Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Swagbucks isn't crediting me for the Capital One card offer

Here is the original offer. "Earn 5000 SB when you are approved for your new card!" And the disclaimer, stating it will appear as pending and so forth, but nothing saying it must be automatic approval.

So, thing didn't approve, I unfortunately didn't screenshot the page saying they needed more information and I would hear from them or whatever, because I assumed I hadn't gotten approved.

A couple weeks later, this lovely letter showed up, stating I'd been approved. (We'll discuss at some future time Why Capital One Thinks Giving My Broke Ass a $10,000 Credit Limit Is Any Sort Of Good Idea.)

I opened a help ticket, with the photo of the letter. I received this response:


I sent them my reply, along with these two images:

Apparently the e-mail address documentation is sufficient (despite that screen not showing anything connecting it to the credit card in question), but they still need a date of approval. Which Capital One hasn't ever sent me. Also, this person keeps calling photos "screenshots" and asking for screenshots of paper mail. While I certainly have sympathy for people with shitty jobs, I don't think I'm dealing with someone who has a lot of critical thinking skills.

My reply:

Their reply, this time saying they won't approve it:

And me invoking contract language (which I'm actually not at all sure is applicable, but it can't hurt to try, right?):

And here's a chat with Capital One, verifying the date the card was approved, since Swagbucks claimed that was the holdup.

The Capital One person didn't have any way to verify I came there via Swagbucks and wasn't sure how to contact the advertising or referral program or whatever that would be, though she was very nice and helpful and tried to look up as many things as she could think of. Thanks Sandra at Capital One, you're awesome.

EDIT MARCH 1: I e-mailed a hotline Capital One has for complaining about unethical third party behavior. Maybe that will work?

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Visa gift cards are a better deal than Amazon on Swagbucks right now

Right now, $10 Visa gift cards are 990SB, plus you can get 80SB back if you have 80SB rebates from the most recent Swago. So, 910SB each.

Note: The one $25 Amazon card per month is still the best deal. Do one of these per month, then do the rest in Visa cards.

Today I discovered if you use them to reload your balance on Amazon, you can get 20 cents extra added to your gift card balance. You do have to have a checking account saved as one of your Amazon payment methods, but once you do, it will give you a 2% bonus on anything it considers a debit card, which includes these Visa cards.

Another thing I learned: Don't consolidate your $10 Visa gift cards into one larger card, unless you are ordering a physical card for something and you really need to do this. The Visa card website gives you the option to save the card in the digital wallet for later, telling you you can consolidate it. I did this a few days ago when I had five $10 cards. Then when you actually go to consolidate it, it takes a 5% or something fee. At this point, you can't take your card back out of the wallet, so you have to pay the fee. I ended up with a $47.50 Visa gift card. Dammit. If you're just entering all the cards on Amazon, it doesn't bother anyone to have five $10 instead of one $50, so save your money by entering each one.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Thrift store haul, tried out Swagbucks local

I went to Savers in (Framingham? Natick?) to make a Swagbucks local purchase and finish my Swago board. FYI, the local thing seems to work really well; probably more smoothly than most of Swagbucks. It immediately sent me an email saying the purchase was pending and immediately lit up the Swago square. Good stuff. 

So, someone apparently dropped off an entire wardrobe of Justice stuff. I got all this amazing stuff for like $20. (The nondescript black blob is an Express cardigan; see second attempt to photograph all-black item without way overexposing photo. You may have to just imagine it.) There was a ton more Justice size 10/12/14 there too, if anyone needs such things. They’re usually low on girls’ L/women’s XS things, so this was nice to find. 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Swagbucks: Fuck yeah

Finished the Swago board and got my 500SB, plus the spins, which got me a bunch of 80SB rebates on $10 Visa gift cards. 

I currently have six of them pending. Word. 

And $125 received since 02/01/19. So I’ve made $185 in three weeks doing pretty much nothing, just clicking on things while I do other stuff. 

Today was a good day. #didnotatanypointneedtouseAK

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Swagbucks has really been hopping lately; I've been pulling in $25-$50 per week at least

Swagbucks has tightened things up and is actually useful again. They're doing some new things:
  • SwagIQ, a live trivia game on Monday-Thursday evenings, in which you can win 3-4 cents just for playing, and up to $50 or so if you get all 10 questions right
  • Swago, a bingo board that gets you a ton of bonuses and Swag-ups (power-ups that get you an added bonus on future tasks) for completing various patterns ranging from one line across to the whole board
They're also continually setting it up to be, well, a pyramid scheme inside a pyramid scheme, in that the more often you use Swagbucks and earn, the more you get bonuses and Swag-ups and other things that increase how much you earn when you do the tasks. It's definitely worth it if you are able to spend half an hour or so on it per day.

