Rewards Points Compared

I signed up for some website that offered rewards cards for taking surveys, and that led to another company that did the same. However, the results were lame. I’ll dig into some of these and tell you what’s good, and what sucks.

Survey

The first one I have tried in a long time was i-say.  They have some nice software, and the surveys are set up to be a lot of fun, but the payoff is minimal.  90 minutes of work, and disclosing personal info, and I have only 110 “points”, and several entries into sweepstakes. Each point has an exchange value of 1 cent, so $1.10.  For around 90 minutes of work.  Hourly wage equivalent is $0.73 an hour.  Not only that, but the information they gather is valuable.

That said, they have created a fun platform that makes you want to keep answering questions.

A similar site, SwagBucks, also pays very little for their lone survey. It’s 5 minutes long, pays 5 swagbucks. 1 swagbuck = 1 cent.  So, that’s only $.60 per hour.

Food

One I like is Jack in the Box – by answering their survey, you get a coupon for a buy-one-get-one Jumbo Jack or some breakfast sandwich. The survey is basic, and mostly verification about the visit. It takes 5 to 10 minutes, and has a value oof $2.19.  The hourly wage equivalent is $13.14, or double that if you’re fast.

McDonald‘s has a similar survey, and it takes around 5 to 10 minutes to fill, and nets you a buy-one-get-one quarter pounder or egg mcmuffin sandwich. The value is $3.79, and hourly wage equivalent is $22.74.

The twist with McD is that you can’t necessarily spend your coupon at a different McD.

Del Taco had one, and I don’t recall the value, but I think it was around $1.80 for a big taco.  Again, like the others, this took around 10 minutes, for an hourly wage equivalent estimated at $10.80.  Like McD, you can spend it only at the original Del Taco you ate at.

Search

Bing.com has a rewards points program for searching.  The vast, vast majority of searches I do are for news and computer programming documentation. So Bing is generally equivalent enough to Google for search results, for these basic searches. I’m not sure what the point value system is there, but I accumulate around 700 per day.  If I’m doing ecommerce research using some automation tools, I can exceed 1000.  The value of a point is slightly less than 0.1 cent. A $5 Burger King gift card costs 5250 points.

You can also get cards for Target, Starbucks, Chipotle, Toys R Us, Amazon, Dominos, REI, Sephora, WalMart, movie theaters, Skype, and Microsoft stuff.

I am not sure how to price Bing rewards. The main “cost” of using Bing is getting a search result that’s bad, and needing to refer to Google or Duck Duck Go. This happens several times a day, but not more than 20.  If we estimate that each bad search costs me 30 seconds, that’s 10 minutes per day.  So, the “cost” of participating is around 10 minutes per day, and the reward is 750 points, or around 75 cents.

If I pay myself minimum wage, of around $12 an hour, then the cost is $2 lost, but $0.75 gained from choosing Bing over Google.

According to the History Master plugin, over 35% of my pageviews are at either Bing or Google.

Ecosia has a similar reward program, except your searching helps to pay for tree plantings. You mainly get the benefit of good feelings and air.  It was easy to accumulate points here, and plant trees. The main gripe I had was that the search engines were a mix of Google and others, and I was never sure what I was using.

 

Author: John

I can be reached at johnk@riceball.com.

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