Cashback, Hotel Points, Free Food & More: How To Maximize Grubhub

A lot has been written about DoorDash in recent days due to their new partnership with Chase. Seeing as my wife has a Chase Sapphire Reserve card, I’ll be testing them out in the coming weeks if for no other reason than to use up this year’s $60 credit as I’m not one to pass up free meals (as my stomach would attest).

DoorDash isn’t the only food delivery service out there though. We’ve become fairly familiar with Grubhub over the past year as we’ve used our $10 dining credits from our Amex Gold cards on Grubhub orders most months.

That $10 per month credit isn’t the only way that you can save with Grubhub though, so here’s a list of ways you can earn cashback, hotel points, free food, airline miles and more when placing orders. The rates listed below were correct at the time of writing, but they’re all subject to change in the future.

There are probably other ways to save/earn out there, so please let us know in the comments below if there’s anything missing from this list.

Grubhub Gift Card

Rewards For New Users

Referral Links

If you’ve not used Grubhub before, you can get rewarded on your very first order. The best option that I’m aware of is to use someone’s referral link as you’ll get $12 off a $15+ order. That discount seems to vary, as in the past the discount has been $7 and $10, so I think $12 is as high as it’s been.

If you need a referral link, here are ours. We’ll also get $12 off a future order if you use our link.

Shopping Portals

If you’ll be placing an expensive first order, you might be better off going through a shopping portal. For example, Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is currently offering 7% back on your first order. If you spend $171.43 or more, you’d earn more cashback than the $12 discount from being referred. For those of us earning Membership Rewards with Rakuten rather than cashback, you’d need to spend less to be better off if you value Membership Rewards at greater than 1cpp.

You can find a list of portals offering cashback here. You’ll need to check each portal individually though as the headline rates listed on Cashback Monitor don’t give the true picture. For example, TopCashback is listed as 2%, but the new user bonus is $8.50.

Grubhub cashback

Card-Linked Programs

There are all kinds of card-linked apps out there and at least one of them – Dosh – offers cashback for new users. At the time of writing this post, they were offering 10% cashback which is a decent rate when compared to the shopping portals listed above.

If you’re new to Dosh, feel free to sign up using one of our referral links. You’ll earn $5 cashback when linking your first card, as will we.

Dosh Grubhub 1

MileagePlus X (MPX)

Most people who use United’s MileagePlus X app do so in order to earn rewards when buying gift cards. While buying Grubhub gift cards in the app is one option, you can also earn 10x United MileagePlus miles when clicking through to the Grubhub app from MPX and placing your first order.

To do that, open the MPX app and scroll down to the bottom of the home page where you’ll see a section for ‘Featured Apps’.

MPX Grubhub 1

Tap on that, then select Grubhub.

MPX Grubhub 2

IHG Rewards Club

Alternatively, you can earn 500 bonus IHG Rewards Club points when placing your first order via this site. Please don’t do that though as earning 500 IHG Rewards Club points is very poor value compared to the options listed above.

That’s not to say that you should completely ignore the IHG/Grubhub partnership though as it can be a good option for existing users for future orders. There’s also a trick for how to use it, so check out that section later on for more details.

One thing to note is that the 500 bonus points might be awarded the first time you use the IHG portal rather than your first Grubhub order overall. Both my wife and I earned 500 points the first time we used the IHG portal, but I don’t think that was either of our first times using Grubhub. It’s therefore best to do your very first Grubhub order through a different portal or via a referral link, then use the IHG portal for subsequent orders if you want. See the ‘Existing Users’ section below for other options for existing users though, as you might see more rewarding options.

Grubhub Perks

Grubhub launched their Perks program in September 2019 and I think Shae and I have taken advantage of it every month since then as it provides good value. It’s only available in the app at the moment and I’m not sure if it’ll ever be rolled out to desktop users.

The Perks offers vary based on your location as it depends on which restaurants are participating locally. For example, here are some of the options in Corpus Christi, TX…

Grubhub Perks in Corpus Christi

…while here are some options in Roanoke, VA.

Grubhub Perks in Roanoke

As you can see, many of the offers give you $5 off your order. One thing to note is that the terms usually state that this is available on your first offer with that restaurant. That suits me fine as we move every week and so we have a different selection of restaurants all the time, but for most normal people it’ll presumably mean that you’ll eventually run out of restaurants where you can redeem Perks.

I’ve found that stacking Grubhub Perks with the Amex Gold dining benefit works perfectly for me and Shae. Before Perks was introduced, $10 was generally only enough to buy a meal for one of us, so we’d do two separate orders seeing as we both have Grubhub accounts and we each have an Amex Gold card. With the extra $5 from Perks though, we can sometimes get a meal for each of us for ~$15 which means it’s effectively free after the $5 discount and $10 statement credit from American Express. That means we can each get two meals courtesy of our $10 Amex Gold dining credits every month rather than just one. To maximize it further, we tend to do pickup orders as that eliminates the delivery fee and the subsequent need to tip.

Rewards For Existing Users

It’s not only new users who get rewarded when placing Grubhub orders. Existing users can be rewarded for every order that they place, with the best option for you depending on how you value hotel points, airline miles, whether or not you want to use Perks, etc. Here are your options.

