Published on August 3rd, 2018 | by Chuck156
Spent App: Link a Card and Earn 1% Cashback on Purchases at Top Retailers
February 1, 2019: Removed Shell, Costco, 7-11, Uber, Spotify, Kroger, and Home Depot.
October 16, 2018: Removed Lucky’s.
October 9, 2018: Added Lucky’s.
August 3, 2018: They’ve added Home Depot, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Chik-fil-A which you can enable in your app. (Note: Spent and Dosh are mutually exclusive.)
July 24th, 2018: They have added Kroger & Shell as well. Hat tip to reader Tym B. Sign up bonus is no longer available sadly.
July 2018: Updated the post; added Costco; removed Amazon; added discounted gift card purchase option.
March 15, 2018: Reposting as they added new merchants including 7-Eleven, Whole Foods & iTunes.
Spent App Review
The Spent app helps manage your finances as well as earn cashback on purchases and travel. Here are the key features:
- $10 signup bonus – more on that below
- 1% back at top retailers – more on that below
- Card-link rewards at local merchants – the app offers cash back rewards at many local stores, mostly restaurants and then some other stores, similar to many other card link rewards program. They run on the Empyr system, along with MOGL, Swagbucks, Yelp, Dosh, and coupons.com. I haven’t done a comparison to see who has the best rates.
- Discounted on gift cards – they offer cashback offers on various gift cards.
- Shopping portal – doesn’t looks like their rates are anything special when comparing against other shopping portals.
- Save on travel – save up to 25% when you book travel through the app. Travel booking is not my thing and I won’t attempt to dissect whether there are good deals to be had there. Feel free to put a mini review in the comments if this is useful and I’ll add it in.
- Spent for Business – this is a service which helps automate a company’s expense report creation and approval process. It has a free level and a paid level. (In my opinion, this part of Spent should be spun off as a separate business from the rest.)
1% Back at Top Retailers
Earn 1% cash back at top retailers by linking your credit or debit card. You have to activate each merchant separately in order to get rewards. Note: you have to enable each retailer separately (check the ‘Recommended tab).
- Whole Foods
Walgreen’s (not Duane Reade)
- Kroger (possibly other Kroger family stores)
- Home Depot
1% back on your $9 Netflix bill will just amount to $.09, but 1% at places like Costco and Whole Foods can turn into some decent savings over time.
Note: the fine print states: “A single cashback transaction is limited to a maximum of $250.” Spent support tells me that the $250 limit is actually in cashback earned, so you can get 1% back on a purchase of up to $25k. Update: Seems there’s a new $100 monthly limit on card-link earnings.
Discounted Gift Cards
Spent has also added an option to buy various gift cards at a discount. Currently, there’s an offer of 5.25% cashback on Kohl’s gift cards, 5.75% Staples, 6% Bed Bath & Beyond, 2% Airbnb, 1% Safeway, 9.5% Nike, 6.75% Gamestop, and bunch more options.
Payment is with a credit card; let us know if you find any interesting bonus category rewards from Spent. They also allow you to use up your Spent balance, useful if you have less than the $20 redemption threshold there.
We’ve added Spent to our Complete List of Methods to Buy Gift Cards with Discounts and Bonus Rewards.
Signup & Referral Bonus
[Update: the $10 signup offer may no longer be available.]
Spent offers a $10 signup bonus for making your first cashback purchase. Spent support tells me that only shopping/travel purchases count to trigger the $10 bonus, but I got the bonus for card-link purchases. Cashback can be redeemed via Paypal. Note: you need a minimum of $20 to be able to cash out. There’s also a $5 referral bonus for the referring member. New member earns the same $10 regardless, this just an added bonus for the referrer if you signup with a referral link instead of signing up directly. Appreciate if you use my Spent referral link.
Privacy and Security
There are lots of card-link rewards program which require entering your credit or debit card number to receive rewards for purchases at select merchants. Typically, they only require inputting the card number. However, Spent requires both the card number AND the login details. The second part will make a lot of people more uncomfortable, especially if they have a bank account there with real money. Spent says it’s all secure (yada yada), and it probably is, but these things always make me a bit nervous, especially when giving in a bank login. Do what you’re comfortable with.
My initial reaction when signing up with Spent was ‘yay, finally someone who let’s me use a computer’ (I do as little on my phone as possible). In the end, that was only partially true: you can signup, use the shopping portal, and book travel on a computer, but the card-link program requires the app.
The most interesting part to me is the ongoing 1% back at select retailers. At launch, they had Amazon and Staples which were obviously huge. Now, probably Costco, Whole Foods, Walgreen’s, and Uber are of the most interest to a lot of people.
Hat tip to reader Kasey