How to Stack Rewards and Cash Back

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Rewards credit cards and cashback apps provide easy ways to save money, but the results get even more impressive when you stack the rewards several layers deep.

If you want to spend less money, save more, and make the most of the money you have, this article is for you.

Regardless of how frugal or thrifty you are, you’re always going to have some expenses. But with the right approach you can easily earn cash back or rewards for virtually every purchase you make.

In this article we’ll look at how you can take advantage of multiple offers to stack rewards and cash back, with only a minimal amount of extra effort. Stacking or double dipping on rewards will give you more money to save and invest, and you’ll love the feeling of knowing that you got a great deal.

We’ll take a look at a few specific examples that show just how easy it can be to stack rewards. We’ll also talk about the tools and resources that you can use to put this into practice in your own life, starting today.

So if you like to save money (and I’m sure you do, or else you wouldn’t be on this page), keep reading for some simple, practical tips that can have a big impact on your finances.

Related reading: 11 Ways to Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards

The Basics of Stacking Rewards or Cash Back

There are a variety of different ways that you can earn cash back or rewards, and the concept of stacking or double dipping simply involves using multiple methods together.

You may be getting cash back by purchasing with a credit card, and then also getting cash back from an app. Or maybe you’re getting rewards points from a loyalty program.

The best way to explain is to simply give a few real-world examples, and I’m sure that you’ll quickly see the potential.

Here are some specific stacking strategies that you can use to save on things you need to buy.

1. Stacking Rewards for Gas Purchases

Assuming you drive a car, gas is one of those necessary expenses that will always be a part of the budget. Fortunately there are some great possibilities for stacking rewards on gas purchases. If you can save 5-10% on a necessity like gas, that’s a huge win for your budget!

Here is a real-world scenario of the approach I’ve used to save up to 10% on gas.

  1. Buy a gas station gift card at Raise.com for 5% off the face value. I purchased a $100 gift card for Sheetz, my local gas station, for $95 on Raise.com.
  2. Before making the purchase go to Rakuten (you’ll need a free Rakuten account). You can earn 1% cash back from Rakuten on any purchase at Raise.com.
  3. Make the purchase using a cash rewards credit card that earns 2% cash back.
  4. Use a gas station loyalty rewards card to get a discount on your gas purchase (I get a 1% discount at Sheetz). Pay with the gift card.
  5. Scan your receipt using the Trunow app to get an additional 1% cash back.

In this scenario I can save a total of 10% on gas purchases at Sheetz (you could use a similar approach with other gas stations). The biggest savings comes from purchasing the gift card from Raise at a discount. At Raise you can find gift cards for some gas stations, but not all. The discounts for gas stations tend to be a low percentage, but Raise often runs promotions where you can save an additional 4-6%, so those are great times to buy gift cards.

Rakuten – The Best Cashback App (Plus $10 Bonus!)

Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is one of the most popular cashback apps and you can easily save money at thousands of stores and websites with a free account. You can even get a $10 bonus just for signing up and making your first purchase!

Part of this scenario (and several others that will be mentioned in this article) includes a credit card that pays 2% cash back for all purchases. There are a couple of 2% cash back cards available and you can find details here: See an updated comparison of the best cash rewards credit cards.

Most gas stations have loyalty programs that will help you to save on every purchase. The discount at Sheetz is actually $0.03 per gallon, not a set percentage. Since all of the other rewards were listed as a percentage I put the Sheetz discount into a percentage based on the current price.

If you’re not familiar with Trunow, it is a free app that helps you to find the lowest prices on gas near you, plus you can earn 1-2% cash back on any gas purchase. It’s really easy, and it’s a nice complement to these other rewards that have already been mentioned.

Related reading: How to Save Money on Gas

2. A Second Possibility to Stack Rewards for Gas

The example is a little different and actually earn stock as a reward by using the Bumped app. Bumped is very similar to a cashback app, except you’ll earn stock instead of cashback. From your Bumped dashboard, you’ll select one company from each of several different categories, including gas.

In the gas category, you can currently select from Shell, BP, Chevron, or ExxonMobile. Then whenever you make a purchase at the gas station of your choice using a credit card that is linked to Bumped, you’ll earn a fractional share of stock as a percentage of the purchase. Currently, all four of these gas stations are offering 0.5% (gas and groceries are the categories with the lowest percentages in Bumped).

