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.

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