earn a couple hundred points for a short survey. Shopping provides the most points. The offers may be for a flat number of points, such as 3,500, or for a few points per dollar spent, such as 20 points per $1.

It can take a while to earn points on purchases, though. Drop points accumulate in your account once the merchant and Drop verify your transaction, which can take between one and 60 days. But you can track pending points in the app.

Fortunately, you can jump-start your earnings right after signing up. Just as you start a video game with a tutorial section during which you earn real points or game gear, Drop has several ways to earn upfront that also helps you learn to use the app. For example, you can earn points by taking a survey that teaches you how to use the surveys.

The biggest opportunity is a 2,000-point bonus for linking your payment card. Considering all the other benefits that come when you link a card, that’s one of the first things you should do after downloading the app.

You can also get welcome bonus points for other quick activities in the first hours. As a new member, Drop invited me to:

  • Take a quick survey (500 points)
  • Set a rewards goal (100 points)
  • Take a second survey (1,400 points)
  • Make a purchase with any brand in the app (5,000 points)

Your bonus offers may be different — different actions, different point values, or both. But you should still have plenty of chances to build your balance upfront.

Drop Shopping

Drop’s shopping rewards program is the core of the app. Shopping with partner brands is the fastest way to rack up Drop points. You can shop through the Drop app and browser extension and with partner brands using a linked credit or debit card. 

Drop partners with hundreds of brands spanning virtually every product and service category imaginable. From apparel and beauty products to restaurant and grocery delivery to travel and entertainment purchases, it’s all on the Drop app. You can earn points for buying almost everything you can think of, including groceries, apparel, personal care products, pet supplies, electronics, and financial services.

That’s a step above competitors, especially for multi-person households. It ensures there’s something for the whole family, which increases your opportunities for points and family member buy-in. Plus, it’s easy to refer friends without having to think about whether they’d use it or just be annoyed by the implied obligation of the invitation to an app that holds no value to them. 

Drop’s app makes it easy to filter by new offers, special offers (boosted, premium, and stacked) high-value offers, and most popular. But the rest of the filers are somewhat hidden compared to some competitors. For example, Fetch features a simple list of filtering options just above the offers, whereas you have to click a filter button (looks kind of like soundboard sliders) to access all the filters on Drop. You can’t filter that way online at all. 

If you’re not looking for anything in particular, Drop organizes the in-app shop into more specific groups so you can easily find the deals you need and want. It organizes deals by:

  • Categories like groceries and clothing
  • Themes like Amazon or eat and drink
  • Daily trends like new arrivals and most popular
  • Features like stacked deals or boosts

In both the app and browser extension, you can also just search for what you’re looking for and click the Shop or Shop Now button to use the offer. That takes you to the website, where you can complete the purchase to redeem the offer. But you must activate the offer by clicking the button before ordering. Simply having the extension or app doesn’t automatically earn you any points.

Regardless of where you shop, you can see how many points you will earn on the purchase, so you’re never surprised when the time comes to check out.

Stacked Deals

Drop features time-sensitive offers that stack benefits, known as stacked deals. You can earn deals on the purchase itself plus Drop points, usually higher Drop points than on regular offers. For example, Adidas clothing might be up to 30% off and pay 15 Drop points for every $1 you spend. Plus, some stacked deals come with free shipping and other potentially valuable benefits.

Stacked deals have the potential to provide exceptional value. The discounts usually dwarf the point-earning rate — in the Adidas example, 15 Drop points per $1 only translates to a discount of 1.5%, significantly lower than the 30% off you can get. 

But stacked deals on recurring services or subscriptions, such as Handy house cleaning or Instacart memberships, let you lock in the ongoing value.

It doesn’t tell you how long a stacked deal lasts, but it does seem to warn you when there are five days or fewer left on the deal.

Boosts

Drop frequently boosts the number of points you earn from certain retailers during special promotions. These are time-limited as well, with active periods often measured in hours rather than days or weeks.

Boosted offers tend to be from less well-known brands, though you can find recognizable brands like PetSmart too. The boost rate is typically anywhere from double to quadruple, so a deal that’s typically 15 points per $1 spent might become 30 to 60 points per $1.

As with stacked deals, you don’t get to know upfront when a deal ends, but it does warn you when the deadline is approaching.

Surveys

Drop’s survey section is one of several ways to earn rewards without buying anything. But it’s only available in the app.

Once you complete a brief demographic questionnaire, Drop matches you to surveys that fit your profile. Surveys indicate how many Drop points they pay upon completion.

The best part about Drop surveys is that they usually focus on a brand and only ask a few questions. That’s much faster than many websites, where surveys often take between 10 and 20 minutes. But the app also lets you choose between surveys that are fast to take and the potentially longer ones that offer more points.

