E-Rewards used to be much more lucrative than it is today, largely because they used to give more ‘e-Rewards dollars’ for shorter surveys, my impression is that compared to 5 years ago the payouts are lower.
I admit I get bored of surveys, so I avoid taking them. And the one constraint I have over anything else is time. Survey sites aren’t especially lucrative relative to the time it takes to complete the surveys.
But for folks with time on their hands, surveys can be a great way to earn ‘free’ miles. And there are several sites which offer it.
What’s more, despite finding the surveys annoying, I actually do participate just enough to earn the minimum necessary to transfer to frequent flyer miles so that I can leverage the points as part of a partner promotion. Both e-rewards and e-miles are US Airways partners, for instance. Transferring points from those programs to US Airways Dividend Miles during what is generally an annual promotion, the ‘Grand Slam,’ will earn me partner credits that generate more miles than just what’s being transferred in from the survey site. 2 ‘hits’ in the Grand Slam from e-Rewards and e-miles can be worth thousands of US Airways miles, and of course I don’t pay any cash out of pocket to generate those hits.
So begrudgingly I participate, and I make sure I have enough points in my account for the transfers. And that means that I play a little bit throughout the year, to make sure those points are available.
Fortunately, and I’m not even sure why, I signed up with e-miles selecting US Airways miles as my partner of choice. I say fortunately because that’s the program which has these partner promotions seemingly every year, and because e-miles requires you to sign up with a single partner and then not change the partner you’re earning with.
E-Rewards on the other hand will market to members through a program, and signing up that way can lock you into a single rewards choice. But signing up generically gives you all of the transfer options available. That includes US Airways, United, and several other airlines. It includes Hilton HHonors which used to be the most lucrative choice. And according to this Milepoint thread, American AAdvantage is back as a transfer option as well.
I save up my points to use them strategically, rather than transferring out as soon as I have enough points to turn into miles. Miles are frequently worth the most when they’re flexible, and useful to top off an account at the margin towards an award. I love my flexible points with Membership Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Chase Ultimate Rewards. I love my (much more modest) flexible points with e-Rewards.
A new entrant into the space is uSamp, they sent tons of emails out to Delta Skymiles members. I haven’t used the site yet, but they also now appear to be behind Opinion Place as well. Opinion Place was the first site I used, years ago, earning American miles for surveys. Once upon a time they had an affiliation with AOL. I stopped taking those surveys when they cut earning in half. I haven’t re-investigated Opinion Place and I haven’t tried out uSamp yet either. As I say, not a big fan of surveys, but I do them grudgingly. Your mileage may vary.
Similar to points through surveys is points for trivia, Broadway’s Audience Rewards offers a handful of points (literally, as in 2-10 at a pop) with US Airways, Delta, and Starwood. This Milepoint thread is frequently updated with answers to the trivia questions. Audience Rewards is great as a US Airways partner during the Grand Slam. And it’s also a great way to keep US Airways miles active, preventing expiration. It’s also a good way to keep Starwood points active as well, since Starwood’s rules changed to allow any account activity and not just stay or credit card activity, every 12 months count towards extending an account.