Ok, ok. Look, I’m all about shopkick – used (almost) exclusively as a money-maker, not an evil shopaholism enabler. So, usually when I shopkick, I try not to buy anything. I try extra, extra hard. You know, because I’ll walk all the way to the other side of the mall just to collect 60 kicks at Macy’s. (Sixty kicks converts to less than 50 cents in rewards currency.) I don’t want to blow twenty bucks at the MAC counter just because shopkick compelled me to. And then I don’t want to spend two dollars for a bottle of water at the mall food court. In fact, I’ll spend the rest of the day pondering what 50 cents means to me, to starving children, my great, great, great grandmother struggling to feed a family of fourteen… you get the picture.
BUT that doesn’t mean it isn’t advantageous to use shopkick when you plan ahead to buy stuff you need anyway. Because shopkick isn’t just about walk-in kicks and item-scan kicks. If you pay attention to the “Deals & Finds” section of any store’s shopkick home screen, you know there are really great coupons, discounts, and heads up to be uncovered (like this world famous BOGO Starbucks coffee coupon at Target). What’s one of the best deals you can find? Shopkick’s Buy & Collect incentive lets you earn tons of kicks when you spend money at stores like Old Navy, Best Buy, and American Eagle. And you don’t have to shell out an enormous amount; a modest haul at old Navy ($75) will earn you 1000 kicks.
How do you get paid to buy? When you first enter the Buy & Collect page for any store, you’ll be given the option to link your Visa or MasterCard to shopkick, so it can recognize your purchases and bank your rewards. You’ll have to enter the mobile number associated with your shopkick account too, to further identify you as a Buy & Collect participant. Once you make a qualifying purchase at a participating retailer, you’ll receive a real-time notification of your kicks. Surprise!
Here’s the deal: shopkick really does pay out, especially during the holiday season, when it’s way too easy to spend $100 dollars at Best Buy. ($100 gets you 1,000 kicks.) With walk-in kicks and item-scan kicks, you could earn well enough for a $5 gift card in the shopkick store, just for buying a holiday gift (and spending a few extra minutes hunting down and scanning random merchandise with your phone. Hey – it’s only weird when you’re alone). I’ll definitely be using Buy & Collect while I scour stores for gifts this year. I’ll have plenty of free, venti pumpkin lattes to keep me going all season long.