Earny Gets You Cash Back When Prices Drop

Last week, I decided to do my winter shopping. My clothes tend to be pretty plain, so I usually do it based on what store is offering the cheapest price for what I want, including any rebates from cash back shopping. The total, before rebates, was about $275. The best cash back portal for Macy’s at the time was offering 12% (As of this writing, Be Frugal is tops at 10%.). Whoo-hoo, a free $33! But there was more to come, thanks to Earny.

Earny Kicks In

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Earny: Creepy looking, but friendly and profitable

A few days later, I got a notification from Macy’s that they had received my request for a price adjustment and were refunding me $18.51. I had no idea what they were talking about, at least until a few days later, when I got an email from somebody called Earny, telling me that they had noticed a lower price on a shirt that I had ordered and requested a refund for me. And then I got another refund email. And another. Eventually, I ended up with a total of $92 in refunds on my $275 purchase, not including what I got from the shopping portal. I had no idea who was applying for my refunds, but I liked the fact that they were giving me money, so I did some exploring.

It turns out that, several months ago, I had signed up for the app Earny, a “shopping assistant” that tracks your purchases and looks for lower prices. If it finds a lower competitors’ price or notices a price drop in the covered time period (more on that later), you will get a refund to your card. If you give them your card and email info, they’ll do the work for you.* Earny takes 25% of the refund as their fee. You have two forms of “price protection:”

Credit Card Price Protection

The credit card price protection policy is the longer-lasting of the two, although it has one extra requirement. You need to shop with a participating credit card and at a participating store.

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Covered cards under the credit card protection policy

Several credit cards have a “price match guarantee,” where they will issue you a refund if you find a lower price within a certain time frame.  Earny automates it for you. For the first 90 days after your purchase, it will track your purchases to see if they can find a lower price. If it finds a lower price for covered credit cards and stores, it will apply for the refund automatically. Technically, I could track all my purchases myself, but I know that that’s not going to happen. I’m willing to pay Earny the 25% fee to do it for me. Below are the stores that are covered under the “credit card price protection:”

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Stores covered under the 90-day protection policy

Retailer Price Protection

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Stores covered under the 30-day refund policy

The other form of refunds that the app offers you is under “retailer price protection.” Many retailers have a price match policy, where they will refund you the difference in your purchase price if you find a lower price within a certain period of time.  For 30 days after your purchase, Earny will check the store where you made your purchase and its competitors for a month and, if it finds a better price, will apply for the refund directly for you.

What I Don’t Like

No service is perfect, including this one. There is nothing that would cause me to veto the service, but there are things you should be aware of. Here are a few of the downsides:

  • Like any merchant, they’ll need your credit card information. They will also need to be able to see your inbox to scan for receipts, although they’ll have no ability to alter anything. If you are at all nervous about that, set up a special “Earny email” for your purchases and register with that email.
  • When Earny sends an email to the merchant, they are doing so as you (which is why Macy’s responded to me and not Earny), rather than a third-party service. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest, but some people don’t like it.
  • Earny does not take its 25% at the time that it issues the refund. It does so at a later date (using the same form of payment), after it has verified that you have been credited. Again, doesn’t bother me, but it’s an objection that I’ve seen.

My Bottom Line

After receiving $33 from the shopping portal and a net of $69 from Earny (after their commission), my $275 purchase ended up costing me only about $163. Not a bad deal!

Signing Up

Yes, this is a referral site, and I truly appreciate it if you use my link to sign up. I get 5% of your rebates for an undetermined period of time. It costs nothing and could save you money, so it’s definitely worth a look. Feel free to put your own link in the comments section.

 


*Obviously, security is an issue for the app. Here is their security protection policy. Heck, until a few days ago, I didn’t even know that I had it.

 

Disney Movie Rewards: Free Points

Check your email for your monthly newsletter from Disney Movie Rewards. Scroll to the bottom and click on the link to collect. I got a lousy three points this month.

