Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Battle Of Online Rewards Programs



Image courtesy of  Naypong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


 
When I didn't have a job, I spent a lot of time online trying to make some money, save up a bit, or find great deals to make the most of the little money I did have.  That meant trying every single online rewards program there is and seeing which was the the best for making a bit of money on the side is a list of the best online rewards programs I have personally tried, and redeemed rewards from, as well as cons and pros, and other details. I am sure I have probably signed up for more, but I didn't keep up with them because they weren't as enticing as the ones below:


5.   InboxDollars - I've been signed up for two years, and I've been able to cash out $30 in one year, just by reading e-mails, searching, and doing surveys here and there.  

Features:

- Completely free!
- Gives you a $5 Bonus to sign up.
- Usually, they send a few daily e-mails, which add up! And they're usually $.01.
- Qualifying searches are $.01 each, up to ten a day. 
- Surveys pay between $0.10 and $2.00 and they take about 10-40 mins depending on the survey.  If you do not qualify, then you get to "Spin the Wheel" where you will have a chance to win instant prizes such as entries into their monthly sweepstakes, or instant cash in the amounts of $0.05, $.25, $1 or $5.  
- If you do couponing or use a coupon printer, InboxDollars pays $0.10 per coupon redeemed, which is one of the best for printing coupons (Swagbucks and MyPoints uses the same couponing program). 
- You can shop online through their links and earn cash back, stores are many and cash back ranges from 1% to 10% depending on the store (Target, Walmart, Kohl's, etc.).  
- Once you ask for your first check, you will be promoted to Gold Status which means more benefits and offers, just for those who hold it. 

The Bad:

- No PayPal Cash out, only check or Visa.
- It takes forever to accumulate $30 dollars to cash out (it took me a whole year, but hey it's free!).
- When you do cash out, they take a $3 processing fee, which actually leaves you with $27 (but don't worry, once you cash out, your account balance will be $3 instead of $0, assuming you cash out at $30).

Verdict:

InboxDollars is great for checking e-mails and doing searches occasionally. It you aren't constantly checking your balance and just let the cents accumulate, then next thing you'll know you're going to have enough to cash out!

Sign up by clicking on the banner below:




 

4.   Bing.com - I've been using Bing for a couple of months now.  It's a rewards program by Microsoft, in their effort to compete with Google search engine.  This rewards program gives you points for searching ONLY.  Which is pretty good if you do lots of searches.  

Features:

- Free to join!
- 20 Bing points when you sign up.
- Every two searches equals one point.  
- Lots of rewards to choose from: gift cards to Amazon, Domino's,  Burger King, Sephora, Starbucks, and surprisingly, Swagbucks points, as well as coupons ($5 off $50 at Target to name one) and sweepstakes entries. You can also donate your points to a charity of your choice. The options are many. 
- They have different levels of "status".  You start out with regular status, then comes silver and then gold.  As you reach higher status, the price point for each rewards goes down.
-Value per point approximately 1 point = $.0091 (Assuming you'd want to cash in for a $3 dollar Amazon gift card) and $0.01 once you've reached Gold status.
 - A really good referral program.

The Bad:

- You're only allowed to winv15 points a day or 30 searches. Except for those who have Gold status, when you can earn twice as much. 
- Search only. It doesn't have surveys, coupons, or any other way to earn Bing points.
- You are only credited points for each referral once they reach Silver Status. 

Verdict:

Bing is a good program to use daily, the points accumulate fast, and the rewards are varied.  It takes me about two weeks to earn a $3 dollar gift card to Amazon just for doing searches. Also, unlike other rewards programs, the e-gift cards are delivered instantly to your e-mail instead of having to wait a week or two to be posted in your account. 

You can sign up HERE




3.  e-Rewards- This is a survey-only site, which I found you can join by invitation only.  If I remember correctly, I was sent an invite by Express.com, a few weeks after signing up for their newsletter.  

Features:

- In my opinion, this is the best site for surveys. The payout is good compared to any other survey site I've ever tried. 
- They are very good if you're a member of Frequent Flyer programs.  I usually cash out for Express gift cards
- Their surveys seldom pay less than $2.00 and you don't qualify, you still get $0.25 for 
trying.

The Bad:

- Surveys are few, maybe one or two a week, and you still have to qualify for them.
- By invitation only.

Verdict:

e-Rewards is my favorite survey site.  Last year I made approximately $200 in Express gift cards.  They come specially handy in the holiday's season. I love e-Rewards.

 

4.   MyPoints - I signed up for this website reluctantly because I am a member of BzzAgent, and they sometimes give you MyPoints points. After a while of using it, I decided I really liked it.  It is similar to InboxDollars, but most similar to Swagbucks. MyPoints is a fun way to earn rewards by doing things you already do online.  

