I just bought a football team...no seriously I'm now a part owner of a football team. But it's not the NFL, it's the FCF. FCF stands for Fan Controlled Football, which is a league that allows the fans to become part of the game. Not only that, but they allow the average Joe to become an owner as well! I like to think of this as real life Madden Franchise Mode.
You may be thinking, AJ, what does this have to do with Investing or Finances in general? Well this is an Alternative Investment. An Alternative Investment is when you invest your money into something other than the stock market. Bitcoin for example, to some, is considered an alternative investment, even though it was created to be a Currency. Gold, Silver, and Real Estate are all Alternative Investments. And investing in Startups like the FCF League is an alternative investment. In this post, not only will I tell you about the FCF League and why I invested into it, but I will also tell you how you can invest in Alternative Investments if you're interested.
What is Fan Controlled Football?
First, what is the FCF League? The FCF is a football league which allows the fans to participate in actual real live football game play. The first official FCF game was played on Feb 13th 2021. There are currently 4 teams in the league, and I'm a Co-Owner of Team Beasts, which is also co-owned by Marshawn Lynch whose nickname is Beastmode! Johnny Manziel, also known as Johnny Football, is the most well known player in the league, playing for Team Zappers! The league is live streamed on Twitch, which is a platform many gamers will be familiar with, as it is a popular way to live stream games you play or really any activity you are involved in and allow your subscribers to participate or watch whatever it is you're doing.
While watching the game, you can also participate by selecting offensive plays for the Team you join. When your team is on offense, you can vote for the next play, and the play with the most votes is what the team will run on the field. It's like a video game with real people! Also, each week you get to draft new players to your team like a weekly fantasy football league, and Franchise Tag a player you would like to remain on your team. So your'e the coach, the GM, and you can also be an owner of the team!
How Do I Become an Owner?
FCF partnered with the startup investment website Republic.co to give you the opportunity to invest in 1 of the available 4 teams. For as little as $150 you can become a part owner of this football league, and select which team you want to own. Full Disclosure, I'm an owner with Team Beasts, so of course I'm rooting for them to win! And because this is an investment, I'm rooting for the league as a whole to be a success.
Who Sponsors this League?
Who else is rooting for the success of this league? A lot of big companies and successful startup investors. I'll start with the companies you may know.
Twitch is the leader in video game streaming, in fact 91% of video game streams are hosted on Twitch. YouTube and Facebook don't even come close. And guess who owns Twitch? Amazon! And guess what Amazon owns? AWS AKA Amazon Web Services. AWS is the cloud infrastructure many companies use, including video streaming services like Netflix. Amazon also owned some streaming rights for the NFL's Thursday Night Football for the past 2 years, and they're working on getting exclusive rights to Thursday Night games. So Amazon is already familiar with how to support millions of live streaming viewers on their platform, so supporting millions of potential viewers via Twitch for FCF likely won't be an issue. Amazon has an incentive for this league to be successful.
Verizon is arguably the leader in mobile services, and 5G...although I'm sure T-Mobile and AT&T want something to say about that! Not only is Verizon a Sponsor and an Investor in the league, but they're also supporting the technology behind the scenes. There's a lot of technology being used to support the experience for this league, including Drone Cameras and other IoT devices, all using Verizon's 5G network! You need a fast network to allow fans to vote for plays from wherever they are, and get that information down to the field where the players are in a short amount of time so that the game can continue to move fast as well. Verizon has an incentive for this league to be successful.
Watson is IBMs Artificial Intelligence platform. If you’ve played Fantasy Football on ESPN then you’re familiar with the insights Watson provides for their fantasy app. IBM is a sponsor of the FCF league, and will help to provide similar insights into the FCF league and their app to help with engagement. When you’re selecting plays, Watson gives you probabilities on whether or not the team can score a touchdown on that play. This is based on information Watson provides, and may even help people call the best play for their team to be successful. However with some of the very creative names they have for plays, that may also drive the play calling!
Progressive, the Insurance company, is also a sponsor. During each game you have the opportunity to vote on a play when you would like to take an extra down, a Progressive Fifth down.
There’s a segment called FCF Protection, where they interview Offensive Lineman who are the Insurance Policy for Quarterbacks.
They also have a segment called Outstanding Coverage of the game, which focuses on great plays from the defense.
Champion is a retail sporting apparel brand, which is owned by Hanes Brands. Champion is the Uniform provider for the FCF League.
There are a few other big name companies like Wendy’s, Gatorade, and a few others listed below who all would love for this league to become a success. Many of these companies are also Publicly traded on the stock market.
There are also some very notable individual investors. NFL Hall of Fame QB Joe Montana, Alexis Ohanian the cofounder and former CEO of Reddit, Dave Finocchio cofounder and former CEO of BleacherReport, Ferran Soriano CEO of the Premier League's Manchester City FC and Major League Soccer New York City FC, Victor Font CEO of Delta Partners and leading candidate to be President of FC Barcelona, and Mark Tluszcz cofounder and CEO of Mangrove Capital and Chairman of Wix.com.
The mixing of sports, gaming, and esports all come together in a current moment where everyone is spending more time online. Gaming has increased as well, as many can see from how hard it is to purchase either the new PS5 or Xbox released at the end of 2020. This is just one more way to mix many of the things people love to do and watch: games and sporting events.
But it’s not all fun and games, they allow you to become an owner of the teams, at least for now! Via the startup investing website Republic, you can become an owner of 1of4 available teams. As part of the 2012 JOBS Act, President Obama signed legislation which would allow Private Companies to raise money from ALL Americans through Equity Crowdfunding. Since 1919 only accredited investors, the wealthiest 2% of Americans, could invest in Private companies. This legislation known as Reg CF became active in 2016, and since then many Equity Crowdfunding sites have appeared to accredited and non-accredited investors a central place to look for and invest in Alternative Investments. Republic being one of the most popular sites I've found so far in this space for non-accredited investors. I’ll do a full review of Republic, as well as other equity crowdfunding sites in the future. Since I know most of my viewers won't fall into the wealthiest 2% of Americans, including myself, I likely won't ever discuss any of the options available to accredited investors only. I will only discuss sites which allow non-accredited investors to invest in alternative investments and startups.
Interested in owning a football team? Or maybe there are other startups like restaurants, games, real estate, and more that you're interested in? Use my Republic link to sign up and select one of the FCF Teams to join, or look into other startups on the platform. My team, Team Beasts already reached its limit on Republic, but the other 3 teams are still available as of this post. Each team had a maximum investment of $265K on Republic, and the other 3 teams were about half way to their maximum last I checked. I'll have links directly to all 4 teams available in the reference section below.
The season has already started, but you don't have to be an owner in order to participate in the league. You can watch and call plays even without being an Owner, becoming an owner just gives you additional privileges. If you would like to watch the games or call plays, I'll have a link directly to the FCF League and Twitch Channel so you can watch the games. Games are played on Saturday's and the draft is every Wednesday. I'll have all of these links available in the reference section at the bottom of this page if you would like more information.
