SPENT: A Free Expense Management APP That Pays Cash Back

SPENT is a free expense management service that pays you cash back on your purchases at participating brands and stores including Amazon, Uber, Staples and nearby stores. SPENT lets you register your credit and debit accounts in order to import your expenses and display them in real time, allowing you to automatically categorize and organize your transactions into folders however you want.

The app is mostly designed for freelancers and business owners to manage business and personal expenses easily. Just as Tinder popularized the idea of swiping left or right in its mobile dating app, SPENT uses swipes to categorize personal and business expenses: left for personal, right for business.

There are several apps that manage your expenses by connecting to your bank and credit accounts, pulling and organizing transaction data. Some may use Quickbooks, Quicken, Personal Capital, or even Billguard to track these transactions and feel a bit more secure than an app they haven’t heard of. You may also be wary of sharing account information or mostly use cash. We like this app because when you make a personal or business purchase at any one of over one million places, you qualify for cash back over and above what you earn with an existing credit card. This is without having to enter a receipt or do any labor if it’s done on your credit or debit card.


Drop App Earns You Gift Cards Just For Linking your Credit Cards

The Drop App offers points on shopping purchases at top retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Target, various grocery stores and restaurants, and more. Just link your credit or debit card in the app, and you’ll earn up to 2% back in points, with the points redeemable for various merchant gift cards from Drop. You can sometimes earn more with the bonus offers such as with Boxed.com.

You have to link your credit and debit cards to the app so they can see where you spent money. Then you’ll earn Drop points to redeem for gift cards at select retailers. Points can only be earned at the five specific retailers you choose from the list (full list below). After initially choosing five stores, it’s not possible to change your selection. Choose your 5 stores carefully!

How to get a sign-up bonus from Drop and start earning cash back:

  1. Download the Drop app in the Android or Apple Store.
  2. Enter code gsb8q to start earning cash rewards and get a bonus of 1,000 points.
  3. Link a card by signing into your bank login for additional bonus points.
  4. Choose the five retailers where you want to earn points (see below).

Here’s a few of the available merchants to earn points from, and the point earnings rate for shopping with the Drop app:

  • Uber10 points per $1 (1.5%)
  • Lyft10 points per $1 (1.5%)
  • Chipotle12 points per $1 (1.5%)
  • Shell3 points per $1 (.3%) – You could double dip with this offer using the Fuel Rewards Program to save more money on gas purchases.

Other retailer’s for earning cash-back include:

  • Walmart – 2 points per $1 (.2%)
  • Seamless – 16 points per $1 (1.6%)
  • HEB – 10 points per $1 (1%)
  • Fred Meyers – 12 points per $1 (1.2%)
  • Trader Joe’s – 12 points per $1 (1.2%)
  • Peets – 8 points per $1 (.8%)
  • Blue Bottle – 8 points per $1 (.8%)
  • Macy’s – 8 points per $1 (.8%)
  • Dunkin Donuts – 14 points per $1 (1.4%)
  • Target – 8 points per $1 (.8%)
  • Urban Outfitters – 15 points per $1 (1.5%)
  • Bath Body Works – 15 points per $1 (1.5%)
  • Whole Foods – 8 points per $1 (.8%)
  • Safeway – 8 points per $1 (.8%)
  • 7-Eleven – 16 points per $1 (1.6%)
  • Walgreens – 8 points per $1 (.8%)
  • Starbucks – 12 points per $1 (1.2%)
  • McDonalds – 8 points per $1 (.8%)

Personally, I eat at Chipotle and use Uber and Lyft quite a bit so this app has been giving me free gift cards for really doing nothing different. I also took part in a Boxed.com promotion they had and earned several extra dollars with the app.

One-Time Offers

It’s the one-time offers we really love with this app. Such as the Phil Pharmacy where you can earn 30,000 Drop points or $30 when you order for the first time the online Pharmacy. An Amazon bonus can get you 2,000 points or $2 on your next $20 purchase. We’ve also seen $75 for signing up with Wealthfront, $7.50 at Naturebox, and $20 back at Boxed.

