It’s no longer just pizza delivered to your door. Many restaurants participate in food delivery apps and services that will deliver every type of food right to your door. However, if you’re not careful, the price of the meal can almost double with all of the fees, surcharges, taxes, and gratuities that get tacked on at the end. You won’t even see most of those charges until you’re ready to check out, and by then, you have spent quite a bit of time coordinating your order to a tee. You’re so ready (and not to mention hungry) to click “Order” that no matter what the price, you’re likely already a customer and putting a big dent in your wallet.
Fetch is here to help save the day and provide some tips, tricks, free gift cards, and hacks to help you save money on your next food delivery order. This is not meant to take money out of the pocket of your food delivery person, but to mitigate the extra fees and surcharges that may come with such an order.
Here are 9 ways to save cash the next time you want food delivered to your door:
1. Enroll in a Food Delivery Subscription Service
At first, the up-front price of paying for a carrier’s annual subscription service may seem annoying, but if you plan to order a few times per year, the premium subscription versions of different food delivery apps waive the fee in place of the annual charge. Do a little math and decide if paying upfront will save you money in the long run. More importantly, check your credit card to see if it comes with any premium delivery service built into its own annual fee. For example, many Chase-issued credit cards come with DoorDash DashPass, which can save users quite a bit of money and time when linking their cards and accounts.
2. Sign Up for Delivery App and Restaurant Email Offers
Even if you don’t sign up for a program’s subscription service, food delivery apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash have all-too-frequent promotions that will save a solid chunk of the cost of your order. Ranging from 10-25% off, these are the most common offers with savings sometimes applied to accounts that even double that to encourage orders. While delivery apps make their money on service fees, you can still end up saving quite a bit waiting for these codes before you order your next meal to your door. That is if your appetite can be patient.
3. Order with a Friend, Family, Coworker, or Neighbor
The bulk of the fees for delivery apps show up when you tack on the delivery fee and taxes. If you know of neighbors, friends, or others around you that want to order from the same place, make one order in the app rather than requesting food individually. This will save on the multitude of delivery fees. Let’s say you are in college, ask around your dorm if other people want to order food. Or if you are attending a party and bringing food to the event, think about asking other guests if they want to order something together to save on those fees.
4. Snap Receipts for Free Delivery Gift Cards Like Uber Eats
The Fetch app is the perfect way to earn rewards for very little effort and time by scanning retail receipts from anything you buy. Save money with Fetch’s free gift cards for food delivery apps like Uber Eats. You will also save money at restaurants like Panera, Applebee’s, and Starbucks, which is a solid way to slash the cost of your food delivery services.
5. Search for Local Food Delivery Apps
We are most accustomed to the big boys like DoorDash and Uber Eats, but if you do a search for local food delivery services and apps, you can save potential cash. Avoid the American apps when ordering food overseas turning instead to local brands like Glovo in Spain or Foodora in Scandinavia. Ask your hotel concierge or even just someone on the street for their recommendation to cut back on extra delivery fees and better service when you travel.
6. Buy Discounted Restaurant Gift Cards
You can often find restaurant gift cards available at a discount during certain promotional periods of the year. You may end up saving money by paying with a gift card and ordering directly from the restaurant and picking it up on your way home from work with this strategy. You’ll often find deals like getting a $50 gift card for $40 or something similar if you search around. With Fetch, you can use your points to get free restaurant gift cards.
Learn More Gift Card Tips and Hacks
7. Don’t Fall for the Add-ons
The apps are designed to sell you more, much like any retail environment. This includes drinks, side dishes, and other accouterments. Chances are you already have many of these things in your home, and there is no need to order them online. Choose wisely so that you can drive down the overall cost, which can sometimes drive up the cost of the tax, surcharge, and tip.
8. Tip Accordingly
We can all agree that delivery drivers deserve their fair share for doing the hard work of picking up delicious (or sometimes not so lovely) smelling food to bring to our doorstep. More annoyingly, they have to find a place to park and sometimes navigate different building rules to find our door. This means you should adjust the tip accordingly to their service. If they have to park their car, get out, take an elevator and find a code to access your door, then they deserve more of a tip than just meeting you on the street corner and handing you a bag. Many apps automatically suggest tips, and you can adjust this when you deem it appropriate.
9. Take Advantage of Credit Card Perks
In the same way that many credit cards include subscription service to some food delivery apps for a set period of time, others provide credits to use each month provided you pay with that particular card. American Express Gold Card members receive $10 per month to use toward dining and food delivery including Grubhub while Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders have free DoorDash membership and $5 monthly credits to use toward the service.
It might surprise you to learn that you’re probably overpaying for your food delivery services. There are plenty of ways to lower the cost if you know what you’re doing. Hopefully, these ideas get you started on a delicious and more affordable meal soon.
More Ways to Save Money on Food
Save on Food Delivery With Fetch
Now that we know some great ways to save money on food delivery, don’t forget to download the Fetch app and start getting points for free delivery and restaurant gift cards. Use a referral code or refer friends to get thousands of bonus points.
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Ramsey Qubein is a freelance travel journalist covering hotels, cruises, airlines, and loyalty programs from around the globe. He's a contributor to NerdWallet, Forbes, Fortune and more.