Making Money With Job Spotter (And The Added Bonus)

There are a lot of these “gig economy” jobs that allow you to make money on the side, but there are very few that make you money by helping other people get jobs. Job Spotter is an app that does so.

Job Spotter is the brain child of Indeed.com, one of the largest job hunting/recruiting sites on the internet. It generally offers a list of jobs available, but no photos to go along with them. Job Spotter pays you to go out and take pictures of Help Wanted signs. I’m not actually sure why, but I’m guessing it has something to do with an effort to generate local listings in addition to their national ones. It seems almost too good to be true, but it’s been around a while and has the deep pockets of Indeed supporting it.

How Job Spotter Works

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A few of my submissions and their values

 

Here’s how it works: You download the app and walk around looking for Help Wanted signs. You use the camera on the app to take two photos, one of the sign itself and one of the business. Then you hit “submit.” That’s it. Seriously. Depending on where you live or work, you can rack up a nice reward with only a little work.

The app will award you from 5-150 points based on its own criteria. 100 is worth $1 toward a gift card at Amazon. You get more points for local places rather than national, as well as those that offer a job title on the sign and allow you to apply on-site. You’ll also get more points for a custom-made sign, as opposed to a generic corporate listing. For example, my mass-produced Staples sign was only worth 14 points, while the one for local business Backworks, with a bespoke listing, was worth 110.

But here’s the reason I really like it: It’s great for making you exercise. I’m naturally lazy, but the thought that I can get out and make some cash with my phone gets my feet moving. I have the added benefit of working in a city, so I can go in one of a thousand different directions.

Also Worth Noting…

Other things to keep in mind:

  • You must use the app to take the picture. It’s easy to use and will prompt you. Occasionally, when you hit submit, it gives you an error message. Wait a minute and try again.
  • Despite the fact that unemployment is under 4%, Help Wanted signs seem to be rare. On the other hand, if I got paid for every “No Public Restrooms” sign that I saw, I’d be a billionaire.
  • You can also make money by verifying other people’s photos, but it’s a bit tedious and doesn’t pay much.
  • You can submit the same sign once per month. It appears to be based on a calendar month, rather than a rolling 30 days.

And that’s it! Submissions tend to credit within the hour, and you can cash out at any time. So get out and make some money!

Cash Back For Shopping Online

As we’re closing in on the holiday season, I’ve activated the Online Shopping Rebates page to show you how to get a few bucks back on (almost) all of your purchases.

I’m surprised by how many people aren’t using cash back portals for their shopping. The concept is relatively simple: you access your favorite merchant by way of a portal, and the merchant gives the portal a commission as part of an affiliate deal. The portal shares it with you.

Online Shopping Rebates: How It Works

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Earn cash back on all of these

Example: I need new shirts and find the ones that I want at Macy’s, so I go directly to Macy’s website and buy the shirts. I spend $100.

or…

I need new shirts and sign in at Ebates, a well-known shopping portal. I access the Macy’s website through Ebates’ link and, after I make a purchase, Macy’s gives money to Ebates. Ebates then gives some of that money to me. The current cash back rate is 12% of my purchase price. I spend $100, but they give me back $12.

It’s simple, easy and free. A couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Clear your cookies/cache directly before accessing the portal.
  • The portal is directing you to the exact same website that you’d access directly. It’s the affiliate relationship with the merchant that gets you money back.
  • You don’t have to be buying physical goods. Many travel providers are on here.

I’ve given some more details, as well as my personal favorite portals, on the Online Shopping Rebates page, which will now be a new tab. If you sign up under my link, please feel free to put your own referral link afterward in the comments section (and I thank you for doing so). Yes, you do get a bonus for referring people. That money comes from the portal, though, not from you, so it costs you nothing to sign up. Happy shopping!