Let us know what you think, not only about the league, but also about Alternative Investing. Do you currently have any assets allocated to alternative investments, whether that's Digital Currencies, Gold, Silver, Real Estate, others? Ever used Republic or a similar website? Let us know down below.
Robinhood is in hot water with its customers after recently stopping trading in GameStop, as well as other stocks many people in the reddit forum Wall Street Bets had their eyes on. Many are now looking for Robinhood Alternatives, and even started the hashtag #DeleteRobinhood. I've even personally noticed an uptick in the views of my Investing Tutorial videos for other investment apps. There are also Apps who are moving away from the Payment for Order Flow model, and/or providing account transfer bonuses, in order to appeal to those who may be disgruntled.
I'll give you a list of brokerage accounts which can provide you with many of the same features as Robinhood. So first I'll talk about what are the main features that attract people to Robinhood, and what other brokerage accounts can offer you some of the same features.
User Friendly Mobile App
One of the main things that attract users to Robinhood is the easy of use, or user friendliness of the app. Now I would say that what one person considers user friendly will vary, so almost every app in this video is an app that I would personally consider user friendly. That leaves 5 specific features that I want to focus on for this list of alternatives.
1) Free Trading
2) Fractional Shares
3) Automated Share Purchases
4) Options Trading
These are 5 features Robinhood offers which I believe make it a very attractive app, whether you are a new or seasoned investor. Here are the apps you may want to consider which provide some of these same features.
This is not a head to head ranking of which app is the best investment app, I will start off with the apps that provide at least 2 of the 5 features mentioned above, increasing the number of matching features as we go along.
Matches 2 of 5 Features
Free Trading: Yes
Fractional Shares: Yes
Automated Share Purchases: No
Options Trading: No
Public Investing App matches 2 of 5 features Robinhood has to offer. Free trading and Fractional Shares. You can buy fractional shares for as little as $1. Automated purchases, options trading, and cryptocurrencies are currently not available. Many brokerages use the Payment for Order Flow (PFOF) model as a way to still get paid without charging their users for each trade they make. With all the hoopla surrounding Robinhood and their perceived conflicts of interest PFOF style for processing trades, Public decided to stop PFOF execution, and instead gives you the option to tip Public each time you make a trade. Also if you transfer your account from another brokerage, Public will cover any fees your old brokerage charges for the transfer. When signing up for Public you will receive a free slice of stock worth up to $15, and you'll have 9 different companies to select. Use my referral link below to get your free slice!
Free Trading: Yes
Fractional Shares: No
Automated Share Purchases: No
Options Trading: Yes
Dough offers 2 of 5 features Robinhood has to offer. Free Trading and Options Trading. Currently Dough does not offer fractional shares, automated share purchases, or the ability to purchase cryptocurrency. But once you include their podcasts and educational videos to teach you how to invest and trade options, this seems like an app new investors can really grow with, and I think this will end up being one of my favorite apps as they grow. This is a new app to me, but one of the main reasons I included Dough is because they have a team of former TD Ameritrade employees who worked on the Think or Swim app. Think or Swim was the first trading apps I ever used, and while I am new to the Dough app, so far I like what they have to offer. I will do a review of the Dough App in the near future, but if you would like to receive a free share of stock for signing up, use my referral link. Receive a 2nd free share after a minimum $100 deposit. In order to trade options, you will need a minimum of $250 in your account.
Matches 3 of 5 Features
Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade
Free Trading: Yes
Fractional Shares: Yes*
Automated Share Purchases: No
Options Trading: Yes
Speaking of TD Ameritrade, they recently merged with Charles Schwab which matches 3 of 5 features Robinhood has to offer. Free Trading, Fractional Shares, and Options trading. You can buy fractional shares in any S&P 500 company for as little as $5. In fact you can buy up to 30 different companies in one transaction using this feature, which they call Stock Slices. Schwab does not currently allow recurring share purchases or the ability to purchase cryptocurrency. Schwab recently acquired TD Ameritrade, which does not currently allow fractional share purchases, but once they are fully merged you may have the same abilities at that time via your TD Account. Deposit at least $1K into your account using my referral link, and receive a $100 Bonus Award, up to a $500 bonus for higher deposits.
Free Trading: Yes
Fractional Shares: Yes
Automated Share Purchases: No
Options Trading: Yes
Interactive Brokers offers 3 of 5 features Robinhood has to offer. Free trading, fractional share purchases, and Options trading. Fractional shares can be purchased with as little as $1. Currently Interactive Brokers does not offer automated share purchases, or the ability to purchase cryptocurrency. Of all the apps mentioned in this video, Interactive Brokers it is probably the least user friendly, but provides many features that make it popular amongst day traders, as well as people who want to short stock. They provide some of the lowest margin loan rates of any broker I've seen as well. If you want something more advanced this may be the app for you, but if you want a simpler app to use keep scrolling!
Free Trading: Yes
Fractional Shares: No
Automated Share Purchases: No
Options Trading: Yes
Webull matches 3 out of the top 5 features Robinhood has to offer. Free trading, Options Trading, and Cryptocurrency. If you're more of an active trader with Robinhood, then this would be a great alternative for you. Unfortunately you don't have the ability to automate your investments, and you can't buy fractional shares. Also Webull gives you at least 2 free shares of stock once you open an account and deposit at least $100 using my referral link. This is twice as many shares as Robinhood, who only offers 1 free share. Out of all of the investment apps mentioned, Webull is usually the app most newer investors gravitate to outside of Robinhood.
Free Trading: Yes
Fractional Shares: Yes
Automated Share Purchases: Yes
Options Trading: No
M1 Finance matches 3 out of the top 5 features Robinhood has to offer. Free Trading, Fractional Shares, and Automated Share Purchases. Fractional shares can be purchased with as little as $1 per stock, with a minimum of $25 per trade for automated investments, on up to as many as 100 stocks at one time. If you're more of a passive, set it and forget it, dollar cost averaging, longterm investor, then this is the right app for you. There are no advanced features like Options trading or the ability to purchase Cryptocurrency, and you have at most 2 opportunities to buy or sell your stock throughout the day if you sign up for M1 Plus, but with their free account you have one opportunity each day. This is not the option for you if you want to be more of an active day trader. M1 Finance currently provides an account transfer bonus of up to $3500 if you were to transfer funds from any brokerage account. Checkout my most recent M1 Plus Review video for more details. Or deposit at least $100 in a traditional brokerage account, or $500 in a Roth or Traditional IRA within 30 days of signing up, and receive a $30 bonus when using my referral link.