Here's my Swagbucks routine:
  1. Do the daily to-do list, on the left sidebar of the main Swagbucks page. 
  2. Go to the Reddit Swagbucks forum to see which "Discover" activities are legit and worth the time
  3. Make sure to make my first daily goal each day. This gets me between about 5 and 15 bonus Swagbucks per day when the month is over, and also gets me 300 bonus for completing it every day of the month.
  4. Set the SBTV app on my phone to passively earn 10 or so SB. (Do this by adding at least one video to "favorites," set it to play via the favorites bookmark in the sidebar, and then it will play through the playlist passively. It may periodically pull up an add that requires you to manually X out of it to continue.)
  5. If you still need Swagbucks after doing Discover, do gold surveys. Also the EntertaiNow and apps are hit or miss, but try them periodically. SB Bowling is not worth it unless you're really good at bowling on your phone. It's something like 1-2 Swagbucks per game unless you can bowl 300, and then you get 25. 
Other things that are good to know:
  1. They've been good lately at crediting for deals that don't work properly. If something doesn't show up as pending or doesn't credit you properly, go here and fill out a help ticket. For Discover and shop deals, always take a screenshot of the offer before you try it, and screenshots of everything else relevant. When they e-mail you saying they're just making sure they have the information correct, respond to them. It can sometimes take a few weeks, but in the past couple of months, I have always had them eventually credit me even if the offer didn't track correctly. Also, make sure you aren't using adblockers when doing Swagbucks deals, because it gets in the way of their cookies. Consider using one browser for your Swagbucks and other such things, with all extensions turned off, and a second browser for your normal usage where you can turn on adblockers and all that.
  2. If you do a gold survey that asks you more than basic demographic information and then boots you out, put in a help ticket and select "survey error," then summarize what happened and be sure to say they got a ton of useful data without paying you. Say something like, "Spent 8 minutes answering questions about my demographics, everywhere I've traveled by plane, and my opinion about different airlines, before it said I wasn't eligible for their survey. They got a lot of usable data without paying for it." Oh, and gold surveys open in a second tab. Leave the one underneath open so you can go back and see the survey number and number of Swagbucks promised so you have this for your help ticket. Again, when you get the e-mail, respond and say it's correct. They usually credit for surveys within the day.
If you haven't signed up for Swagbucks, please sign up using my referral link. Even if you aren't sure you'll use it, if my posts have helped you scrape by in Boston or elsewhere, please sign up this week so I can get a referral for my Swago board. Thanks!

Please comment with any questions about getting Swagbucks to work better, and I'm happy to answer them.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Hello Fresh allows stacking Swagbucks discount and regular discount to get three meals for $10

Swagbucks has a Discover offer right now that gets you 1000 Swagbucks (about $10, or more if you redeem for cards that are on sale) for signing up for Hello Fresh (which, if you pay attention here at all, you know that you cancel it after the first week once it's no longer steeply discounted). The normal charge for a week of meals is $60, you'll get $10 back from Swagbucks, and if you use the code I have, you'll get $40 off. Most of these deals don't let you enter a promo code if you've gotten there through a referral code, but it works for Hello Fresh. I got my 1000 Swagbucks, plus it applied the $40 discount code I got from a friend.

So, go here and sign up for Swagbucks using my referral code if you don't already have an account, then search for Hello Fresh, find the one with 1000 Swagbucks back for joining (remember to always screenshot the deal in case it doesn't credit correctly), go join and put in your information, then come back here and click through using my code. Or you may have to type it in, I'm not sure. It worked for one person via clicking the link and another person had to manually input it.

As always, comment with any Swagbucks questions and I'll answer them.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Free February break workshops and full-day field trips at 826 Boston for 6-12 year olds

I apologize for not sharing this earlier. Some of the workshops still have space available.

826 Boston, located in Egleston Square, does free workshops for ages 6-12 during school vacation weeks. The workshops my kids have attended have varied somewhat in quality, as they are typically run by an author, activist, professor, etc. who is not affiliated with the organization. Some of the facilitators have been very strong in terms of working with a diverse group of youths, and others have seemed less so. Regardless, they've all been decent, and we've never had a bad experience there. Parents are welcome to drop off their youth or stay in the back of the (gorgeous!) space, where there are couches and a library set up. The space is a large open converted-industrial-type space, which means the acoustics and the visual distractions of people walking around are not ideal for students with sensory or attention issues, but the open space is great in terms of parents being able to hang out in back and be available to their student without being particularly present unless needed.