I wanted to try something new and help others out by offering some type of advice to those seeking it. For a disclaimer, I am not a financial advisor or professional of any kind or have anything to do with the business world. I’m just someone who tries to make the most of his money. I save and try to find ways to make my money work more for me. That being said, if you wish to pursue this after reading this post, please do so at your own risk. Look into your individual financial situation, and seek financial advice from a financial advisor if you wish to participate.
There are a lot of options that are out there for purchasing stocks. Many programs are available like Robin Hood and Betterment, where you can buy stock or EFT and index funds for virtually little to no transaction fee. But, you might not be interested in taking a chance of losing your money in stocks. Especially with how volatile the Stock Market can be. But there is a way I found where you can take everyday purchases that you make at Walmart, Starbucks, CVS, and many other stores and turn them into a small percentage of stock back from your purchase. It’s a program called Bumped.
I discovered Bumped after listening to a podcast of The Clark Howard show. A saver who encourages people to “Save more, spend less and never let anyone rip you off.” Bumped is a new type of reward program where you can get fractional shares of a company with no fees or purchase of stock is required. Once you sign up on the website and get a notification through email, you download the bumped app and follow the signup instructions. All you need to do is link a credit/debit card to the app and select the partner brand that you may shop at either online or in store. When you go to make a purchase, you get a percentage back in stock of those stores that you made a purchase at.
For example, say you made a purchase at Starbucks and spent $25. If you selected Starbucks for your partner brand, Bumped would give you 3% back in Starbucks stock which is $0.75. For me when I did this at the time of this post, it was one-hundredth of a share of Starbucks or .01.
I was able to join about two months ago. So far, I am happy with the program. I’ve earned about five dollars back in various stock from places that I shop or dine at. It usually takes about a week or so to show up on your account. It shows up when your purchase is posted on the credit/debit card that you use. After that, it’s another week for the stock purchase to go through on Bumped. Another great feature about this program is if you use a rewards credit card, you still get your rewards points, cash back or miles depending on the credit card you have. I always go for deals that stack and either save or give me back more money.
Of course, I do have somewhat i consider, downsides with this program. First, you can only select one partner brand from one particular category at a time. You get a list of category and loyalty selections. You then chose what store you wish to earn from. There is a category called burgers, for example, and I had Jack in the Box, McDonald’s, and Burger King. If I selected Burger King, I earn stock back in that company only. If I wanted to choose, McDonald’s later on down the road, then I would have to switch to McDonald’s to earn stock from my purchases there. Bumped allows you to switch, but you only can change brand loyalty in each category once per thirty days and get three switches per year. It’s not that big of a deal, but I don’t tend to bounce around at places such as restaurants and stores places, but I occasionally go to another store for a sale or to change up where I go to purchase items. I’m guessing that there is some kind of cost with transferring around on the company involved with this decision and at least there are no fees to switch.
Not so much a negative as it will most likely change in the future, but the program is still in a type of beta phase. After I signed up on the website, it almost took two months to get a signup email and use this. While there are some companies that I do purchase from on this app, there were some that I was told I could earn but didn’t see. Dunkin was mentioned as a brand, but at the time of this post, there isn’t an option for me to select it. Some stores are offered but are nowhere near where I live, like Kroger or Jack in the Box. Travel such as Southwest and Delta which were listed on the Clark Howard article weren’t an option for me. As were the categories for Apparel, Department Stores, Hotels and Resorts to name a few. Again, this could all be due to the rewards being in beta or companies changing their minds, and everything is or could have been subject to change.
The last two things that I have not yet seen is what kind of tax implications this will have on my finances since you can earn dividends and you can sell the stock for the cash back if you chose. Also, as far as I’m aware, this program is available in the United States only. In case you are reading this from outside of the US.
So why do this program? Because it’s a free way to get stock without having to spend money buying stock out of your own pocket. If you spend that $25 at Starbucks, how much would you usually get back from that money? Probably nothing if you didn’t you any other type of rewards, like a cash back or points credit card. Bumped, while small, helps give you some of your purchase in stock. Very fractional, but it’s stock that you don’t have to spend any of your money on. I am someone who isn’t good at playing the stock market. When I tried to invest in a stock, I’d panic and pull the money out and wind up losing more than what I started out with.
I do invest, but it’s usually in Index or Mutual funds. Investments that grow over time rather than have me sweat every time I see the Stock Market go up and down like a roller coaster ride. I’m not losing any money on purchased stock and getting stock back from everyday type purchases. If I lose money in my investments in this program, at least this was money I originally spent on products that I wasn’t getting back initially. If I do earn cash back from this, it’s a win in my book. You can also sell the stock back at any time, although you really want pocket change back or let it build up over time. You get rich right away, but it’s a way that to start investing that doesn’t cost you anything or require you to spend your money.
Thank you for Reading. Check out more of my blog posts at: www.tommoscato.com.