IHG Rewards Club

While new users have more rewarding options for their first order than using IHG’s Grubhub portal, it’s worth considering for existing users as you can earn 250 IHG Rewards Club points per order.

In theory, the partnership is only meant for people placing Grubhub orders while staying at an IHG property. In reality though, you can use it no matter where you’re staying that night, whether that’s at home or even with a different hotel chain.

IHG Grubhub partnership

On that landing page, you’re prompted to enter the address of an IHG hotel. You can enter any old address here, but be sure to enter your correct IHG Rewards Club number (unlike the number I entered in the screenshot below.

IHG Grubhub partnership 2

Clicking on ‘Find Food’ will take you through to Grubhub where you can enter your actual address.

IHG Grubhub partnership 3

And in case you’re wondering whether this tracks:

IHG Grubhub partnership 4

Shopping Portals

In the same way that you can earn cashback through shopping portals as a new user, you can earn it as an existing user. The rewards for existing users are much lower, but this could be a better option than the IHG portal depending on how you value IHG points and how much you’ll be spending on your order.

At the time of writing this post, TopCashback was offering 2% cashback and Rakuten was offering 1%. Other portals like Giving Assistant might have been offering more, but their sites weren’t transparent as to whether or not the rate they offered was for new users only or not.

Card-Linked Programs

In the same way that you can earn a lower cashback rate through shopping portals as an existing user, you can also earn at a lower rate through Dosh. They’re currently offering 2% cashback for existing users, similar to TopCashback.

Dosh Grubhub 2

MileagePlus X (MPX)

Like the shopping portals and Dosh, the MPX app offers a lower earning rate of 1 United MileagePlus mile per dollar for existing Grubhub users. Unless you value their miles at greater than 2cpp, you’ll be better off going through a portal or Dosh, although frequent users of MPX might value the convenience of using that same app.

MPX Grubhub 3

Stacking With Perks

One of the benefits of clicking through to Grubhub from a shopping portal, Dosh or MPX on your mobile device is that it launches the Grubhub app. That means that in addition to earning cashback or miles, you can also use the Perks program.

This doesn’t work if clicking through to Grubhub from a shopping portal or the IHG Rewards Club portal on your computer though. That’s because they route you through to the desktop version of Grubhub’s site where Perks isn’t currently available.

Discounted Gift Cards

If you don’t have an Amex Gold card or place more than one Grubhub order per month, you might be able to save more by buying discounted Grubhub gift cards.

Grubhub offers a promotion several times a year where you can buy a Grubhub gift card and get a promo card free (e.g. buy $50 gift card and get a $10 promo card free). The promo card tends to expire within a month or two of purchase, but if you know you’ll be spending money on Grubhub anyway, that can be a good option.

Grubhub Buy $50 Gift Card & Get $10 Gift Card Free

Their gift cards also go on sale somewhat frequently elsewhere. In the last year, Amazon, GiftCardMall, Kroger and PayPal Digital Gifts have all sold Grubhub gift cards with a 10-20% discount.

Another option is to buy them at Kroger when they’re offering 4x fuel points as that can save you up to 14% on gas. Although not discounted per se, you can also be rewarded by buying Grubhub gift cards through apps like MPX and Fluz.

Chase Offers & Amex Offers

You can sometimes get statement credits for Grubhub purchases when paying with a card that has an Amex Offer or Chase Offer loaded to it. For example, there’s this 10% Amex Offer and this 20% Chase Offer.

Other Options?

Like I mentioned at the start of this article, there might be other sites and apps that offer rewards for new and/or existing Grubhub users, so please let us know in the comments below if there are any that we should add.

About Stephen Pepper

Stephen Pepper is on a 5 year, 50 state road trip with his wife Shae and their dog Truffles. Finding opportunities to earn miles and points is one of the ways they can afford to do this, so he'll try to help you do the same for your own travels.

More articles by Stephen Pepper »

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MAlMel
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MAlMel

Great article. I have never used any food delivery service because we live in a rural area. Ditto the Uber/Lyft benefits.

I have been wondering if I can at least offer these benefits to friends, rather than them be wasted. If they use my Amex or Chase card in their app for any of these, I assume that will work just fine.

Nick Reyes
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That definitely works. Note that you can also use your own account to order delivery to someone else. For example, I’ve ordered delivery for my parents on different occasions since they live in a city with delivery service (like you, I live in a rural area where I can’t use these services at home). I also use these services when I travel. When arriving late at a hotel, it’s often nice to order from an Uber on my way there and have food ready to go shortly after arrival.

NK3
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NK3

YMMV, but in some more rural areas I have found that Grubhub pickup works, even when delivery is not available. Basically Grubhub works as a middleman, and the prices can often be 10-20% more than ordering directly from the restaurant. However, if you can use your Gold Amex credit and/or stack other promos, it can be worth it. I live in the Seattle area and mainly do the pickup option, because the delivery fees usually use up most of the Amex credit.

Regarding the Perks program–I have found the discounts to be very variable by city. In my area I have tons of options. When I was in Phoenix, I only had 1 or 2, and rural areas it can be none. In my experience it seems to be competition driven.

MalMel
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MalMel

Thanks Nick and NK3! One last question: can my card be entered on 2 accounts? If I want to order for a friend it would be on my app, and could I also give my card number to a friend to use on their account?