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A look at the best reward apps for your phone

Remember when reward cards first became popular and superseded those booklets of coupons? It was a sure sign that the much-heralded paper-free age was really upon us. Yet it seems the age of plastic will be looked back upon as a relatively short-lived one. Already, credit and debit cards seem to have only been a stepping stone towards a cashless society and will soon be unnecessary thanks to smartphone apps. Rewards and loyalty points are quickly going the same way.

The handy thing about app-based rewards is you can register for as many as you like without wrecking your wallet, and there are literally dozens out there. But spread yourself too thin and you’ll struggle to earn anything worthwhile. Here, we put the spotlight on three reward apps that are genuinely worth downloading.

Swagbucks

You know how some apps have a way of getting themselves involved in every aspect of your life? Social media apps like Facebook and some games are prime examples. Swagbucks does this a little, but you won’t mind. You can earn Swagbucks proactively by completing surveys, but the clever part is earning passively.

Once you register, the Chrome add-on will quietly sit in the top corner of your screen and keep an eye on your surfing. Enter an ecommerce store and more often than not it will give you a push notification that if you decide to buy something, you’ll earn points. It works with everything from takeaways to luxury fashion brands, and demands no effort on your part.

Bits of Stock

Here’s something a little different that is causing quite a stir in both financial and retail circles. Instead of rewarding transactions with some vague promise of a future payout or discount, the Bits of Stock app instantly gives you a slice of your favorite brand. This is achieved through the issuance of fractional shares.

Bits of Stock has got some of the top names in retail onboard, including the likes of Amazon, McDonalds, Netflix, Apple and Starbucks, to name just a few. What makes this model particularly elegant is that it gives anyone and everyone the opportunity to have a holding in stocks where a single share could otherwise be prohibitively expensive.

Bitwalk

How about an app that rewards you for walking around the shops even if you don’t buy anything? As the name suggests, all you have to do to earn with the Bitwalk app is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Originally launched in 2015 as Bitwalking, this digital currency was rebranded last year by project founders Franky Imbesi and Nissan Bahar.

Every step you take earns you digital currency, and around 10,000 steps (five miles) is worth one Bitwalking dollar (BW$). It’s not going to make you into a crypto millionaire, but if you do a lot of walking, it is literally free money.

And a host more

There are dozens of other reward apps out there, and every one of them essentially offers something for nothing. However, the above three are a great starting point. Crucially, each operates a little differently, so there is no conflict or overlap.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

By Sheena Jordan
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