[Running Out of Rewards]
January 26, 2001 By Dave Kristula
I'll be the first to admit it. I've spent the past three months searching the Internet for the best rewards programs out there. For months I had promoted AllAdvantage, a company which recently has decided to stop paying its members for the time they spend watching ads with their software ad box (The Viewbar).
Due to declining ad rates in the second half of 2000, I've decided not to pursue another "pay to surf" company. So I've looked at point-based programs. I've been using FreeRide.com For a few years, but recently their reward catalog cost has gone nearly 30%. I've also browsed through MyPoints.com, and their subsidiary Cybergold.com, but I'm still coming up displeased. I actually earned enough points at mypoints for a gift certificate, and I ordered it in October, and it has yet to arrive. I've contacted customer service at Mypoints twice and they still haven't been able to get the certificate to my house. Go Figure.**
So the points programs aren't doing so well. So I searched further. I came about ebates.com, which seems like it has a lot of potential. You earn cash back, from 1% to 30%, by starting your online shopping experience at their portal and purchasing at one of their over 400 online merchants (They've got some biggies, like outpost.com, buy.com, and wal-mart.com.) Impressive. Works with any credit card, too. They'll mail you your rebate every quarter.
If I come upon any more impressive sites, I'll be sure to let you know. For now, I suggest you check out about ebates.com.
** Editor's Update: In February I received my gift certificate, after three separate contacts with customer support from MyPoints.
I then ordered a second certificate, which promptly arrived within two weeks.
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