Matches 4 of 5 Features
Free Trading: Yes
Fractional Shares: Yes
Automated Share Purchases: Yes
Options Trading: No
Cash App matches 4 of 5 features Robinhood has to offer. Free trading, Fractional Shares, Automated Share Purchases, and Cryptocurrencies. Currently Cash App does not offer Options trading. You can buy fractional shares for as little as $1 per stock, or you can setup automated investments with as little as $10 per stock. If you don't already use Cash App, you can receive $5 just for signing up for Cash App whether you use it to invest or just to transfer money to and from friends or family. Use code CNNZZKH or click my referral link to open your account today.
Free Trading: Yes
Fractional Shares: Yes
Automated Share Purchases: Yes*
Options Trading: Yes
Fidelity offers 4 of 5 features Robinhood has to offer. Free Trading, Fractional Shares, Automated Share Purchases, and Options Trading. You can buy as little as $1 in any stock or ETF available within Fidelity. For the Automated Share purchase option, there are a limited set of funds which you can invest on a recurring schedule. This includes Fidelity's own Zero Fee index funds. Fidelity is one of the largest providers of 401K accounts, so many of you may already have at least 1 Fidelity account already. Checkout my review of the Fidelity HSA, which also has all of the same features for a Health Savings Account!
Free Trading: Yes
Fractional Shares: Yes
Automated Share Purchases: Yes
Options Trading: No
SoFi invest matches 4 of 5 features Robinhood has to offer. Free Trading, Fractional Share Purchases, Automated Share Purchases, and Cryptocurrencies. You can buy fractional shares for as little as $1. Currently SoFi does not provide the ability to trade Options. When signing up for SoFi, if you fund your account with at least $1K you will receive $50 worth of free stock using my referral link. They are also offering a $25 bonus, up to $2500 bonus for account transfers.
As you can see, there are no apps that can actually replace all of the features Robinhood which have made them one of the most popular apps amongst younger investors. However not everyone is using all of the features Robinhood has to offer, so one of these alternatives might be the right one for you if that is the case. Keeping Robinhood is also an option, even if it is not your main investment account. I believe you should have more than one investment account, just like you should have more than one checking and/or savings account. Work with the company that allows you to get the most out of the features you use. Having more features isn't as important as getting the most use out of the features you will use.
What do you think about my list? Was there an app or brokerage you thought I should have mentioned that I did not? Let us know in the comments below.
Want to know how you can turn $25 Into $10,000,000 or a Tesla Model 3? While also keeping your $25? Checkout the Yotta Savings Account! Yotta Savings is a new High Yield Savings Account which takes a well known approach to convincing people to part ways with their money...the lottery! But this is so much better than an actual lottery, because you don't lose your money if you don't win! Here's how it works...For every $25 deposited into your Yotta Savings account, you will receive 1 ticket into a weekly jackpot for the chance to win $10 Million! Yes that's right, for $25 you can get a chance at $10 Million dollars. But before I break down how to win, and what the odds are, I want to reiterate that this is actually a savings account, and even without the lottery aspects...it's a pretty good one considering the super low interest rates at the moment. I think Yotta is banking on the fact that many people would rather have their savings with Yotta, even at the current rates, vs taking a risk in the stock market or sitting their money in another account with low interest...oh and of course a chance to win $10Million Dollars!
High Yield Savings Account
The Yotta High Yield Savings Account currently provides a guaranteed .20% interest rate on any cash in your savings account. Oh wait, technically it is not an "interest rate", they refer to it as a Savings Bonus. It does however still function in the same way as you receive your bonus on the first of every month, based on your average daily Yotta balance. So if you don't already have a savings account earning at least .20% interest, then you already have an incentive to try out the Yotta Savings Account. You will earn $2 per year in bonus money for every $1000 you save, in addition to 40 tickets for the weekly drawings based on 1 ticket per $25. That's 40 chances for you to win the weekly $10M jackpot!
Oh wait...it's not really $10M, sorry to say! I took a look at the fine print, and it's actually a $5.8M lump sum payment, which is equal to the current present cash value of a $10M 40 year annuity. If you've ever played the lotto, this is similar to the option you have to choose between a lump sum payment vs taking the money as monthly payments over time. While this is misleading since they advertise the $10M as the jackpot, it is exactly the same as how most lotteries work in the US.
So You're Saying There's a Chance?
Now to talk about the odds of winning, and the smaller prizes outside of the $10M Grand Prize. With Yotta you have a set of 6 Numbers plus a Yotta Ball. This is similar to the Powerball Lottery structure, which has 5 balls plus the Powerball. Powerball has a minimum $20Million jackpot which increases as the jackpot is missed over and over again. In order to win any prize, at minimum, you would need to either get the Yotta Ball number correct, or 3 of the non-Yotta Ball numbers correct. The Yotta Ball will earn you 10 cents per ticket, and 3 of 6 non-Yotta balls will earn you 25 cents per ticket. As you can see on the graph here there are possible cash prizes of 1K $1.5K and $5K. And if you happen to get all of the 6 non-Yotta ball numbers, you could win a Tesla Model 3!
Now looking at the Prize list, you see that some of the prizes say per ticket, and others do not. For the prizes that do not say per ticket, if more than one Yotta Bank member wins the same prize in a given week, that prize is split between all of the winners of that prize tier. Well what if 4 people get 6 non-Yotta balls right? Well I guess you'll be sharing a Tesla Model 3, and I’m driving! No, just kidding, the 4 of you will just split the value of a Tesla Model 3 which is currently $37,990. If you are the only winner of that prize, you can choose to receive cash or a Model 3.
Not a New Concept
This actually is not a new concept. Currently in the UK there's a program called Premium Bond, and it is a lottery bond which has been running since 1956. There's a link on Yotta's website that takes you to the Premium Bond Wikipedia page if you'd like to read more about it.
You can turn pretty much anything into a game, and it will drive more usage just because people like to win, and like to see others win! So if you want to win, using your mobile device click my referral link in the description below. My referral code is AJMOBILEMONEY, and this will get you 100 tickets into the weekly drawings, in addition to 1 ticket for every $25 you deposit into the account.
I mean this is literally a no lose Lottery! In the first week, with just a single $25 deposit and the bonus signup tickets, I was able to win 15cents by getting the Yotta Ball plus one additional number. That’s a .60% return which is already better than the “Savings Bonus rate”, as well as 30X higher than the national rates for Savings Accounts. In the 2nd week, with 2 balls left to go I already have 25 cents in winnings, so it may be slightly higher once I post this blog post. I'll add my total winnings into the post once I edit. Let us know in the comments below if you win anything, and remember to use Code AJMOBILEMONEY!
The Slide App is made by the same company as the Raise app, used for buying and selling used or unwanted gift cards. So it’s not surprising that the Slide app takes a gift card purchasing approach with its Cash Back App! Similar to another cash back app I recently reviewed, the Fluz App, the Slide app works by purchasing gift cards within the app, then using those gift cards to pay for your purchases. With many cash back apps the amount of cash back from one store to the next will vary. So if you use a lot of different cash back apps, you may have to bounce from one to the next to see which app will give you the greater amount of cash back. Now if you use the Slide app, you know exactly how much cash back you will receive, so you just need to know which stores are available within the app! Well Slide has over 150 stores available to shop from within their app, and there’s no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn!
