Apr 15 2008

Want free gas? A free meal? A free swimsuit? How to use MyPoints to get what you want

In less than three months, I’ve earned $20 worth of Target gift cards from MyPoints.com. Whether you need to supplement your budget and get a swimsuit as I have, or you want a gift card to give away as a present, or maybe you want to get free gasoline, using MyPoints can be a great way to earn an extra bit.

I’ve talked about MyPoints several times, but I haven’t done a good job of explaining exactly what it is. I hope this helps. Feel free to ask questions.

MyPoints works in two basic ways. Read more about the program on their web site here.

1. It’s a portal for buying from various merchants online. You can log into your MyPoints account, and click on the store you plan to buy something from (for example, Target). For that store, you’ll get 5 points per dollar when you spend $65 or so, and 10 points per dollar if you spend more than that.

Other stores have a flat point value. For example, for Blockbuster Online, you’ll get 1,000 points when you sign up for a specific plan. There aren’t coupon codes–you just click through from MyPoints to the online store.

2. You can get points without ever buying anything. Every day or so, you’ll get 1-3 (ish) e-mails from MyPoints. (Feel free to create an e-mail account just for this purpose. You’ll just want to use the same e-mail address for all of your MyPoints dealings, so your account gets credited).

You click a button to show you’ve read the e-mail, and your account is credited with 5 points usually. Or, sometimes you can get more points if you sign up for another web site’s newsletter, or participate in whatever offer. I also visit MyPoints.com each day, because sometimes they have one-question polls that also will quickly earn you points.

There are other free ways to accumulate points as well. Here’s how I racked up more than 1,200 in just a few weeks.

Once you get enough points, you’ll be able to redeem them for gift cards. So far, I’ve used a little more than 3,000 points to earn two $10 Target gift cards, which I received about a week to 10 days after requesting them.

Clicking on a few links here and there and signing up for a few offers really hasn’t taken much time. It’s something you can easily fit into your day, if you’re interested.

There’s not much you can do about gas prices, right? Wrong!

Use your MyPoints account to get free gasoline! At these two gas stations, it will take:

BP: 1,500 points for a $10 gift card; 3,750 points for $25; 7,250 points for a $50 gift card

Shell: 1,550 points for a $10 gift card; 3,750 points for a $25 gift card; 7,350 points for a $50 gift card

Use MyPoints gift cards to supplement your drug store deals.

CVS: 1,500 points for $10 gift card; 3,600 points for $25 gift card; 6,750 points for $50 gift card

Walgreens: 1,500 points for $10 gift card; 3,650 points for $25; 7,150 points for $50

Treat yourself to a meal (or a snack) out.

Panera: 1,400 points for $10; 3,450 for $25

Red Lobster/Olive Garden: 1,400 points for $10; 3,450 points for $25. If you choose to eat at Red Lobster, sign up for their coupon club so you can stretch your gift card even further.

Starbucks: 1,450 points for $10; 3,500 points for $25

TGI Friday’s: 1,450 points for $10; 3,500 points for $25. Check their site for current coupons. Now through April 18, they have a coupon for buy one lunch, get the second half off. You won’t be able to get your MyPoints gift card in time, of course, but just thought I’d mention that!

Click here for a complete list of gift card reward options.

For more on MyPoints, check out:

PaidTwice has two posts on how to optimize your points value. You might have noticed that there isn’t a flat rate of points needed for $10 gift cards. It varies. Even if it takes 50 fewer points to get a $10 gift card for Panera, but you’ve gone months without Starbucks and would really like to go, by all means, get the gift card you really want. You’ve earned it.

(Note: There are no referral links in this post.)

5 Responses to “Want free gas? A free meal? A free swimsuit? How to use MyPoints to get what you want”

  1. I’ve been a member of MyPoints since 1998 and I absolutely love the program. Most recently, I got $75 in gift cards to Gap to help pay for some new work clothes. I think I want to get a $10 CVS card next to pay for my small amounts after I use ECBs. A gas gift card looks good too though… Ah, the options!

    Sarah’s last blog post..Quick money saving tip

  2. I think I may save up for some gas cards next. I recently used hundreds and hundreds (thousands really) of points for large Amazon.com gift cards to buy the Harry Potter books on CD. :) I am a nerd! But I’m a cheap nerd. lol

    I also like to send flowers as gifts and do so via MyPoints to get credit for it. It’s great! =)

    castocreations’s last blog post..Birthday Contributor Post – Herb & Ginger

  3. Thanks for breaking down the info on how to use MyPoints – really useful! I never thought that it was worth the effort, but clearly it is! I’m signing up today!

    Leslie Raymond’s last blog post..New Site Feature: Top 50 Most Useful Credit Card Sites

  4. I really like the idea of using MyPoints for special dates and such.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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