This post is building on Part 1 – iDine Pays You Real Money as well as Part 2 – Dosh for Dining and More. You should now be familiar with cash back programs including how they fit into an investment strategy, but maybe not the year-old Groupon+.
Not your dad’s Groupon –
We all remember buying a Groupon 10 years ago. The venue being completely overwhelmed and unable to cover usage due to maxed out capacity. Or refusing to honor it and direct people back to Groupon for refunds.
It was what drove a negative experience with Groupon. Pushing businesses away from offering these kind of deals. Causing customers to avoid using them unless they were really committed.
I, personally, pre-verified availability to use the certificate before purchasing to ensure they weren’t overloaded. Making sure I wouldn’t be stuck with a worthless print out. Not to mention before the app, you actually had to print them out and bring them with you. That’s a lot of work for dinner.
But then there was the ones I intended to use. The restaurant I liked once and bought a couple of Groupons for, never to return. The money eventually expiring. Me missing out on delicious oxtail pho or sausage stuffed squid. It was just too much hassle to carry the print out around in case I felt like going to that place.
Groupon+ is something new –
This is a new way of handling those restaurant discounts. Forget pre-buying something, printing it out, bringing it to a restaurant. Then having the waiter bring their manager to authorize it in front of all the other tables. Meanwhile everyone nearby is now looking at you like you can’t afford to eat out instead of you being the smart one paying half as much.
You pre-register for cash back with Groupon+ restaurants. When you walk into the restaurant, no one except you and Groupon knows. The initial total including tax, but not including tip, gets run on your card. And before you even walk out the door the cash back has hit your credit card.
Make it a part of your monthly routine to go register for the restaurants in your area on Groupon+ Restaurants.
Awesome paydays –
You don’t even have to save up and cash out.
It’s more difficult to track how much you’re getting with this program in order to put the appropriate amount into your investment account due to instant payments instead of a cumulative withdrawal. You may need to review your checking credit card statement each month and just add it up.
Let’s say you’ve been out at the beach all day with your partner and some friends at St Pete Beach in the Tampa Bay Area. Four of you drop into, Shark Tales, to watch the sunset and get a drink. Each of you grabs a $5 24oz Rum Runner and you order up some shrimp and burgers all around. With a $100 tab, your friends give you $60 cash to split it (including giving a 20% tip) and you put the entire thing on your credit card.
You’ve just made $30 cash back on $60 out of pocket.
That’s not even including the cash back from your credit card running at 4%-5% (paying out another $6 in the above example). If the restaurant is also in Dosh or iDine, you could be getting another 10-15% for up to $18 coming back. (The above restaurant is not in those programs.) This means you could be putting a total of $54 back in your pocket on a $120 check with a split tab. Meaning you’re only out of pocket $6!
This is about as good as it gets for restaurant cash back. The best rates and the single easiest redemption.
Stacking it up –
It’s even better when the cash back from a regular meal starts earning money. Put the cash back into a low-fee investment account such as Betterment or Stash Invest. If you’re not already using Stash, that link will give us each $5 for you signing up and billing starts at just $1 a month. You can pick ETFs based on topics such as green energy and put the cash back into areas you believe will grow. With Betterment, that link will give us both some free months. I keep a dedicated account for my cash back at Betterment, charged a small percentage based on the total funds with Betterment. I also have an IRA and another “cash” account with Betterment to consolidate most of my investing.
Whichever platform you choose, your money will begin compounding as the markets grow. Compound interest is the fastest route to wealth. Having a plan such as putting all the cash back you earn into an investment account, regardless of short-term market performance, will build over time.
I may earn a commission off of links from this site, but that does not influence which sites I link to. iDine, for example, pays no affiliate or referral bonus for linking to them, but they are the best cash back in the Rewards Network system. The affiliate links are there to help this blog start paying for iteself.