There are many rewards programs out there that give you points & cash in exchange for you shopping with certain businesses. Everyone should look into these, especially those with families with the cost of living these days. I mean why not get free money for what you are already spending. You may be surprised just how handy that extra money can be at times.
If your within Australia the big household rewards programs are Woolworths Rewards & Flybuys. Outside of Australia the popular ones seem to be Ebates (you can use this in Australia too just not so much available) and Swagbucks. It really depends on where you shop and how much you spend in order to see a return. When it comes to travel Qantas & Virgin Australia have a good points system set up to be redeemed on future flights (actually in Flybuys you can also redeem points for flights with Virgin). For travel I love Expedia's point system where you can earn points for anything booked through them and then redeem for $$$ off your future flight, hotel and activity bookings. If you havn't already go and check out our family stay at the awesome Bella Apartments in Melbourne. We used Expedia points to save nearly $100 on our stay!
> Join The Busy Mummas VIP Lounge for only $4.95 per month for more FREE exclusive content, printables and more!
Which One's Give You The Best Return
This is a each to their own kind of deal. It really depends on where you shop as to what return you can receive and what return YOU WANT TO RECEIVE.
I personally have found working the Flybuys rewards program to be the best for me. I receive so much more back than using the Woolworths Rewards program. In fact I think I've only ever received $10 back on that program as oppose to the hundreds of dollars I have on Flybuys. They just do not seem to have as much on offer for me, as I do tend to do most shopping at Coles, Kmart & Target. Last year I RECEIVED HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS in Fly Buys dollars that I was able to spend at any Coles Myer store. All I had to do was convert my points to Fly Buy Dollars and then I just used my actual Fly Buys card as a eftpos card! I purchased, petrol, groceries and birthday/Christmas gifts for my kids. This year I am already on my way with redeeming $80 since January and that has gone so far towards some birthday/Christmas gifts for Isabella (It will be a Our Generation Doll world here this year lol). By the end of March I will have another $100 in points that I am purchasing much needed winter clothing for Joseph ..... FREE MONEY PEOPLE FREE MONEY! I absolutely love FlyBuys and have really learnt how to best take advantage of it - read more about 'How I Work My Flybuys For Hundreds Of $$$ Per Year' in a special post on The VIP Lounge.
When it comes to travel we generally fly Jetstar as it is the cheapest, but If I can find the same flight price for them through Expedia I book through there to get my Expedia points. For my accommodation I generally also use Expedia where I can, not only because of the points but also because they tend to be the cheapest price with their guarantee.
Swagbucks & Ebates seem to be similar programs where you go through links from their sites to places like Ebay, Walmart, Expedia and hundreds of more to shop and receive $$$ back. For me in Australia these sites have limited shops that I can really purchase on. I have however just recently signed up to Ebates and although I havn't used it yet I'm sure I will use it at some point. It definitely wont be as much as I can get with my Flybuys, as there's not a lot of shops for me on offer from Australia. I can however see how they could work well for people in USA, especially with shops like Amazon, Ebay and Walmart on offer.
How To Take Advantage
Using rewards programs smartly is a must if you want really receive the benefits. Here are some tips:
Don't Join Too Many - Choose only a couple from each category to start using eg everyday buys, online stores, travel etc If you choose too many you can not focus and choose your shopping wisely. You will earn small amounts all over the place and it wont add up to be worth it. eg If I had split my groceries over both Woolworths Rewards and Coles Flybuys I would not have been able to cover the kids birthdays and Christmas as much as I did last year.
Look Before You Shop - Plan out for the week what you need to buy and then look on your rewards programs to see who is offering the most in return. Looking at products on offer as bonuses is also a wise choice. What ever I need on my grocery list I look at what bonus points I can get for certain products on Flybuys and purchase that brand eg this week I needed pasta and instead of buying my usual brand I opted for another as Flybuys was offering an extra 500 bonus points.
See What Partner Programs Exist - Not all programs offer a partner program but places like Ebates currently have on offer a bonus $15USD for you if you have someone sign up and spend at least $25 with themselves receiving $10 bonus dollars.
See If There Is A Minimum Threshold For Payouts - It's rare but some rewards programs have a minimum point or $ amount you have to reach before you can claim your rewards. You really want to look into this. If it's a high amount of point you need to accumulated and are very slow to add up you may be wasting your time. Concentrate on the programs that you can accumulate points quickly and payout immediately or at a low threshold. As an example Woolworths Rewards has been very slow for me needing at least 2000 points to redeem just $10. Generally you get 1 point for every $1 you spend - yes calculate that its $2,000 spent! There is not as many shops as Flybuys for me to collect those points so honestly 12 months on and I still havn't gotten $10. Flybuys on the other hand offer a huge amount of bonus points and I accumulate quickly.
I'm currently on a offer of spending at least $90 per week for the next 4 weeks at Coles (groceries) to receive 15,000 bonus points. That's $75 made in just 4 weeks for shopping I need to do anyway, plus on top of that I am getting my usual spending points and extra bonus point for certain product choices. I will be looking around $100 free money very soon!
Look Out For Status Upgrades - These are usually found with reward programs associated with travel eg Qantas have bronze, silver & gold levels offering bonus points the higher the level you are. Currently on Expedia I am silver status (previously blue) I now have priority customer service and earn bonus points on bookings. When I move up to gold I will get even more!
Use Their Apps - If they have them use their apps because nine times out of ten they offer you a bonus if you go through the app. Flybuys offer me weekly bonus point boosts and Expedia offer me more rewards points for every booking you make if doing on the app.
What rewards programs are you a part of ? Comment below to share what works best for you :)
Join The VIP Lounge for only $4.95 per month for more FREE exclusive content, printables and more!