I try to use at least one cash-back tool wherever I shop. That includes not only a cash-back credit card, but also some kind of service that piles on extra savings. Recently I found a pretty great one:that can save you as much as 5% per transaction. It works with over 150 retail and online stores, including Apple, eBay, Instacart, Lowe's and Petco.
To get started with Slide, you first connect a payment method -- Apple Pay, PayPal, credit card or debit card -- to the Slide app. When you're ready to make a purchase, you use Slide to purchase a gift card in the amount you need. Then you pay for the item or items using the gift card.
Doing that earns you 4% cash back. However, if you add funds prior to that process, Slide immediately gives you 1% back, effectively bumping your total savings to 5%.
So, let's use Apple as an example. Say you've decided to buy. Here's how you'd go about that using Slide:
- Head to the Apple site (or even a brick-and-mortar Apple store) and add the iPhone to your cart. Proceed as far as checkout, where you'll see the total price (including tax).
- In the Slide app, search for Apple and choose Apple Gift Card.
- Enter the total purchase amount, in this case $399 plus tax. (Note that Slide doesn't allow Apple Gift Card purchases larger than $500, so if you're buying something more expensive, you might have to do multiple cards.)
- Slide instantly generates a digital gift card. Now simply use that card to make your purchase. Done!
This is, of course, a bit different from traditional cash-back tools like Dosh (which links directly to your credit card) and Rakuten (which tracks your purchases). For one thing, you're getting a flat 4% back at every store, or 5% if you added funds in advance. For another, you can easily double-dip if your paired payment method offers rewards of its own.
For example, if your credit card gives you 2% back at restaurants and you use Slide for a meal at, say, Chipotle, you're getting an extra 4% (or 5%) on top of that.
Take note, however, that if you need to return something (like the aforementioned iPhone), you can't get a refund on the gift card itself. Be sure to read Slide's help-desk page regarding returns and refunds. I've also found that although the gift card purchase process is pretty quick and painless, I usually don't bother when making small purchases. To me it's not worth the hassle to save 50 cents on a $10 pizza.
But I was very glad to have Slide in my pocket for a recent bigger-ticket item I bought from Lowe's. When you're able to save $10, $15 or the like with just a few taps, it feels pretty good.
Want to learn more about the service? We interviewed company CEO Jay Klauminzer in this episode of the Cheapskate Show podcast, embedded below.
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