Also, if you choose to add funds to your Slide balance in advance, meaning just having a balance sitting in the app, you can earn an extra 1% in cash back! This seems like it could be a waste at first glance, considering it would be better to just make the gift card purchase at the time you are actually shopping. But have you seen interest rates at the moment?!?!? There are many banks that don’t even provide 1% in interest at the moment, and by adding cash to your Slide balance, you are essentially earning 1% on the cash you have sitting in this account, in addition to the 4% cash back you will receive for your actual store purchase! Didn’t think about that, did you? But don’t fully treat it like a savings account, you really just want to put money in here that you are planning to shop with anyway. So if you have a set budget for eating out or shopping for the month, and the stores you typically use are available in the Slide app, this would also be a great way to stick to your budget. Almost like a cash envelope system that earns you cash back!
How to Use Cash Back
Slide has one of the lowest thresholds for withdrawing your cash back at just $15. Since all transactions have a 4% cash back rate, then you know exactly how much you’ll need to spend in order to earn enough cash back for withdrawal, $375. Many people spend that much each month between online shopping, eating out, and grocery shopping.
Once you spend $375 in total, reaching your $15 cash back minimum threshold, you can use Venmo or PayPal to withdraw your cash.
Another option would be to use your cash back balance for future purchases, essentially giving you $4 worth of free purchases for every $100 you spend.
In the spirit of the raise app, I wanted to add an old gift card I received as a rebate, and use that to add to my Slide slide balance. This earns me a total of 5% cash back since I’m adding it to my balance, vs going direct to a gift card purchase for a particular store. This old gift card had a balance of $12.82 left on it, so I couldn’t actually use it here. When adding a balance to your account, you have to add a minimum of $25 up to $1000 to your Slide Cash Balance. However when choosing individual stores for the regular 4% cash back, each store will have their own minimum gift card purchase amount. Most are either $5 or $10 as the minimum purchase amount.
Cash Back Stacking Strategy
Since Slide requires you to purchase gift cards for your purchases, this limits your cash back stacking options. But have no fear, AJ Mobile Money is here to help you navigate the cash back stacking possibilities.
With every cash back stacking strategy, the 1st and most important factor is starting with a Cash Back Credit Card. Since the Slide App won’t allow you to qualify for any special categories for restaurants, travel, etc..then you want to use the credit card with the highest amount of General Cash Back. For me that’s the Citi Double Cash Card. With the Citi Double Cash Card I earn 2% Cash Back in ALL purchases, no matter the category! This means that on EVERY purchase I make using Slide, I can earn a minimum of 6% and a maximum of 7% cash back!
The Fluz Cash Back App is taking a Network Marketing / Multi Level Marketing (MLM) angle to earning cash back. Typically I'm not a fan of anything that even mentions MLM or Network Marketing, but I do love cash back apps, so I decided to check it out. At first glance, it's really just a Cash Back App, so I'll start there to show you how to earn Cash Back using Fluz. If you're interested in the Network Marketing portion, be sure to checkout my video overview of the Network Marketing opportunity to see how you can earn cash back from people you invite, plus the people that they invite, as well as bonuses once you reach certain levels, thus the Multi Level component of the app.
How Does It Work?
Do you buy Gas at Shell? If so, you're going to want to watch the above video until the very end...or just keep reading down below! In this video I will show you how you can maximize the amount of cash back you receive whenever you buy Gas at Shell with my Cash Back Stacking Strategy.
Level 1: Credit Card: 2.5% to 6.5%
With every cash back strategy you need to start with a Cash Back Credit Card. My preferred credit card for buying gas is the Costco Visa Card, because you get 4% Cash Back at ALL gas stations...not just at Costco! This is a great all around credit card, but I'll spare you those details here. Checkout my review of their card at a later time.
There are many credit cards you could use at Shell, but none that Shell themselves would prefer for you to use other than their own Shell Fuel Rewards Credit Card. I don't personally have this card, but it does provide a few great benefits which may be worth having if you ONLY use Shell Gas. Shell has two versions of their credit card.
The first is the Shell Rewards Fuel Card. This card can only be used at Shell, so it does not help with this stacking strategy, you would need to select the Shell Fuel Rewards Mastercard by Citi. The Mastercard version of their card allows you to use it wherever Mastercard is accepted, but also allows you to connect it with the Apps we will use later in this stacking strategy. So what are the benefits?
As a Shell Fuel Rewards member you save 5 cents per gallon at the pump, but when you use the Shell Fuel Rewards Mastercard to pay for gas, this bumps up your savings to 10 cents per gallon. There is a limit of 20 gallons per fill up for this discount. When you first sign up for either of the cards, you get 30 cents off per gallon for your first 5 gas purchases. As of this post, gas in my area is just above $2 per gallon. When considering the first 5 purchases that's about a 15% discount per gallon on 5 fill ups. On an ongoing basis using the 10 cent discount, that's continuous 5% discount! Of course gas can increase or decrease as supply and demand changes, but as long as gas stays in the range of $1.50 to $4.00 you will get between 2.5% to 6.5% cash back every time you fill up your tank.
If you tend to use different gas stations every now and then, then getting a credit card with another company, like Costco, Citi, AMEX or others would be a better deal since you would have the additional benefits that their card would provide in other categories like Restaurants, Travel, or just overall general cash back at a higher rate. The Mastercard version of Shell's credit card does provide additional rebates of 10% at Shell for non-fuel purchases, 2% on Dining and Groceries, and 1% on all other purchases. Those rebates are applied as statement credits on your credit card, and work essentially the same as any other cash back credit card. The only difference is you can't actually get the cash returned to your own bank account. This is why a regular cash back credit card would provide additional benefits in the flexibility of how you can use the cash back.
Now that you know how to either earn a discount or receive cash back, let's go on to level 2!
Level 2: Get Upside: .50% to 7.5% Cash Back
Depending on your selection in Level 1, you may or may not have the opportunity to earn cash back with GetUpside. If you use Shell Fuel Rewards to get a discount on your gas, whether you are using their credit card to get 10 cents off per gallon or just getting the 5 cents per gallon discount with a non-Shell credit card, then you can't use GetUpside. I repeat...GetUpside and Shell Rewards do not work together! So my suggestion would be to determine which option is best for you, but for me personally, using my Costco cash back credit card is the best option for allowing me to stack my rewards, including working with the GetUpside App!
