Friday, January 27, 2012

Making extra money (Gift cards and cash) with points/rewards sites

I actually get asked this a lot --- how do I earn so many gift cards?  This is usually from friends and family who are surprised to learn that I earn a lot of gift cards online.  I typically use them to offset things like my Amazon habit, but I can often use them for paying for things I truly need at a store.

If you've been a reader for a long while, you know that I covet Amazon gift codes and often save them up for something I really want, but don't necessarily want to pay for outright.  Even if I balk at paying full price, saving up Amazon gift codes can add up to a hefty discount at the very least.  Right now, I have a specific product I am saving up for and am nearly at the half way point with $80 in my Amazon bank. 

So how do I do it?  Here's my list of ways I earn gift cards online.... (and referral links if you'd like to join too!)  Also, please feel free to message me or ask questions in the comments.  I'll do my best to answer them for you.

Swag Bucks  -  Swag Bucks is one of my favorite rewards sites out there.  I earn Swag Bucks for searches online, watching videos, doing the daily polls, scrolling through the No Obligation offers, keeping tabs on their social media looking for special Swag Codes, surveys, playing games... there are many ways to earn.  I don't do many of their partner offers, if any.  I earned $10 in Amazon last month from Swag Bucks.  450 Swag Bucks = $5 Amazon, $5 PayPal = 700 Swag Bucks

If you haven't yet joined, join today!

Zoombucks -  Like Swag Bucks, you earn Zoombucks for doing things like searches and watching videos, visiting the offers page (scroll to the bottom of Gambit wall), visiting the Zdaily page, surveys, scoring higher than others in games, and more.  They also periodically have Zoombucks codes, which you can add to your account similarly to Swag Codes.  These build slower than Swag Bucks, but it's still a good way to earn Amazon.  1,000 Zoombucks = $10 Amazon, $5 PayPal = 650 Zoombucks

Not already a member?  Join Zoombucks and start earning.

iRazoo - iRazoo is another points site that offers points for searches, watching videos, Treasure Codes (usually posted on their Facebook wall), visiting their offers wall, surveys, and more.  Unlike Zoombucks and Swag Bucks, you are awarded multiple points for actions.  (For instance, watching a video on Swag Bucks might get you 1 SB, but on iRazoo, you might get 7 points, 12 points, etc.) This allows you to build faster, which is good since it takes a fair amount of points to cash out.  I consider this site my 'slow and steady wins the race' site.   $5 Amazon = 3,000 points (other gift cards available, just not PayPal)

Join iRazoo and earn points toward gift cards.

SocialMoms -  As a blogger, I belong to SocialMoms.  I earn the most points by blogging for programs.  I recently took an opportunity for Esurance worth 8,000 points.  When these credit, I should be able to trade those points in for Amazon gift codes.   I also earn points for posting comments on articles on the SocialMoms site, and tweeting out links to content there.  Though I haven't taken advantage of it, you can earn points for submitting content to be published on the SocialMoms site.   They used to be known as 'TwitterMoms' so you'll need to have a Twitter account to join.  4,000 points for a $20 Amazon code (though may vary)

Join SocialMoms and earn points like me.

SuperPoints - SuperPoints is the relative new kid on the block.  However, many of us are earning Amazon with little effort.  I earn points from emails several times a week, playing the Super Lucky Button, surveys, watching videos, and doing offers.  I have cashed out once for $10 and am close to cashing out again.  The more friends in your network, the faster you can cash out.  For instance, I'm only at the gold level now.  That means I can't cash out until I have 1,000 points.  Those with more friends can cash out at 500 points.  SuperPoints is also invite only - so you if you're looking for an invite, look below for a referral link.   The higher the level you are, the more benefits (such as more Super Lucky button spins).   Basic level = cash out for $25 Amazon or $25 PayPal at 2,500 points; Gold level = cash out for $10 Amazon or $10 PayPal at 1,000 points; Platinum = cash out for $5 Amazon or $5 PayPal at 500 points.

Join SuperPoints by using this referral link.

My Coke Rewards -  This program is one that I use to get free coupons and gift cards.  Though they offer gift cards somewhat infrequently, it's important to check in to their site every now and then to see if any are available.  I usually get a heads up about gift cards from a coupon board I visit.  The points values differ, but I've redeemed for Walgreens gift cards, a Home Depot, Subway, and more when they're available and I have enough points.  This is another one of those 'slow and steady' programs because I tend to hoard points until I can redeem for gift cards or lower priced coupons for freebies.  Lately, they've been offering a special deal on TGIFridays $5 promo card (aka coupon) for 175 points.  Their Wednesdays deals are worth popping in for to see if it's something good or not.  Also, though you may not be interested in this program, your school likely is.  So don't toss your caps if you don't do this program.  Instead, send them to a school that's participating.

Join My Coke Rewards here.

MyPoints -MyPoints is a rewards site that's been around for more than a decade.  I have been a member for several years and have earned gift cards by cashing in points earned from surveys, click through emails, my activities on BzzAgent, shopping through the site, and viewing videos on site.  For me, I don't shop heavily through MyPoints, which is how you build points the fastest, so this site is a slow earner for me.  However, just clicking through emails with 5 points attached does add up over time.  Amazon availability is sometimes spotty and September/October are when a lot of members who have been banking their points all year cash out for Christmas shopping, leaving the rewards a bit sparse.  Currently:  $25 Amazon = 3,950 points, 4,550 points = $25 PayPal

You can only refer people you know personally, so I can't post a referral link.  However, if you want to join, visit 

Bing Rewards - This is a search site that rewards you for performing internet searches. Plus, you can earn points for activities (such as, say 3 points for clicking through a link).  With Bing Rewards, I click the ribbon icon and drop down the menu to see what's available for me to do.  Additionally, check out the Discover tab often as there are lots of activities there for new members who just joined.  Currently, you earn 1 point for every 2 searches per day (up to 10 points per day) through March 1.  $2.50 Amazon = 275 points; $5 Amazon = 525 points

Join Bing Rewards

Things I may not have mentioned....

Virtually all of these programs work best if you refer friends.  The points sites above, especially the search and win sites, do offer a material benefit to someone referring a new user.  Most match at least for some of your referrals' activities, so spreading the word helps boost your account when your referrals participate on those sites.

Additionally, these sites are things that I do while watching TV or just spending time on my own.  I don't sit here all day doing nothing but points site activities.

Think of them as long-term projects because you aren't likely to 'get rich quick' with them (unless you get a boat load of referrals...).  I know that it will take me a month or more to cash out for some sites. Swag Bucks earns me the fastest, so if I'm short on time, I go with the sites that are going to pay off faster.

It also pays to keep tabs on the points sites' Facebook and Twitter accounts.  ZoomBucks, iRazoo, and Swag Bucks all release codes via social media.  You don't want to miss out on these codes since they're basically free points. 

Please leave any questions below in the comments or feel free to contact me directly.  Thanks for reading and I hope you'll consider joining these sites as an easy (and painless) way to earn gift cards and cash in your spare time.
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