Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Almighty Dollar: Use Bing to search to earn points to redeem



I've been using Bing Rewards for a few months now, not very consistently because again I don't have Internet at home. Now Bing will give you some "Daily Offers" which are just either a 3 question quiz or a few links to click on and you'll earn credits for completing the "Daily Offers" on Bing Rewards. The amount of offers you get per day varies. Bing also gives you rewards points for every two searches you do on your computer, up to fifteen credits per day. Bing will also reward  you for every two searches that you complete on your mobile device, up to 10 points a day. Bing Rewards also has tiers of status. You either have Member status, which is basically just joining and using Bing Rewards. Silver status involves completing the "Welcome to Rewards tour", redeeming your first credits for a reward, and earn 200 lifetime credits. To obtain Gold status, you have to complete 150 searches per month to maintain Gold status and earn 750 Lifetime Credits and when you acquire Gold status, you will receive a 10% discount when redeeming your points for rewards.

Redeeming is quite simple as you click on redeem and depending on your reward, they'll send you an email on how to redeem  your reward. I've always opted for Amazon.com gift cards because they'll send you and email with the confirmation number and claim code to redeem your reward. Amazon.com gift cards never expire which is another reason I consistently choose Amazon.com gift cards as my reward. 

Rewards include:

  • Outlook Ad-Free for 3 months
  • Gamestop Gift Card
  • Starbucks Gift Card
  • Hulu 1-month free
  • Donate to Boys and Girls Club
  • Donate to Teach for America
  • Skype Credit
  • Skype Unlimited
  • Xbox Live Gold Membership
  • Windows Store Gift Card
  • Xbox Store Digital Gift Card
  • Movie Rentals
  • Microsoft Apparel and Gifts
  • Groove Music Pass
  • Sweepstakes Entries
Rewards change sometimes but I average $5-10 a month throughout the year using Bing Rewards. I use Amazon.com to buy everyday things and I can save and invest my cash. It may not be a lot of money but every little bit helps.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Shopping App: Shopkick



One of my favorite apps to use while I'm shopping is the Shopkick app. Shopkick is an application that is available for iOs and Android that has partners such as Best Buy, Kroger, Meijer, Target, and many others. Shopkick puts a device in their stores and when you walk in to the store with your location and Bluetooth on you will receive a walk-in bubble with the amount of kicks credited to your Shopkick account as shown below:


Shopkick also has a few other ways to earn other than just walking in, another way to earn is buy scanning certain products that Shopkick and it's partners want you to scan as shown below:


Another way to earn Shopkick points is with purchases! All you have to do is link a Visa or MasterCard to your Shopkick account and your kicks will be rewarded in a few days! Don't worry as in linking your credit card is completely safe. Debit or credit will work just fine.  Best Buy is shown tomorrow but every retailer is different:




Recently Shopkick has added a new way to earn points which they call Kickbates which is if you actually end up buying a product you scanned to earn points, you will earn kicks by taking a picture of the receipt and uploading it to Shopkick, they will verify that you bought the product and award your kicks!


Everyone always wants to know about the rewards. On Shopkick, you can redeem with as little as 75 kicks which is AE Rewards where 75 kicks add 1 point to your AE Rewards. Some of them are charities and other are rewards such as gift cards. There is no cash option but the gift cards are the same thing. The list of retailers you can redeem for starts at a minimum of 500 kicks. The retailers are listed below:

Walmart
American Eagle
Red Box
Starbucks
Best Buy E-Gift Card
TJ Maxx
Marshalls
JC Penney
Old Navy
Game Stop
Macy's
Lowes
Toys R Us
Nike
The Cheescake Factory
Barnes and Noble E-Gift Card
Papa Johns
Foot Locker
Sports Authority
Yankee Candle
Aerie
Buca Di Peppo
Sephora
AMC Theatres
Restaurant.com
Fuel Gift card
1-800 Flowers.com
Fandango
Shutterfly
Hyatt
Saksoff5th.com
Tory Burch
Tiffany and Co.

