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!
Due to all of the talk around gas prices at the moment, I started to think about all of the ways I am maximizing the cash back or discounts I can potentially earn whenever I purchase gas. So I wanted to share those with you!
Gas prices are currently at or near decade lows depending on what area of the country you live in. Due to a gas price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, an over supply of gasoline is being created. Combine that with the fact that people around the world are social distancing, working from home, or not working at all due to the Coronavirus, this is making the issue worse as there's a lot less demand on the purchase of gas due to less driving.
This is why I wanted to talk about my favorite combinations of how I am able to get a discount or increase cash back at the pump, by stacking cash back.
There are a few cash back strategies I use when getting gas. The largest cash back stacking strategy combination when it comes to gas, involves a credit card and three apps. The first level of every cash back strategy you can use should first start with a cash back credit card, and the credit card I use to maximize cash back at the pump is the Costco Credit Card. With Costco I receive 4% Cash Back whenever and wherever I buy gas, not just at Costco!
Level 2 - GetUpside App
The 2nd level is the GetUpside Cashback App. With GetUpside, there are several gas stations including Shell, Exxon Mobile and others which work with GetUpside to provide you with cash back whenever you buy gas. If you're not familiar with GetUpside, I have a video detailing how the app works, but essentially you open the app and use the map to locate your nearest gas stations. Once you've found one near you that offers cash back, you can then select it, and you have a 4 hour window to buy gas and then upload your receipt into the GetUpside App. Now the amount of cashback you can receive will vary each time you check the app, even if you're going to the same gas station. So be sure to check for other gas stations in your area to ensure you are getting the maximum cash back, while also considering the cost per gallon and the station you choose. Getting more cash back is a bad reason to pay more for gas, so ensure that you are getting the best overall value with the lowest total spent on your gas! As an example, at the time of this recording, the Shell gas station nearest me is providing 21cents cash back per gallon, and I also have a bonus .15cents per gallon cash back I received for inviting another user to GetUpside, which brings the price per gallon down to $1.49 theoretically. However the actual price per gallon I pay at the pump is $1.85 per gallon, and I'll receive a total credit of 36cents per gallon in the GetUpside app the next time I pump gas. This would be a total of $5-$6 cash back, as it usually takes 15-17 gallons to fill my tank. Now not including my bonus 15cents per gallon, the 21cents I am seeing in the app at the time of recording is on the high end of what I normally see. This could be as low as 1cent, or as high as 25cents which I've seen in the past even without an invite bonus. If I were to use an average of 15cents cash back per gallon, with gas at $2 per gallon, that would equal out to 7.5% cash back using GetUpside! However with currently low gas prices, and an extra bonus from inviting another user, my cash back percentage is actually higher today at 19.5% per gallon!
Level 3 - Bits of Stock App
In order to go to the 3rd and 4th level, it does take some coordination and decision making on the brand of gas you will consistently shop with. On the first level it didn't matter, because you're getting 4% at any gas station. On the 2nd level there are several gas stations to choose from, but not all gas stations, even from the same company, will give you cash back. And the amount of cash back will vary on a day to day basis. So once you've used the GetUpside app on a regular basis you may find a gas station which is consistently giving a good cash back to price per gallon ratio for you, and you now need to align it to the next app which is the Bits of Stock App! With Bits of Stock, you receive cash back at certain gas stations which are available in the app, and that cash back is used to purchase fractional shares of stock. For me the two gas stations which work out the best for me, as far as aligning with the GetUpside app, are Shell and Exxon Mobile. Every time I buy gas from either Shell or Exxon, I receive .50% cash back on all of my purchases, as long as the credit card I use is linked to their app. In this case, my Costco Credit Card! This is done automatically, and there's no need to upload a receipt or complete the transaction within a certain time period. Just swipe and receive the credit within a few days in the app. This cash back then turns into Shell or Exxon Mobile stock. Now the amount of cash back is very minimal in the grand scheme of things at only half a percent, but this will add up over time. Not only that, but since you receive it back in stock, those bits of stock (pun intended) turn into larger and larger shares. Unless you have an electric vehicle, or don't drive, you will need to buy gas eventually. So why not maximize on your purchases and receive free stock in the process as well!
