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It seems as if there are rewards programs for just about everything these days, and super is no exception! Services that can reward you with super contributions when you shop are out there, and one of them is Grow My Money.
We’ve taken the service for a test drive to see if and how it might benefit you.
What is Grow My Money?
Grow My Money is the brainchild of Pascale Helyar-Moray, an entrepreneur and committed gender equality advocate. Pascale’s experience in financial services and time acting as director of the Australian Gender Equality Council made her acutely aware of the challenges facing women that can lead to lower super balances.
Grow My Money was created to help address the super gender gap by channelling extra contributions into women’s super when they do something that they were doing anyway – shop! This way women who are not in the workforce, and therefore not receiving employer super contributions, have a chance to add to their super. But this group is not the only target market.
Although the service was created with women in mind, it is open to everyone aged 18–75, regardless of gender or work status.
When you sign up and shop with participating retailers via the Grow My Money website, app or by activating the Grow My Money extension on your web browser, you can earn cashback that is paid into your super fund. There’s even the option to link your credit and debit cards to earn super contributions when you make a purchase at a participating retailer in store.
How does it work?
When you shop online via Grow My Money you’re visiting the retailer’s website through a referral link – you may have heard this called an ‘affiliate link’. The link allows the retailer to track that you have been referred by Grow My Money and, when you make a purchase, a commission is paid.
In-person shopping with a linked card at a participating retailer is tracked via the card service, with the retailer again paying a commission.
Grow My Money collects these commissions and forwards them on to your nominated super fund once a month. The amount returned to your super is usually a small percentage of your purchase, around 1–2% for big ticket items like travel and appliances and higher percentages for gifts and fashion. Since Grow My Money was founded in 2019, more than $150,000 has been paid into super funds across Australia.
We signed up for Grow My Money when it was known as Super Rewards to put the service through its paces.
Joining is simple and easy – just enter a few personal details at the Grow My Money sign-up page, and your account is ready to shop.
Once you have successfully logged in, take the time to look at your account details. Here you can add the details of your super fund and link your credit/debit cards for in-store shopping. You’ll need your fund’s BPAY biller code and your unique BPAY customer reference number. We grabbed this information from a recent super statement, but it should also be available by logging into your super account or giving your fund a call.
If you have a self-managed super fund (SMSF), you’ll need to contact super rewards with your SMSF name, ABN and bank account details so contributions can be forwarded on.
If you tend to shop on your phone or tablet, you could also take the time to download the Grow My Money app and add the browser extension to your computer if you wish. We found links to both of these options at the bottom of the home page and installed them without any issues.
Once the admin is done, it’s time for the fun part – shopping! We tested the app and website and found both simple to use – just log in and search for a brand, retailer or category you would like to shop. Some of the most popular are eBay, Virgin, Catch, Appliances Online and The Iconic.
Once you’ve found something that catches your eye, click on the link and the website or app will redirect you to the retailer’s website via the referral link. If you make a purchase, the commission generated will flow back to your super rewards account.
As mentioned earlier, we also added the browser extension and found it particularly handy. With the extension installed, retailers offering cashback will be highlighted with a Grow My Money logo and details on the cashback percentage available when they appear in your internet search results. This way, you can simply search for products you want using Google or another search engine and choose a retailer offering rewards if one appears. When you click a link from your search that offers super rewards, a pop up will appear on the retailer’s landing page that you can use to log in and activate your cash back – just click the ‘activate now’ button.
What type of contribution will I get?
Grow My Money pays your rewards as personal after-tax (non-concessional) contributions. You can choose to claim a tax deduction and convert them into concessional (pre-tax) contributions if you wish.
Not sure which contribution type is right for you? Find out how to decide.
Is it worth it?
Contributions you get from a rewards service are unlikely to add thousands of dollars a year to your account, but every little bit makes a difference. If you’re eligible, your super rewards could even get you a co-contribution from the government.
On average, Grow My Money members spend around $280 a month through the service. If they earn 2% cashback, that’s $5.60 a month or $67.20 a year in extra super contributions. The actual contribution will vary depending on the specific mix of cashback offers you qualify for and what you spend.
Provided you’re earning rewards for spending that you would be doing even without the offer, participating can’t hurt, and large purchases like airfares or new home appliances could generate a significant reward.