If you’re an avid listener of the podcast, then you may have heard the episode I did with Bobby Lee of 2 Minute Finance. In that episode, we spoke extensively about how to “hack your money” with things like points and cash-back rewards. For example, we haven’t paid for a flight in years, and my entire $3,000 security deposit for my apartment came from cash-back rewards! Today, there are really innovative ways to rack up rewards for everyday purchases.
One of those new ways is with Relay®.
Relay® was recently introduced to me, and after getting to know the team and the product, I just had to share it with you guys.
Because here’s the deal: I know you guys are smart with money. You’ve gotten yourself out of bad financial situations, you use travel rewards cards like nobody’s business and – many of you – have even started your own business so you have more control of your money.
You’re not the Average Jane or Joe. You know how to manage debt (or avoid it all together), you know how to budget and you’re even earning enough money to have some expendable income.
Many of you have grown with me and, like me, are looking for ways to get more bang for your buck. Your lifestyles have changed, and you want to continue being smart with your money.
So, what is Relay®?
Relay® from Group1001 is truly the first-of-its-kind. It combines an immediate annuity, issued by Guggenheim Life and Annuity Company, with cash-back rewards.
I can already hear you, “Wait a minute…aren’t annuities for retirement?”
Glad you asked.
I channeled your question to the Relay® team, because I was also wondering how this worked.
Essentially, they’ve made immediate annuities useful to anybody, every day. The difference is that Relay isn’t designed specifically for retirement. It’s for people who are really good at planning out their expenses, because you get cash-back rewards for the money that you spend. And unlike a traditional annuity, you are not penalized for taking your money out early if you need to.
You decide how much money you’d like in a payout each month and for how long. You provide a lump sum (your premium) to open your annuity, and each month, you’ll get the amount you requested on your prepaid debit card. When you spend it, you earn cash-back. That’s right – you can use your cash to earn cash! You’ll also earn a small amount of interest in your lump-sum, similar to what you get on many basic savings products.
Why was this product created?
Well, it was made for people like us. Smart spenders who want options, rewards and more bang for our buck.
The reality is we all have recurring expenses, so why wouldn’t we want to get rewards on the money we’re planning to spend anyway?
Moreover, up until now, the best rewards were with credit cards. Sure, there are some checking and savings accounts with rewards and interest rates, but for the most part, they pale in comparison to credit card rewards.
I personally don’t mind using credit cards (as you all know I am not anti-credit card), but that doesn’t mean everyone feels comfortable managing unsecured debt. It takes a ton of discipline and hustle to do it right.
Furthermore, many of these credit cards come with all of these restrictions and categories. Oh, and let’s not forget blackout dates and annual fees. Relay® doesn’t have any of these things. You’ll earn cash-back on all your purchases, except for those where you enter a PIN or ACH transfers.
How does it work?
The first step is to visit RelayRewards.com, check out their plan calculator, and select your desired Relay plan option.
For example, you can choose a plan by selecting a monthly payout which ranges from $200 a month to $2,000 a month. From there you select the plan term which ranges from 3 to 7 years. Once you have chosen these two things, Relay® will calculate how much you would need in a lump sum amount to get started. From there, select “Choose Plan & Continue” to fill out the application.
Once you’ve successfully applied for your account and prepaid debit card, you can download the app from the App Store or Google Play. This will allow you to monitor your card balance and cash-back rewards balance.
Now let’s put this into practice. Let’s say my personal expenses aside from my rent are around $500 a month. I can choose the option to have a $500 payout each month for a certain amount of time which would determine the lump sum I would pay upfront. For a 5 year plan, this would be around $30,000. I would then use monthly payouts for my regular expenses each month and earn rewards.
(Note, Relay® is so new, it’s currently in the process of rolling out nationwide, so it may not be available in your state yet. If this is the case, hang tight and join the waitlist!)
So, what are the rewards?
Great question! Your cash-back schedule is determined by the term which you choose. Your cash-back rate also increases by 1% each year that you are a customer. Here are some examples to give you an idea:
Relay® plan with a 3-year term cash-back schedule on all purchases:
- 3% for the first year
- 4% for the second year
- 5% for the third year
(P.S. That starting 3% cash-back on all purchases is already double what I get from one of my favorite credit cards.)
Relay® plan with a 7-year term cash-back schedule on all purchase:
- 7% for the first year
- 8% for the second year
- 9% for the third year
- 10% for the fourth year
- 11% for the fifth year
- 12% for the sixth year
- 13% for the seventh year
If you don’t spend all of your monthly payout you don’t lose the rewards. It just rolls over to the next month.
My final thoughts
I have to admit that at first I was like, “Huh? Immediate annuities in your 30’s?” That’s because, like you, I always associated immediate annuities with retirement.
However, once I dug deeper and spoke with the team, it became crystal clear that this is an innovative product that is desperately needed in the marketplace.
Like I previously mentioned, savings and checking accounts aren’t doing much for us in the interest and rewards department (though some are trying). Furthermore, not everyone wants to manage multiple credit cards to get those points and cash-back rewards.
This is an alternative solution where you don’t have to take on unsecured debt, it makes money management straightforward and you get incredible rewards you will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
It gets my stamp of approval. And I’m sure my money savvy audience will agree.
Want to learn more about Relay®? Here’s where to find them!
- Website: http://www.relayrewards.com
- Facebook (@Relayrewards): https://www.facebook.com/Relayrrewards
- Twitter (@Relayrewards): https://twitter.com/Relayrewards
- Instagram (@Relayrewards): https://www.instagram.com/Relayrewards
Disclosure: Relay offers an immediate annuity, form number GLA-SPIA-RL-01 or a variation of such, issued by Guggenheim Life and Annuity Company (d/b/a Guggenheim Life and Annuity Insurance Company in California; NAIC#83607) (“Guggenheim Life”), a Delaware-domiciled insurance company with its principal office in Indianapolis, Indiana. Relay and/or certain features may not be available in all states. Guggenheim Life is currently licensed and authorized to do business in 49 states (all states except New York), the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.