Yes, You Can Earn Cash Back With Dosh
In the many months since I started this personal finance column, I’ve become mildly obsessed with two topics: 1) personal finance apps and 2) earning cash back. That’s why, as soon as I heard about the app Dosh, I knew I had to give it a try. Cut to over a year later and Dosh has grown tremendously, bringing easy-to-earn cash back to more and more users.
So how does it all work? Here are some of the basics of Dosh and how you can use it to rack up cash back:
Getting Started with Dosh
After downloading Dosh from either the App Store or Google Play Store, the first thing you’ll want to do is link your various credit and debit cards. Not only is this important to your ability to benefit from the app but you’ll also receive $5 for adding your initial card plus another $1 for each subsequent card you link. There are, however, a couple of notes to make about this process.
First, each card can only be linked to one account. Therefore, since my wife and I share a Visa, only one of us was able to link that card. Dosh also does not support linking prepaid cards, corporate cards, or others as laid out in their terms of service.
Also of note is that, as I learned when trying to add my debit card, you can’t link cards that are being used by competing cash back services like Mogl — an app I downloaded back in my Los Angeles days and never got around to using. Luckily Dosh informed me of the Mogl conflict, allowing me to unlink my card there and try again. Funny enough, one app linked cards in Dosh do not conflict with is Ebates/Rakuten, but we’ll talk more about that later.
With cards linked and a little cash back already building, it’s time to check out what other offers you can take advantage of.
Earning Cash Back with Dosh
Beyond the freebies you get just for linking your card, there are a few different ways to accrue cash back with Dosh:
The first way to utilize your Dosh-equipped cards is to simply use them at participating businesses in your area. For example, in terms of offers near me, I could earn 3% at Pizza Hut, 5% at Auntie Anne’s, and 4% at Dunkin’. Of course there are also non-restaurants participants as well, such as Mattress Firm (3% back, max of $20), Pier 1 (5% back), Forever 21 (2% back), and more. Additionally one of most interesting offers comes from Sam’s Club where members can not only earn 2% back but new members can earn $20 back when they join. Note that this particular deal is only available at select locations and for a limited time — although I have seen it pop up a few times in recent months, so keep an eye out.
One thing that’s changed with Dosh since I first reviewed it is how these online offers work. Previously shoppers would need to utilize the special links found in the Dosh app in order to earn cash back. However now online offers work much like in-store ones, allowing you to simply use your linked card at a participating retailer to qualify.
Some of the retailers offering online cash back deals with Dosh mirror those who have brick and mortar deals, such as Forever 21, Pizza Hut, and Sam’s Club. That said there are also online exclusive deals to be found such as 20% back from FlashPoint Candle, 10% back from EverlyWell, and 10% at Vanity Planet. I will say that, while I prefer how online offers work now, the lineup was severely reduced in the switch. Hopefully that list will grow once again as the app continues to catch on.
Another thing that’s changed about Dosh in the 18 months or so since I first downloaded it is that they no longer offer travel deals. This is a shame as I never had the chance to try out this function for myself. Perhaps it will return one day but, for now, you may want to try Ebates or other cash back services to earn cash back on hotel bookings and more.
If you do get the chance to try Dosh and enjoy it, you can boost your cash back by referring friends to the app. Currently you can earn $5 for each person who signs up for Dosh using your custom link and adds a card. I should also note that the app has been known to increase this reward from time to time. In fact, I was able to nab $15 in cash back for getting a friend to join during one such promotion.
Original review video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L75srrJe3p0
Redeeming Your Cash Back
Just as there are a few different ways to earn on Dosh, there are also different ways to redeem those earnings. In each case you’ll need to have at least $25 (the app increased this limit from the original $15) saved up in order to cash out. Moreover you can no longer cashout a balance consisting of only referral bonuses. Instead you’ll need to make at least one qualifying cash back purchase before you can claim your funds.
With those terms met, here’s how you can claim your cash:
Transfer to your bank account
Your first option is to deposit your cash back in your bank account. To my surprise this was not accomplished by adding an account and routing number like I’d expected but, instead, required you to sign into your online bank account using your username and password. This worked well but I could understand some being a bit trepidatious about this method. If you fall into that category, you might want to try the next option.
Add funds to PayPal
Should you opt not to link your actual bank account or just prefer PayPal in general, there’s also an option to send your funds there. I nearly went this route when doing my first cash out, but ultimately decided to try the bank link instead. Sadly this means I don’t have much more insight into how this feature works but, given my other experiences with Dosh, I’d expect it to be pretty straightforward.
Donate to charity
Lastly, Dosh allows you to make a difference with your cash back and donate your earnings to charity. As of now, the three charities the app has listed are United Way, American Red Cross, and Child Fund International. However, you can also search and
select from a list of various charities to donate to as well.
My Experience with Dosh
Speed of payment
Aside from linking my cards, my first cash back experience with Dosh actually happened on Thanksgiving night in 2017. My brother-in-law’s flight had been delayed, putting him into town well after the traditional dinner time. Thus, we decided to hit up our local Denny’s since they were a) open and b) offering 10% back on Dosh at the time.
What amazed me was that, within minutes of paying my tab with one of my linked cards, I got an alert on my phone that $2.86 had been added to my account. If there was any part of me that wondered if Dosh was for real, this experience went a long way in quelling those fears.
The last piece of the puzzle I needed in order to write this review was the process of transferring my funds. After all, considering the vast majority of my balance was gained just from linking cards and referring a friend, it really did seem like a “too good to be true” situation. But I’m happy to report that my cash came through and in a timely manner — I initiated the transfer on a Friday, the funds were visible by Monday, and were cleared on Tuesday. So, rest assured, Dosh is indeed legit.
Credit card rewards
Finally, one of the most exciting aspects of Dosh in my mind is that you can essentially double dip on your cash back. This is to say that, on top of what Dosh offers, you’ll still retain the rewards your credit card offers. Therefore, on that fateful Thanksgiving night at Denny’s, I earned 10% back from Dosh plus 4% from my Uber Visa, which is kind of mindblowing when you think about it.
Using Dosh and Ebates
Speaking of double dipping, while doing an article comparing Dosh and Ebates, I noticed that both apps had in-store offers for Sephora. Naturally I had to test my hypothesis that I could earn twice the rewards, we headed to our local mall and gave it a shot. Sure enough I was able to score cash back from Ebates and Dosh for this single transaction — not to mention some extra Uber credits from Visa Local Offers. Granted, these types of duplicate opportunities don’t come up terribly frequently but they’re worth watching out for.
Final Thoughts on Dosh
Overall, I’m really impressed with Dosh and am glad to see it growing. That said, I do have a couple of nitpicks and things that could be improved. First, while I completely understand having a $25 threshold for cashing out, I do kind of wish this bar was lowered in the case of charity donations. Similarly I understand the need to require actual cash back purchases to stop users from just raking in referral funds but it’s still slightly disappointing nonetheless — earning is earning, right?
Still, the bottom line is that the Dosh app works as well as I could have hoped for earning cash back. So, if you’re looking to maximize your savings and perhaps even double up on your credit card rewards, I’d recommend checking out Dosh and seeing what cash back you can earn.