With GetUpside you can earn cash back at Shell, as well as other gas stations, by linking your credit card to their app, selecting a participating gas station within their app, and earning cash back either automatically or by uploading your receipt shortly after your purchase. Cash back can range between 1 cent to as high as 15 cents or more on average from what I've seen. The main difference between Shell Fuel Rewards and GetUpside is that Shell provides a discount per gallon, while GetUpside gives you cash back. Some may prefer to get the discount because you pay less up front, vs paying 5 cents more to get maybe 15 cents per gallon back in cash. I would say choose which ever option works best for you! In most cases, depending on how much cash back is offered at your local Shell gas station, GetUpside ends up being the better deal in the long run. The only downside is you have to wait for your cash back to build up to at least $25 before you can withdraw it from GetUpside. So there's the immediate gratification of the Shell Rewards discount, or the delayed gratification of more cash back via GetUpside...choose wisely! On average in my area, GetUpside allows me to earn between .50% to 7.5% cash back on each fill up. In addition to this, anyone that joins GetUpside using my referral link will receive a 15 cent per gallon bonus on their first fill up.!
Level 3: Bits of Stock App: .50%
The 3rd level is the Bits of Stock App, where you can earn cash back which is then used to purchase shares of stock. Essentially a Stock Back App! The Bits of Stock App allows you to select 15 companies in any category. So if you don't only buy gas from Shell, you could also select Exxon, Chevron, or BP to earn your stock back bonus! Each time you make a gas purchase using a linked Credit Card, you will earn .50% cash back on each purchase which is then used to purchase the stock of Shell. Let's say that the average gas tank size is 15 gallons, and gas is currently $2 per gallon. Your $30 fill up would earn you 15 cents worth of Shell stock. If you need to fill up every week for that same amount, this means that over the course of a year you could earn about $7.80 in Shell stock. That's about 1/4 of a share based on Shell's current stock price. Shell stock also pays a dividend, whose yield is around 4% paying $1.28 per share every quarter. So in addition to the immediate bonus of receiving Stock Back from Shell, Shell's stock will also pay you a dividend for owning their stock, and you have the potential upside of Shell's stock value increasing over time. All you needed to do was purchase gas as you normally would! If you would like to add Bits of Stock to your cash back stacking strategy, use my referral link!
Level 4: Bumped App - .50%
On the 4th level of this cash back stacking strategy is the Bumped App. Just like with the Bits of Stock App, with the Bumped app you receive cash back on all of your purchases which is used to purchase Stock. The main difference between the Bumped app and the Bits of Stock app is that the Bumped app only allows you to select 1 company per category, and Gas is one of the available categories. When you select Shell as your cash back option for gas, you can earn .50% stock back. With the Bumped app, instead of receiving Shell stock, the stock you receive is the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund ETF (VTI). If you've watched any of my investing videos in the past, then you know this is one of the ETF's I personally choose for passive stock investing. I have an IRA with M1 Finance which I post monthly updates on my Instagram page, check me out at AJMobileMoney on Instagram. So personally I do like being able to choose VTI as my stock back option, and there are other companies which give you this option as well within the Bumped App.
All together, once you consider the 4 levels of cash back you can earn buying gas at Shell, you're looking at a minimum of 4% up to as high as 15% back in combined cash/stock back using this strategy. Since I get an automatic 4% cash back with my Costco Credit card, I personally average around 8.5% total cash/stock back on every gas purchase at Shell.
If you like this strategy, be sure to checkout my Cash Back Stacking Strategy Playlist for more places you can earn significant cash back just like this! Also look out for more stores which I'll add to this list so you can maximize rewards on every purchase you make!
Motif Investing is closing down as of May 20th 2020. If you choose to do nothing, your accounts will transfer to Folio Investing, and this process will be automatic. However, you do have the choice to choose a new brokerage account for yourself instead. As a former Motif user myself, here's why I think M1 Finance would be the best choice for your next brokerage account. Let's discuss some of the Similarities and Differences between Motif Investing and M1Finance.
Motifs vs Pies:
With Motif and M1 Finance you can select pre-made portfolios, combine pre-made portfolios to create a hybrid, or create your own portfolio! Motif Investing called these Motifs, while M1 Finance calls them Pies. This allows you to select multiple companies you would like to invest in, and purchase them all in one transaction. This was a game changer when Motif Investing first offered this to the public, and I jumped at the opportunity! This essentially allowed you to create your own Index Fund or Mutual Fund like portfolio. I used Motif Investing for over 5 years, up until I started using M1 Finance last year.
The great thing about both platforms is the ability to deposit a small amount of money, while being able to buy into the companies you believe in. No matter the price! This means that for as little as just $1 you could buy into high priced stocks like the MAGA Stocks: Microsoft (over $200), Amazon (over $2K), Google (over $2K), Apple (over $200) per share.
Lower Minimum Buys:
With Motif in order to add more money to your motif, you needed to either have the paid subscription to automate it, and you needed to buy-in with a minimum of $250 each time. With M1 Finance you only need $100 to open your account or $500 for a Traditional or Roth IRA, however once your pie is rolling, you only need a minimum of $10 to add money to your pie, and $1 per individual stock or ETF within your portfolio.
No bonuses for other users buying your pie, other than the current referral bonus available at the time if a new user joins based on you sharing your pie with them. This is one feature I liked about Motif, as you could make several portfolios, and whenever other users bought into your portfolio you would receive commission. It was a small amount at just $1-$2, but something that you could continue to receive even after their initial purchase if they continued to put money into it.
Rebalancing and Reinvesting Dividends:
Motif didn't offer rebalancing free of charge. All trades within M1 are free, whether you are buying, selling, or rebalancing. You have the ability to reinvest your dividends, as long as your cash balance is above $10. You can setup automatic reinvestment of your dividends into your whole pie, not just back into the stock that paid the dividend, once your total cash balance is over $10. You can set a higher cash balance threshold if you choose.
M1 Finance is essentially Motif, without the trading fees! Although you can upgrade to the M1 Plus account if you would like an additional afternoon trading window to make your purchases. Otherwise, your trades can only go through once per day if you put in your order before 10am EST.
Why M1 Finance?
Pretty Much the Same App, with less limitations, more automation, and no fees! Instead of a maximum of 30 stocks or ETFs in a Motif, you have a maximum of 100 stocks or ETFs in a your M1 Pie. Both have the option to automate your investing, add money to your fund in order to rebalance back to the levels you set for each stock or group of stocks, and allow you to purchase fractional shares!
Balance Transfer Bonus:
If you transfer a balance of greater than $100K, you will receive at least a $250 Bonus, up to a $2,500 Bonus. This bonus lasts through the month of May.
Folio Investing vs M1 Finance
The alternative you have to selecting your own new brokerage is to go with the new owner of Motif accounts if you take no action before May 20th, and that is Folio Investing. Is M1 Finance a better platform than Folio Investing? Well one of the major differences is that Folio Investing will charge you fees, when M1 Finance is essentially the same as Motif and Folio Investing but without the fees? What does FolioFirst have to offer?
