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As a personal finance writer—and manager of my own finances—I’m always on the look out for more ways to either save or earn more money.
EvoShare isn’t your typical cash back option like a credit card. There’s no need to apply for a new credit card, and there’s no credit check. You don’t even need to visit the EvoShare website after you sign up if you’re using their handy Chrome or Safari extension (sadly, there is no Firefox extension as of yet).
What does EvoShare Offer?
What EvoShare does is offer an easy way to save money toward one of three goals they are passionate about as a company. You can use your EvoShare money to:
- Put toward student loan debt
- Bolster your retirement savings
- Save for your child’s college fund
These are three awesome goals and you can choose between them on the fly at any time. Even if you don’t have any of the accounts above, EvoShare promised to hold your cash-back for you until you set up a place for your money to go.
All of this is free of charge as well!
The Game Changer
Before we get into EvoShare, I want to share with you what has attracted me to EvoShare more than anything else.
Generosity is a core concept of their tool.
If you are doing a great job of meeting your financial goals already, you can choose to help out a friend or family member instead. This is a HUGE thing.
There are many people out there that have friends or family members that are drowning in student loan debt or may not be making enough to make a dent in their retirement savings. You can help them right through EvoShare’s tool.
For retirement, you simply enter in your friend’s or family member’s retirement account information. This is easiest with a Roth IRA (see below for more on what is needed in general).
For college savings or student loan payoff, you simply check a box that says you want to earn cash back for a family or friend’s account.
This is a GREAT perk to EvoShare and is what really attracted me to their service, amongst other things.
So How Does it Work?
In order to start earning cashback, you need to setup a free account with EvoShare. This is super easy and can be done in just a couple of minutes. It’s literally one small form to fill out.
Step 1: Sign Up
First thing’s first. Go to the EvoShare homepage and signup using the orange “JOIN FOR FREE” button.
Fill out the form, select what you want to put your cash-back toward, select the “I am not a robot” checkbox, and then click the submit button.
After signing up there is a great welcome video explaining EvoShare. This only lasts a couple of minutes and I found it valuable.
Step 2: Link an Account
As mentioned, EvoShare holds your cash back if you don’t have a retirement account or the like. However, in order to get your cash back earning compound interest, it’s important to have some sort of account to deposit the funds into.
This is a fairly simple process. The most common accounts will be the 401K or Roth IRA. For both regular and Roth IRA, you only need your bank routing number and account number. Simple enough.
For the 401k (and 403b), EvoShare needs to work directly with your employer to make sure that your funds get deposited into your retirement account. For that, you’ll need some information, including the name and email of the person who is in charge of your benefits at work. Here’s everything they need:
After that, you should be all set up to start putting your cash back toward your retirement.
Step 3: Link a Debit/Credit Card
Next up, you’ll want to link a debit or credit card in order to get cash back at any brick and mortar stores that currently partner with EvoShare. As of right now, there aren’t a ton of these but EvoShare is constantly working on bolstering their partnerships.
This is a huge opportunity for cash back because many of the partners they currently have are restaurants. So you can go out and enjoy a meal while also saving for your retirement or college fund or helping to pay down your student loans. Pretty cool!
Linking a card is easy. You can either choose from the popular bank or payment providers or search for your institution. I use a smaller bank and was able to find and link with no problems.
When it initially linked my cards, it also pulled in my savings account information as well. I simply deleted these so there was no confusion about what account/card was linked to my EvoShare account with that particular bank.
You can also link as many cards as you want from separate institutions as well.
The awesome thing about linking a credit card to your EvoShare account is that you still get any and all perks of using that credit card. For example, if you have a Chase Freedom Unlimited card, you earn the 1.5% cash back from Chase as well as the cash back from whatever merchant your shopping with through EvoShare. You won’t miss out on any cash back!
After you link your cards, you can shop at your local merchant that has partnered with EvoShare using your linked card. EvoShare takes care of the rest and makes sure you get your cash back. Easy peasy!
A Note About Security
EvoShare doesn’t actually store any of your linked card information, which is a huge perk. They use a company called Yodlee to completely safeguard your data. Yodlee currently partners with 11 of the top 20 U.S. Banks and has more than a thousand other financial institutions that use their data platform.
You can read more on Yodlee’s safety measures here.
Step 4: Shop like you normally do!
Now that you’ve signed up for EvoShare, linked a debit or credit card, and hopefully entered in a place for your cash back to be utilized, there’s nothing left to do but shop!
As always, it’s important that you don’t use your new found cash back as an excuse to go shopping. Stay within your budgets that you’ve set for yourself but remember to try and use EvoShare to do the spending. That way you get some cash back to help you pay off your student loans, save for retirement, or put money toward your college fund.