You can also redeem your kicks for a few products as well but need quite a few kicks to redeem these which are listed below:

Sony Bluetooth Headphones
Coach Hand Bag
Sony Cyber-shot Digital Camera
Samsung 32" Smart HDTV
Vespa

Now you won't earn kicks super fast but this app helps me save some money at the grocery store or buy stuff I normally wouldn't buy. Be sure to use our referral link as every 3 friends that join get 2000 kicks. Our referral link is Shopkick Referral. Be sure to keep the app updated as more ways and more stores appear to earn kicks may arrive. Thanks for reading and happy shopkicking!










Friday, February 19, 2016

Survey Site: MintVine






On vacation I was looking for a survey site that provided plenty of surveys and didn't take forever to reach a minimum payout. After searching the web I came across the site of www.MintVine.com. Now normally I stay away from surveys because it normally takes a long time reach the minimum payout, usually $10-$15. Some reviews stated that some MintVine users reached the minimum cash out threshold of $10 in a couple of days. On MintVine, it was very easy to create an account as I just registered with my Facebook account. The first few days I received a few surveys and had about 100 points, the next day I logged on and had a few more surveys and my total after a few days was around 700 points! Now after those initial few days, the surveys slowed in their availability but it didn't take much to get to the minimum threshold. MintVine also has daily surveys which they brand as Points Place. I didn't have much luck with that as it's a funnel survey and I kept getting screened out of each survey they would give me. After taking a few weeks off, I reached the minimum threshold of 1000 points which translates into $10. I checked my Paypal account after two days and my payment was in my PayPal account. In conclusion MintVine is a good survey panel for someone interested in making a few extra side bucks a month with surveys, you won't get rich by taking surveys but it can be away to earn some extra money. I verified MintVine does payout so you don't have to worry about not getting paid from Mintvine. If you sign up for an account at www.MintVine.com, make sure you use our referral link below.

https://mintvine.com/users/register/a519c57acab7210191e10ed86





Thursday, February 18, 2016

Comcast: Available? Nope $6,000 please


Comcast: Available? Nope $6,000  please



A little backstory on this situation. We live in Michigan, about 35 miles north of Detroit. We used to live in Warren and were able to get cable television but still had dial-up internet because it was 2000 when we moved and broadband hadn’t become popular yet. After our move, we continued to use dial-up while people on the nearest main road were able to get broadband internet as were people a street down the road. My parents inquired but there was no cable ran down our street so services weren’t available. All of our wires our underground as we live more in the country than the city but the city and grocery store aren’t far away from where we live. Fast forward to 2010 and beyond, 3G technology had expanded so we were using a Verizon MiFi card as our main connection, which had unlimited data. We hear great things about the LTE network so we upgrade the MiFi to 4G LTE, the speeds are great but there’s a data cap of 20GB a month and costs close to $100.00 a month, so every month we’re pushing up against that data cap and sometimes going over as much as 5GB because parents need the web for banking, brothers for homework and other stuff as my parents own a construction company. We eventually cancel the hotspot because it costs to much as my parents were cutting back on costs and use a hotspot from a phone when necessary, no streaming, no videos or anything that someone in this day and age would use for. Now into the present. It’s June 23, 2015 and the Township has a meeting with Comcast and residents about better expanding the cable infrastructures to the more rural parts of town. A few days later we get a letter from our neighbor who says Comcast will be contacting residents on our street the next week to see if they would be interested in providing service to residents. A week goes by and nobody contacts any of us, a month goes by and still nothing. It’s November and I’m at a neighbor’s house and she asked me whatever happened to Comcast and my response was nothing, they never contacted us. The timeline of events will be depicted below in an orderly fashion.

January 25, 2015: As I’m sick of tethering with my phone, for the hell of it I go on to Comcast’s website to see if service is available at my house, (I knew it wasn’t), low and behold it lets me get all the way to scheduling an install, at this point I stopped because I didn’t want to waste a technicians time when they have other things to do. I search the web for a construction manager’s email or phone number to no avail so I message Comcast on Facebook. This is my message: Comcast was supposed to call about the installation of service on our street back in July, it is now January and we have heard absolutely nothing. What can be done?



