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How Stash Cash Back Works, and Where Your Reward Money Comes From

February 04, 2019
cash back

2 min read

If you’re like most people, you probably spend money every day. So wouldn’t it make sense to try to earn some cash back for all of your spending?

That’s the idea behind cash back programs, including Stash Cash Back.

As for what these programs actually are and how they work, we’ll explain.

How cash back programs work

Generally, cash back programs are simple. When you spend at merchants in a cash back network using an enrolled credit or debit card, you get a percentage of your transaction deposited as cash into a linked bank account.

The concept is similar to what happens when you use a coupon to buy something. When you make a purchase with a coupon, you’re getting a discount at the register. With cash back, you also receive a discount, but as money back after you swipe your card.

Cash back programs are a form of marketing that gives consumers an incentive to buy from specific businesses. Cash back programs generally work through marketing affiliate networks that specialize in signing up merchants to their programs. These networks then act as intermediaries between consumers and merchants that want to offer cash incentives.

The businesses pay the affiliate network a percentage of sales, a portion of which is returned to customers.

Think of it this way: Businesses want you to come to their store and spend money, and cash back programs work as incentives to get you in the door. You can think of the money you receive as a reward from the business for spending there.

When I get cash back, who is paying me?

Many people are confused about where the cash for their cash back payments actually comes from. It’s simple: under most card-linked cash back programs, the business that you bought from is paying you—though not all programs are identical, and some cash back credit card systems operate differently.

For example, if you buy a coffee at your local coffee shop and receive 3% cash back on your $3.00 purchase, the coffee shop will pay you 9 cents.

Over time, those small rewards can really add up. If you’re going to be spending money either way, signing up for a cash back program may be worth considering.

Learn more about and sign up for Stash Cash Back to start earning rewards.

Note: The Stash Cash Back program allows users to link an existing credit card. Stash’s cash back program won’t override some existing cash back programs you’re enrolled in, unless your card is already enrolled in an Empyr-affiliated program. Otherwise, it’s possible to “double-dip” on your cash back rewards.

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By Sam Becker

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