  1. Sign up for the Bumped app, select your choice of gas stations, and link your credit cards.
  2. Purchase gas from Shell, BP, Chevron, or ExxonMobile using a linked cashback credit card that earns you 2% in cashback. You’ll get an additional 0.5% in company stock through Bumped.
  3. Scan your receipt using the Trunow app to get an additional 1% cash back.

In this scenario, if you had Shell selected as your gas loyalty in Bumped, you could earn 3% in cashback and 0.5% in Shell stock for all of your gas purchases at Shell.

Bumped is a relatively new app and there is currently a waitlist. I got an invite to start using the app about one month after signing up for the waitlist, so I’d recommend joining the waitlist right away.

3. A Third Possibility to Stack Rewards for Gas

Some grocery stores allow you to earn rewards points that are linked to your loyalty program card, and you may be able to use those points for significant discounts on gas, or even free gas. The grocery stores that have theses programs will usually have weekly specials that allow you to earn extra points for buying certain items. If you stock up on items during these promotions you can earn significant discounts on gas. This does require a little bit of work as you’ll need to check the specials each week and make your shopping list based on the current deals.

This scenario is just one possibility. The discount that you can earn on gas will depend on your shopping habits, but this is a very realistic possibility.

  1. Sign up for the loyalty program with a local grocery store that offers a discount on gas with your rewards points.
  2. Earn gas points with your purchases at the grocery store. For this example, let’s say you earn a discount of $0.20 per gallon.
  3. Purchase gas using a cashback credit card that earns you 2% in cashback.
  4. Scan your receipt using the Trunow app to get an additional 1% cash back.

4. Stacking Rewards for Groceries

Just like gas, groceries are a necessary expense. The grocery bill is a significant part of the budget for most families, so any savings is welcomed.

  1. Buy a grocery store gift card at Raise.com at a 5% discount. Gift cards for one of my local grocery stores, Giant, are currently available at a 1% discount, but if you buy during a promotion you can get them for 5% off, or more.
  2. Before making the purchase go to Rakuten (you’ll need a free Rakuten account). You can earn 1% cash back from Rakuten on any purchase at Raise.com.
  3. Make the purchase using a cash rewards credit card to earn 2% cash back.
  4. Use a grocery store loyalty card to get the best sales prices and earn points for other rewards. Pay with the gift card.
  5. Use cash back apps Ibotta and Fetch Rewards to save on items that you would be buying anyway.
  6. Use any printed coupons that you have.

In this scenario you can save 8% with the combination of Raise, Rakuten, and a good cash back credit card (and any savings with Ibotta or Fetch Rewards is on top of that). I know groceries are an ongoing expense that I’ll always have, so whenever a good promotion comes up on Raise.com I can buy a grocery gift card knowing that I’m going to use it.

Ibotta – An Amazing Cash Back App
Ibotta is one of the best cashback apps that you need to be using if you like to save money. Save money on the things you need to buy at grocery stores, department stores, home improvement stores, and online.

If you’re not familiar with Ibotta and Fetch Rewards, they are cash back apps that make it easy to save money on specific products, and in some cases on any purchase at a particular store. You just select the offers you want and then use your phone to scan your receipt after the purchase. It’s very easy, and a great way to stack rewards. In fact, with Fetch Rewards you can just scan the receipt without claiming offers ahead of time.

Pro Tip: Another great option for groceries is to use the Chase Freedom credit card. This card normally gives you 1% cash back, but during a particular quarter of the year, you can get 5% cash back on groceries. And that 5% also applies to gift card purchases (at least, that’s how it has worked for me in the past). That means that you can stock up on gift cards while you’re getting 5% cashback and then use those gift cards later.

Related reading: 33 Brilliant Ways to Save Money on Groceries.

5. Stacking Rewards on Groceries at Kroger

If you do your grocery shopping at Kroger, you should definitely sign up for the Bumped app. You can earn fraction shares of Kroger stock at a rate of 0.5% of your purchases. While the percentage is low, you probably spend a lot on groceries, so it can add up. If you spend an average of $100 per week, you’ll earn about $25 in Kroger stock over the course of a year, on top of other cashback and rewards.