My Experience with EvoShare (So Far)
I’ve used EvoShare a couple of times now and I can say it is definitely easy to use. Here are my likes and dislikes so far with the free service. Keep in mind that some of these may change over time as EvoShare grows.
What I Like
So as mentioned, I LOVE the fact that you can use this to help out a friend or family member. As someone who loves generosity, this is huge for me.
EvoShare is also very easy to use. They have a Chrome and Safari extension that you can install in your browser that prompts you to activate your cash back on sites that are partnered with EvoShare. When you visit a site that is partnered with them, the Chrome extension has a red border around it. Simply click on the extension, activate the cashback, and you’re good to shop!
If you don’t use Chrome or Safari, it’s best to go directly through the EvoShare backend to navigate to the store you want to shop at. This makes sure your purchase is tracked and you get cash back for it.
Speaking of the EvoShare backend, this is also pretty easy to use. The first thing you’ll notice on your dashboard is the goal you are working towards. This is where you can switch between retirement, college fund, or paying off student loans whenever you need to.
As you scroll down, you’ll see your current cash back points, a handy “Did You Know” column, and a place to submit a request to add a store that isn’t partnering with EvoShare yet. Underneath there you’ve got your favorite shops and some favorites that EvoShare recommends for you.
Then, we come to the tool where you can search for stores. You can search by name or by category. There are a TON of options for stores and might be overwhelming, but it goes to show how much work EvoShare has put into their cash back program in the few short years they’ve been around. Take a look around.
On the right-hand side is a toolbar that allows you to navigate around their backend.
What I Don’t Like
There are just a few things I’m not enjoying so far, and I think it’s all growing pains.
As of right now, EvoShare doesn’t allow you to pick more than one goal. You have to choose retirement saving, paying off student loans, OR a college fund. I’m not sure if that will ever change.
I get the point of only being able to focus on one thing at a time, but this would be a nice feature in the future—especially if someone is using EvoShare as an extra route to saving rather than the main vehicle. Most of the time, it’s best to only focus on one goal so I wouldn’t be surprised if this didn’t change.
While I was using EvoShare, I also had some issues with keeping the extension activated in both Chrome and Safari, specifically with Target. This didn’t make a great first impression since what I was buying was slightly pricier. I’d be missing a decent amount of cash back.
However, they MORE than made up for it. Not only did they fix the extension issue (and confirm my theory why it wasn’t working), but they were prompt about fixing it—and they are working with Target to get my cash back from the purchase. Some GREAT customer service.
There’s an easy way to contact them right in the cash back menu if you think you’re missing some cash back. They’d be happy to check it out for you!
Update: EvoShare was able to add the cashback I was missing to my account! I now have some money to add to my retirement account to help it grow. Sweet!
One small thing I felt was missing on the backend dashboard. They make it easy to search by category, but it would be nice if you were able to sort the category A to Z. For example, Clothing is one of several categories. Within the clothing category, there are 21 pages with 10 per page. They are not alphabetized or organized in any way that I can see. It’d be nice to be able to alphabetize these.
EvoShare is a great up-and-coming cash back program that is poised to turn the industry upside down in my opinion. Being able to save for retirement, a child’s college program, or pay off student loans without changing any of your spending habits is an amazing thing.
I think it’s awesome that they allow you to help out a friend or family member in their goals as well, especially if you already have a solid plan in place for yourself.
One last thing. They’ve done a lot of work to grow their online partnerships. They are continuing to work hard to gain more partnerships from brick and mortar businesses across the country as well. Admittedly, the local business aspect is a little bit sparse at the moment. Searching Chicago—one of the largest cities in the country—yields no results for restaurants or retail stores.
They have assured me that just in Chicago, they’ve got upwards of 70 restaurants that are coming on as partners with EvoShare within the next 30 days.
I’ve enjoyed my time using EvoShare so far. They’ve made a great first impression on me, especially their philosophy and customer service.
I’m looking forward to continuing to use them!
Let’s Help Them Grow!
EvoShare is a young company with a great mission. They want to help you save more and they want to help small and large businesses alike to grow.
Their mission on their about page reads that their “…goal is to make saving for retirement or paying off student loan debt accessible for everyone, all while creating a positive impact in our community of partnered restaurants and businesses.”
They are a company that is going after—and I believe they’re attaining—a win-win situation.
So let’s help them grow.
If you’d do me a huge favor and share this post to help spread the positive word about EvoShare that would be amazing.
After you sign up for EvoShare, let me know about your experience in the comments! I’d love to chat about it.