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Experienced travel hackers and extreme couponers spend a lot of effort looking for ways to stack discounts and double dip on rewards. There are many ways to save money and earn points these days if you have the time to research, plan, and experiment. While I love doing that when I can, I just do not have much free time to chase deals. Most busy parents probably feel the same way.
But show me a truly simple way to earn easy points, miles, or extra cash? I’m in.
So when I heard about Dosh, a new app that promised to do just that, I figured it was worth a try. Dosh is an app where users can earn extra cash back for purchases like dining out, local attractions, and hotel bookings. If you have frequently traveling family like mine, these are probably purchases you make often. These rewards stack on top of the points and cash back you already are probably earning just by having the right travel rewards credit cards. Dosh is an effortless chance to double dip.
When Dosh reached out to me about their app, I was definitely skeptical. I get emails several times a week from the latest app developer wanting promotion on this site. Only a small fraction of most new travel-related apps are truly innovative. After doing my own research, it quickly became evident to me that Dosh was extremely promising for busy families looking to save on travel.
How Dosh Works
So how do you use Dosh to investigate for yourself? The Dosh app is available in the App Store or on Google Play. Link one or all of your credit and debit cards to the app. If you – like me – are worried about credit card security, don’t be. Dosh’s technology passes the most stringent of security tests to protect your data. It’s certainly no riskier (and probably much less so) than handing over your credit card to a waiter in a restaurant to swipe.
After linking your cards to Dosh, you can then search for offers around you to see how much cash back you’ll earn at each location. Dosh’s app features offers from restaurants, hotels, and attractions and activities (even Disneyland!). If you are already familiar with airline shopping portals, it also has a feature for shopping at many online retailers like Walmart, Gap, DisneyStore, and more. It’s a great combination of offerings for families who like to travel all in one place.
Dosh for Restaurants
Our family eats out a lot, both at home and when we are on trips. The Dosh rewards for dining pretty much happen when you aren’t even looking. As long as you use a credit card linked on your Dosh app at a participating restaurant, you automatically receive the cash back when you charge purchases to that card. As a result, it is really easy to earn cash without even thinking about it. I as particularly excited to find that my local winery and favorite Chinese takeout place participate in Dosh because those are purchases I make already. Earning additional cash back is just an additional bonus.
Dosh for Hotels
Earning Dosh cash back on hotels works a little differently. Hotel bookings need to be made in the app to earn cash for a stay. The app is very easy to use for search and ultimately returns a lot of hotel options. I’ve checked in my home town of San Francisco, in Denver for an upcoming trip for my husband, and in the Charlotte suburbs near my parents’ house. All my searches yielded a wide variety of hotels at various price points.
Any time apps or sites promise cash back for hotel bookings, however, I’m always skeptical. Is the rate just going to be marked up over other publicly available rates eating into the cash back? I’ve seen it happen. So I put Dosh’s lowest price guarantee to the test in my home market of San Francisco. I looked at three different hotels on three different dates to see how Dosh would stack up. I actually went to all major booking sites like Hotels.com, Expedia, Travelocity and Priceline to compare exactly the same hotel room on the same night. My results?
Hotel Nikko on June 30-July 1, 2017
- Lowest rate on major booking sites: $249
- Dosh: $248 – $22 = $226
Clift on July 12-13, 2017
- Lowest rate on major booking sites: $699
- Dosh: $690 – $142 = $548
Palace Hotel on July 29-30, 2017
- Lowest rate on major booking sites: $525
- Dosh: $524 – $211 = $313
As you can see from the comparison, Dosh’s lowest price guarantee held up. The rate was always a little bit lower than the best publicly available rate and the cash back on top of that really created a huge price differential. I was especially surprised to see just how significant the cash back for some higher-end hotels can be. But even the cheap hotels regularly offered $20-40 savings.
How to Get Dosh
If you are interested in giving Dosh a go for yourself, download Dosh here. You’ll get $5.00 Dosh cash just for signing up. Add additional credit cards to your profile for more Dosh credits. Plus, refer your own friends for an additional $5.00 in Dosh credit for yourself.