Similar to Motif and M1 Finance, with their Basic Plan you can invest in groups of stocks and ETFs called Folios. Just like M1 Finance, Folio Investing also allows you to invest in up to 100 total stocks or ETFs within your Folio. There are 160+ ready to go folios that you can choose from. However Folio Investing charges $15 per quarter, and charges $4 per trade.
With the unlimited plan, you can make up to 2000 "commission free trades", so you don't have the individual $4 charge per trade. However you are charged $29 per month instead of $15 per quarter for this plan. Or you can save slightly by paying $290 for the annual plan, saving you 2 months worth of fees. However, that's still almost $300 per year in fees, compared to ZERO fees with M1 Finance.
The one feature Folio Investing has, is the ability to make market, limit, stop, and stop-limit orders...for a fee of course! If you have the basic plan it is $10 per trade or $3 per trade with the Unlimited Plan. With M1 Finance you have only 1 trade window per day with it's free basic account, or 2 windows if you choose to upgrade to their M1 Plus Account. The M1 Plus upgrade has a few other features as well, like a high yield cash management account, and the ability to borrow against your investments. These are not features I personally use, but may be of interest to others.
So what's keeping you from switching to M1 Finance? It's essentially a free version of Motif with less limitations and no fees! If you're a passive investor, and like to automate your investments into the individual stocks or ETFs you are interested in over a the long haul, then this is the perfect time to switch to M1 Finance!
I have a referral link available in the description and comment section below, so let us know what you think in the comments below. If you're a current or former Motif user, let us know what decision you made in the comments below. Did you stick with Folio Investing? Did you switch to M1 Finance? Or did you choose an alternate route, and if so what brokerage did you choose?
Recently I was asked how I was able to remember all of the passwords for all of the accounts I have. As members of the Mobile Money Nation know, I review a lot of different financial accounts, most of which I actually open accounts with to test out their app first hand. Trying to create different passwords for each site, that are difficult to guess, yet easy to remember, would be nearly impossible if I relied just on my memory.
Saving my passwords in a notebook, sticky note, or in a note app on my phone wouldn't cut it either. That's a potential security and privacy nightmare. These could be easily stolen by someone eventually, giving access to all of my accounts. With all of these financial accounts, email addresses, and the 10s to 100s of apps that many of us use on our smartphones, a password manager is essential!
Create Your "Last" Pass Word!
I started using LastPass about 5 years ago. With several email addresses, financial accounts for myself as well as my family, and a parent who has trouble remembering their passwords as well, it was getting overwhelming to try to remember every password without using the same password over and over again.
With LastPass all you have to remember is ONE PASSWORD. That is the password you use to login to the LastPass website, application on iOS & Android, or when using the extension in Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Safari. Once you're logged in you can access passwords for all of the websites and applications you use. You can even leave notes for yourself in the Secure Notes vault. Use this if you need to save any special instructions related to a particular website, credit card numbers, wifi passwords, or even for contingency planning if needed. Pretty much anything that you used to use a sticky note for, this is the area where you can save this information.
What's even better is you can use LastPass to create stronger passwords. Since you won't necessarily need to remember your passwords anymore, you can use their randomizer to make longer harder to guess passwords, that meet all of the criteria of most websites these days...as far as the length, special characters, and number requirements of the password you create.
LastPass Premium Account is just $3 per month, billed annually for $36 a year. This allows you to store an unlimited amount of passwords for every account you have. Think about all of the email accounts, websites, apple ID, Android logins, social media accounts, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, work logins, doctor or other health account logins, retirement accounts, your kids or parents accounts, your spouses accounts, grandparents, and whatever or whoever else I may be forgetting. In fact take a quick scroll through to see all of the apps installed on your smartphone. That's a lot of passwords to remember! And you can't just make your password "PASSWORD" and expect to survive in this almost totally digital economy with hackers working 24/7 to find an easy target.
Tired of typing your name, shipping address, billing address, phone number, email, and other information into fields online whenever you're signing up for a new service, making an order, or setting up a new account? You can safely save default information that you'll use over and over again into the form fill section of LastPass. This can include credit card information if you don't like to setup new accounts for online retailers every time you shop online, or fill out a survey. Just setup your form fill, and you're just a few clicks away from filling in all of this information instantly. If you're an online shopaholic...maybe this is a bad idea! You may not want to be able to get to checkout that fast!
The Security Challenge section is an area that can help you with increasing the security of all of the accounts that are saved in LastPass. LastPass can analyze the complexity of individual passwords, as well as let you know if you've used the same password too many times across multiple accounts. If someone were to figure out your password for one account, they would definitely try that same password to try and login into any other accounts they're able to find. With Security breaches happening essentially all the time now in this digital world, your password could have been stolen from one of the many websites you log into, and then sold on the dark web. Just search on your favorite search engine for the phrase "recent security (or data or privacy) breaches" and you'll certainly find one related to an account you use! PrivacyRights.org is also an excellent source to keep up with recent breaches.
A great feature with the Security Challenge section is that if you do have a lot of overlap, or a lot of passwords that are easy for hackers to guess, you can run the Security Challenge and receive a score on how susceptible you may be based on your password choices. Then you can change the passwords to all, or most of your online accounts in one click! You will get a list of recommended changes for: Compromised Sites, Weak Passwords, Reused Passwords, and Old Passwords which have not been changed in a long time. With some of the websites you will have the option to select a checkbox for those sites, and let LastPass change the passwords on all of those site in one click by running a script it uses for those sites. If LastPass has any issues changing the passwords, or if the sites show up in the list of sites they're unable to automatically change, just click on the "launch site" button. This will allow you to go to each site manually and change the password. Now that your'e using LastPass, I would recommend just using the random password generator since you won't ever need to remember anything other than the password to log into the LastPass app and Browser Extension.
LastPass Family Plan makes it easy for families to share passwords, either on a permanent basis, or emergency basis. With the Family Plan, you can have up to 6 Total users all for just $4 a month! Each user has their own login to LastPass, so you don't have to share your main login password with each family member if you were all using the same account in the past. One of the issues you would run into if you were to use the regular premium account with multiple people, on multiple devices, is that you may be asked to login into LastPass again. But also with multiple people needing to remember the same password, it's much easier to just have a different password for each individual user. You as one user will already have multiple devices you have to account for, so don't add more by sharing one Premium Account! For desktop/laptop use, LastPass essentially gives a specific device in a specific location access for 30 days. You can name the device as well, that way if you need to check login history to ensure no one has access to your account that shouldn't, you will be able know because you may be asked to verify your login via email. You can also setup the LastPass Authenticator app, or a 3rd party App like the Google Authenticator, to use as two factor authentication (2FA). I personally use the Google Authenticator app, but this is more because I was already using this app for access to other websites and applications prior to starting the use of LastPass. Using the LastPass Authenticator is much more efficient, because it will automatically recognize the LastPass Authenticator which can be setup for push notifications. With Google Authenticator you'll need to open this app separately, then enter the current code into your browser or phone in order to authenticate your login session. You won't need to do this on a regular basis, only if you log into LastPass from an unrecognized device or location.
