Dosh App Review: Use Your Smartphone to Double Dip With Cash-Back Rewards

Millions of people use rewards credit cards for regular spending and recurring bills with the goal of racking up cash-back or travel rewards. The Dosh app, which can be downloaded to your smartphone from the Google Play Store or the Apple Store, allows you to effectively “double-dip” and earn an additional layer of rewards when you shop.

With the Dosh app, you earn cash-back for purchases you make with a linked credit card (or debit card) at a participating store. Stores and offers change all the time, but the Dosh app often includes popular stores you probably shop at anyway. Examples include Walmart, Sam’s Club, Shoe Carnival, Walgreens, and Target.

How Does Dosh Work?

Getting started with Dosh is simple if you have a smartphone since the app is free and easy to download with the click of a button. Once you add the Dosh app to your phone, you’ll add your favorite rewards or travel credit card (or a debit card) to your account. Ideally, you want to add the card you use the most since this is the card that will earn cash-back with the Dosh app.

From that point, all you have to do is pay with your linked card at thousands of stores and restaurants that partner with the Dosh app. Whenever you make a purchase at a participating store, the percentage of cash-back you earn will be added to your Dosh account automatically. While the average rate of return through Dosh is 2% to 3%, some stores pay up to 10% cash-back.

In terms of cashing out with the app, getting your hands on your earnings is a piece of cake. The Dosh app lets you transfer your rewards to your bank account or to a PayPal account. You can also donate your earnings to charity directly through the app.

Earning cash-back with Dosh is easy. You don’t have to download receipts to qualify, nor do you have to register your purchases. It all happens automatically when you register your card, so your only real responsibility is signing up for the app and using the linked credit card when you shop. It’s as simple as that.

Should You Bother Earning Cash-Back through Dosh?

If you’re looking for a way to earn some easy money on the side, there are many ways to do just that. You can take online surveys with websites like UserTesting.com and InboxDollars.com, or you can log into Swagbucks.com to earn rewards when you watch videos, print coupons, or surf the web.

The Dosh app offers yet another way to earn money on your regular purchases, and you don’t have to perform any tasks to earn rewards, either. Still, you still may be wondering if downloading the app is worth it. While there are a ton of variables that will determine how much cash-back you earn, for most people, the answer is “yes.”

The main reason to consider downloading the Dosh app is the fact that it’s free. You don’t lose anything if you don’t wind up shopping at participating stores as often as you think, yet you have a lot to gain if you do shop at stores that work with the app.

As of this writing, for example, Sam’s Club is offering 2% back through the Dosh app. If you do your grocery shopping at Sam’s Club and spend $700 per month, you’ll earn $14 in easy cash-back every month — or over $168 in cash-back over the course of a year. You don’t have to do anything “extra” to earn this cash-back since it added to your Dosh wallet automatically.

Also remember that you can pair this card’s earnings with a credit card that doles out rewards. Considering the Chase Freedom® is offering 5% back on your first $1,500 spent in wholesale clubs and department stores or with the Chase Pay app the final quarter of 2018, you could wind up earning 7% back at Sam’s Club for three months by using the Dosh app and linking it with your Chase Freedom® card.

Also note that, overall, Dosh has a good reputation when it comes to securing your data from hackers and thieves. According to the company, Dosh uses bank-level, encrypted security. They do not store your password, credit or debit data, or bank account information in the app or on their servers, either. All purchases made using Dosh are also encrypted. To add an extra layer of security, Dosh does ask you to re-verify your email when you sign up.

Dosh Highlights:

  • Earn up to 10% cash-back (usually 2% to 3%) when you use the app and a linked credit card to make a purchase at a participating store.
  • You can earn cash-back with Dosh on top of rewards you earn with a cash-back or travel credit card.
  • Cash-back is added to your account automatically, so there is no work required on your part.
  • You can cash-out your rewards to your bank account or PayPal account once you hit the required minimum of $25. You can also donate your cash-back to any charity of your choice.
  • You can refer friends to Dosh to earn more cash-back. Right now the app is offering $5 for each referral who signs up for the app and links a credit card.
  • You can earn cash-back on in-person and online purchases made with a linked card and the Dosh app.

Earning Cash-Back with Dosh: The Downsides

It’s hard to argue against an app that lets you earn cash-back on regular purchases, but the Dosh app still isn’t perfect. Just like any other offer, there are a handful of cons to be aware of before you sign up:

  • You must have a non-VOIP phone number to sign up for the Dosh app. In other words, you can’t have phone service that isn’t conducted over IP networks. (On a personal note, I tried to sign up for Dosh with my T-Mobile phone number I’ve had for five years but my phone number didn’t work with the app.)
  • You’re required to link a credit card plus a bank account or PayPal account to the Dosh app, which could make you feel uncomfortable regardless of how secure the app is. If you do sign up, you may feel more comfortable linking a credit card to your account instead of a debit card since credit cards offer better liability against fraud.
  • You do need to build up a balance of $25 in cash-back before you can cash out to your bank account, PayPal, or to a charity of your choice. If you don’t shop very often, it may take a while to reach the required level for redemptions.
  • The Dosh app is only available to U.S. residents, which makes it a no-go if you live abroad.
  • Many reports note it can take up to 90 days for cash to be added to your account after a qualifying purchase. On their website, Dosh notes this is because “online offers require 60-90 days for the merchants return period to expire before any cash-back is deposited in your Dosh wallet.”

Should You Sign Up for Dosh?

If you’re making purchases at stores that partner with Dosh anyway, you have little to lose by signing up for the app. You’ll earn cash-back when you make qualifying purchases with your linked credit card, and you don’t have to do anything extra for the rewards to accrue. Also note that, since you can rack up cash-back with Dosh on top of rewards you earn with a credit card, this app offers a smart way to double dip.

Of course, the Dosh app isn’t perfect. Not everyone wants to link a credit card and their bank account to a smartphone app, and some stores pay out as little as 1% cash-back. Downloading the app may not be worth it if you rarely shop or mostly visit small local stores instead of big chains.

At the end of the day, this makes the Dosh app ideal for the right kind of consumer. You may want to consider the Dosh app if:

  • You spend a lot of money at major chain stores regularly and know you could earn a significant amount of cash-back each month.
  • You love earning cash-back or travel rewards with your favorite rewards credit card and want a way to boost your earnings over time.
  • You’re comfortable downloading apps to your smartphone and don’t mind offering up your credit card and banking details.
  • You believe you could refer a ton of friends and want to earn $5 for each referral.
  • You don’t mind waiting until you have $25 in rewards each time you want to cash out.

Should you sign up for Dosh? Only you can decide. At the very least, you can give it a try to see if the cash-back you earn is worth the memory it takes up in your phone.

Holly Johnson is an award-winning personal finance writer and the author of Zero Down Your Debt. Johnson shares her obsession with frugality, budgeting, and travel at ClubThrifty.com.

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