Features:

- Free to join!
- Earn points for doing searches (Minimum of 41 searches for a max of 100 points a month).
- You can shop through their site (Target, Walmart, Kohl's, and many other stores available).
- You can do surveys which usually pays between 50 and 250 points, and if you don't qualify you get 10 points automatically.
- You can print coupons from their site, which pays 10 points per coupon redeemed. 
- Like InboxDollars.com, MyPoints sends out e-mails worth 5 points when you click on them.
- Sometime MyPoints has promotions where you can buy or try a certain product (Example: NakedJuice), and you can redeem your receipt of proof of purchase and get tons of points just for trying!
- You can earn unlimited points through referrals!
- They do giveaway a lot of points.  They usually have promotions on some months with clues on where to find a certain item hidden on the site or "spin the wheel" game.  It is random, and most of the time you don't win, but it's fun and worth the chance for free points.
- Their rewards list is vast! They have almost any gift card that you can imagine (Amazon, Bloomingdales, Express, Bath and Body Works, Walmart, PayPal, etc).
- 1 point = $.002 to $.007 depending on the reward.

The Bad:

-  It really does take forever to accumulate points.  
-  Their surveys aren't the best paid ones, as they are usually worth the same. If a survey takes 30 or 5 minutes they usually pay 50 points. Of course there are others that pay 75 points, but when you take into account that a a point is roughly half a penny, $0.25 cents per survey isn't really much. 

Verdict:


I love MyPoints.  I've been a member for a year and I've been able to cash out for a $50 dollar gift card to Bloomingdales.  I love that they have many ways to earn points.  I love that they have many rewards to choose from.  
If you want to sign up, I can send you a link through my referral. So e-mail me 
Yestfl@hotmail.com




1.   Swagbucks: I love Swagbucks, this is my favorite online rewards!  It's so easy, and completely free (unless you want to use the accelerator, which enables you to earn more Swagbucks for a monthly fee). This is the best website to earn points the fastest. Here is why I love it so much!

Search & Win

Features:

- Easy to sign up, and free.
- Tons of ways to earn points: surveys, coupons, daily trivia, search.
- An extensive list of rewards, including Amazon, which only costs 450 Swagbucks. You can also trade your Swagbucks for other gift cards including gas cards, Groupon, Restaurant.com, and many others. 
- The search bar earns you tons of points: I usually win about 15-10 a day. It is random winning, and not all searches wins you points.
- You can earn 10 Swagbucks per coupon you redeemed. I use at least one coupon every time I go to the grocery store.
- Swagbucks shopping usually earns more than MyPoints and InboxDollars, but this is not always the case. 
- Sometimes they have amazing Swagbucks giveaways, but they are only available for a couple of hours at a time, so to make sure I never miss it, I subscribed to a service that lets me know when there is one available. If you'd like to do so, you can text Follow SwagCodeSpoiler to 40404. About 15% of all my Swagbucks comes from this service (it's free, but standard text messages fees apply if you don't have a plan or unlimited texting).
- This program has the highest point value ranging from $0.011 and lower.
- Tons of surveys to do and they usually pay lots of Swagbucks.
- Swagbucks has a cool little feature called Swagbucks TV.  For every ten videos you watch, you get 3 Swagbucks.
- For daily points: visit the Daily Poll, and Daily NOSO offers for 1 and 2 points respectively.
- I highly recommend installing the Swagbucks toolbar, as it's easier to search, and you get one point per day just for using it!
- You can trade in your games, electronics and books for Swagbucks. I have never done it, but if you have stuff laying around the home, you may want to look into it as a good way to declutter! 
- 50 Free Swagbucks for your birthday!


The Bad:

- It takes 30 days to credit your account if you use Swagbucks to shop online.
- Sometimes, you'll have to verify your searches through Captcha, which can get annoying and if you don't respond in a timely manner, you lose those Swagbucks.
- Rewards take about a week to arrive, usually by e-mail with a code yo can use online or at the store.  Unless you want the physical gift card, in which case it can take up to 30 days to arrive.
 
Verdict:

Swagbucks, as I previously stated, is my favorite site to earn rewards from.  I earn about $10 in Amazon gift cards a month average, just by doing surveys, searching, shopping online, getting the free daily points and giveaways.  Sometimes I definitely earn more. Just depends on how active I am on the site. Highly recommended if you haven't signed up.
Sign up by clicking HERE. You can also sign up by clicking "Sign Up" on the Swagbucks widget below.





 
Final tips:

If you sign up for more than one of the programs listed, make you sure to always compare who pays the most for doing the same activity, like shopping.  For example, if you want to buy a Groupon, Swagbucks will give you 5 points, but MyPoints would give you 8, and InboxDollars will give you 10% cash back.  You have to decide which site you would like to check out from.  Last year I participated in these rewards programs.  I only cashed out my points for Express and Amazon gift cards, and let me tell you, I did not have to spend a lot money for my Christmas presents! So I know it's totally worth it!

Do you use any of these programs? Which one is your favorite? Is there a feature that I forgot to mention of the online rewards programs I use? Are there any other programs I should try? If you have any questions, sound off in the comments section!

Thanks for taking the time to read this long post!

Yeny



Disclaimer: I was not paid by any of the companies mentioned above.  This post may contain affiliated links. All opinions are honest, unbiased, and completely my own.