Level 4 - The Bumped App
The 4th level follows the same premise, and that is with the Bumped app. But there is a slight difference on how they work. With the Bumped app you can only choose one gas station and there are only 4 options to choose from, so this is really getting you into brand loyalty territory. With this app I ended up sticking with Shell, since Shell has the best cashback/price per gallon ratio in my area. In fact, where I live there is not an Exxon Mobile gas station nearby that provides cash back at all via GetUpside. I tend to run into more eligible Exxon Mobile's when I travel away from home. The other 2 options within the Bumped app are BP and Chevron. No matter which of the 4 options you choose, you will receive .50% cash back which is also used to purchase fractional shares of stock! With all 3 of the 4 companies you have the option to choose either the VTI ETF as your stock, or the actual company stock of ExxonMobil/Chevron or BP. Shell only has the option to receive fractional shares of VTI, which is my preference anyway. So I receive half a percent of my gas purchase which is used to purchase the VTI ETF whenever I buy gas.
So in Total, my favorite cash back stack receives 4% from Costco Credit card + an average of 7.5% from the GetUpside App + half % from Bits of Stock + another half % from the Bumped App, bringing my average cash back at the pump to a total of 12.5% cash back! With the average person using over 600 gallons of gas per year, and using an average price per gallon of $2, that's about $150 worth of cash back every year! If gas cost more in your area, then your cash back amount would be higher as well.
Alternate 2 Level Stack
However this cash back combination isn't always the best value. Remember, the actual price per gallon of gas also matters. Like I mentioned, my average cash back from the GetUpside app is 7.5%. So if I can buy gas at another gas station, which has a higher percentage savings vs the percent of cash back per gallon using get-upside, then that is the better value.
This takes me to my most often used stack, which is simply Costco!
Costco gas in my area is typically 15 to 20 cents lower than all of the surrounding gas stations. So if gas is $2 at Shell, in many cases gas at Costco will be in the $1.85 to $1.80 range. That's 7.5% to 10% cheaper on a pretty consistent basis. If my cash back from GetUpside isn't more, then here's my 2 level stack! 4% Cash back with the Costco Credit Card, and then .50% cash back with the Bits of Stock App! Yes, Costco is also available in the Bits of Stock app, and you get cash back with their gas station or whenever you shop inside of Costco. This makes my Cash Back stack at a minimum, 4.5% when I buy gas using my Costco Card at Costco Gas Stations.
Now if you happen to have a credit card which provides a higher cash back amount than the Costco Credit card, then certainly use that card. The Sam's Club credit card offers 5% cash back year round, and the Chase Freedom and Discover IT 5% Cash back for 1 quarter out of the year. So definitely use the credit card which provides the most cash back on a consistent basis for you.
If you are not familiar with any of the apps mentioned above, or don't currently use them, be sure to use my referral links in the description and comment section below. With GetUpside you will receive a bonus 15cents per gallon on your first gas purchases when using the app. And there's also an automated feature to receive cash back without uploading a receipt, just look for the gas stations with a Blue Lightning Bolt next to their location. What credit cards and cash back apps do you use to maximize your cash back? Think you have a better Cash Back Stack? Let us know in the comment section below!
I just signed up for my first Travel Rewards Credit Card, so I wanted to talk about how I planned out making the minimum spend for the signup bonus, while also planning out my Travel for the rest of the year. Travel Rewards Credit Cards award you points toward travel with every purchase that you make. If you travel a lot, using a travel rewards credit card can actually help you towards gaining free travel. Especially when you take advantage of the initial bonus offer when you sign up.
One of the most popular travel rewards credit cards is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. This card has a $95 Annual fee, however with the Bonus points and the rewards you gain from your regular purchases, it can be well worth it. But before I even get into the bonus points, what does this $95 annual fee card give you that your typical no fee credit card may not give you.
