Jump to content

- - - - -

Trying to afford games on an empty wallet

#1 bkjohns1   Persona! CAGiversary!   896 Posts   Joined 12.3 Years Ago  


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.


Game Pickups for 2014 was a great year of $770.

I had been trying to contribute to the CAG community by posting free magazine links in the proper forum. Better yet, just register on these sites (freebizmag.com, rewardsgold.com, or mercurymagazines.com) to get the offers emailed to you. Follow Rewards Gold on Twitter because they frequently tweet out short lived offers.  These magazines are free/NO credit card required, but do require you to jump through some hoops.  Thus you could look forward to top titles such as 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.


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 post about some things I've done or noticed.


-edit- added new thread link 4/5/2013

-edit- added quote from WoF about Sony Rewards pts 7/23/2014

-edit- added 2014 blog link and names of free magazine sites 2/16/2015

-edit- moved the credit card summary to its own post 3/9/2015

-edit- Hypertoken admits he is an asshole, and he certainly proves it.

Edited by bkjohns1, 21 April 2015 - 05:30 PM.
Swagbucks is a Nike sweatshop run by Hitler

#2 bkjohns1   Persona! CAGiversary!   896 Posts   Joined 12.3 Years Ago  


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


#3 bkjohns1   Persona! CAGiversary!   896 Posts   Joined 12.3 Years Ago  


Posted 25 June 2013 - 10:58 PM

Surveys for gift cards are my next method. Currently I use:  I have given up on these sites because the payouts are less money for more time if I even get to complete the survey before being kicked out.  Seriously, just get a second job to bring in way more money in far less time than how these survey aggregator companies rip you off.

  • ProOpinion [rewards are Amazon gift cards]
  • 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.
  • Inspired Opinions [rewards include Amazon gift cards]
  • Communispace [rewards are Amazon gift cards] This is a forum type survey where 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.
  • 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.
  • Funovation Panel [review children's items for a chance in a random prize draw.]
  • Vindale Research [rewards include PayPal or check]
    • Cons: Requires a buildup of $50 in order to cash out.  Poor matching of surveys to your profile.  Calls website offers "surveys," and true surveys are called "studies."
  • 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.
  • 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. 
    • They're thieves: Your hard earned points expire leaving you with nothing.  I cannot recommend them anymore.

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


Edited by bkjohns1, 13 October 2016 - 04:00 PM.

#4 bkjohns1   Persona! CAGiversary!   896 Posts   Joined 12.3 Years Ago  


Posted 27 June 2013 - 10:57 PM

Referral Link

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

#5 bkjohns1   Persona! CAGiversary!   896 Posts   Joined 12.3 Years Ago  


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.

#6 bkjohns1   Persona! CAGiversary!   896 Posts   Joined 12.3 Years Ago  


Posted 09 March 2015 - 10:30 PM

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, cell phone, groceries, gas, etc. Pay your bill in full. (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.)  Then redeem your rewards.

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.



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

On August 5, 2014 this will end.

If you’ve been tuning in to Wheel at any time during our 31-plus years, you know that we’re big on “better.” So in an effort to give you a more rewarding Wheel Watchers Club experience, we’re switching things up. To start, as of August 5, 2014 you can no longer earn Sony Rewards Points in the Wheel Watchers Club. We need to make room for more spin-errific perks.

This small change won’t affect your personal SPIN ID in any way. As always, you have the chance to win $5,000 cash every weeknight … even through the summer months with $5K Every Day! Just tune in.

You can continue earning Sony Rewards Points with Wheel until August 5, 2014. After that, you can still play the Bonus Round Puzzle, but until we announce the new rewards you’ll be playing for bragging rights only. You can also continue to redeem your Sony Rewards Points through March 31, 2015. However, if you have a valid Sony Card or PlayStation Credit Card linked to your Sony Rewards account, then your Sony Rewards Points, including those earned in the Wheel Watchers Club, will expire five years from the end of the calendar month in which you earned them. If you have any additional questions, please visit our FAQs.

Keep reading your emails and check back at WheelofFortune.com for updates on enhancements to the Wheel Watchers Club.
Not yet a member? Join now.

Thanks for watching!


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