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  • Ways to Make & Save Money #5: MyPoints

    You can read the rest of the Ways to Make & Save Money series here.

    MyPoints.comI’ve mentioned MyPoints several times in the last few years (here’s my first review from a year and a half ago). It’s a really easy way to earn free gift cards – simply accumulate points, then redeem them for selected rewards. There are several different ways to earn points:

    Emails – If you agree to receive emails from them, you’ll get several each day. Many of them will be offers for 5 points if you click through, with more points if you take an additional step. Some of the emails will be surveys, which will get you 10 points if you don’t qualify, and quite a few more if you do.

    Print & redeem coupons – MyPoints is a portal for Coupons.com, SmartSource and Coupon Network, so you can earn points if you print coupons through MyPoints and then redeem them in-store.

    Toolbar searches – If you download the MyPoints toolbar and use it to search, you’ll earn points.

    Easy Points – These are offers that you can sign up for (I believe they’re usually, if not always, free). I’ve always stayed away from them because they often ask more information than I’m willing to give out and I am ultra-cautious about online offers. (I’d always rather forego a few bucks than risk someone stealing my identity.)

    BzzAgent – BzzAgent is a word-of-mouth marketing company that uses its members to spread the word about certain products. You can earn MyPoints through BzzAgent for doing certain things, such as submitting Bzz Reports (which is an explanation of how you spread the word about a campaign you joined).

    Shopping – You can earn lots of points by shopping through MyPoints, but my personal preference has always been to go through a portal like Ebates or Mr. Rebates.

    One word of caution – some people have had negative experiences with MyPoints, as reflected in the comments to my original review. However, my own experience has been quite positive. You definitely won’t get rich with MyPoints, but it takes me about 5 to 10 minutes a week to got through their emails, and I print SmartSource and Coupon Network coupons through their site. And you know I print a good number of coupons every week :) (I print Coupons.com coupons through Swagbucks.)

    I earn $50 to $100 worth of gift cards each year just by clicking through emails, redeeming coupons, and receiving occasional points from BzzAgent, so that’s a worthwhile payoff to me for less than 10 minutes of my time per week.

    MyPoints

    Disclosure: Banners via MySavings.com.

    Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate and/or referral links, and may refer to items that were sent to me for review. However, all opinions are my own. You can read Chief Family Officer’s full disclaimer and disclosure policy here.

    One more way to earn MyPoints

    The USO is one of my favorite charities, so I was surprised and delighted to receive a MyPoints email yesterday offering 5 points per dollar donated to the USO, up to 1250 points (that’s a $250 donation). If, like me, you donate to the USO anyway, why not take advantage of an opportunity to earn more points?

    Earn More MyPoints

    A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed MyPoints, which I have been loving more than ever because I can redeem points for CVS gift cards. And I just love paying nothing out of pocket at CVS! So I thought I’d share a couple more ways of earning points that I’ve recently discovered:

    • Coupons.com – If you print Coupons.com coupons via MyPoints, you’ll earn 10 points for each coupon that you redeem. Combine MyPoints coupons with The Drugstore Game and you’ll rack up extra points quickly.
    • Bzz Agent – I recently joined Bzz Agent, which is a word of mouth marketing company, after learning that their rewards program (“Bzz Perks”) now includes MyPoints. In just a couple of weeks, I’ve earned approximately 100 easy points, and I should earn more as I gain more “status.” I’ll write up a full Bzz Agent review after I’ve been a member for a while.

    Review: MyPoints.com

    Update 1/25/09: Read the comments for others’ experiences and be aware that it might be best not to make any purchases via MyPoints.

    Update 11/1/09: I’ve never made a purchase through MyPoints, but I can accumulate a couple hundred points a month just by printing and redeeming coupons through their portal.

    About a year ago, I read a post at The Frugal Duchess that mentioned a program called MyPoints as a means of earning points that could be redeemed for gift cards. Intrigued, I set out to learn more. Conveniently, Mighty Bargain Hunter wrote up a nice review at about the same time, confirming what I’d already learned and offering some additional tips.

    So what’s MyPoints? The great appeal of MyPoints is that points can be earned without spending any money. Every member receives “bonus” emails, and clicking on the link in the email usually earns 5 points. And multiple emails go out every day. When you have enough points, you can redeem them for a variety of gift cards.

    It really has been that simple. The lowest value gift cards are 500 points, so you can earn rewards extremely quickly.

    On the other hand, the higher value gift cards require fewer points, proportionally. For instance, a $25 CVS gift card costs 3600 points, but a $50 CVS gift card is less than twice that at 7100 points.

    In fact, I had been saving up all of my points for a $50 Amazon gift certificate (no longer available). But then I started burning up my ECBs at CVS buying things my family needs, so I redeemed 3600 points for a $25 CVS gift card. I’ll be able to stretch that $25 into hundreds by playing The Drugstore Game, so the loss of points is more than worth it. If not for the CVS gift card, though, I would have continued to save my points like David of My Two Dollars. (Note to self: It took about three weeks for my CVS gift card to arrive, so I can’t wait until my ECBs are gone to order my next gift card!)

    In addition to clicking through bonus emails, you can earn points by answering questions on the MyPoints site and taking surveys that they email you. The surveys are typically 10 points if you don’t qualify (and more points if you do). They don’t take very long, particularly if, like me, you select “prefer not to answer” whenever possible, since that seems to disqualify me quite often.

    Other ways to earn points for free include downloading and using the MyPoints tool bar, playing their promotional games (usually held around holidays), and completing registrations and “exclusive offers“. You can also earn points by shopping through their portal (though I generally try to go through Ebates since that gives me cash back), playing their online games, using the MyPoints Visa, and referring other users.

    MyPoints
    Banner via MySavings.com

    Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate and/or referral links, and may refer to items that were sent to me for review. However, all opinions are my own. You can read Chief Family Officer’s full disclaimer and disclosure policy here.

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