Plus, if you get disqualified from a survey because your demographic profile doesn’t match what researchers are looking for, you earn partial Drop points for your effort based on how far you got.

Survey points credit immediately to your Drop account. Surveys pay less than shopping on Drop or downloading games, but it’s another easy way to boost your earnings.

Drop Spin Contests

Drop Spin is a weekly opportunity to earn bonus points. Just go to the Games tab in the app, click the Play Now button on the Spin game, and Click the Spin button to spin the wheel and access one of three opportunities:

  • A variable number of bonus points deposited into your account
  • A shop bonus that pays bonus points for a specific shopping activity
  • A survey bonus that pays bonus points when you complete a specific survey

It’s a shame it only happens once per week. When you spin the wheel, it has a familiar “Wheel of Fortune” wheel-type noise, and at least on iPhone, there’s also a satisfying vibration. 

If you get bonus points, they hit right away. But you must complete the shop or survey bonus within 48 hours of your spin if you want to get the points. So if you want to maximize Drop Spin’s potential, set aside a time once per week on the same day when you have around 10 or 15 minutes in case it asks you to take a survey or buy something to get your points.

Mobile Games

You can earn bonus Drop points by playing mobile games from the app. To earn points for playing games, do the following:

  • Download Games. Choose a sponsored mobile app from Drop’s games section. There’s a variety of game genres, including strategy, education, cards, and fantasy. They even have popular games like Merge Dragons, Family Island, Tangle Master, and Fill the Fridge.
  • Complete Tasks. Each game displays how many Drop points you earn for completing a specific task. You can tap on a game to read the requirements before downloading it. Typically, games require you to be a new player and reach a certain in-game level. This system ensures you actually play the game you download, so ideally, choose games you’re interested in.
  • Earn Points. Points credit to your Drop account within 14 days after completing the task.

Numerous offers pay 10,000 Drop points or more. If you enjoy mobile gaming, this new feature is an easy way to get more free gift cards.

But there are also free games like Spin Drop, Pets (a game in which you raise a virtual pet from a hatchling), and Hoops. 

Hoops is particularly fun just because it’s so easy. You can play once per day (twice if you’re a premium user). You have 30 seconds to make as many baskets as you can to earn points. And all you do to make baskets is drag your finger across the screen in the path you want the ball to take to the goal. It’s usually only a couple hundred points or so, depending on how good you are, but every little bit helps.

Referring Friends

Another simple way to earn Drop points is to refer friends to the app. 

To find your referral code, tap the My Drop button in the lower right of the app, then tap the Refer a Friend button near the center of the screen. You can also tap the gear icon in the top left corner of the app and select “My referrals” from the list. 

The app displays icons allowing you to text, otherwise share (using the system share options), or copy your referral code, which new Drop members can enter when signing up. You can share your referral link through any app you can paste a link into, including social media, email, and text. You can even AirDrop it.

The best part about Drop’s referral program is that you and your referral each earn points. Referral values vary depending on what promotion Drop is running, but past opportunities have been worth $5 to $10 per successful referral.

There are some limitations to Drop’s referral program, though. Your referral must earn 1,000 Drop points before the bonus credits. You can only refer up to 10 friends. Finally, referrals must be new to Drop.

Drop Premium — Free

Drop Premium is a free membership you unlock when you link your credit or debit card to your Drop account. 

It’s worth linking your card as soon as you download Drop. For one thing, you get an automatic 2,000-point bonus. For another, not linking means you miss out on:

  • Premium Offers: These are card-linked savings opportunities from partner brands, including McDonald’s and Amazon.
  • Crypto Rewards: You can only redeem Drop points for crypto if you have a linked card.
  • Monthly Point Drop: You earn 1,000 bonus points on the first Wednesday of every month simply for being a Drop Premium user.
  • Boosted Surveys: You earn double points on Drop surveys during the second week of each month.
  • Hoops Second Chance: You get a second daily chance to play Hoops, a popular Drop game, and potentially earn more rewards.

It bears repeating that Drop Premium is totally free. There’s no reason not to link your card and unlock these benefits. Drop uses the same encryption your bank does to keep your data safe.

Redeeming Drop Points 

The default way to redeem Drop points is for gift cards. The catch here is that you need at least $25 worth of points, or 25,000 points, to get a gift card.

If you use Drop regularly and have no trouble clearing that hurdle, you can redeem for gift cards from super-popular brands like Amazon and Starbucks. 