In addition to having access for 5 additional users for just $1 more than the premium account, the main feature that stands out for the Family Plan is Sharing passwords. If there are certain logins that you want all, or just some, of your family to have access to, you can setup Sharing Folders for those accounts. Passwords related to your finances, taxes, medical, insurance, or even just entertainment accounts can be shared with the whole family or just certain members. You can even setup a folder for your kids email or social media accounts. Or maybe a folder for that forgetful family member, or non-tech savvy family member you're always helping with online activities. It's definitely worth the extra $1 per month to get all of your family's password lives in order, instead of keeping all of this information in your head or on a sheet of paper that others can easily access.
So for any of you out there who need help keeping up with your passwords, or want an easy to use tool to keep your passwords safe, and make them more difficult for snoopers to guess and use, checkout LastPass Premium or LastPass Family. It's been a really useful product for me. If you have any questions about the product, my experience, or you would like to share your experience, be sure to let me know in the comments below!
If you are a member of a warehouse club, you know the major benefits of its membership and the savings you can receive by shopping in bulk. But did you also know you can save more, and get additional cash back by implementing a cash back stacking strategy? Well here's my favorite cash back stacking strategy for Sam's Club. Now this is a 5 level Cash Back Stacking Strategy with the potential to save more with coupons as well! With every cash back strategy it begins with a Cash Back Credit Card!
Level 1 - Credit Card
For Level One...The Cash Back Credit Card I typically use at Sam's Club, is my Citi Double Cash Card. With the Citi Double Cash card I receive 2% Cash Back no matter where I shop, and at all times! There are no special categories or times of the year you need to use the card in order to get 2% cash back. You get an automatic 1% cash back when you purchase, then an additional 1% cash back when you payoff your credit card bill, essentially giving 2% cash back! The other card that I use, which I am only able to maximize 3 months out of the year is the Discover IT credit card. With this card I receive 5% cash back when shopping at any Club/Warehouse stores that accept Discover. Unlike Costco which now only accepts VISA cards, Sam's club accepts Discover/VISA/Mastercard and I believe AMEX as well. So 3 month's out of the year with the Discover IT card, and also the Chase Freedom card has a similar quarterly option, you can receive 5% cash back at Sam's Club!
Level 2 - Dosh App
For level 2 I receive cash back using the Dosh App. With the Dosh App I receive 5% cash back instantly whenever I shop in-store at Sam's Club! All you have to do is link the credit card, or multiple cards that you use, and whenever you swipe your card at a merchant connected with the Dosh App you will receive Cash Back automatically! As far as I can tell, this works with all Sam's clubs, or at least all Sam's clubs in my area participate. Be sure to check within the offers section of the Dosh app and search your zip code to see what stores are available, and where the nearest Sam's club that offers cash back is for you. In addition to in-store cash back, you can receive 3% cash back if you shop online at Sams club, but you have to start your purchase from the Dosh App first in order to receive credit for online Sams club purchases. If you don't already have a Sam's club card, if you already have a card linked to Sam's club and you use it to pay for a new membership when you sign up for Sam's club, you will receive bonus cash back! At the time I paid for my Sams club membership I received $10 cash back from Dosh! Be sure to check the app for their current bonus offer for getting a Sam's club membership, which may be in addition to any bonus offer that Sam's club is offering directly.
Level 3 - Bits of Stock App
The 3rd level of cash back is with the Bits of Stock App! With Bits of Stock you receive .50% cash back which is then used to purchase shares of stock! Since Sam's club is owned by Walmart, you receive Walmart ($WMT) stock as your reward! Although the amount of cash back received is small, if you happen to shop at Sam's club on a regular basis for groceries in addition to almost any home items you may need, and their gas station as well, this can really add up over the long term. And because you are receiving the cash back as bits of Walmart stock, the value of those fractional shares will increase in value as the value of Walmart stock increases. So the true value of that .50% cash back is also the increase of Walmart's stock value over time! Over the past couple of months, even while the rest of the stock market is down substantially, Walmart stock actually increased in value. Sam's Club and Walmart received more business during the coronavirus pandemic due to many restaurants and other non-essential stores being closed. People rushed to stock up on toilet paper, food, and other essentials causing a shortage with certain items, and that shortage caused other shoppers to panic and want to go shopping as well. Over the course of a normal year, if you Sam's club is your main store for buying groceries, medicine, or even electronics, then you may end up spending thousands of dollars per year at Sam's club. For every $1000 you spend at Sam's club, that's $5 worth of stock of Walmart stock you will gain!
Level 4 - Bumped App
For the 4th level, you have another opportunity to receive $5 worth of stock for every $1000 you spend at Sam's club, and that's with the Bumped App. The Bumped app is another Stock Back app which provides .50% cash back which is used to purchase fractional shares of stock! However instead of receiving Walmart stock, you receive fractional shares of the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund, ticker symbol VTI. VTI is one of my favorite total stock market ETFs, in fact it is one of the 4 ETFs I invest in via the Mobile Money Nation Roth IRA. Each month I deposit $100 into my M1 Finance pie, and 40% of that goes into the VTI ETF. Follow me on Instagram if you would like to keep up with the progress of that Roth IRA, and use the referral link below to start your own Roth IRA with M1 Finance!
Level 5 - iBotta App
Now for the 5th level of this cash back stacking strategy, this will take a little more planning and effort. With the first 4 levels everything was automatic. All you had to do was link your Credit Card to the 3 apps in levels 2, 3, and 4, and make sure you use that same credit card when you shop at Sam's Club. But with the iBotta app you will need to select specific items within the app that you will receive cash back for. Now this can be a good or bad thing when you think about it. The good thing is that when you do go shopping at Sam's club, you're a bit more strategic with your purchases in order to ensure you are getting additional Cash Back from iBotta, but you have to remember to select those offers before you actually go shopping. Also, maybe the offers available in the app are not products that you purchase on a regular basis if at all. For instance, I don't buy soda in bulk for personal usage, but there's always an offer for soda and other boxed items or typical foods in an American diet like hot dogs, pizza, beer, etc...And then take into account that you are buying in bulk at Sam's club, so you don't want to buy items that you aren't going to be able to fully consume before they expire. So if you're single, you may not buy a case of blueberries or a 36 pack of eggs, but for a larger family this may not be a problem.
Use the 5 options above to gain cash back on all of your purchases at Sam's Club, and this could add up to a nice chunk of change over the course of a year. This could be used to pay for groceries in the future, payoff debt, or to add more money to your investments.
