I recently wrote an article on KCL about Shopkick, an app for smart phones that rewards users for checking in at businesses. As I got seriously enamored with Shopkick, I wondered if there were other apps out there that could make my daily trips and scans worth even more.

I’ve since installed and tested a number of reward apps.  I cut them down to four, which I keep lined up at the bottom of my phone for easy access when I’m out shopping.  I normally do a scroll through the apps that I know will work in a particular store so I know what to be looking for while shopping. That way you don't retrace your steps trying to get another scan.  Once you get into the habit of checking your apps left to right, it's a breeze! On a recent trip to Target, I tripled what my shopping time was worth!

In my experience, the following apps, in addition to Shopkick, have given me the greatest rewards with the least amount of time and effort:

WeReward

This app is available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry phones. I personally love WeReward because its system is so straightforward. Each point you earn is worth a penny, which doesn’t sound like much but adds up very quickly, especially when an item on the list is worth 25 points. WeReward pays you to snap a photo of yourself with a product or at a business location. Clear details are listed for each reward.  They also pay you nicely for referrals, giving you 10% of the points your referral earns. Another great thing about WeReward is that you can even make money from home! The first night I downloaded the app, I made money by snapping pictures of items I already had at home!

CheckPoints

This app is available for iPhone and Android phones. This divides rewards into three different categories: Most Points, Nearby Points, and Easy Points. Most Points are business locations that offer points for scanning products. The nice thing is the list includes places you are likely to go frequently, like grocery and drugstores. Nearby Points are businesses in your region that offer 10 points just for 'checking in.' The beauty of this check-in is that you can click on these from anywhere. I normally collect the maximum daily points (100) just sitting in my home. Easy Points reward you with fun game tokens instead of points. Once you earn tokens, you spend them on one of two games where you can earn 20 to 150,000 bonus points. To give you an idea, a 16G iPad is available for 150,000 points. The most I’ve won so far on one game is 100 bonus points, but it's really fun to do and helps you increase your rewards. At the rate I’ve gathered points so far, I estimate I could earn the iPad within 6 months. Not bad for doing a little clicking on my daily rounds!

Check In To Win

Do you love Walmart? Then  Check in to Win is for you! It operates exclusively in Sam's Club and Walmart stores. The app will locate the nearest stores to you and give you a reward just for walking in the door. You earn additional rewards by scanning listed products and also through bonus spins earned on the scans. Rewards include Walmart, Sam's Club and iTunes gift cards. Although I've already earned enough points for gift cards, I plan to save these throughout the coming year and use them like a Christmas Club savings account for gifts.

The bottom line is you have the phone, make it work for you! Add a few apps and start racking up the rewards! Incorporating these apps into my daily life is a tiny part-time job with big benefits. Start now, and between We Reward, Check Points, and Check in to Win you'll have a nice nest egg gathered for your 2012 holiday shopping!

This has been a guest post by Elizabeth from Lynchburg, VA
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