Drop App Review: Redeem Your Shopping Rewards for Gift Cards
If you’re going to shop, why not earn rewards for it too? The Drop app makes it easy to get more from your regular shopping.
- No fees
- Connect credit and debit cards for extra rewards
- Earn travel rewards
Everyone’s looking to save money these days and fortunately, there are apps that allow you to do that while you go about your regular purchase activity. Drop is one of those apps. You can earn rewards points toward gift cards when you make purchases through the app. And you can make those purchases either online or in-store. Best of all, when you use the Drop app with cashback or rewards credit and debit cards, you’ll get rewards coming from both the credit/debit cards and from the Drop app. You can download the app for free, and start earning rewards immediately.
Drop is a shopping app that provides rewards when you make purchases through the service. It works much like its cashback competitors where you open the app, choose a retailer, then make a purchase from the Drop app. The service is free to sign up for and you’ll earn a different number of points each purchase.
When you accumulate a certain number of points, you can redeem them for a gift card. But you can enhance the service by registering multiple cashback or rewards credit and debit cards on the app and earn even more rewards.
What makes Drop different from its competitors is it’s an intelligent rewards platform focusing on the user’s shopping experience. You can enter the merchants you use most, maximizing your ability to earn rewards points.
Based in Toronto and New York City, the app currently has more than 3 million installs.
Drop has a Better Business Bureau rating of F, but that’s based on just five complaints. However, iOS users rate it 4.7 stars out of five on the App Store, based on 41,500 reviews, while Android users rate it 3.4 out of five stars, based on nearly 6,000 reviews.
How Drop Works
Drop is easy to use. All you need to do is download it on your smartphone (Drop is currently unavailable as a web application), then begin using it for shopping and accumulating rewards points. It can be used to purchase food, shopping, travel, restaurant meals, or just about anything else. You can start earning points with your first purchase.
You can shop from more than 300 brands, including electronics, video games, fashion, travel, makeup and more. Adding your favorite merchants to the app makes the process faster and easier. The process requires no coupons or scanning receipts. However, some offers will have minimum purchase amounts to qualify for rewards. This will vary by merchant.
1,000 points earns you $1. Once you earn 20,000 points, you’ll be able to redeem them for a $20 gift card to popular merchants like Amazon, Netflix and Starbucks.
When you sign up for the service, you’ll link a credit or debit card (we’ll discuss that process under How to Sign Up with Drop). In fact, you can link as many credit and debit cards to the app as you like. Drop works with Plaid and Finicity, which are API providers that obtain your transactional data to enable the process of earning points. Drop will also use that data to share offers they believe will benefit you based on your current spending patterns.
As is typically the case with shopping rewards apps, you’ll only receive rewards points for purchases made through the app. Purchases made with a merchant – even one specifically included on Drop – will not be eligible for rewards if they are completed directly on the merchant’s website or some other outside source.
Redeeming Rewards Points
You can redeem your rewards by going to the “Redeem” tab. There you can choose your desired reward, which will arrive in your wallet shortly.
You can even store your rewards in your history by moving them into your Redemption History log.
Rewards points will be redeemed in the form of gift cards for specific amounts, like $20. You can redeem available rewards once you’ve reached 100% of the points needed for a specific redemption. You’ll need to browse the selection of rewards to see how many points you’ll need for a specific reward. As a security feature, you’ll need to supply your phone number – for two-factor authentication – anytime you redeem rewards.
While some rewards are almost instant, Drop recommends you wait at least three business days from your redemption. However, Power Offers redemptions generally take five to eight days, while in-app offers can take up to 60. Drop promises they’re working to reduce that gap.
All points are also subject to a points adjustment. This is an automated correction process where points can be added or removed under certain circumstances, including returns, exchanges, or currency conversions. In addition, points can only be earned when you pay for your purchases using your linked debit or credit cards. If you pay using some other method, no points will be earned even if the purchase is made through the Drop app.
Other Drop Features and Benefits
One-time Offers: From time to time, Drop will have in-app offers that can only be completed once and according to the offer details and terms presented.
In-App or Linked Offers: These are offers that specifically require you to make purchases through the Drop app (rather than in-store) to be eligible for the indicated rewards. Typical in-app offers are available for Walmart, Nordstrom, Apple, Expedia, Boxed, Groupon, Hotels.com, ASOS, and Warby Parker, among others.
Boosted Offers: Some in-app offers are posted to the app, and when you shop through the offer link, the rewards bonus will be larger than usual. The boosted rewards will only apply during the time the boost is active.
Power Offers: These are a way to earn points from everyday purchases. You can earn Power points by paying with a linked credit or debit card, either in-store or online.
Supercharge: A.k.a., the classic game of Snake, Supercharge unlocks on your account after you’ve spent five times on your Power offers. These are additional rewards points earning offers. The game is played by swiping in the direction that you’d like the snake to move.
Rocketmiles travel rewards: Drop has partnered with the travel site, Rocketmiles, so you can earn extra points when you book your vacation and flights using the Drop app.