Later that day Comcast responds with: Thank you for reaching out. Would you please send me your street address? I can have someone check on this for you.

I respond with my address and explain that there are no lines on our street currently and that they would need to be ran.



January 27th, 2016: I ask if there is any update or steps I can take?

January 28th, 2016: Comcast Responds: Our engineers are still checking this out. Thanks for your patience. I’ll report back as I hear.

February 7th, 2016: I ask if there is any update.

February 8th, 2016: Comcast Responds: Sorry for the late response. I know this is still in discussion. Let me get some feedback and I will respond back. Thank you.



February 8th, 2016: I told the social media representative for Comcast that I received a letter in the mail from the construction department and thanked them for their time.

The same day I receive a letter that was dated February 1st, 2016. Comcast says that they have evaluated their cable facilities to the location of our home and that it is not serviceable at this time. They then go on to state that to bring service to my house that it will require underground construction, which I already knew. They will also need the necessary electronics, amplifiers and then they get into the cost. I knew it would be at least a grand or two but nowhere near $9,955.50 for the total construction costs with Comcast absorbing $4,000 of that cost which would leave me liable for paying $5,955.50 which is completely outrageous. Comcast wants me to invest in their infrastructure so they can charge me month to month for their service. The letter states that if I wish to continue with construction that I need to write a check payable to Comcast and that service will be available 60-90 days after the work is completed and that if I don’t wish to proceed with construction that there is no further action necessary on my part.



After reading this letter I was extremely disappointed, broadband internet is not even 600 feet away from me and got my hopes up that a more reasonable solution could come up with. I logged on to Broadbandmap.gov and it says that I should have a handful of providers as shown in the picture below:



Comcast says it should be available, AT&T is not available at my address and they were no help on the phone and any of the Hotspot cards are extremely limited in addition to having data caps. Satellite with very low data caps so ViaSat is out and wouldn’t be fast enough anyways. In the picture below I am the line just above 28 Mile Road:


We are the street just above the 28 Mile road writing that is covered in red and the guy on the corner of my street and 28 mile road is able to receive service because he has access to the telephone pole and we are roughly 600 feet away and they won’t extend the lines without outrageous construction costs.

February 14th, 2016: Fed up with Comcast and trying to figure out how to get the costs down, I send a complaint to the FCC about not being able to receive anything other than satellite or a Hotspot card and that Comcast would be the only provider on a street because nobody else is going to come in after them and take their customers

February 17th, 2016: I receive a phone call from Comcast but miss it because I was in the other room. I received an email from their Corporate Executive Customer Relations stating that they apologize that I had to escalate and want to make sure that all customer concerns, even though I’m not a customer are handled and receive a satisfactory response, I email her back and tell her any time is good to contact me.

February 18th, 2016: I receive a call in the morning and it’s the Customer Relations Executive and she explains to me that they surveyed our whole street but the cost for that would $34,000 but $10,000 for my house with my cost being $6,000 because it’s all underground. I tried explaining that $6,000 is a ridiculous amount of money for one family to pay for services and that they would be the only service on the street for the for seeable future and that they would love more customers but the costs don’t outweigh the benefits PR spin that companies seem to give when they just don’t want to do something. She tells me that the serviceability department will contact me to explain further. All the money customers pay Comcast for service and they want someone who wants their service to pay a hefty amount to invest in their infrastructure so they can provide service to 18 homes who would be paying them monthly. Imagine me going to a restaurant and them telling me I have to pay for their pots and pans before I receive service. Verizon doesn’t make me invest in their cell tower before I sign up for service with them. The whole experience has been frustrating with barely any help or real solution. There are also no fiber lines or Wireless Internet Service Providers in range. The Township is trying to figure out something but who knows how long that could take. I'm not against paying something for them to service our household but I was expecting a more reasonable amount the $6,000.


That is all until I hear from the serviceability department. Broadband is in my sights but yet so far away.

