Mobile apps can be a deal hunters' dream come true — if you know where to look. Plenty of apps aggregate the best deals and coupons from around the web, but some actually reward you with your own points or currency, simply through engaging in things you're probably already doing in the first place.
Swagbucks, a site and mobile app that doles out points to members just through online interaction, announced a new partnership with Coupons.com on Tuesday. This partnership allows you to earn points — known as Swag Bucks, fittingly — by making purchases at participating retail stores through linking a credit card to your account. You unlock these deals by launching the app on your smartphone and accessing a list of local stores nearby that are offering a Swagbucks reward. And it's not based on buying specific items: Simply make a purchase of a given amount, and instantly earn Swag Bucks back.
The Swagbucks system is really simple to use. You just create an account, log in, and start interacting with Swagbucks' website, which is full of content provided by the company's various partners. Every interaction you have through Swagbucks earns you Bucks of varying values. You can take a survey, play a game, watch a quick video, or sign up for trials of a new subscription service, as a few examples. Once you earn enough Bucks, you can trade them in for gift cards, ranging from PayPal and Amazon to the always-practical gas station credit, or even translate your points to a charitable donation. Rewards start at 450 Swag Bucks, so sometimes you have to do quite a bit of interaction to get the reward you really want.
You can also interact with Swagbucks' app for Android and iOS devices, so you can earn credit while on the go. Like its website, you can watch videos, answer surveys, and discover new services through the app, and you'll instantly earn Swag credit.
The app's new Local Discovery feature (which is iOS-only, for now) is the first feature that rewards you for real-life activity outside of the app. I did a little shopping using this feature before it launched, and it was a painless process that only required a few extra steps. While I was out, I launched Swagbucks and went to the Discovery section, and then tapped Local to see what nearby stores had a special promotion. I found five shops where I could earn a reward: Athleta, Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy, and Tilly's (which, along with Travelocity, are the only retail partners to support this in-app feature so far). Each rewarded between 120 and 200 Swag Bucks if I spent $50.
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