Most people need to be reminded to make their money work harder for them. Don’t leave your hard earned cash sitting in a savings account that hardly pays any interest. Instead, look at investment options with returns that will at least beat inflation and put the magic of compounding interest work for you.
But I recently discovered that you can also make your smart phone work harder for you. Use that gadget that may have cost you an arm and a leg to earn you some extra cash, by simply downloading a few choice apps that can give you more bang for the buck. It goes without saying that the rule here is to still only buy or pay for what you really plan on getting anyway.
SHOPBACK. I remember ignoring so many email invites from friends to try this but once I started using it, I was hooked. Shopback is essentially a cashback reward program and it’s available across Asia Pacific. They have more than 300 online partner stores and some of them I really use so this was so relevant for me. Members can earn up to 30 percent cashback depending on the offered deal. Some stores confirm your cashback as soon as 48 hours after transaction while some will take weeks. But it’s money you can get through a bank account or credit to PayPal.
Now if I have to buy or book anything online, my starting point is Shopback. Books? Groceries? Hotels? Airplane tickets? I make sure to check if I can get cashback, and what do you know, sometimes I get lucky with discounts too.
EATIGO. We all dine out, and some more often than others. With Eatigo, you can book a table with a few clicks, and get up to 50 percent off in their featured restaurants. Yes, that’s not a typo – I have used this app and paid half the cost of the food we enjoyed. Booking is free and you do not need to pay a subscription fee to become and stay a member. This restaurant reservation App offers time-based discounts every day and not just in Metro Manila. I’ve used it in Laguna and Tagaytay, and there are thousands more I have yet to check out.
On top of the discount, Eatigo also runs promotions that rewards users with vouchers. You can claim these cash vouchers (once, I was able to use P400) on top of the discount. What a steal, right? Oh, and I earn Shopback too with every reservation.
METRODEAL. I was one of those who went crazy for Metrodeal when it was introduced in the Philippines, and when I started buying things I didn’t really need, I stopped subscribing to the emails and also deleted the app. Now that I have (I think) better control on my spending impulses, I downloaded the app anew but no to getting the email offers. This way, I check the site only to see if they an offer for something I really plan on getting – say unlimited Korean BBQ at Jin Joo Korean Grill. Our party of six had made dinner reservations for the same night, and discovered a half price off through Metrodeal. And I clicked thru from Shopback. Metrodeal promises savings up to 90 percent on 1000s of great deals at nearby restaurants, spas, activities, shopping, travel and more in the Philippines and also in Thailand.
My word of caution though – buy only vouchers you plan to use soon. If you see a great deal and think I can use this someday…stop! That path lies to unnecessary spending, not savings.
GRAB FOOD. Food delivery apps are also becoming more popular and sometimes it is cheaper to use them than for you to go and buy the food yourself. Strange right? But these apps are trying to build their customer base so they are "rewarding" you to try them out and hoping you will like them enough to keep using them even when you have to start paying full price. I have tried several and right now I am loving Grab Food. As a new user, I got a voucher that gave me 30 percent off on my food cost for the first 3 orders. After that, I would take advantage of promotions when available. What I like about Grab Food is that you can chat directly with the rider getting your food – in case one dish is not available, or you want to add to your order. Plus the estimated delivery time is usually right, though you can only pay with cash.
HONESTBEE. Honestbee is also a good option for food delivery, and if you use Shopback, they’re partners so you earn cash rebate when you click thru from there. They have discount offers too and accept cash and credit card payments. I use Honestbee more often for grocery though, but I noticed that whether for food or grocery items, sometimes the online price is different from what’s on the physical stores. Maybe I have too much time in my hands but I like to be told that there is a premium being charged on top of the delivery fee and concierge fee. So buyer beware and stick to the ones you know are really good deals.
There’s another food delivery service that I tried and disappointed me 8 times out of 10. That’s because they handle mass orders, so one rider will sometimes have to wait out several orders in the same mall so their delivery time is nearly always late. You’re hangry (hungry and angry) by the time their pink uniformed rider comes around… heavily pedaling on a bicycle.
AGODA. There are many online sites that offer travel deals and I have tried most of them but I find myself returning to Agoda often. They also offer Shopback or on certain dates dangle irresistible discounts from my credit card company. On top of the cashback and credit card deal, they also offer discounted rates – plus a rebate if I go through with the booking. And anticipating that my plans may change, I always choose the free cancellation option.
BOOK DEPOSITORY. As a lifelong bookworm, my list won’t be complete without an online bookstore. When I need hard-to-find books, or hardbound copies for my personal library, this site never disappoints. My wish list is never empty, and so is my shopping cart.
Book Depository is also a partner of Shopback, so there’s the rebate and then most books are on sale or generally cheaper than local bookstore prices. Maybe I shop too much because I also regularly receive discount vouchers. But the reason this site beats Amazon for me is they offer free delivery!
You may be wondering just how much extra cash we are talking about here. In my case, Shopback has paid me rebates of more than P50,000 in the two years or so I’ve been a member. That’s money I would not have received despite being a loyal customer to the stores I frequent. So let your fingers do the saving. Happy clicking!
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.