If you use a platform like M1 Finance which offers free trading and the option to invest tin fractional shares, every time you get at least $10 total cash back you can add this money to your Investment Pie within M1 Finance. Use my referral link below to open your own M1 Finance Account and start investing today! I will also have links to the other apps I mentioned in this video for cash back, so check those out in the description.
What is your favorite Cash Back Stacking Strategy? Be sure to leave a comment below with your favorites, and any apps that you know or think will stack along with these.
Related Videos and Blog Posts:
The iBotta App is a receipt based cash back app, which gives you cash back when you purchase specific items at specific stores, and then upload your receipt to claim the cash back. Usually I prefer using cash back apps which do not require you to upload receipts, but I did want to take some time to review this app since it could be a great way to earn cash back in addition to my favorite automated options as part of a cash back stacking strategy.
Ways to Earn Cash Back
How do you earn cash back with iBotta? iBotta has partnered with several retailers to offer cash back when you upload your receipts to their app. You receive cash back when you purchase specific items offered within the app. Cash back can range from a 10 cents to a few dollars for one item. There are some items you can purchase which end up being free once you claim the cash back within the iBotta App. In my experience these are typically new products, or a new version of a product that companies are trying to sell.
Some of the most popular retailers and grocery stores are available in the app, including: Walmart, Target, Costco, Sam's Club, Kroger, Publix, Aldi's, Whole Foods, and many many more. Click on the name of your retailer of choice, then check for the available cash back offers at each store. Some stores may offer different items than others, but many of the cash back offers are the same for all stores. However also keep in mind that just because the offer is available at the store you choose in the app, this does not mean that your local store necessarily carries the specific item being offered. When I first signed up for iBotta, there was a new Campbell's soup which was offering an over $2 cash back offer, which essentially made the cost of the soup free. However I checked with 3 of the Publix's in my area, and none of them sold the specific flavor of Soup listed in the cash back offer. I did however find it at my local WalMart. It may be possible to check this with the individual stores using their apps, before you actually go shopping in order to know what you will purchase before you get to the store. For those of you who make a list before grocery shopping, include walking through the iBotta app with your normal list creation activities to maximize use of the app.
Lets start with the easiest way to earn cash back, and that's with the "Any Item" item list. This allows you to earn cash back for buying generic everyday items like bananas, apples, cheese, diapers, or whatever is being offered at the time. Typically for the Any Item list iBotta may ask you to watch a short video or take a short survey to activate the Any Item option, and then these cash back options can be used to receive cash back at any of the available stores within the app. No matter the brand of the item, as long as you make a purchase in that category you will be credited for cash back.
For the rest of the items available in the app, you can search by category, or look at the list of What's Hot, New Offers, or Best Value! I like to check the Best Value list first to see where I can maximize on my cash back, then I scroll through the full list of offers within the particular store I am planning to shop at. Once you start to use the app on a regular basis, then you can just look at the New Offers to save yourself some time, as well as the Buy it Again section for items you purchase on a regular basis. This way you don't have to scroll through all of the possible cash back items each time you open the app. This is a huge time saver!
Once you've added all of the offers you would like to purchase at your local store, you can then take a look at the "Your List" section to view all of the cash back offers you have marked within the app for that particular store. If you already have your general shopping list, you can use this as a secondary shopping list to ensure you actually purchase all of the items you are going to receive cash back from when you shop.
Once you've made all of your purchases, all you have to do is go to the "Redeem" section at on the bottom row of the app, select the store, then take a photo of your receipt within the app to upload it and claim your cash back offers. The app should recognize your purchases from the receipt, but if not you will be asked to scan the specific product you purchased for proof of purchase. I have messed up in the past by buying the wrong product, whether it was due to being the wrong size or wrong flavored item. Be sure to double check these specifics before purchasing.
With some retailers there is an automated option to receive credit for your cash back offers! Two stores I have personally used are Publix and Target. With both options you have to already have or create an account with those specific stores, then link that account to the iBotta app. This way when you use those store apps to make purchases, the purchases will also link to iBotta for recognition of your purchases without the need to upload a receipt. I like to use these options when I can, that way I don't have to worry about forgetting to upload my receipts after I get home. Any way I can find to automate things of this nature, I take advantage of to ensure I get every cash back offer I can with the individual stores as well as with iBotta!
Earn More With Bonuses:
In addition to the individual cash back offers, iBotta offers Bonus offers. These bonuses can be related to purchasing multiple of a specific product, having a streak of purchases at a particular store, or reaching a specific dollar amount of cash back offer claims within a particular time period. These help to boost your cash back offers when you use the iBotta app on a consistent basis. You can even join forces with your friends and family you invite to use the iBotta app, and they will be included in your Teamwork section of your Account. As a team you can earn Level 1-4 bonuses.
Categories of stores you can shop at include: Grocery, online shopping, clothing, health & beauty, restaurants, travel, home and auto, entertainment, and much more. You can even Pay with iBotta.
With the Pay with iBotta feature, you can literally use the iBotta app to pay for purchases. The same way you would with Apple Pay, Google Pay, or PayPal. Just check the Pay with iBotta section to see which stores provide automatic cash back when you use the iBotta app to pay. You can sort from alphabetical order or by stores which provide the most cash back. You can also make a list of favorites so you can easily see how much cash back you can earn, or search by category when you're getting ready to make a purchase. Cash back can range from as low as half a percent up to as high as 10%. This is in addition to any cash back you can receive when you use their cash back offers for individual products, so don't forget to upload your receipts to receive the additional cash back.
However there is one downside to using the Pay with iBotta feature, and that is the fact that all purchases are final! You cannot return items and receive it back on your credit card, because technically your payment method is the iBotta App. So if you plan to use this feature, maybe using it for an item you know there is a potential for you to return is not a good idea. You may be able to receive store credit or a gift card at some retailers for items purchased using the Pay with iBotta feature. This return problem does not apply to the normal purchases you make with your actual credit card when you receive cash back from iBotta, just to the Pay with iBotta feature within the app. So if you actually physically swipe your card at the retailer, and just upload your receipt to iBotta for the individual cash back offers, then this rule does not apply.
Make a List, Check It Twice!
Despite all of the great options and ways to use the iBotta app to earn cash back, I don't always fully take advantage of these features. I'm more of a spontaneous shopper when it comes to groceries, and I don't always remember to check the app to activate the individual cash back offers. This is why I prefer the automated cash back apps, where I just receive credit automatically whenever I use my credit card. However if you take the time to check the iBotta App and activate these offers, you can earn a lot of cash back!
Do you use the iBotta App? If not be sure to use a link in this post to get started today! If you already use the app, let us know which store is your favorite, which store you get the most value from in combination with the iBotta app, and which stores you use the Pay with iBotta feature if you use it at all. Pretty much let us know your experience with this app!
AJ Mobile Money
Husband | Father | YouTuber | Former ATLien
Disclosure: Some of the links throughout my site are Affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase or sign up for certain accounts. Affiliate links help to run this site!