Thursday, October 25, 2007

Keep Those Dollars Trickling In

Even before I write this, I suspect I'm going to get responses that tell me this is a waste of time. Nonetheless, along with similar penny ante financial activities like cutting out and using coupons, I mine simple online activities for money or gift cards. There are many sources out there, but these are the ones I use, along with my comments:

My Points: My number one favorite site for giftcards that are easy to earn. I can earn points by buying things through this site, but over the course of three years, the only thing I've ever bought is the Entertainment Book for my city. And I don't buy it until they offer the book with free shipping (or this year, $1 shipping) and a $25 restaurant card and 1000 MyPoints. However, I can also earn points just for reading the ads. This consists of opening an e-mail, clicking on the "act now" button which takes me to the advertiser's website, and then closing the website and the e-mail. Basically two clicks and I've earned 5 points. Other points are earned for surveys, including dorky 2-question surveys like "Do you have life insurance? Yes/No; Are you interested in purchasing life insurance? Yes/No." For me, that's a yes on the first and a no on the second question, at which point I earn 10 points. Then, there's signing up for newsletters, such as Viking River, a travel agency. 50 points and I never even open the ensuing e-mails. God bless the delete button. After a month or so, I terminate the subscription.

The best deals with one's MyPoints are $10 gift cards from Barnes & Noble, Old Navy, Gap, Red Lobster or various other trendy places for 1400 points. But $5 cards are available for as little as 750 points.

If I don't get the Barnes & Noble card, I spring for the $10 Starbucks card for 1450 points.

If all this sounds like too much work for too little reward, all I can say is that it's not. In my work, I get a lot of e-mail, so I don't mind opening a few extra that will give me something back over the long run.

My Survey: my favorite survey site with lots of ten point surveys, and a surprising number of longer ones. For the record, no "twenty minute" survey actually takes more than ten minutes to complete. Most surveys are worth 75 or 150 points. The points can be traded for money or gifts. At $10 per 1000 points, I usually opt for the money.

Another good survey site is Lightspeed Surveys. This one also pays $10 per 1000 points, with the points especially easy to earn.

One thing about all the survey sites is that they really don't want to hear from us older folks--I note that young women and, particularly, young men have many more surveys available to them. If one is African American or Hispanic, that will also increase the chances of a survey being available.

One way past this overt discrimination is to have a teenager in the house. Most survey sites will let your teenager earn points under your account. My daughter likes taking the surveys. Fortunately, she hasn't asked about the points or what I do with them.

There is one thing, common to bloggers, that I do not do. That is, I don't have any paid advertising on this site. I may change my mind about that in the future, but for the time being, I want this site to be all Grace, all the time, with no advertising to distract either me or the reader.


mariam said...

I don't think it's a waste of time. I'm not sure why there's an apologist mentality with regards to trying to make money online whether it's with surveys, paid reviews or ads - especially within the pf community. You'd think we'd be more open to it. It's a few bucks here and there, why not?

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's a waste of time, either. I just have a hard time separating the wheat from the chaff with so many online offers.

I've been signing up for coupon offers I see on debt or finance blogs and find that I end up with a zillion incoming e-mails, which I promptly opt out of.

Thanks for your overview.

I'm new to your blog and like what I've read so far. Haven't had time to read much yet, but look forward to it.

Kimmie1415 said...

Pennies add up!! DH and I wouldn't be able to eat some weeks if it weren't for the "petty stuff" I do online.

There are SO many good programs out there where you can earn money! I have a few good ones on my website

Email me if you are looking for more or need any help at all - (

Anonymous said...

What do you think of that game-playing site called Pogo, which lets you play games for free and apply the points you win toward their various raffles? It may be a shot in the dark, but while I'm on the phone I sometimes log in and play a few rounds of a game.

Kimmie said...

Anon - I have been a Pogo player for about 4 years now and have not won a thing. In fact, I just cancelled my subscription this month.

If you are looking for a game that you can actually earn prizes with check out NetWinner

I've received $350 in gift cards in under a year.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Kimmie; I'l check it out. Is Pogo a scam, or just too many people on it, decreasing the odds of winnng anythng?

I've been clicking away on MyPoints. Also on a coupons site.

The downside is that I get tons and tons of spam-ish=looking e-mail these days, and wonder if it's related.

For the offers for free samples, I have a question:

You have to check the yes or no box as to whether you want to receive info about a bunch of companies and products. If you check no, and then go to the next page (all on the way to claimingi you discount coupon), you have to continue to click no yet again (for about 25 times) on each page. It goes on forever. I lose patience and never get to the end.

Does anyone know about these long and winding roads toward getting a discount coupon or a free sample and how to shorten the process?

I'm Grace. said...

Thanks, Kimmie--I plan to check out those websites.

Anonymous--I have not found the free samples that come up on most sites to be worth all that trouble. Quality Health is particularly bad. The best site for freebies is Boston Gal (see her link under "Personal Finance Blogs I read"). Most of her referrals are to Walmart, and their samples are usually great--and easy to get at.

Kimmie said...

Thanks Grace :)

Anon - I don't think Pogo is a scam, I just know of better places to spend your time if you are actually looking to win something LOL :)

Another GREAT place to find freebies is on FatWallet's freebie forum.
Their members are experts at finding freebies.

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