Monday, March 19, 2012

How my Ipod Touch Paid for Itself - 4 Apps to Download

EDIT: Updated it in 2013 to reflect new apps I have downloaded, enjoy! (scroll to the bottom to see them)

If you have not already noticed I love to get a bang for my buck and I probably wanted to get an Ipod Touch or Iphone for a while since I heard about all these different apps and what they could do, specifically how they could help me score some savings, not to mention free stuff to boot. For all you Ipod Touch/Iphone owners this article highlights apps that have helped me save money, score freebies and things along those lines and how my Ipod touch basically paid for itself. This is a long one folks, so I suggest you grab a cup of hot chocolate or a small snack!

Now here is the backstory of how I got my Ipod Touch this past Black Friday. I had heard rumors that Amazon was going to have the 8gb for $150 and I was going to risk going to the mall to get a random gift card to H&M at midnight but that is another story. I waited until midnight and lo-and behold the Ipod 8gb was indeed $150, but since it was a Black Friday special I did not know how to use the lightening deal so I after 20 minutes of trying to figure things out how to get on the waitlist since it sold out in less than a minute. However the same day Amazon had it on sale for $178, which is $21 down from the original price of $199 back then. As sad as I was about not getting it for cheaper, I bought it with the Amazon gift cards I had redeemed from Swagbucks (it is a site where you earn points for searches, polls, watching videos etc), which was $100. So I ended up paying $78.


So let me start with the app 'ShopKick', its premise is to have users go into stores such as Best Buy, Target, American Eagle to name a few and have you scan certain products to gain points (ranging from 15-100 points), or you can get points by walking into a certain store (ranging from 35-55 points). The point of the app is to get users into the stores so that they will make a purchase. So far only the following stores participate: Arden B, American Eagle Outfitteres, Best Buy, Crate & Barrel, Macys, Old Navy, Sports Authority, Target, Toys R Us, Wet Seal and West Elm.

Besides the aspect of earning rewards, ShopKick also has a feature where you can make a store your 'fave' and then when you click on the Faves tab you can see all the stores current deals and offers which is pretty handy if you were planning on making a trip to the place. A cool thing is that you can fav stores that are not participating in ShopKick like Hollister and Gap for example and know what deals they are currently offering. The Favs tab also features casual/fast food deals as pictured in the second row and what they consider to be the current top ten deals in the first row.

The negative thing to ShopKick is only a handful or so stores currently have implemented ShopKick so if you dont have these stores near you, it is hard to gain points. If you go to the stores a lot of have a mall readily nearby it is easy to gain points at a steady pace. As in terms of rewards, you can choose gift cards from Macys, Target, and others with gift cards as as low as 500 points (for a $2 gift card), 1250 for $5, 2500 for $10.

Here is a list of ways to earn points:
- Attach your Visa card to ShopKick and receive points for every time you use your Visa card at participating ShopKick stores (sometimes they offer 200 points if you attach your card)

- Look for a 'star' next to a stores name (pictured right), if there is that means there is an instant surprise where you may be able to score some points (1-2 points per store). You can receive these points everyday.

- Collect sets of items (varies with each promotion) and it usually requires you to find 3 pieces (you find them by tapping on the 'instant surprise', when you collect all the pieces you'll earn points ranging from 3-7 points.

- This is related to collecting sets of items, sometimes you will get an extra 50 points for checking into places like Old Navy when you collect all the pieces via instant surprises.


A very popular check-in app, where at first I never thought was useful but then I realized that some places offer discounts, and freebies when you check in. At some of my Simon malls (they own a majority of the malls in America) I got freebies for checking in such as a Celtics drawstring gym bag with a Newbury Comics water bottle. Not bad for just checking into a mall I was already at. My local mall so far is offering a different special every month for checking in, last month was a BOGO coupon to the Chipotle in the mall, which was awesome since I was craving some Mexican food at the time. Other places might offer a free meal or drink for example for checking in (for the free meal it is usually the major of the place that gets it). Retail places like Macy's and American Eagle offer discounts when you check into their stores and show the cashier that you have 'unlocked' the deal. If a place has an orange reward/special sign underneath it then there is something being offered there. So not only is this a social app it also helps you save some money at the same time, a nice 2-1.

Old Navy Snappy App

I have mentioned this App before in my January/February Haul post and it is basically a way for Old Navy to connect to their customers by having them snap up specific images in the store made for the app so customers can see how others styled the clothes. The app also allow users to shop Old Navy on their mobile and whenever you snap a picture of the Old Navy logo (see image below, courtesy of iTunes App store) you get a chance to win coupons or deals such as $5 off $25 purchase, $10 off any purchase or a free Kodak Gallery Photo Book (or something similar). However most of the time you will end up with winning a game, or a fashionspiration (fashion history moment or fabulous phone compliment). A useful app if you love all things Old Navy or just want you chance to win a discount to the store.


Lastly I will be featuring the app Viggle which has so far been my favorite since I have earned over $100 in gift cards already within using it for a month. The app Viggle is pretty new itself, since it launched in late January but the basis of the app is to reward users for watching tv. Really it is that simple, all you have to do is check into the show you are watching and you will receive points after it is over or if you are checking into another show. When you launch the app, it will say 'tap here to check in' then just place your device close enough to your television so that it can hear what show you are watching, and then you are asked to confirm if that is the show you are watching. As you can see from the image to the right they are offering a bonus +250 points for checking into Pretty Little Liars so in addition to earning points for checking into the show you also get the 250 points since it is a featured show. So if you check into primetime shows that are featured for the day you are in luck since they offer bonus points for those shows.

What is great about this is, even if you dont watch a lot of tv, you can just casually check in every so often and you would get a decent amount of points (at least 100 if for an hour show). They also have live events where you can score even more points by answering the questions related to the show as it airs. Usually this is for big events like the Superbowl, Oscars and such but they have had it for American Idol before. You can also watch ads (points vary from 15-100 points) and those can add up. Rewards start at 7,500 for $5 gift cards to places like CVS, Lowe's, Burger King, Barnes & Noble and more. What I love is they offer $10 Sephora eGift Card, even though it can only be used online and you can't combine them I don't mind since not many places offer Sephora gift cards as rewards.

So overall I have surpassed the amount that I have paid for my Ipod Touch in a few months, due to using the 4 apps that I have mentioned. The Ipod Touch was definitely a worthwhile purchase in terms of it paying for itself. I hope everyone enjoyed the post and downloaded some of these apps to save some money if not get some cool rewards.

And now for more apps I have mentioned..

Clutch is a new app that organizes your gift cards and instead of carrying around all those plastic cards Clutch allows you to have them all in one place electronically. Not only that the app shows you all the deals/sales that are going on for the gift cards that you own so you know when is the best time to use them along with giving your friends gift cards as well. *Clutch had a new user promo going on where the first 1000 received $15 Banana Republic gift cards, that is how I was able to score $15 to the store

Gyft is a new app that organizes your gift cards and instead of carrying around all those plastic cards Gyft allows you to have them all in one place electronically. When you sign up you also receive 2 free gift cards (while supplies last) could vary from Sneak Peeq, Country Outfitters and some others. *Through early promotions I was able to snag $10 to Gap and $10 to Sephora.


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