Canadians love earning loyalty rewards, a fact which is evidenced by the sheer number of customer loyalty programs in existence. In addition to the countless rewards programs offered by credit cards and individual retailers, the emergence of fintech in recent years has spawned a large number of smartphone apps that can amplify your earning power even further.
One of the more unique entries into this field is Drop, an app which is downloadable to an iOS or Android device. On the surface, Drop is just another loyalty program. But it sets itself apart from the competition by making the rewards process seamless. In other words, Drop has automated the points earning process, making it something you don’t even need to think about.
Drop has been around for a few years now. Founded in Toronto by Derrick Fung, they launched their program in August 2015. A couple of years later, in October 2017, they expanded into the American market. Today the company boasts over 1 million users across North America.
How Drop Works
According to Drop, their primary goal is to help established brands make stronger connections with a key audience – millennials. In essence, they are using technology to trade rewards for their customer’s purchasing information, a veritable goldmine of data for any major retailer.
Here’s how it works.
When you sign up with Drop, they get you to select 5 stores that you frequent, from a large list of retailers. Drop partners include brands such as Walmart, Uber, Best Buy, and Forever 21. You then link your credit and debit cards to the Drop app and start accumulating rewards automatically when you shop at any one of the 5 retailers you selected. I should point out that Drop is free to use. There are no fees associated with opening or operating an account.
Is the Drop App Safe?
It’s a question consumers are asking more and more, all the time. Can I trust the company I’m giving my personal information to? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, as we’ve heard stories of massive data breaches all too often. That said, using the Drop app is as safe as banking online.
That’s because Drop uses the latest 256-bit level encryption to secure your information. This is the same level of data protection offered by your bank. What you want to make sure of is that you protect your information at all times. Never write down or share your passwords with anyone, and never provide sensitive personal information to anyone over email, or the telephone, at any time.
How to Get Started With Drop in 3 Steps
As I mentioned earlier, once you’re up and running with Drop, earning rewards is seamless. But first, you’ll need to complete the signup process. Thankfully, it’s not that hard. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to start earning rewards with Drop.
Step 1 – The first thing you’ll need to do is download the Drop App, from your preferred app store. Drop is available on both iOS and Android platforms.
Step 2 – Once you’ve downloaded the app, it’s time to link your debit and/or credit card. Drop can sync to all of the major banks. I’ll get into this a bit further down, but there is a benefit to linking a credit card to your Drop account, but if you don’t have a Visa or Mastercard, your debit card will suffice.
Step 3 – With your cards synced, it’s time to select your 5 favourite retailers. There are quite a few brands to choose from, so make sure you select stores that you frequent on a regular basis.
How Drop Points Work
Once you’re signed up, continue shopping at your preferred retailers. The Drop app will track your purchases, and accumulate points as you go. Keep in mind that the point value will differ between various stores.
For example, every dollar spent at Walmart will earn you 2 Drop points. At Tim Hortons, you’ll get 5 points on every dollar you spend. While the points are more valuable at Tim Hortons, your average dollar spend will usually be much higher at Walmart, especially if you use your Drop rewards to buy groceries.
Benefits of Using a Credit Card
While you can use a debit or credit card to accumulate Drop points, the right credit card has the added benefit of “doubling” your rewards, so to speak. If you have a rewards credit card, like a cashback, or travel rewards card, you’ll get the benefit of earning credit card rewards AND Drop points whenever you shop.
Even though the points are dropping into two different buckets, you’re multiplying your point-earning power. If this interests you, but you don’t have a rewards credit card, it’s something to consider. For more information, check out my list of the best cashback credit cards in Canada. Of course, you certainly don’t need to use a credit card. If you don’t have one or prefer not to use it, your debit card will work just fine.
List of Drop App Retail Partners
The number of retailers that have partnered with Drop is growing all the time. Below, I’ve made a list of just a few brands from which to select your top five. Keep in mind, not all of these are available in both Canada and the U.S. When you download the Drop App, you’ll see a full list of the stores available to Canadians.
- Tim Hortons
- Whole Foods
Simplicity: The Drop App Advantage
In my opinion, the key advantage Drop has over its competition lies in its simplicity. When shopping, there’s no need to pull up the app on your cell phone or provide the cashier with an account number. To earn with Drop, all you need to do is use your debit or credit card at your selected retailers. Because Drop has already synced to your payment card, it will know how much you’ve spent, and allocate the points accordingly.
As I mentioned earlier, the best way to use Drop is by stacking it with other rewards, either through a credit card that earns points, a retail store loyalty program, or both. For example, imagine how much you could save at McDonald’s if you had a coupon, and then paid for your meal with a cashback Visa card that was connected to Drop. Over time, the savings would really add up!
If you’re considering signing up for Drop, you may also want to download Paymi, another popular loyalty app that’s very similar to Drop. I’ll be publishing a full review of Paymi this Friday, which will make it easy for you to compare the two loyalty programs. You never know, you may decide to use both.