Know the Point System

Any purchase made with a linked card at your 5 selected retailers will earn points. Each point is worth 1/10 of a penny. For example, 1,000 points is worth $1. When Drop says you’ll earn 20x per dollar on Amazon, that’s not 20% back, rather 2% back. And when you get a 1,000 point signup bonus, it’s not $10, rather $1. You basically move the decimal point over on the points three places to know what the dollar amount will be.

Points can be redeemed for gift cards

Here’s a few examples of redemption options:

  • $5 Starbucks – 5,000 Points
  • $10 iTunes – 10,000 Points
  • $10 Amazon.com – 10,000 Points
  • $20 Whole Foods Market – 20,000 Points
  • $25 Lyft – 25,000 Points

One of the downsides is this does not like with all credit cards. We could not link it with our new Uber Visa from BarclayCard. Hopefully they get this glitch worked out since it’s where I put all of my dining and Uber purchases now.

Apps to Stack With This One

We recommend stacking this app with Ibotta and possibly Dosh. You could also use Ebates, coupons, and promo codes with this because it’s based on the overall card-linked purchase.

Ibotta is offering 10% cash back on Postmates Deliveries

We’ve spoken before about Postmates and their beta rewards program. This one is much better for deliveries! Ibotta is a smart new way to earn cash when you shop. It’s way better than coupons but you need to use an app and normally take photos of your receipt inside the app. With this new 10% cash back offer with Postmates deliveries (and Delivery.com) there’s no need to get receipts because its all mobile. Read more on our review of Ibotta here.

If you launch the Ibotta app then launch Postmates before your order you automatically get 10% cashback on any delivery. This includes alcohol or even a trip to the drug store you need that someone else runs for you.

Here is how to get 10% Cash Back + $101 Free Credit on Postmates + $10 in Ibotta credits:
1. Sign-up here to get a $10 Bonus from Ibotta if you’re new to the cash back app.

2. Download the Postmates app or head over to Postmates.com to sign up. Use this promo code 478n and you should get $101 in credits to cover the delivery fee.

3. Search for Postmates inside the Ibotta app then after opening Postmates through the app you place your order. (more…)

Status Matcher, Hotel Upgrade App, Best Plane Seats, and Points Maximizer Tool

There are tons of tools and apps to help us get where we want online these days but finding the right ones to do the right thing at the right time is also something we might need a tool for. That is why I created this post mainly for myself to come back to and help me book award travel or any travel at all. As tools start charging I will drop them and add ones that offer more features. Bookmark this page and come back often!

1. Muchopoints uses an algorithm that calculates and filters the hotels that will provide customers the most points to make the best choice to maximize their points when booking hotels .  Muchopoints, currently in Beta, plans to offer end users with the option to manage all their hotel programs with one single log on.  This will be similar to AwardWallet where users will be able to track all their points and elite statuses for supported hotel programs.  Hopefully they do the same for Airlines.  Here are the supported hotels at this time:

  • Hilton HHonors
  • Marriot Rewards
  • Best Western
  • Le Club Accor Hotels
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • SPG – Starwood Preferred Guest
  • Choice Hotels and others coming soon!

Pexportal is a similar website that uses an award travel search engine where you can search for mileage airfare.

2. StatusMatcher can help you match loyalty program elite status from one carrier to another.  For example, leverage your Silver status with American Airlines to obtain Platinum status with Virgin America or Hilton HHonors to get IHG Platinum Status.

3. HotelUpgrade offers free hotel perks and complimentary upgrades when you book your room directly on the hotel’s website and then confirm your reservation with the HotelUpgrade app. It’s free to download the app and available on iOS with an Android coming soon. You are able to get bonus points for your stay, free parking, suite upgrades, restaurant discounts, free drink coupons, and more possible upgrades. I’m looking forward to trying this app out especially since they are automatically confirmed upgrades and you still get regular loyalty points because you book direct with the hotel such as Marriot.com or Hilton.com then go over to this app to see what magic it can work.