 

Disney Movie Rewards (10 Points) And Referrals

Disney Movie Rewards is offering its usual five points for taking a quick quiz. If you want an additional five points, change the “92” at the end of the url to “96” and you’ll have another quiz for a total of ten points.

If you’re not a member, DMR just launched a referral program. You can sign up here and they say they’ll give you (and me) 150 points if you make an “eligible purchase.” I’m not sure what an eligible purchase is, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never made one. But free is free.

 

Invitation To Join Initiative Q

Initiative Q is an attempt by some ex-PayPal to develop a new payment system to replace the current method that they consider outdated. I’m not sure what that all means, but it comes from some people with credibility, so that’s a plus. They’re calling the technology Initiative Q, and it seems to be a sort of person-to-person network that would eliminate the middle man.

I have no idea if this will work out, but all they’re asking for is a name and email address and, in return, are allocating currency to early sign-ups when it launches, just to get the ball rolling. It costs nothing to sign up. I remember when PayPal launched and they gave everyone $5 to start. So why not give it a shot. I have five referrals to hand out, and there doesn’t seem to be much downside to registering. Just confirm your email once you sign up.

If you want to read more about it, somebody wrote an article here.

Kellogg’s Family Rewards: Possible 200 Free Points

The good news is that Kellogg’s Family Rewards seems to be offering free points more than ever through these inactivity links that they keep sending me. We don’t buy a lot of cereal, so naturally, we have no codes to redeem.

Check your email for a link from Kellogg’s offering you up to 200 free points just for logging into your account. If you don’t have one, you can try mine and see if it works for you. The offer expires on 11/13.

The downside to all of the free points is that the prizes continue to weaken. Here’s the print for all prizes available for 20,000 points or more. Ouch.

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Anybody want a coffee mug?

Freebies: Coke Contest, InboxDollars, Online Shopping

A few tidbits on the day. Enjoy your freebies.

Win An Amazon Gift Card From Coca-Cola

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Not exactly two dogs and a piece of spaghetti

Although the My Coke Rewards program is gone, Coke caps will still get you something. And now, you don’t even need a Coke cap to win something. Enter the Amazon Gift Card contest and click on the “Rules” link. Click on the link in Rule 3c and you’ll get a free entry. Sorry folks, only one entry per day.

The gift card is only $25, but that’s $25 more than you started with.

InboxDollars

For those of you who have joined InboxDollars (and if you haven’t, you should), you know that you can earn progress toward your next cashout simply by letting videos play in the background (under the “TV” section). That’s it. You don’t have to interact at all.

But IBD is upping the ante, offering you the chance of double progress for 30 minutes. If you complete any survey, you’ll move twice as far along the cash bar for the next half hour. Here’s a hint: There are a ton of surveys that are low-paying, but only take 3-5 minutes to complete. Do one of those, and then enjoy your cash that much faster.

Online Shopping

Experienced internet shoppers know that you should always shop through an online site to get a rebate on your purchases. I’m working on a page for the blog that explains these rebates in more depth. Keep an eye out for it. Now go pick up your freebies!

 

Win Money From The Cheetos Good Fortunes Contest

It’s been a while since I’ve put up an online contest, so here’s a good one. Head over here to win one off 127 prizes from Cheetos. It says that you need a bag code, but simply use 167224###, substituting any 3-digit number for the ###.

Prizes are all cash, ranging from $100 to $5,000. You can enter up to ten times per day, and it only takes a minute to do so. And if you win something, remember who told you about the contest!

Okay, hat tip to Heyitsfree, where I found the contest. But you can forget about him. Remember me.

 

Disney Movie Rewards: Free Monthly Mystery Points Newsletter

Disney Movie Rewards just sent out its monthly newsletter for mystery points, so be sure to take a look in your email for it. Scroll down to the bottom of the newsletter and you’ll see the banner to click..

They are contributing the fine tradition of pushing the mystery points out further and further into the month. At this rate, you won’t see your November points until December.