Using MyPoints to Save Money at Christmas

MyPoints is a wonderful website that I have been a member of for over 7 years. It was founded in 1996, introduced BonusMail the pioneering permission-based email program in 1997, filed for its Initial Public Offering in 1999, and was acquired by the New Ventures division of United Airlines in 2001. Over the years, MyPoints has continued to grow and improve their services making it the best points earning website on the web.

MyPoints allows anyone with Internet access to earn points by reading email, taking surveys, completing offers and shopping. Once you have accumulated enough points you can exchange them for merchandise or gift certificates from great stores like Target, Buy.com, Best Buy, Olive Garden, Macy’s, Blockbuster and Starbucks just to name a few. You can also donate your points, which MyPoints converts to cash or merchandise that is needed by the American Red Cross. It is simply the easiest way to earn anything online.

My first few years as a member I missed out on a lot because I did not take full advantage of everything that was offered. I finally learned my lesson and I hope with this article I can keep you from wasting the years as I did.

The first step is signing up for free at MyPoints.com and filling out your profile. Your profile is important because they use that to decide what offers to send to you. Shortly after filling out your profile you will begin receiving emails that you must open and then click on the Get Points Link that is included in the email. Read these emails consistently and you will see your point total increase swiftly.

When I first joined, reading emails was all that I did. I earned enough points to get myself a nice gift each year but I knew I was missing something. Then I got it into my head to use my points to get gift cards for Target so I could buy Christmas Gifts. What a revelation that was.

With Christmas Gifts as my goal I became more active in earning points. In addition to reading the emails I also began to sign up for every free offer they had. The free offers consist of joining mailing lists or requesting a trial product. Don’t be afraid to do this. Once you sign up you can always unsubscribe. It is best to wait at least 30 days before you unsubscribe to make sure that your points get added to your account.

I also started taking part in any surveys that were offered. It seems like the more you take part in the more they send you. MyPoints is also great at offering specials to earn points like finding special icons on the site. This is also an easy way to build up your point total. New additions include MyPoints Games where you can earn points for having fun and the MyPoints Visa, which earns you points with each use.

The big points, however, come from doing something you are probably already doing and that is shopping online. It takes some discipline to get used to signing into the MyPoints site every time you are going to shop online but trust me it is worth it. Most places earn you a few points per dollar spent.

My first purchase was to get printer supplies, something I needed anyways. If you purchase things from eBay like I do then you are in luck. eBay was recently added to the list of shopping sites. Simply sign into MyPoints and then go o eBay through the link there. Then you earn points for every dollar you spend. If you aren’t an eBay member yet, you can get a lot of points for signing up, then go about your shopping.

With over 300 shopping partners you can almost always find what you are looking for and earn points by shopping through MyPoints. Some of the categories for shopping include, books, cellular service, Internet service, department stores, electronics, flowers, computers, home furnishings, sports & leisure, toys and so much more. If you do a lot of online shopping then this will increase your points tremendously. No matter what you are looking to buy remember to check in MyPoints first.

MyPoints also recently added a travel center where you can research, plan and buy vacations. This is a great new addition since vacations are big money items and can garnish you a lot of points. It never hurts to check at MyPoints before going elsewhere.

The idea is to take advantage of all that MyPoints offers and let your point total grow and grow throughout the year. Then exchange your points in no later than mid November. You want to make sure you allow time for shipping. You are free to exchange them for whatever you want but I always opt for Target Gift Cards.

I have found that I can get more gifts by using the gift cards than if I were to exchange my points directly for merchandise. I have a large family with a lot of kids. With the Target Gift Cards I manage to get gifts for 9 to 10 kids in the family not counting my daughter. At Christmas time, being able to take care of that many gifts for essentially free is an absolute stress buster.

If you really take advantage of all that MyPoints offers throughout the year then you are in for a treat just in time for Christmas. The best part is that you really have done nothing out of the ordinary to acquire this treat. Just remember to always check with MyPoints before doing any shopping online and keep reading those emails. In the end, your sanity will thank you.

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