Rewards Points Expiration: Drop rewards never expire. However, Power Offer points can expire if you haven’t logged into your account in three months or more. Unfortunately, you can’t transfer your rewards points to another Drop member.
Mobile App: Drop can be downloaded at the App Store for iOS devices, 9.0 or later. It’s compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It’s also available at Google Play for Android devices, 4.4 and up.
Customer Contact: Available by email only (there is no phone support). Drop is also available by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
If you’re having an issue, you can submit a support ticket. You can do this by tapping “Profile”, then “Support”, then choosing the topic that best represents your issue.
Fees: There are no fees to use the Drop app. Drop earns revenues from small commissions paid by participating merchants when you make purchases through the app.
Refer-a-friend: Drop members can earn 5,000 points for each of the first 10 friends they invite, worth up to 50,000 points in total, or $50 in rewards.
Account Security: Your bank login credentials are never stored on the Drop servers. Information is transmitted between the app and your bank through secure encryption. Drop uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) to ensure your data is securely transmitted, and not susceptible to interception. Drop has been validated through a rigorous verification process by online security industry leader, DigiCert.
How to Sign Up with Drop
The most basic requirement for signing up with Drop is having either a debit or credit card you can link to the account. All purchases will be made through that card (or cards). Once again, it is recommended that you use a card that already offers cashback or rewards points, which will provide additional benefits alongside your Drop rewards points.
You’ll need to verify your credit or debit card account with a valid cell phone number. This allows Drop to complete the linking process using two-factor authentication for security purposes. You’ll need to provide your bank login credentials when signing up.
Be aware that Drop does not accept VoIP numbers or phone numbers registered to Skype, Google Voice, Freedompop or Vonage.
You’ll start the process by entering your phone number.
A URL will be sent to your cell phone where you’ll be able to download the app. However, when I entered my phone number, the URL I received directed me back to the main webpage.
The better alternative, it seems, is to download the app either through the App Store or on Google Play.
Drop Pros and Cons
- Link multiple credit and debit cards for maximum rewards — You can link multiple credit and debit cards, giving you an opportunity to earn rewards points from more sources.
- Boosted offers provide higher rewards — Boosted offers enable you to receive enhanced rewards if you complete purchases during the time limit indicated.
- Works with some of the largest merchants available — Among the merchants are Walmart, Nordstrom, Apple, Expedia, Boxed, Groupon, Hotels.com, ASOS, and Warby Parker.
- Can be used for travel purchases — Earn points for travel and flights when you book with Rocketmiles through the Drop app.
- App is free to use — There is no charge to use the Drop app.
- Preferred Merchants — The Drop app allows you to choose your preferred merchants, then sends you related offers for those merchants.
- Earn points in addition to loyalty programs — You can earn rewards points with Drop even if you participate in merchant loyalty programs.
- Not available in a web application — Drop is not available as a web application.
- It can take up to 60 days for rewards on some offers — It can take up to 60 days to see points from in-app offers, compared to 5 to 8 days on regular Power Offers.
- Customer service is by email only — Customer support is available by email only. There is no phone contact.
- Does not work with payment systems like PayPal, Venmo and others — Drop does not work with PayPal, Venmo, Chime, KOHO, Varo, Plastiq, and similar payment systems.
Alternatives to Drop
Drop certainly isn’t the only app offering discounts, rebates and rewards. If you’re interested in checking out other sources, consider the following apps:
- Swagbucks not only offers cashback on purchases, but you can also earn rewards for various activities, like searching the web, watching videos, taking surveys, and other activities. They usually offer percentage cashback, like 3% of your total purchase.
- Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) is virtually synonymous with shopper rewards and rebates. Where Drop has about 300 participating merchants, Rakuten has thousands. And rather than redeeming your rewards through gift cards, you can get them by either check or through PayPal.
- Mr. Rebates works similar to Rakuten, in that you’ll earn a percentage on your purchases through the app. The percentage is generally between 1% and 6% of the total amount purchased. You can receive your rewards in the form of a gift card, but also by check or PayPal.
Is Drop the Right Choice for You?
You’re going to shop anyway, right? And there’s an excellent chance that you’ll do it online. An app like Drop can save you additional money on your purchases by providing rewards. When you add these to the cashback rewards and points offered by connected debit and credit cards, you’ll be supercharging your rewards. A 2% reward can turn into 5%, substantially reducing your expenses on a monthly basis.
It’s hard to make a case for a relatively small-scale app like Drop, when Rakuten works with thousands of merchants. But the best strategy may be to use several shopper rewards apps to take maximum advantage of any rewards offered. You may find the rewards are higher on Drop with certain merchants than on Rakuten or other apps, giving you a choice to make your purchase through whichever one produces the highest return.
The one complaint about Drop that seems to come up is difficulty in redeeming the rewards. However, it’s unlikely this situation is unique to Drop. The whole rewards concept is based on a precise process between you as the consumer, the participating merchant, and the app. If only one step in the process is omitted, the whole reward for that purchase can be voided.
If you’re going to use Drop or any similar app, you’ll need to be aware of exactly all of the processes and rules governing each purchase.
If you’d like more information, or if you’d like to sign up for the app, visit the Drop website.