Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Update on Savings with Technology

Over the last couple weeks, I've been using Checkpoints and Shopkick any time I ran errands. 

I found the checkpoints rarely had stores available that I actually frequent often.  But, they do have points available for many of the small businesses in the area, which I think is great!  While trying to use the app at Target, it completely froze up and took me quite a while to figure out how to exit out of it and get back to my home screen.  But I keep trying, it takes only a couple seconds to enter the app and see if my location is available.

Now Shopkick on the other hand, I'm having a lot of fun with!  There's a bit of a learning curve, and you have to get over people looking at you strangely while you scan a package of cheese (for example) to get bonus kickbucks!  But I was happy to find not only checkin points for my favorite stores, like Target and Giant Eagle, but just this Sunday I was surprised to find Rite Aid on my list now, and bonus kickbucks inside too!

Now to the topic of rewards.  When I originally signed up for Checkpoints 2 weeks ago, there was an option to redeem 300 points for a $1.00 Amazon gift card.  It claimed that prize was temporarily out of stock - as I tried several times to redeem my original bonus points.  Now that prize is completely gone, and only a $1.00 Home Depot gift card is left at the 300 point range.  Next prize tier is 600 points, and that's for a $2.00 CVS gift card.  After that, you pretty much have to get 3,000 points to get up to the $10.00 gift card range.

And with Shopkick, you can donate your kickbucks with as little as 3k (k=symbol for kickbucks, not thousand here) or Facebook credits starting at 25k.  Gift Cards don't start being available until 500+k depending on the retailer.  Best Buy cards start at 500k, but a Target card doesn't become available until 1250k!  But, they do have some high end rewards available, like a Coach bag or a Sony Bravia!  Or even a cruise for a mere 6,250,000k!  That's a lot of cheese scans!

And finally - a bit of advice with Shopkicks.  I didn't realize that you have to scan the barcode upright for it to work and totally missed out on a 75k bonus scan for Philadelphia Cooking Creme one day at the grocery store.  It wasn't until several days later that, while scanning some bonus makeup UPCs, that I realize it only accepted the barcode if the number were at the bottom and right-side up.  So it doesn't work like a price-checker or the checkout scanner, you can't be scanning UPCs all willy-nilly!

So my opinion is that I'll definitely be using Shopkicks a lot.  I'll keep Checkpoints on the back burner, but unless they offer more of my local shopping haunts, and remain consistent with their rewards, I may stop using them all together.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Saving with Technology: Checkpoints


Checkpoints has partnered up with Swagbucks - so now you can earn swagbucks while you earn checkpoints!  You'll get 20 SB for downloading the app and using the bonus code "swagbucks" to register.  You'll see the credit in about 2 weeks.  Then, every month that you scan at least one product, you'll earn an additional 6 SBs.

In addition to the 20 SB you'll get for using the promo code, you'll also get 300 CheckPoints (enough for a $1 giftcard) and you'll get 2 pulls on their bonus slot machine.

Here are the directions from the Swagbucks Blog to ensure you get credit for signing up:

Getting CheckPoints and earning your SB is simple:
1. Download the app from Apple by clicking here.
2. Register for your account in settings->My Account with bonus code: swagbucks
3. Enter your Swagbucks Username in settings->My Loyalty Programs (if you’re not sure what your Swagbucks Username is, go to Swagbucks and check under “Account Details”)
4. Use the app to checkin and scan products while shopping!


I found the app in the Android App Market on my phone by searching for Checkpoints.  Signup was fairly simple, and I received the 300 checkpoints, and won 40 checkpoints with my 2 bonus spins on the slot machine.

I'm looking forward to trying this app out soon!

Saving with Technology: Shopkick

 After you download the app and sign up - enter the promo code : cheetah5090 : to get bonus kickbucks for both you and me! 


shopkick is the first mobile app that gives you rewards and offers simply for walking into stores, for scanning products, and for signing up friends. You can collect kickbucks and bonuses at millions of stores and restaurants in America. That means at many places around you.

Walking In: Collect kickbucks just for WALKING INTO Best Buy, Crate & Barrel, Macy's, American Eagle, Sports Authority, Target, Wet Seal and major Simon malls, in 18 major markets: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, and Atlanta, Boston, D.C., Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Seattle, and St. Louis.

Scanning: Collect kickbucks by scanning products with your phone at 250,000 different stores in America.

Redeem your kickbucks for rewards! Get cool rewards like iTunes gift cards, restaurant vouchers, Best Buy/Target/Macy’s/American Eagle/Sports Authority gift cards, Facebook Credits, movie tickets, and more. You can also donate your kickbucks to 30 different causes!


I haven't tried this out yet, but it sounds like a fun way to earn free giftcards any time you run errands.  Reviews on facebook look mixed, so it may be something you have to try for yourself and see if it works on your phone properly.