Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rewards/Points Programs and How to Use Them Wisely

I've been meaning to post this, and may have actually done it in the past also, but this is a better, more condensed version.

These are just for extra cash/gift cards a few times a year, not going to get rich or make a steady income off of any of them, so keep that in mind.

By the way, I only refer to services I have tried and proven worthy first!

General tips:
  • Make filters for these "read and earn" emails or else they'll fill your inbox.
  • "read and earn" emails do expire, so you should click through every couple of days to make sure you get the points.
  • Don't give your CC for anything or pay any money unless you are going through the site links to earn points for something you were already going to order online.
  • Use NoScript and WebOfTrust add-ons for FireFox to avoid running a ton of adverts when you click on certain links and to warn you if certain sites are questionable.
This is basically a search and earn site. You use it as your main search engine and sometimes you'll pop up with a "you've earned x amount of Swagbucks!" notification. I use it as my main search even though it's not as good as Google, and then if I can't find what I'm looking for on there, I'll Google it instead. I'll also "search" sites I know the URLs to and click through the result instead of going directly just so I have a chance to get SB ;)
What I usually redeem (have done so 9 times so far) is $5 to
 for 450 Swagbucks. They add up pretty fast if you search a lot. You can get other things too, you'll have to look through the rewards catalog. I just spend a ton of money on Amazon so it's worth it for me to redeem for that.

You earn most of your points with this one with "paid to click" emails. They send you an email and you click the link, and most of the time it gives you 5 points per email. You can also earn points by purchasing through their links to certain sites (that you would already have shopped). Say you were going to buy some shoes from - if you go to MyPoints and then click the zappos link, it'll reward you per dollar spent if you use the same email address. You're basically ordering through their referral.
You can also earn points by printing grocery coupons through MyPoints and using them at the store. I'm a big coupon user, so that's beneficial to me.
I redeem from MP about 2 or 3 times a year anywhere from $10 - $25 gift cards, though you can save your points up for something bigger if you want.

InboxDollars and RewardPort
A bit more "spammy", but basically the same as MyPoints. You earn slower on each of these, though, but I have redeemed $30 from InboxDollars and $10 to Amazon from RewardPort.

If you're shopping and want to get rewarded for it (i.e. points or cash back), this is the place to check. Find what you're looking for and then plug the site into this site to see where you can link from to earn points. The best cash back sites are FatWallet and Bing Cashback. I don't really do a lot of the other ones.

If you have any questions about these or other programs you might have run across, I'll be happy to give you some more info or opinions!

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