Update:
February 19th, 2016: I receive a call from the Comcast construction supervisor here in Michigan. He leaves me a voicemail that states they looked at providing service to our residence two different ways, one which would be providing it to me and my neighbor right next door which either we would be responsible for the $5955.50, which either we could pay by ourselves or split the cost with my neighbor to the south which would leave us at about $3,000.00 each. The total cost would be $10,000 total because they "might" have to add another fiber optic node apparently. He said might, which means Comcast is not even sure if they have to add another fiber optic node. The other way they could do it is providing service to the whole street with total construction costs being around $83,000 dollars or which the residents would be responsible for $37,000 to $47,000. Currently there are 7 houses interested which dividing by the high estimate of $47,000 would leave it just over $6700.00 a household which is still quite unattainable. I called the Comcast construction supervisor back and left him a voicemail to have him call me back at his earliest convenience but have not heard anything back.

FAQ:

Why now?

Answer: The world is becoming increasingly connected and more people are working at home. In order to take advantage of these new wonderful online services a stable broadband connection is necessary.

Why not satellite or DSL?

Answer: Satellite is extremely limited and not reliable enough, exams to be taken as I'm a college student and if the exams are interrupted I lose precious time and could lose my data altogether. AT&T actually told me they don't have a construction department and were no help at all. DSL or "UVERSE" isn't available in our area.

What about Wireless Internet Service Providers?
Answer: The closest tower is quite a few miles from us and aren't in range. This tower was put up a few years ago to address the problem of not having broadband.
What do you do for Internet?
Answer: Currently we tether we our phones and if something needs to be downloaded, I drive to a friends house in Lake Orion about 10 miles away where Comcast services his house.

If you have any questions please leave a comment below

Slidejoy: Earn money from your smartphones lock screen!





One of my favorite cell phone application that provides me with a few extra dollars each month is called Slidejoy. Many of you may be wondering how this app earns me money. Slidejoy is a lock screen advertisement, which means when you press the button that awakens your phone, you will see an advertisement for a brand or something that is trending on the Internet. How this works is advertisers pay Slidejoy to advertise and in turn, those advertisements end up on your lock screen. Now the lock screen will look something like this:

Now most of the time, instead of the generic "asking if you want more carats," which is basically points that translate into dollars, it will be normally an advertisement of some sort or some sort of trending news. Back to the carats, how this works is, one carat equals a penny and so on. Slidejoy in recent updates has added an offer tab to its app to help its users earn more carats and larger payouts every month. The offers tab inside the application is like you would find on any other site, the offers are from 3rd party companies. You complete an offer for these 3rd party companies and in turn the 3rd party company pays you carats for completing the offer. Some of the offers are just downloading and opening an app, others are games where you have to get to a certain level and some are applying and getting approved for a credit or debit Target Red Card. As you can see below, for Slidejoy, the partners are TrialPay, Adscend Media, Fyber and Cint Surveys.


 Payouts are on the first of every month. Slidejoy has two different modes, one being Normal Mode which is carats you can redeem into cash and gift cards and the other being Hero Mode where you can donate it to charity.

For Normal Mode the partners you can redeem your carats for are:
Amazon
Paypal
Starbucks
PlayStation
Nintendo
Walmart
Best Buy
Foot Locker
Toys R Us
Ebay
CVS
Target
Gamestop
Xbox Live
AMC Theatres
Fandango
Sephora
Papa Johns
Nike

In hero mode you can redeem them for:
Feeding America


Using Slidejoy I average about $5 a month. This isn't a lot of money but if you average that every month it adds up to $60 a year without doing any of the offers! Usually this money is just deposited into my Paypal account and left there in case of emergencies or I'll buy a movie or something I normally wouldn't buy. Currently the app is only available for Android but the company is apparently working on an version for iOS. If you decide to download Slidejoy, be sure to use our invite code getslidejoy.com/r/JpzHK?id=1.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Welcome!

Welcome to the new Almighty Dollar blog. Many of us spend our whole lives chasing money, sometimes you end up financially stable, other times you have to squeak by. By using your computer, smartphone and modern technology, there are many ways to earn, save and invest your money by using the internet. Remember that even though some of these ideas only earn a little bit of extra cash, it all adds up and hopefully lead to better managing your money. Always remember the power of a dollar.





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