Drop: The Invisible Reward Machine

Drop is a phone app that I’ve used – or I should say, have had installed – for some time. I like getting what feels like free money from Drop. Who wouldn’t? But, I’m embarrassed to admit, I mostly forgot Drop was there and how it worked. I recently refreshed my memory.

Drop helps a select group of brands motivate you to spend more with them by earning Drop reward points. Redeem them for gift cards. It’s dead simple, to the point of forgettable.

To start, create an account and install the app. You’re asked to link one or more credit cards – the ones you’d likely use for purchases at leading stores. Drop watches your spending (ie, your credit card account), and when you spend money at selected brands, Drop awards points that can pile up surprisingly fast, while you sleep. I’ve earned a decent pile of points with Uber, Lyft, and Starbucks.

The kicker – and point multiplier – is a steady stream of special offers for (typically) one-time actions like signing up for a new service or buying something for a limited time. Those can juice your Drop points balance, but you need to check in with Drop regularly to see what’s hot at the moment. Obviously, that hasn’t been me.

The beauty of all this is that it operates without monitoring (or in my case, without really remembering it was there). When you want to cash in your earned points, you’re offered gift cards; I use Drop points periodically to refill my Starbucks account. So it’s been of real value, and has the added appeal of feeling like found money when I bother to check my Drop account balance.

There’s an always a privacy concern with linking your credit cards to a merchant you don’t really know, so take that into account.

Download the Drop app for your phone and see how it works. Pennies from heaven are always welcome, I say.

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