I Got Free Candles, and You Can Too!
Due to a combination of unpreparedness and neurobiological disease, there were no posts last week. Thanks for understanding! And if you aren't understanding, then thanks for being true to your emotions! It was a rough week, but I'm determined for this one to be better. Hmmm... you know what makes life exponentially better? FREE MONEY! "What?" You may be asking. "Is this post guest written by a Nigerian prince? Because this sounds like a scam and a half!" Firstly, you should assume ALL posts are guest written by a Nigerian prince, just to be on the safe side. Secondly, I'm not even joking about the free money. It's real and it's fun and it's easy and it's REAL.
Sometime in the Spring I downloaded an app called SurveyMini. It uses the GPS in your phone to know your location and send you surveys based on where you've been and what businesses you may have visited while you were there. In exchange for answering a few questions, you get points, and you redeem those points for gift cards. Gift cards, mind you, that are for actual businesses that you will actually patronize. So, basically, free money.
The surveys are pretty straightforward, and you get points even if you didn't actually visit a business. For example, I'll sometimes get a survey for a hotel that is on the route I take while walking Hero. The app will tell me I have a new survey, and when I go check it'll say "Did you visit X Hotel recently?" When I say no, it will give me 100 (or sometimes even more) points. If you did visit a business though, you say "Yes" because lying is bad, and you will then get subsequent questions about your experience. Examples of common questions include: Did you have a good trip? Who made the decision to go here? How much money did you spend? Once your survey is finished, you'll see the points added to your account. The points do not correlate to your review, i.e., you don't get more or less points depending on whether your review was positive or negative. In fact, I played around with the app and (from the user's end) it all seems pretty randomized. Once I got 500 points for saying I didn't visit a business. Many times I've filled out surveys with dedication only to end up with 100 points.
As for redeeming points, this is where it gets odd. Not odd in a sketchy way, odd in a snail mail way. See, everything is done through your phone and the app, but when it's time for SurveyMini to send you your gift card, they do so through the good old fashioned USPS. There must be some reason for this, but I don't know what it is. Maybe you can't just be giving what is essentially free money away to someone without an address? Anyway, don't expect to redeem your points and then go running off to TJ Maxx to spend your money three minutes later. I was bummed to see that I would need to wait for my gift card to arrive, but I was equally thrilled when it came in three days (they told me a week to ten, I believe).
The great thing about this app is that the rewards are real, the effort you have to put in is extremely minimal (seriously, a survey takes about two minutes) and it's all completely free. You don't even have to pay for the gift card to be sent to you! It took me about five months to accumulate the 25,000 points necessary for a $25 gift card, but I'm a professional homebody. I bet if you're out in the world doing stuff, you could get your rewards even faster.
It should be clear that if you don't want any record of your GPS activity, or don't want to give your name and address to a business, then this isn't the app for you. You need to leave it running in the background of your phone for the GPS to be able to find you surveys, but I haven't noticed any effect on my battery life. I have, however, received my gift card and used it to buy candles at Marshall's, so it's safe to say I think it's worth it. FREE CANDLES, GUYS!
I will always disclose any sponsorships, but I wanted to add an extra disclaimer just in case you saw this post as a huge ad for an app, so here it is: I am in no way affiliated with SurveyMini or any of the businesses that use its services. I was not compensated in exchange for this review. I just really like candles. I burn through a lot of them. GET IT?!