Drop Review 2024: Why Better Cash Back Apps Exist

Drop has evolved over the years, but not necessarily for the better. Here's everything you should know about the rewards app before signing up.

We’ve reviewed the Drop cash back and rewards app every year since its United States launch in late 2017.

Much has changed about the app over the past seven years, and almost none of it for the better. Here are what remain of the pros, the notable cons, and why we think you’re better off using other popular cash back apps.

Drop Review summary
Platforms iOS, Android
Price Free
Features Automatic cash back at 500+ brands.
User Rating 4.3 stars on the App Store (55k reviews), 1.2 stars on Google Play (12k reviews)
Our Rating 3.5 stars (2023)  →  1.5 stars (2024) (see methodology)
Best For Users who want to earn automatic cash back without scanning receipts or loading offers.
Verdict Several red flags exist; users are better off using other cash back apps.

What Is Drop?

drop app preview

Drop is a popular loyalty rewards app designed to help users earn points for their everyday purchases. By linking your debit and credit cards to the app, you can accumulate points automatically whenever you shop at partnered retailers.

These points can be redeemed for free gift cards from a wide range of popular brands, making Drop a seemingly effortless way to get rewarded for the shopping you’re already doing.

In addition to its seamless integration with your payment methods, Drop offers a variety of ways to maximize your earnings. Users can also participate in activities such as paid surveys, playing games, or referring friends to the app to rack up even more points.

Why We’re Concerned About Drop

Drop is the only cash back app we’ve ever reviewed that can claim they provide fully automatic cash back to users. It was, and remains, an enormous perk, as all competing apps require receipt scanning, offer loading, or some form of manual offer activation.

Drop is theoretically as simple as linking a preferred payment method and earning free cash back — or so it was.

There are several red flags that have arisen since our last annual review which have prompted us to drop our rating from 3.5 to 1.5 (out of 5 stars):

 Concern #1:  Users must manually opt-in to earn cash back each Wednesday, despite their card information already being linked. Drop is plausibly receiving attribution and payment from merchants for qualifying user purchases, but not distributing points to users if they haven’t opted in that week.

 Concern #2:  Users — myself included — report extreme difficulty redeeming gift cards for earned points during “drop” periods. Drop seems unable to fulfill on-demand withdrawals from users for earned points, resorting instead to periodic withdrawal windows where users can try and redeem a seemingly small number of valid gift cards.

 Concern #3:  For the small percentage of users able to successfully redeem their points for a gift card, there is now a company-stated [up to] 60-day waiting period for gift card delivery, with few users ever reporting card arrival.

While we’re not privy to the inner workings at Drop, we’re concerned users are being left little in the way of options for redeeming rightfully earned points. Our experience isn’t isolated, with hundreds of Reddit users reporting similar experiences.

How Drop Works

Understanding how Drop works is essential to making the most of its features and maximizing your rewards. Here are the app’s key features and tips for maximizing your earnings.

Signing Up for Drop

To begin using Drop, download the app from the App Store or Google Play.

Follow the prompts to create an account by providing your email and setting up a password. After verifying your email, you can complete your profile, which helps tailor the app’s features to your preferences.

Completing all the steps can unlock up to 8,800 points — equivalent to an $8.80 Welcome Bonus.

Select five merchants to earn ongoing points

Drop will ask you to choose the retailers you use most. My list included Safeway, Urban Outfitters, Lyft, Walgreens, and Whole Foods.

drop offers

Once you log in for the first time, you’ll be able to see the wider list of Drop retailers which includes:

  • Starbucks
  • Sephora
  • Old Navy
  • adidas
  • Groupon
  • Gap
  • Chewy
  • PetSmart
  • Booking.com
  • Carter’s

This initial setup is straightforward and prepares you to start earning rewards on your everyday purchases.

Linking Your Cards

Once your account is set up, the next step is to securely link your debit and credit cards to the Drop app. This process is crucial as it allows Drop to track your purchases and award you points automatically.

card linked offers on drop

To link your cards, navigate to the card linking section in the app and follow the instructions to enter your card details. With your cards linked, you can start earning points on eligible purchases without any extra effort.

Earning Points

With your cards linked, you can start earning points on your everyday purchases. Drop automatically tracks your spending at partnered retailers and awards you points for every eligible transaction. These points accumulate over time and can be redeemed for various rewards.

Drop offers personalized deals based on your spending habits, allowing you to earn bonus points for shopping at specific stores or purchasing certain items.

