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Trying to afford games on an empty wallet


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#1 bkjohns1

bkjohns1

Posted 30 April 2012 - 05:05 PM

Hey fellow CAGs,

I've been a long time CAG; short time poster on the forums.

Due to financial pressures coming to a head in 2010 and difficulty making ends meet in 2011, I have been forced to a fairly strict budget that has no money for video games. As a result I have looked for ways to alternatively fund my gaming habit. This has led me down the path of rewards websites. I avoid sites that are get this free by doing these offers; I have gotten nothing but spam trying to do those. So I am only going to share sites that I have gotten a payout from.

You can view my quarterly 2012 pickup blogs that follow my exploits of trying to earn "free" money and how I spent it here:
Financial Phoenixdown
Game Pickups first quarter 2012
Game Pickups second quarter 2012
Game Pickups third quarter 2012
Game Pickups fourth quarter 2012 (Pros & Cons too)

 

Game Pickups for 2013 was another stellar year of about $700 dollars.

I have been trying to give back to the CAG community by posting free magazine links in the proper forum. These magazines are free/NO credit card required, and are top titles such as Newsweek, Field & Stream, Maxim, Road & Track, Autoweek, Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Entertainment Weekly, Us Weekly, etc. along with some niche magazines I have never heard of but may be of interest to someone.  Don't just think of yourself; give subscriptions to your friends and family.
 

 

bkjohns,
just wanted to thank you for posting all these free mag deals. i've been able to take advantage of some of them.

 

 

this is great. thanks.

 

 

In order to help people out, I am going to write about some things I've done or noticed.


=============================================================================

Credit Cards
Rewards credit cards can be the easiest. Just charge everything you would have normally paid cash or check for, such as your utilities, groceries, gas, etc. Pay your bill in full. Then redeem your rewards.

Make sure you use credit wisely so you don't pay more for things due to paying interest and fees. If you can't pay your balance in full, don't use credit cards.

These two credit cards could help you get free games. I was using the Sony Rewards Card, but now I am using the Chase Amazon Card. Either one gives you money that can be redeemed towards their website. Through SonyRewards.com I've gotten several games from their website and purchase reimbursement. They sometimes run specials such as spend 5000 pts (equivalent of $50) and get 5000 pts. So I got a $50 PSN card and a total of 6000 pts about a month later.

Spoiler



Earn 10 pts daily by daily by doing the Wheel of Fortune bonus puzzle.
You may find the answers here.

Follow these three threads for more tips and points:
New thread: http://www.cheapassg...ad.php?t=339852
Old thread: http://www.cheapassg...ad.php?t=210332
DVD/Blu-ray thread: http://www.cheapassg...ad.php?t=318326
-edit- added new thread link 4/5/2013


Edited by bkjohns1, 12 February 2014 - 06:47 PM.
Swagbucks is a Nike sweatshop run by Hitler


#2 bkjohns1

bkjohns1

Posted 15 May 2012 - 03:27 PM

Bing Rewards

A sure but steady way to get Amazon gift cards is through Bing.

I earn points just by using their search engine. There is a handy icon on the website that can be clicked to view what you can do and have done to earn your points for the day.

I can usually get a $5 Amazon gift card each month. While it is not much, it is an easy reward for minimal daily effort of just doing your normal searches or even just checking out Bing's top searches and the related searches.


=============================================================================

 

Earned a $5 Amazon gift card from Bing

Spoiler



#3 bkjohns1

bkjohns1

Posted 25 June 2013 - 10:58 PM

Surveys for gift cards are my next method. Currently I use:

  • e-Rewards (sign-up to GameStop's e-mail and you may get an invite which will allow you to get a $25 GameStop gift card each calendar quarter)
    • Cons: Beginning in Dec. 2012 they diminished the value of this reward; in other words it takes more work to get the same incentive. It went from $50 e-Rewards for $25 GS gift card to $75 for $25. Not worth it IMO, and this quote expresses my sentiment:
      Yeah I had the $50 built up ready to cash in, just waiting on Jan. 1, when they bumped me up. I've decided I'm going to get the remaining credit to finish up this one, but after that I'm done. The surveys have gotten more & more time consuming, they often let you get a LONG way into them before telling you you don't qualify, and of course they're often extremely dull & repetitive. It was barely worth the $25 when you had to get $50 worth of credit, no way it's worth it at $75.
  • iPoll (formerly SurveyHead) [rewards include Amazon, Newegg, Best Buy, GameStop gift cards]
    • Cons: It looks like there are a lot of surveys, but you won't qualify for many of them because they do a poor job of matching your profile to the available surveys. Lowered the average payout to $0.75 per 10min.
  • Valued Opinions [rewards include Amazon gift card which have been devalued by $2]
    • I can get a $2 referral credit if you will private message me your e-mail in order to send an invite.
  • Toluna [rewards include PayPal, a check, Tango gift card]
    • Cons: Very low payout for time spent. It looks like there are a lot of surveys, but you won't qualify for many of them because they do a poor job of matching your profile to the available surveys.
    • Pros: Started asking for updated info after failing the qualification for surveys.
  • Inspired Opinions [rewards include Amazon gift cards]
  • Funovation Panel [review children's items for a chance in a random prize draw.]
  • Communispace [rewards are Amazon gift cards] This is a forum type survey were a question is posed and you have a few days to answer it and reply to other people's comments.  For the ease, time commitment and pay, I highly recommend taking the opportunity to join a Communispace survey.  I've gotten into this through Inspired Opinions.
  • Vindale Research [rewards include PayPal or check]

If you want to multi-task while watching TV, surveys may be for you.

Just to forewarn you, filling out surveys is tedious and can be disheartening due to the the need to qualify for a survey, the time spent, and the low pay out for each survey (the average seems to be $1 per 10 minutes). But, perseverance can pay out in the end. With enough drops in the bucket you will qualify for the reward. Sometimes these smaller surveys can lead to bigger paying surveys/studies/product trials.

Edit History

Spoiler

Edited by bkjohns1, 12 February 2014 - 06:40 PM.


#4 bkjohns1

bkjohns1

Posted 27 June 2013 - 10:57 PM

Recyclebank
Referral Link

Earn points that can be redeemed for magazine subscriptions and other items.  Check out there rewards here.



#5 bkjohns1

bkjohns1

Posted 20 November 2013 - 09:02 PM

Twitter contests can be an easy way to get free games by a simple retweet and follow.

 

A good place to start is this forum thread ReTweet to Win!!! A stock pile of gamer contests.  And its corresponding Twitter account www.twitter.com/CAGunite

 

A second good place is www.twitter.com/HeyPlayStation for obviously PlayStation games.  Their contest is usually weekly on Wednesdays around 3 PM central time.