Rakuten, formerly known as Ebates, provides cashback when shopping in-store at certain restaurants and retailers, through their mobile app, or using the browser extension on your laptop or desktop computer to make online purchases. Rakuten is maybe the most popular cash back app available, and certainly has the widest selection of online stores to choose from. Rakuten bought out Ebates which is also one of the oldest cash back Apps around.
How Do I Earn Cash Back?
The Dosh App is a Cash Back App which provides cashback when using your credit or debit card via in store purchases, purchases within the Dosh App, as well as via online purchases on your laptop or desktop! When using a Debit Card you must make a credit card transaction, meaning not to use your pin number. Otherwise transactions won't be recognized. The reason it does not work with debit transactions is because Dosh, like many cash back apps, works through the credit card processing company. Debit transactions go straight to the bank instead of a credit card processor. But with Dosh every purchase doesn't need to start within the app to receive credit! Any "Online Offer" listed in the app will receive credit from Dosh once they receive confirmation of the transaction from the credit card processor, and you don't have to start your transaction from within the Dosh App. All of their "Online Offers" are stores where you receive cash back automatically! Receiving cash back can take up to 30 to 45 days before it is available for withdrawal. The reason it COULD take this long is to ensure items are not returned, as this is a typical return period for most retail stores. Your cash back may continue to show as "pending" during this time period.
If you use a car, which most Americans do, then this app is for you! GetUpside provides you with cashback for all of your gas purchases. Every time you get ready to fill up your gas tank, pop open the GetUpside App to check for the Cashback offers near your location. You can view the nearest participating gas stations, the price of gas at these stations, and how much cashback GetUpside will pay YOU per gallon for using a particular gas station. After you first signup you will receive a bonus of 15 cents cashback per gallon when using code FAB72. With the average gas tank taking over 15 gallons to fill, that's about $2.25 back on your first use! Just claim the offer via the app when you're headed to the gas station, and fill up your tank using your credit card during the claim period. After filling up, take a photo of the receipt and upload it in the app, and within a few hours or days receive cashback for your gas purchase! Yes, it's that simple! You do have to use a credit or debit card for your purchases, even though you do not have to link a credit/debit card in the application. Cash and prepaid debit/credit cards are not accepted. If you choose, you can also link your credit card to the application that way you don't have to upload your receipts, but this is not a requirement. For those who like to automate things, this is a great option for you.
After your initial purchase the cashback offer will vary. I've seen as little as 1 cent up to 20 cents as the cashback offer, depending on your area. Larger cities seem to have the better cashback deals since there's more gas station competition. You must purchase your gas, and upload your receipt during the claim period. Claim periods are set for 4 hours. It may be beneficial in some cases, to claim the offer prior to going to the gas station, in case you see an offer that is higher than normal. The amount of cash back provided per gallon will change from day to day, so if you use the same gas station often you may start to recognize a pattern. If you invite a friend to use the GetUpside app, you receive the same 15 cents per gallon bonus every time a friend signs up! In addition to the initial bonus, you also receive 1 cent per gallon for every future gas purchase your friends make! This can add up over time, especially if you have friends who commute a lot or go on road trips often.
I'm Cashin' Out!
The Drop Rewards App. Within this app you have two ways to gain cashback. You can connect your credit card to automatically receive cashback when you shop in-store or online using their Power Offers Power Offers are pre-selected stores where you ALWAYS receive cashback. As a new user you can only have 2 Power Offers for automatic cashback. I was able to select Chipotle and Starbucks as my preferred Power Offer options. The 2nd way to earn cash back is to shop within their app making ad hoc purchases with the available stores in the app. (name some stores) If you prefer using a laptop or desktop to shop, for the larger screen, you can email links to yourself to ensure you get the referral when shopping on your computer!
AJ Mobile Money
Husband | Father | YouTuber | Former ATLien
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