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New Ways to Add Value for Your Membership

I’m kind of an app freak. Well, really, I am a rebate, savings, make some money on the side app freak. I love them. My obsession began a few years ago when I was trying to do a “fun apps to help save you $$” newsletter article. I downloaded, tested them, hated some, loved others. I scanned bar codes, receipts, clicked through to sites from the apps to earn some percentage of my purchases. Saw some become obsolete or consolidated and of course new improved, more innovative, easier to use ones crop up. Years later I still love them. I have my three favs currently and….more importantly….my kids LOVE THEM!

Ok. So, moms and dads out there… this blog’s for you.

“Mom, can I have $? I’m going to the mall.”

“Mom, this month’s Ipsy is on fire. Can I subscribe monthly for only $12 with your credit card?”

“Mom, this bag of 35 ring pops that I absolutely must have is only $7. Can I buy it? (meaning – I’m putting it in your Target cart.)

OMG!!! It is endless. The requests drive me crazy, add up and quite literally make me want to Van Gogh myself so I don’t have to hear them. (Side note, I am not in any way diminishing or making light of Vincent’s depression or mental illness. Only noted for illustrative purposes.)

My answer, I had them put their overpriced phones with monthly reoccurring payments, insurance costs and complaints about lost chargers to good use.

Shopkick. Fetch. Ibotta. I love them. I find them fun to use. They’re not time consuming, and it’s a great way to earn gift cards or cash back for me, and better yet, for the Wilder girls. Either way, it’s a win for me and my wallet. If you haven’t used these apps, they are really cool.

Quick overview. With Shopkick, you keep it open and your Bluetooth on as you shop. You earn points as you walk in (or by) certain stores, and you can earn more points for scanning certain products. My girls love to walk around Target and scan products, and it keeps them busy while I’m shopping, and it keeps them throwing things in my cart. Plus, they are constantly earning $5 or $10 gift cards to places like Target and Ulta. I’ve been using this for a little over a year and have earned $150 in Amazon gift cards. And the girls have earned about 1/3 of that combined. Nice score for them!

Fetch. Love this app! You scan your receipts from grocery and big box stores like my beloved Target. The app awards you points for each receipt. BUT! The best thing about this app is that it tracks your spending. I’ve been using it since March, and I’ve spent $5,221,80 – which is approximately 26.27% of my spending. I’m actually surprised it is only that. To date (since March) I’ve earned $75 in gift cards to Amazon. Not bad.

And lastly Ibotta. I have been using it for about two years and only regularly for 15 months or so. I found it cumbersome but kept trying since the rewards were decent. They’ve streamlined and simplified the experience and now it is easy breezy lemon squeezy. I’m just shy of $600 in total earnings.

My point is, in this world of new tech, new ways to “earn income”, new places to hold disposable income, and a push for financial education and literacy, wouldn’t it be neat to partner with these app and use them as teaching and savings tools for the younger generations?

My girls, 13 and 10, a saver and a spender respectively, both enjoy these apps for the same reason – the need/want for spending power and the lack of ways to earn towards it. (without asking mom).

How can we as credit unions tie into this “earnings game”? Are there ways we can create partnerships with the Shopkicks, the Fetches, the Ibottas?

I would love to see a partnership with Ibotta that gave members the option of splitting the reward between the gift card and a deposit into your credit union youth savings account. Possibly with a percentage bonus earned for reaching a specific number of deposits or reaching a savings amount goal.

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