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Get reward points for things you do every day

October 22nd, 2013 · No Comments · American Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House

If you list out things that you do every day, there are bound to be a couple things on the list:

  1. Watch TV
  2. Use a search engine

What would you say if I told you that you could earn actual money by doing these things, and that this money could be donated to great charities?

All you have to do is sign up for these rewards programs. I’ll dedicate a separate post each week talking about each one.

There are tons of other programs out there that reward you for doing everyday things, but these are the ones I use every day. Here’s why:

viggle iconViggle is an app along the same lines as Shopkick, except instead of walking into stores you’re sitting on a couch watching TV. You can “check in” to any TV program you’re watching. and the Viggle App will use your phone microphone to listen to your TV and figure out what you’re watching. You’ll earn one point per minute.

For certain programs, you can earn bonus points (these are listed on the welcome screen each day). These are usually 100-2oo points.  There’s also cool “second screen” technology where for certain programs you can play a quiz and earn even more Viggle Points for correct answers. These can range from 100-200 points to the thousands of points. You can also earn bonus points for doing tasks such as watching commercials on their app or purchasing products and services.

As you might imagine, it takes a LOT of points to save up for a prize. It takes 25,000 points to earn a $10 Starbucks gift card, for example. and 62,500 points for a $25 CVS gift card. You can also use fewer points to enter sweepstakes.

From a charity perspective, you can spend 7,500 points to make a $5 donation to charities. The charities change from time to time, but this month they’re the American Red Cross and Rebuilding Together.

bing iconFinally, there’s Bing Rewards. In admittedly a little bit of desperation on their part to break the hegemony of Google, Bing launched a program where you can earn 1 point for every 2 searches you do on the Bing search engine.

You can redeem points for things like gift cards. For example, you can get a $5 Starbucks gift card for about 500 points, or about 1000 searches. If that seems like a lot to you, go into your browser history and see how many Google searches you’ve done in the past week.

Among their redemption options are some great options to help charities. Every 100 points will give a $1 donation to charities like Boys and Gifts Clubs of America, Kids in Need, and Teach for America. I would have liked to see Microsoft discount the charitable redemptions the same way that Shopkick and Viggle did, but just having them there as an option is a really good thing.

As for Bing’s quality, I have to say that while it used to be awful, over the years they’ve done a lot of good work and the quality is almost as good as Google in some areas, and even better than Google in other areas. Give them a try; while getting paid a half penny every time you search doesn’t seem like a lot, it does add up over time. And of course, Google isn’t giving you squat for all the times you use it!

And so, there’s my advice on rewards programs that reward you for doing everyday things and let you donate that “free money” to charity.


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