If you’d prefer to use your points for something else, you can also redeem for:

  • Crypto Rewards: You can invest in Bitcoin or Ethereum with Drop Premium. Once you have at least 5,000 points, you can invest your point balance in the coin of your choice. You don’t need a separate crypto wallet because Drop invests your points directly, and you can withdraw your investment back into your points balance at any time. But to realize any gains (or losses) in your crypto, you need to convert it back to points, then redeem for a gift card.
  • Virtual Collectibles: These help you earn more points through the app. For example, if you unlock the Games Master Collectible, you can get a virtual pet, which gives you gifts like points and surprise perks if you take care of it. Unfortunately, Drop limits the number of collectibles available at any given time, so if you want one, you may have to join the waitlist.
  • Contest Entries: You can enter to win various contests. One recent example was a drawing to win a KitchenAid Pro mixer with the grinding attachment (worth about $500) or KitchenAid blender with two personal blender jars ($150 value) — and gain access to a 10%-off KitchenAid discount code just for entering.

These options have lower minimums than gift cards or none at all.

Unfortunately, you can’t redeem Drop points as cash like you can on some other apps. Gift cards are the closest you’ll come to cash here. But if you’re anything like me, an Amazon gift card is just as good as cash.


Advantages of Drop App

Drop is one of the most flexible, user-friendly rewards apps around. From rewards on virtually anything you buy to less commercial rewards options, Drop has a lot going for it.

  • Tons of Partners Across Many Product and Service Categories. Drop truly offers something for every shopper. Even better, Drop is continuously adding retailers and changing up its offers, broadening its appeal to various users. So no matter what you need or want, Drop pays you back.
  • Earn More With Reward Boosts and Stacked Offers. Drop’s Boosts pay more points per dollar than regular offers, while Stacked Deals combine percent-off savings with Drop points for shopping. These offers are plentiful, so you have plenty of chances to earn more without buying stuff you don’t need.
  • Earn Rewards Without Shopping. Drop is a shopping portal at heart, but it offers noncommercial ways to earn rewards too. If you enjoy playing games or taking online surveys, great news — Drop pays you for your time. 
  • Multiple Points Redemption Options. You can redeem your Drop rewards for good-as-cash gift cards like Starbucks, Uber Eats, and Amazon. With Drop Premium, you can also invest your points in popular cryptocurrencies. 
  • Earn Faster With a Linked Card. Link your payment card to join Drop Premium for free and unlock exclusive offers and monthly loyalty bonuses. Better yet, if you link a rewards credit card — say, a cash-back credit cards or your gas rewards credit card — you can earn rewards on your card and through Drop.

Disadvantages of Drop App

Drop is fantastic, but there are ways it could be better.

  • No Way to Upload Receipts and Earn Points. Drop is not a receipt-scanning app — it doesn’t have a receipt-uploading feature. If you routinely shop in person with cash or an unlinked payment card, you could leave some money on the table versus apps that do have that feature unless you also download one of those. For example, Fetch works well in tandem with Drop. 
  • High Redemption Minimum for Gift Cards. The $25 gift card redemption minimum is fairly high compared to other platforms. That’s a problem if you prefer to redeem for gift cards and don’t use Drop that often. It can take a long time to earn enough points to redeem.

Is Drop App Legit?

Yes, Drop is legitimate. Drop is a popular mobile rewards app with more than 5 million users in North America. 

More important, Drop has a long track record of making good on its promise to pay legitimately earned rewards. When you earn rewards for shopping, taking surveys, or playing games in the Drop app, you can be confident you’ll be able to redeem them for gift cards or crypto.

Finally, Drop respects your data. Drop uses your personal information and activity within the app to customize offers and improve your experience, but it doesn’t share your account details with its partners or other third parties. With Drop, you can be confident your information will remain secure.


Alternatives to Consider

Drop is awesome, but that doesn’t make it the best mobile rewards app for you. If Drop isn’t the right fit, consider these reputable competitors — or use them in conjunction with Drop for even more rewards.

App Best For
Ibotta Earning rewards for buying specific products
Fetch Rewards Uploading paper receipts and importing email receipts
Shopkick In-person shopping
Dosh Automatically applies cash back as you shop

Final Word

Now that I’ve been using Drop for a while, I’m sold on the app’s promise. I can’t say I won’t use any other rewards apps, but it’s now firmly in my rotation of online rewards apps and daily deal websites.

In fact, it’s a good idea for anyone who likes to save money to keep two or three in rotation to cover the full spectrum of ways to earn cash back. Drop can’t help with my occasional cash or gift card purchases, so I still use Fetch Rewards for those. And it’s not the best app for automatic cash back — for that, Dosh is my go-to.

But Drop is easy and fun to use. And with a little effort, it produces real savings — enough to earn a few free gift cards per year. 

Just keep your expectations in check, and don’t expect Drop to transform your personal finances. No shopping rewards app can do that. 

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