  1. Sign up for the Bumped app, select Kroger your choice of grocery stores, and link your credit cards.
  2. Purchase groceries at Kroger using a linked cashback credit card that earns you 2% in cashback. You’ll get an additional 0.5% in Kroger stock through Bumped.
  3. Use cash back apps Ibotta and Fetch Rewards to save on items that you would be buying anyway.
  4. Use any printed coupons that you have.

In this scenario, you would get 2% in cashback, plus 0.5% in Kroger stock, plus whatever savings you get from Ibotta and Fetch Rewards. And if you’re using the Chase Freedom card while Chase is offering 5% cashback at grocery stores, the numbers are even better.

6. Stacking Rewards at Restaurants

In general, buying food at the grocery store and preparing it at home will save you a lot of money compared to eating at restaurants. But that doesn’t mean that you should never eat a restaurant. When you do go out to a restaurant there are some great ways to earn rewards.

  1. Buy a restaurant gift card at Raise.com for a 10% discount (the savings will vary depending on the restaurant, but there are many available for 10% off even without any type of extra promotion or sale).
  2. Before making the purchase go to Rakuten (you’ll need a free Rakuten account). You can earn 1% cash back from Rakuten on any purchase at Raise.com.
  3. Make the purchase using a cash rewards credit card to earn 2% cash back.
  4. Use a restaurant loyalty program to earn extra rewards toward a free item.

Not too long ago I purchased a Domino’s Pizza gift card on Raise.com at a 17% discount. I made the purchase through Rakuten (1%) with my credit card (2% cash back), so the total discount was 20%. Then I purchased a special on Dominos.com (large 3-topping pizza for $7.99), which was a great deal even before the savings. I also got credit for the purchase through their loyalty program and I’m one step closer to a free pizza.

Related reading: 15 Easy Ways to Save Money at Restaurants

7. A Second Possibility to Stack Rewards at Restaurants

While my favorite way to save at restaurants is to buy discounted gift cards, another option is to pay with your credit card at the restaurant and earn stock through Bumped. Currently, you can earn stock rewards at the following restaurants through Bumped: Chili’s, Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Red Robin, McDonald’s, Burger King, Chipotle, Subway, Taco Bell, and Jamba Juice. You’ll earn 2% or 3% in company stock for your purchases at those restaurants.

  1. Sign up for the Bumped app, select your choice of “family dining” and “quick eats”, and link your credit cards.
  2. Pay at the restaurant using a linked cashback credit card that earns you 2% in cashback. You’ll get an additional 2% – 3% in company stock through Bumped.
  3. Use a restaurant loyalty program to earn extra rewards toward a free item.

8. Stacking Rewards for Hotel Reservations

Most people know about loyalty programs with particular hotel chains, but if you like to find the lowest price and you stay in a different chain each trip it can take a really long time to earn rewards. Fortunately, there are other ways to save.

  1. Purchase a Hotels.com gift card at Raise.com for 6% off.
  2. Before making the purchase go to Rakuten (you’ll need a free Rakuten account). You can earn 1% cash back from Rakuten on any purchase at Raise.com.
  3. Make the purchase using a cash rewards credit card to earn 2% cash back.
  4. Use the Hotels.com loyalty program to earn a free night in any hotel.

In this scenario you can save 9% (or more if you buy the gift card during a promotion at Raise). Plus, Hotels.com tends to have great prices to start with. The Hotels.com loyalty rewards program allows you to earn points regardless of which hotels you stay in, making it a great choice if you use a lot of different hotels. For every 10 nights, you’ll earn 1 free night.

9. How to Stack Rewards for Shopping at Amazon

  1. Before making a purchase go to Rakuten. You’ll earn cash back for some purchases on Amazon.com, but the percentage varies depending on the category. Some categories will not earn any cash back.
  2. Make the purchase using an Amazon Prime credit card (5% cash back for Prime members).
  3. Use the free Paribus app to track shipments on your Amazon purchases and earn rewards if the shipment is late.
Let Paribus Find Refunds for You (It’s Free!)
Paribus is a free app that monitors prices after you make a purchase from a store with a low-price guarantee. It notifies you if a store owes you a refund. It also tracks Amazon shipments and helps you to get compensated for late packages.

The Tools You Need to Stack Cash Back and Rewards

If you want to make the most of cash back and rewards, here are the tools and resources that you’ll need.

