Free app earns you cash back at your favorite restaurants

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Square's Cash Boost rewards program offer new ways to save at Chipotle, Shake Shack and other chains.
Square's Cash Boost rewards program offer new ways to save.
Screenshot: Gabe Trumbo/Cult of Mac

Square’s Cash App just got far more rewarding. The Cash Boost program now offers cash back at several well-known restaurants and stores, including Shake Shack and Chipotle. Even better, now anybody can participate.

With a little strategy, you can save loads of money on everyday purchases. Here’s how you can earn cash back at restaurants every day with the free Cash App.

The Cash App is Square’s mobile payment app, which functions similarly to Venmo. The key distinction is that the Cash App gives you a free, customized Square debit card that links directly to your account balance.

It looks like the poor man’s version of an AMEX Black, but I am completely OK with that. The Cash Card rewards program, which during beta testing offered users $1 off every purchase at coffee shops, has now expanded. (For an in-depth review of the Cash App rewards program, check out my previous post: How to save $1 on every coffee you buy.)

Square Cash Boost rewards program expands

On May 1, Square rolled out an expanded Cash Boost program for all users. These discounts include 15 percent off at Chipotle and Shake Shack, $1 off at Subway or any coffee shop, 10 percent off at Chick-fil-A and Panera Bread, and 5 percent off at Whole Foods.

The main response from my last article was that the coffee reward wasn’t available. (I was part of a subset of users getting to beta test the Square rewards program). Although hearing that made me feel bad for proselytizing a perk that wasn’t available to all users yet, it also seemed to be the closest I’ll ever get to being a celebrity. It caused me to walk a little taller for the rest of the week — so thank you all for that.

I’ve double-checked, and the Square Cash Boost program is now available to all users. However, you must have the most recently updated version of the Square Cash iOS app. (The Android rollout is ongoing.)

How to get cash back with Square Cash App rewards

You can easily drop a new Cash Boost onto your Square Cash App once every 24 hours.
You can easily drop in a new Cash Boost once every 24 hours.
Screenshot: Gabe Trumbo/Cult of Mac

Once in Square’s Cash App, you can choose from the seven rewards listed above and can “drop” one boost on your card at a time. You can change your chosen reward over time — that’s where a little advanced planning comes in handy.

You can use your selected Boost once every two hours, and you can swap your Boost every 24 hours.

The most disappointing aspect of the new Cash App rewards program is that my three-part Starbucks purchases — where I would purchase a coffee, scone and water, all separately — will no longer save me $3.

The most exciting part is that if you think strategically about when to swap your Boost, you could save money at favorite restaurants every day.

An example week:

  • Monday: Coffee on the way to work (save $1)
  • Tuesday: Chipotle for lunch (save $1.50)
  • Wednesday: Grocery shopping at Whole Foods (save $5)
  • Thursday:Panera Bread for breakfast (save $1)
  • Friday: Lunch at Shake Shack (save $1.50)

Boom! You just saved $10 simply by using your Cash Card. Thank you, Jack Dorsey!