Bumped is an unusual app that gives a new twist to the old idea of retail loyalty programs.
Instead of getting coupons or discounts, Bumped gives you a small share of company stock each time you make a purchase at one of your favorite retailers, restaurants or e-commerce sites.
Best of all, there are absolutely no fees involved with the investments you receive when you use this app!
Bumped: A new way to get stock from your favorite brands
Imagine getting company stock as a reward just for shopping in stores and online with the brands you already love! That’s what the Bumped app offers.
I first wrote about Bumped back in April 2018 when the beta opened up to the public. I signed up for it at that time and was added to the wait list.
Bumped isn’t fully launched yet (it’s still in beta), so they’re still using the wait list model. And while you can download the app for either iOS or Android, you can’t actually sign up for the service until your number comes up on the wait list and you get your invite.
I wrote to the company to ask why they’re doing it this way — teasing you by letting you download the app, but not giving you full sign-up capabilities — and a Bumped employee named Kenny had this to say:
“Since we’re still in beta, we’re scaling steadily — sending out a wave of invites, ensuring our customers have a smooth experience and the support they need, then determining how many to bring in the next wave. We’re doing something that’s never been done before, which means we have to steadily and patiently ramp up to ensure every system works properly and you all have the best experience.”
After about four months of waiting, I finally received my invite in late August. Now I’ve been using the service for a couple of weeks and so far I like what I’m seeing!
Here’s what you need to know about Bumped:
Getting started: How does Bumped work?
It all starts with you signing up for the waitlist here.
If my experience is any indication, you’ll have to wait a while before your invite comes. But once you get it, you can open the app and link your credit card (or debit card) to it. You’ll also have to select your favorite stores within their app. More on that process in a bit!
While you’re doing all that, Bumped has to set up an online brokerage account for you to house your stock. That process can take up to one or two business days.
You’ll be asked to provide your full legal name, address, phone number, date of birth, Social Security Number, employment status, and income in order to open the brokerage account.
Once your account is set up and your card is linked to it, you shop as you normally would at participating stores, restaurants and online.
Bumped tracks your card and when they see you’ve made a purchase at one of the stores you identified as a favorite with that card, then they deposit a free fractional share of that company’s stock into your brokerage account.
Online purchases made from physical retailers count, too. So you could buy something online at Walmart.com with your linked card and get rewarded with free Walmart stock from the company. You don’t necessarily have to go to the store.
Here are the participating companies
This list is subject to change without notice, but these are the stores currently available as loyalty selections on the Bumped app:
|Airlines – 0.5% back in company stock
||Ice cream – 3% back
|Apparel – 0.5% back
||Mexican food – 2% back
|Burgers – 3% back
||Movies – 2% back
|Coffee – 2% back
|Department stores – 1% back
||Online – all 1% back unless otherwise noted
|Family dining – 2% back
||Superstores – 1% back
|Grocery – 1% back
|Home improvement – 1% back
|Hotels and resorts – 0.5% back
One you pick a company you’re locked in — sort of
From the nearly two dozen categories above, you have to pick one and only to be loyal to in each category.
Furthermore, you can only change your loyalty once per 30 days and three time a year in any given category.
So if you want to continue receiving stock in your loyalty company, you can only jump ship a handful of times between, say, Walmart and Target or Home Depot and Lowe’s.
Of course, you’re always free to shop anywhere you’d like regardless of whether or not you use Bumped. But if you want the stock, you have to make your purchase through the company you’ve identified using the card you have on record with Bumped.
Have a look at my Bumped portfolio
Walmart and Chipotle were both a couple of companies I marked as loyalty selections as soon as I downloaded the app.
Since then, I’ve shopped Walmart twice — once online and once in a physical store — and grabbed lunch at Chipotle once.
So I have a whopping 81 cents of Walmart stock (WMT) and 38 cents of Chipotle stock (CMG) in my Bumped portfolio after spending a combined $98.99 at both places.
Using Bumped won’t make you rich in the short term, but I’m always interested in trying out new investing apps!
And because Bumped has absolutely zero fees, it’s not costing me anything to accumulate this stock — beyond what I already normally spend at my regular favorite retailers and restaurants.
Once you get past the initial wait list period, it’s smooth sailing with Bumped. You just make purchases as you normally would at your favorite spots using your designated card and get rewarded with stock.
If you’re looking for a low-cost way to start investing that doesn’t require you to come up with more money in your life than you’re already spending, Bumped could be it for you!