A Good Cashback Credit Card

Most cashback credit cards will pay you 1% on your purchases. I love cards that pay 2% cashback. There are other good cashback cards as well, and many of them allow you to earn larger amounts of cashback on specific purchases.

I also have the Chase Freedom card, which each pays 5% cash back on purchases in categories that rotate each quarter, and 1% cash back on everything else. I use this card only for purchases that will earn me 5% cash back.

Find the best cash back credit cards here.

Check Out These Easy Ways to Get Free Money!
Sign up bonuses, missing money, easy rewards, and other offers that will put money into your pocket with little-to-no effort on your part.

Raise.com

Raise is one of my favorite websites. You can buy other people’s unwanted gift cards at below face value. Raise offers a one-year money-back guarantee on all purchases, so you can feel safe that you’re not going to get ripped off. With offers on a huge selection of retail stores, restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, hotel chains, and even a few airlines, this is one of the easiest ways to save money.

The key with Raise is to buy gift cards for places where you know you’re going to spend money (like gas stations, grocery stores, and your favorite restaurants). One you’ve made a purchase at Raise you’ll be on their email list and you’ll get notifications when they are offering promotions. It’s pretty common for them to offer an additional 4-6% off every purchase.

Aside from Raise there are other similar sites like CardCash and CardPool. I like Raise because of their one-year guarantee and because they have the best selection of gift cards.

Rakuten ($10 signup bonus)

You can sign up for a free Rakuten account and earn cash back for making purchases at thousands of different stores and websites. It’s super easy and they’ll even give you a $10 bonus for signing up. Rakuten has become a big part of my cash back strategy.

Aside from Rakuten, there are also other similar cash back apps and sites like TopCashback. I like Rakuten the best, mostly for ease of use, but TopCashback has some great offers as well. (See my article on the best cash back apps and websites.)

Sign up for Rakuten and get a $10 bonus.

Swagbucks ($5 signup bonus)

Swagbucks allows you to earn points (they call them Swagbucks) that can be redeemed for your choice of gift cards or PayPal cash. There are several different ways to earn Swagbucks and one of the options is a cashback program that is very similar to Rakuten. You may be able to earn a higher amount of cashback at some websites through Rakuten, but sometimes Swagbucks will have a better cashback offer.

Sign up for Swagbucks and get a $5 bonus.

Ibotta ($20 in signup bonuses)

Ibotta is an awesome cash back app. You can claim offers from a wide variety of stores and websites, saving on purchases that you would be making anyway. For purchases made in a store you’ll simply use your phone to scan the receipt and earn the cash back.

Sign up for Ibotta through this link and get $20 in bonus offers.

Fetch Rewards

Fetch Rewards is a cashback app especially for groceries, and it’s very easy to use. All you need to do is scan your grocery receipts and you’ll earn points that can be redeemed for your choice of rewards.

Sign up for Fetch Rewards.

Trunow

With the free Trunow app you can get 1-2% cash back on gas purchases. It may not seem like a lot, but when you’re stacking rewards every little bit adds up.

Sign up for Trunow.

Bumped

Bumped is a free app that allows you to earn company stock instead of cashback. You can shop at places like Sam’s Club, Kroger, Shell, McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts and many other places to earn free stock.

Get on the Bumped waitlist.

Store Loyalty Rewards Programs

A lot of stores offer some sort of loyalty program. It could be a small discount at a gas station, sale prices at a grocery store, points toward a free pizza or a free cup of coffee, or just about anything else. Make sure that you sign up for loyalty programs at stores/restaurants that you use the most.

Paribus

Paribus is a free app that will help you to find refunds owed to you by stores that offer a price match guarantee. It will search for a lower price and help you to get the refund when it finds a lower price. It also tracks your Amazon shipments to make sure they’re on time. When there is a late shipment Paribus can help to get you a free month of Prime or an Amazon gift card.

Get Paribus for free.

iDine

iDine will pay you 5% or 10% cash back for eating at certain restaurants and leaving an online review. You can see the restaurants in your area that are offering the cash back.

Sign up for iDine for free.

Start Maximizing Your Cash Back

Follow the steps in this article to start getting the most cash back and rewards possible on things like gas, groceries, restaurants, and travel. This article has everything you need to save hundreds of dollars per year with very little extra effort on your part. You’ll find it is one of the best and easiest ways to save money (also see my article 15 of the Best Cash Back Websites and Apps).

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