• Making Money By Just Walking? Tried and True Ways My Fitbit Has Paid Off

    I've been on the Fitbit bandwagon for over 2 years now and have logged over 6.3 million steps in that time! I'd been a devoted runner in the past and even competed in the 2007 Lake Tahoe Marathon. But unfortunately over the years I fell out of running; although, I did still do lots of other activities like hiking, walking, canoeing, and playing tennis. Since I stopped logging the miles as a part of any training program, curiosity struck me to compare how many steps I was taking on a day when I didn't purposefully set aside a time to exercise versus when I did.  So, I bought my first Fitbit (a clip on Fitbit One)! I don't know if it was the little graphic badges that I earned at every step and stairs milestone or just the sheer intrinsic reward of knowing that if I got my 10,000 steps in each day I was being "heart healthy," but the curiosity turned into true motivation to get out and get a walk or run in everyday again.

    Last year as I met with a client through my graphic design business, I spotted a Fitbit Charge HR on his wrist. Seeing an easy common topic to talk about, I held up my Fitbit Charge (I'd upgraded by then) and said, "You're doing the Fitbit thing too, I see." As he shuffled through his papers, he stopped to look up and said, "Oh yes.  I find that if I go out for a walk or run without my Fitbit on, it ruins my day.  It's like the walk or run didn't even count." He was dead serious.  And it's so true!  Countless times before Bub was born, Zak and I would head out our door and get to the outer reaches of our neighborhood when I'd stop and say, "Uh oh...we've got to go back this second.  I forgot my Fitbit!"

    For fear that you're getting ready to close out of this blog post because it's sounding like a Fitbit infomercial, believe me, they're not compensating me. What makes me excited enough to drone on about my entire Fitbit history has to do with allllllll of the perks I've enjoyed from other companies who offer rewards for tracking my steps and other healthy activities with my Fitbit! Over the past 2 years, I've earned over $500 in cash and free stuff. Mmmhmm, just for walking around! There are quite a few rewards programs out there, so I'm going to share with you the rewards programs I've found to have the best payoff and tell you about a couple to avoid as well. And if you have a tip on any other solid rewards programs out there that sync with a Fitbit account that I've missed, please comment below! 

    The Two Clear Winners

    When I first joined back in 2015, AchieveMint offered a $50 cash incentive for obtaining 50,000 points. I calculated that it would take me about 1.5 years to get in on this reward at the pace I was going, but I thought, "Well, that time is going to pass anyway, so what the heck." To be honest, I kind of forgot that I even had an AchieveMint account until early this year when I suddenly recalled, "Oh it's been way longer than a year and a half since I signed up for that, I should go and check to see if my $50 reward is there!" To my initial disappointment, I logged in to discover AchieveMint had recently changed their points system to expire if you don't use them within a certain amount of time. Many of the points I'd started accruing 2 years ago were gone, so I didn't yet have the required points to get the $50 reward.  However, I emailed their customer service and they said that they now offered the ability to cash out in $10 increments and would update my "goal" section to allow me to do this. So, right then and there I was able to send $30 straight to my PayPal account. Cha-ching! And I just logged on today to discover I finally had enough points for one more $10 payout, which is now on it's way. I mean you can't complain about this program.  It's just plain free cash. Who cares how long it takes to earn.

    I joined with Walgreens Balance Rewards right around the same time I joined with AchieveMint, so about 2 years ago.  When linking one's Fitbit device with your Walgreens Balance Rewards account, one earns Balance Rewards points for every day's worth of steps that Fitbit logs. I earned a $20 gift certificate about a year ago and I just logged on to see I have another $10 gift certificate waiting. These can be used in store or online, so it's pretty handy. Again, it takes a while to accrue any sort of substantial rewards, but I think it's worth it.

    Was a Winner, but...

    3. FitStudio in Connection with Shop Your Way Rewards (Sears, K-Mart, etc.)
    Here is where I earned the majority of my rewards, but it now appears the FitStudio is defunct! It used to work just like the Walgreens Balance Rewards - when linked with one's Fitbit account, one could earn rewards points.  However, the payout was weekly and it was surprisingly lucrative. For achieving just 15,000 steps per week, I earned a $5 reward. Five dollars per week?! I seriously decked out my kitchen with all kinds of $5 or barely over $5 items. It seemed to be too good to be true.  And I guess it was. Eventually the reward was lowered to $2 per week, and then they discontinued it, claiming they would be putting a different rewards system into place. At the time of this writing, I haven't been able to locate the "new" FitStudio or Shop Your Way Rewards fitness system anywhere.  If anyone has any tips, please leave a comment!

    The Jury is Still Out

    I only just signed up for this program upon finding a tip from a fellow blogger. On the surface, it seems similar to AchieveMint - earning cash that's delivered to your PayPal account for logging steps through your connected Fitbit. However, I'm having a problem even accessing my dashboard because I am supposed to authorize my account through an email they claim they've sent to my email address which has never arrived.  I'll be contacting their customer service here shortly, and I'll see what happens if and when I get this up and running.

    Don't Bother

    Here are a couple of programs I signed up for but they're either pointless or seemingly being phased out.

    * Higi
    When I first signed up for the program a couple of years ago, one could earn coupons for fitness gear and products by logging steps through a connected FitBit. I never partook of any of the coupons because I wasn't interested in any of the products offered or felt that the value of the coupon wasn't enough to entice me to buy. I only just logged on, again, after forgetting about it for some time and it appears they've completely changed their rewards program. To be honest, I don't think they do offer any rewards right now! Users amass "watts" (I guess points?) for steps logged, but it doesn't appear you can yet do anything with those watts. Meh, oh well. I wouldn't bother with Higi.

    * Pact
    Cool idea here - this app claims to let users pledge a certain dollar amount weekly as a promise they'll take the number of steps they say they will. If they do make their steps, they keep their pledge and are paid a portion of the money by other users who didn't make their pledge. Only problem? As soon as I went to log on after downloading the Pact app to my phone, a dialogue box popped up letting me know they're "no longer accepting any new users for logging miles." Well, that's too bad!  I am surprised in the latest reviews on the iTunes and Google Play store that no one is mentioning this and that it's pointless to download the app now. Oh well! Hopefully some other app creator will come up with the same concept.

    So there's the news! And by the way, I should mention these programs aren't only compatible with Fitbit. A number of other step trackers are compatible as well, so if you have a Jawbone for instance, go check and see if you can get set up to start making some slow but sure money!

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