Wednesday, October 19, 2011

31 Days {Day 19} Online Rewards Programs

I'll be honest, I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this one.  You see 3 years ago not long after I got married, I delved into the world of couponing.  I had a lot of time and wanted to see if it was worth the effort.  It took me a little while to realize that it wasn't.  

As I was reading all about how to make the most of your coupons, I discovered websites that offer you rewards.  I signed up for three.  It was free money for little effort I thought, so why not?

The first one is called My Rewards, which is a total crap program.  I tried to look it up to put the link and it must have gone out of business.  I answered so many surveys trying to accumulate enough points to get what I wanted, the problem was I only wanted one thing they offered, which was a year's subscription to Martha Stewart Living.  The other options were Spanish Cosmopolitan and airline rewards for Alaskan Airlines among other enticing rewards.  When I got enough to get it, it disappeared from the selection.  Besides that, after I had over $50.00 in my account, they started reducing it because it was only good for a certain amount of time.  Complete scam and as soon as they started expiring my rewards, I deleted my account.

The second one is called Inbox Dollars.  It is a similar concept but you get mailed a check.  I've probably earned about $60 in almost 4 years.  Every email I open I get 2 cents.  Do you see why I am embarrassed now?  2 cents!!  You can also earn money faster by shopping and filling out surveys.  A survey might be 25 minutes and you earn $1.00.  I rarely did surveys and especially not the long ones.  No more though.  We are cutting off this idiot machine right now on Day 19.

The third one and really the easiest is called My Points.  All you do on this one is click through the email and close it.  I have never redeemed points on this one, but I just now have enough for a $100 gift card to a store I choose, like Williams Sonoma or West Elm.  I will also not be continuing to do this.  I kind of got used to clicking on the emails so it really didn't bother me to do it, but when I think about earning $25 a year for answering thousands of emails, ugh.  

I think that these rewards programs can have their place in someone's life.  If you are at home on the computer all the time, why not earn even a little money, especially if you have a limited income.  For me though, I have to cut this out of my life.  This is going to be a fruitful day of simplification.  I know this is going to help me with another goal which is getting my emails under control.

I'm still sticking to programs like Ebates, where I have gotten $211 cash back and Retail Me Not where you can get instant discounts on what you buy.  They are easy and don't take up much of your time.  

Please tell me I'm not the only one to fall for this.  Has anyone joined these or other programs?  What's your favorite way to save money or earn extra money?

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