In addition to earning points through purchases, Drop offers a few other ways to boost your earnings: Games, Surveys, and Refer Friends.

Related: 17 Legit Ways You Can Get Paid to Shop


Currently, the only available game on Drop is called “Pets.” In this game, users are awarded a virtual pet to care for. The experience begins with watching your pet hatch from an egg.

available games on the drop app

To keep your pet happy, you need to interact with it daily, which includes tasks like feeding and playing with it. Consistent care rewards you with gifts from your pet, such as points and other surprise perks.

Our Experience: I was eager to try the Pets feature on Drop, but it’s currently locked because I don’t have the required Games Master Collectible.

many features are "sold" out" including the master collectible

Unfortunately, the Games Master Collectible is “Sold Out,” and I had to join a waitlist to be notified when it becomes available again. This situation again raises concerns about the app.


Drop also offers paid surveys as a method for users to earn additional points. These surveys are provided both by Drop and through partnerships with market research companies like Tap Research. They cover a wide range of topics, allowing users to share their opinions and insights on new or established products or services.

drop surveys

By participating, users can accumulate points for each completed survey. Occasionally, you’ll encounter Boosted Surveys, which offer double the usual points, making them ever-so-slightly more worth your time. Engaging in these surveys regularly can modestly boost your point balance, helping you reach your redemption goals more quickly.

Our Experience: Taking surveys on Drop is similar to other paid survey sites. You will occasionally be screened out, receiving only a nominal coin amount, which is also common on major survey platforms.

However, we found that the pay for surveys on Drop tends to be below or significantly below most major survey sites, and the availability of surveys is also limited in comparison.

Despite these drawbacks, it’s still a viable option for earning additional points if you regularly check for new surveys and take advantage of Boosted Surveys when they appear.

Refer Friends

Drop’s “Refer a Friend” feature allows users to earn additional points by inviting friends to join the app. Each user receives a unique referral link to share.

When a friend signs up using this link and makes their first purchase on Drop, both the referrer and the friend receive a 5,000-point bonus ($5).

Redeeming Points

Once you’ve accumulated enough points, redeeming them on Drop is straightforward. Points can be exchanged for gift cards from a variety of popular retailers, including Amazon, Starbucks, and many others. To redeem, simply navigate to the Rewards section in the app, browse the available gift card options, and select the one you want. Confirm the redemption, and you’ll receive the gift card electronically, ready for immediate use.

Gift cards are available in two tiers: those starting at $5 (Amazon and Starbucks only) and those starting at $25, which include options like Uber, Apple, Dunkin, Ulta, StubHub, Airbnb, Target, Best Buy, Walmart, and more.

Related: 20 Best Money Making Apps for Earning On the Go

Pros & Cons

While Drop offers several opportunities to earn free money, it is not without several limitations. Here’s a look at the upsides and downsides of using the Drop app:


pro Ease of Use. Automatically earn points through linked cards.
pro Variety of Rewards. Wide range of gift card options starting at $5.
pro Earning Opportunities. Collect points through games, surveys, and referrals.
pro Amazon Cash Back. One of few platforms offering cash back at Amazon.


con Hard to Redeem Points: Major concern over point redemption issues.
con Feature Restrictions: Some features may be locked or have limited access.
con Limited Survey Availability: Fewer surveys compared to other sites.
con Gift Card Tiers: Higher minimum point thresholds for many gift card options.

Alternatives to Drop

Given our concerns about Drop, you might be better off using a different cashback app. Here’s a comparison of some popular alternatives that offer reliable rewards and a smoother user experience:

  Drop Capital One Shopping Rakuten Ibotta Upside
Sign-Up Bonus $5 None Extra 10% cash back $5 $25¢/gal bonus
Cashback Types Shopping Online shopping Online shopping Groceries Gas
Redemption Options Gift Cards Gift Cards Check, PayPal Gift Cards, PayPal, Bank Gift Cards, PayPal, Bank
Minimum Payout $5 $5 $5 $20 No minimum
User Ratings App Store: 4.3/5
Google Play: 1.2/5
App Store: 4.9/5
Google Play: 4.7/5
App Store: 4.8/5
Google Play: 3.7/5
App Store: 4.8/5
Google Play: 4.5/5
App Store: 4.8/5
Google Play: 4.6/5
Our Rating 1.5 4.5 3.5 4.0 N/A


While Drop offers an appealing array of features and opportunities to earn rewards, our experience and the feedback from other users indicate significant concerns that outweigh the benefits. The manual weekly opt-in requirement, difficulty in redeeming points, and prolonged waiting periods for gift card delivery are substantial drawbacks.