4. RentLuggage – If you’re taking a ski trip, to play golf, or camping and need the perfect piece of luggage you may consider RentLuggage. This will save you money and time by avoiding the expense of purchasing new luggage just for one trip. They ship the luggage directly to your door, and they provide free return shipping from anywhere in the continental United States. New RentLuggage customers can use Promo Code RENTNOW at checkout to save an extra 10% off your luggage rental. I can’t think of a trip I would need it for but you might.

5. Miles Wallet is similar to Award Wallet but it is free and automatically retrieves your reservations and activities on loyalty programs without a time limit. So you can find all of your future bookings but also your past bookings as well as the complete history of your loyalty accounts. It also alerts you to any activity such as a balance and status but detailed. This not only helps you keep track of programs but helps prevent you if there’s an attempt to hack your accounts. Award Wallet has a fee and does less. You can also sign in with your FB account.

6. Hotel Hustle is something I have been waiting for and it has finally arrived to help you find hotels available for certain stays comparing the points it will take. I normally have to open all three browsers, windows, and tabs to get award bookings completed so hopefully this will help out. [wandr.me/Hotel-Tools/Hotel-Hustle]

7. Hotels By Day  offers hotel rooms for short term, day use for reduced prices compared to overnight stays. Imagine you have to check out of your hotel room when you have a late flight or arriving early with a late check in. This app comes in handy to spend a few extra hours in a hotel room to drop your luggage, relax, go to the pool or shower before heading out to the airport or checking in to your main accommodation. You could also use it for a quick private meeting with a friend to spend a few hours for the middle of the day. Like many of these apps, it’s new and currently has just in a handful of major US cities but stay tuned as they expand to more locations internationally in 2016.

8. Tools To Find The Best Plane SeatsRoutehappy (routehappy.com) scores flights based on a variety of criteria, including legroom, width and amenities such as power outlets. It also scores comfort based onIn-Flight Entertainment and
Wi-Fi. Routehappy uses an algorithm for scoring based on aircraft, seat, amenities, trip duration, and ratings. They have a partnership with Google Flights to let people know when there are things such as wifi on the plane so you do not have to directly goto their site.  Seateroo (Seateroo.com) is an app that lets you swap seats for a price. If you’re stuck in seat 36A the last row of economy class on a long International flight you could fire up Seateroo and find a passenger who is willing to swap seats with you. You negotiate a price (minimum of $5, with a 15% service fee deducted from price paid to the other passenger) and swap seats when you’re permitted to move about the cabin.

Open_Hotel_Alert_-_We_alert_you_when_sold_out_hotels_have_an_open_room__It_s_Free_10. Open Hotel Alert makes sure you get a spot in your preferred hotel on your next vacation or business trip if it’s sold out when you try to book. The app will text or email you when something opens up. You get an alert as soon as something is available and the app will give you a direct link to book to jump out and book the room which is how Open Hotel Alert makes money—through Booking.com.

Top Flight Apps – (Name and percentage of installs on smartphones)
1. Skyscanner, 0.67%
2. Flightaware, 0.64%
3. TripIt, 0.26%
4. SeatGuru, 0.04%
5. GateGuru, 0.04%

11. Basetrip, a travel research tool that not only answers any question you have about any country in the world, it also neatly organizes the information. Simply enter your citizenship and the country you’re traveling to and Basetrip will pull up information on that country’s weather, type of outlet, currency, cost of living, tipping practices, internet speeds, emergency phone numbers, necessary vaccinations, location of your embassy, and more, complete with links to all the resources. You also have the option to read tips from other readers about each country and add your own.

Ticketsroundtheworld.com seems to be similar to one of the discontinued tools we loved that was recently purchased and shut down by AirBnb. It’s only a matter of time before the big dogs with big money come and swoop up all the smaller sites to try and monopolize your pocketbook and limit your choices. Vamo – Incredible way to build an itinerary and pick which cities you want to travel when booking complicated trips such as Europe or Asia. Update: Vamo has been purchased by AirBnb so look for them to be integrated into their product soon.