Dosh, Drop and Pei are all credit card-linked apps that allow you to earn cash back (or points) for your purchases at certain specified retail merchants.
As part of our recent experiments involving manufactured spend (MS) through gift card (GC) purchases and online liquidation (our MS DP series), we’ve been utilizing offers from the Dosh cashback app. These offers have been extremely valuable, as they’ve generated up to $20 in cash back on our GC transactions, helping to offset the purchase and liquidation fees. Sometimes the cash back has turned a GC MS transaction into a profitable transaction on a cash basis, even before considering the points we’ve earned!
We haven’t addressed the Drop or Pei apps yet in our MS DP series, but they can also be useful in connection with GC purchases.
In our GC experiments, we’ve treated earnings with Dosh as cash. When we use Pei, we also treat it as cash earned. Drop is a little more complicated, since it involves earning points to redeem for gift cards, but we’d count Drop earnings in calculating our return on MS experiments too.
But these earnings are only worthwhile if you can successfully withdraw and use them. To that end, we decided to test withdrawals from Dosh, Drop and Pei, and report the results of these experiments to Middle Age Miles readers.
Withdrawal from Dosh
Dosh allows you to transfer the cash back that you’ve earned to a bank account. Dosh says that you should expect a transfer to take 3-5 business days.
Our experiment in withdrawing cash back from Dosh resulted in us receiving the funds in our personal checking account in 2 business days:
- Thursday, August 1 – Initiated Dosh transfer of $72.49 through app
- Monday, August 5 – received funds in our personal checking account
This was an easy and successful transfer. We give Dosh very high marks for the withdrawal process.
Withdrawal (Redemption) from Drop
With Drop, you earn points rather than cash back. The Drop redemption process is set up so that you can redeem Drop points for merchant gift cards. All redemptions are at a ratio of 1,000 points-to-$1 in gift card value. However, redemption isn’t very flexible – you can only redeem for certain merchants in fixed amounts. For example, some of the redemption choices are:
- 2,000 points for a $2 BarkBox GC
- 5,000 points for a $5 GC to AMC, Domino’s Pizza or Sephora
- 10,000 points for a $10 GC for iTunes, Dunkin’ Donuts, Nordstrom or Barnes & Noble
- 15,000 points for a $15 GC for Uber Eats
- 20,000 points for a $20 GC to Amazon, Whole Foods or Starbucks
- 25,000 points for a $25 GC to Banana Republic, Nike, Adidas or Stubhub
- 50,000 points for a $50 GC for Hotels.com, Lululemon or Shake Shack
- 100,000 points for a $100 GC for American Airlines or Four Seasons hotels
As you probably know, you can purchase discounted gift cards to most if not all of these methods through Raise or other vendors, so you wouldn’t value these GCs at face value.
The most liquid GC in the Drop roster, and probably the closest to face value, is the $20 Amazon GC.
Redemptions for Drop are supposed to be done through the app. We tested by going through the in-app redemption process and trying to redeem for a $20 Amazon GC. We started this process on Thursday, August 1. The transaction repeatedly errored out and asked us to try again later. We also tried to redeem for a $20 Whole Foods GC, and that attempt also resulted in an error message. We continued to test on different days and still received an error message on each attempt.
On Saturday, August 3, we initiated a support request within the Drop app. We received an email message from Drop Support quickly, within a couple of hours, which read as follows:
Thanks for taking the time to reach out. Our team is working to improve various aspects of the app, which is why redemptions are not automatic at this time.
The good news is that this is temporary and we aim to get our redemptions back to normal soon. We don’t have a clear timeline of when this will conclude just yet, but we’re doing our best to make these improvements quickly so your experience with the app is a positive one.
It’d be awesome if you can share with me which reward and the amount you’re looking to redeem we can get that processed right away. 😄
I responded back, still on Saturday, August 3, requesting to redeem for a $20 Amazon GC.
It took a few days before I heard back from Drop on Thursday, August 8 (very early-morning, at 5:29 am). The email message read as follows:
I sincerely apologize for the delayed response on my end – our team is experiencing a higher than usual volume of tickets over the last few weeks. I really appreciate your patience in the meantime. 😊
I’m happy to let you know the reward has been sent to your email! Please check your spam/junk folder as our emails can sometimes find their way in these inboxes.
I hope you treat yourself to something awesome. 😄
Thanks for being a Drop member!
At the same time, I received a claim code in my email for a $20 Amazon GC. I was able to redeem the GC to our Amazon account with no problems.
Ultimately, our Drop redemption was successful, and the Drop Support team couldn’t have been more pleasant. But this is a lot of trouble for what should be a simple in-app redemption. Even though Drop eventually fulfilled our redemption request, we are concerned that Drop is trying to discourage and limit redemptions. This also raises concerns about the continued viability of Drop.
Hopefully, in-app redemptions for Drop will work in the future. But for now, given this experience, we’re not going to rely on being able to redeem Drop points. They’ll have to be substantially discounted in our calculations of what we’re earning on our transactions – one discount for the fact that we can only redeem for merchant GCs, and another discount for the possibility that redemptions may be difficult, and we might not be able to redeem at all.
Withdrawal from Pei
Fortunately, withdrawal from Pei was much easier.
Pei allows you to redeem the cash back you’ve earned in 3 ways – PayPal, Bitcoin, or gift card. It’s nice to have options, I suppose, but I have no idea why anyone would redeem in any way other than getting cash through PayPal.
Our experiment in withdrawing $28.61 cash back from Pei resulted in us receiving the funds into our PayPal account immediately – no delay whatsoever. We had an email confirmation from PayPal within minutes, saying that Pei Technology Inc. had sent us $28.61.
We logged in to our PayPal account and were able to initiate a transfer of the funds to a personal checking account, with no problem. That transaction also processed immediately, and PayPal should deliver the funds within one business day, with no fee.
This was an easy, successful and very fast transfer. As with Dosh, we give Pei very high marks for the withdrawal process.
We’re very happy with our withdrawal experiences from Dosh and Pei. It’s nice to get positive reinforcement from these services that we can count on them to deliver what they promise. Unfortunately, Drop didn’t inspire the same level of confidence, even though we ultimately were able to push through the redemption process to receive our Amazon GC.
What are your experiences with redemptions through these services? What about other cashback and/or “rewards” apps and portals? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!
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