From personal experience, these issues have transformed what was once a user-friendly app into a source of frustration and disappointment. Despite its automatic cash back feature, the current state of Drop falls short of expectations, making it less reliable compared to other cash back apps.

We recommend exploring alternative options like Rakuten, Ibotta, or Capital One Shopping, which provide a more consistent and rewarding experience for users looking to earn cash back on their everyday purchases.



Is Drop legit?

While Drop is a legitimate rewards app that has been operational since 2017, there are several concerns and red flags that potential users should be aware of. The app holds a 1.2-star rating on Trustpilot based on 245 reviews, with many users expressing frustration over the inability to redeem points and delayed payouts​. Additionally, Drop has an “F” rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), further highlighting concerns about its reliability and customer service​​.

How does Drop make money?

Drop makes money through partnerships with retailers and brands. When you make a purchase through a linked card at a participating retailer, the retailer pays Drop a commission for driving the sale. Drop then shares a portion of this commission with you in the form of points. Additionally, Drop may generate revenue through in-app purchases and premium features offered to users​.

Do Drop points expire?

Yes, Drop points do expire if your account remains inactive for an extended period. According to Drop’s terms of service, points will expire if there is no earning or redemption activity on your account for 12 months. To keep your points active, make sure to use the app regularly by earning points through purchases, completing surveys, or redeeming rewards.

Is Drop safe?

Yes, Drop is considered safe to use. The app employs encryption and other security measures to protect your banking information when you link your debit or credit cards. Drop does not store your banking credentials but uses secure connections to track your transactions and award points. However, as with any app that involves financial information, it’s important to use strong, unique passwords and monitor your accounts for any unusual activity​

How much does Drop cost?

The Drop app is completely free to download and use. There are no subscription fees or hidden charges for using the basic features of the app. However, users can choose to make in-app purchases to enhance their earning potential or gain access to special offers and premium features​.

Are there any Drop bonus codes?

Yes, Drop occasionally offers bonus codes for new users. When signing up, you can use an invite code provided by an existing user to receive a welcome bonus. For example, new users can often earn an extra $5 in points by entering a referral code during the registration process. Keep an eye out for special promotions and codes shared by current Drop users or found in marketing emails from Drop.

Rating Methodology

To ensure consistency and objectivity in our cashback app reviews at DollarSprout, we use a standardized evaluation framework. Here is the detailed methodology for evaluating the Drop app, which can be applied across all cashback app reviews:

Zina Kumok

Hi, I'm Zina! I'm a personal finance expert with a passion for helping millennials figure out their most pressing financial issues. My interest is personal -- I paid off my student loans in three years and have been helping others take control of their finances ever since. My work has been featured in the Washington Post, Fox Business, Time, Quicken Loans, LendingTree, Forbes, Money.com, Mint, and many more.  I currently live in Indianapolis, IN with my husband and two dogs.

Uche Great
Uche Great

Can Drop be used in any country?


Drop used to be great, but they seemingly went all-in on crypto and when that failed, they stopped allowing people to redeem any of their points. I have $68 worth of points that I have not been able to redeem since April. Their customer service basically tells you there is nothing they can do for you when you complain about not being able to redeem rewards.

Kellie Gastley
Kellie Gastley

I have had over 100,000 points for four months and have yet to be able to redeem them. I have emailed customer service multiple times and they are useless. I have unlinked all my cards and try every Thursday to redeem and within one minute all gift cards are gone. This app used to be great but ever since they restructured how you redeem it is a complete disaster.

Judy Berry
Judy Berry

Drop was cool 4 years ago but now they seem to limit how you can redeem points. I have over 80,000 points that I have been trying since September to redeem. I even set a weekly reminder because, apparently, you can only redeem on Thursdays at 1 PM. For the past 3 months they’ve been all out of redemption options immediately so it makes me wonder if it’s now a scam!


I don’t think they’re out. I think there are no gift cards . They don’t exist. I’ve been trying for 6 months every week and am never able to redeem. They should just shut down as I don’t see the purpose why they are still in business! Very frustrating as no one is hearing our complaints.


I have been trying to redeem YEARS worth of points accumulation for the last 3 weeks. The “gift cards” are always “sold out” within one minute of their weekly launch. Such a waste of time. They have collected my data for years! I removed all of my card info. Do NOT bother with this scam app.

Leave your comment

You May Also Like