Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Secret to being Rewarded: Mypoints!

Heard lots of buzz about MyPoints, but still not sure what it is or how it works? Here's a quick overview of the MyPoints program:

What is MyPoints:
MyPoints is a rewards program that gives you points for reading e-mails, shopping, taking surveys, doing web searches and completing a variety of other activities. Once you accrue enough points, you can redeem them for a gift card to your choice of over 70 merchants.

Getting Started:
To join MyPoints, just visit and complete the registration process. Membership is free, and it only takes a minute to join.
Start Earning Points:
There are a lot of ways to earn points on MyPoints. Start by completing your profile for a quick 60 points. Then, explore the site's offering to find other points-earning opportunities that interest you.

Top Ways to Earn Points:

* sign up to receive BonusMail e-mails from MyPoints. These are promotional offers from their advertisers. You'll receive five points if you click on the link contained in the e-mail, and even more if you decide to take advantage of the offer
* before you place an order online, check to see if the merchant is a MyPoints participant. If they are, access the merchant's website from, and you'll be rewarded with points – usually a certain number per dollar spent.
* complete the surveys that are sent to your e-mail. You'll typically receive 10 points if you don't qualify for the survey and 50 points if do

* print coupons from the website. You'll earn 10 points if you print the featured coupon and 25 points if you print five or more of the regular coupons
* download the MyPoints search toolbar, and earn points each time you use it to do a web search
* refer a friend, and you'll earn 250 points if they join
* watch for double points days, instant win games and other promotions to speed your points earnings

Redeeming Your Points:

The biggest challenge with redeeming your points is deciding which gift card to choose – there are just so many great ones.

Click on the "rewards" tab at the top of the screen to view a list of all of the available gift cards. You'll find $10, $25, $50 and $100 cards on the list, so you can save up your points for something big or cash in quickly for a small reward – the choice is yours.

Once you have enough points for your chosen reward, just click on it; fill out your shipping information; and you'll receive your gift card in the mail in two to six weeks.
Make the Most of Your Points:

A $10 gift card to one store may go for 1,400 points while a $10 gift card to another store goes for 1,500 points. Make the most of your earnings by seeking out the deals that maximize the value of your points.

Also note that certain card amounts may be a better deal than other card amounts from the same merchant. The $50 CVS card, for example, may require fewer points per dollar than the $10 CVS card. Crunch some numbers, and find those deals.

MyPoints Pitfalls:
While MyPoints is a great program, there are a couple things to watch out for. If you opt to receive e-mails, always scroll down to the bottom of each one to see if there is an option to unsubscribe from direct e-mails from the advertiser. If there is, use it to unsubscribe. This will prevent any junk mail from coming to your inbox. I also recommend skipping the surveys that are posted directly on the website. These are usually designed to sell you a bunch of products and services all at once, and are not worth the hassle.

Use MyPoints to Save Money:
While free gift cards are already a great deal, there are several ways that you can make them an even better deal. Use your MyPoints earnings to:

* get gift cards to give as gifts
* get gas cards, restaurant cards and hotel cards to use on your next vacation
* fund planned purchases
* cover everyday expenses like groceries and gas

I personally save my points all year and then redeem them for high value gift cards to use towards vacation!

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