Getting motivated to do this year’s rewards program shopping rate comparison was pretty hard — last year’s took a lot of time and effort — but people are asking, how do Memolink’s new rates compare to their old ones? And how does THAT compare to the other programs? So, I started putting together some information and I wanted to share what I had so far. This is a work-in-progress; I’ll be adding a lot more merchants and other rewards programs as time permits. Currently the programs listed in the chart (with links to my latest reviews of the sites) are: Memolink, Ebates, FatWallet (I don’t have these guys officially reviewed yet but have referred to them before), Giving2Gether.org, MyPoints, and QuickRewards.
I have to make the typical disclaimers (read this section really fast like the disclaimers on a car sales commercial, hehe): because rewards programs often change their rates without notice and due to the possibility of errors (I make typos like anybody else!), please double-check before making your purchase. I convert points to percentages based on the best $25 redemption (and again, these values change sometimes, as we saw with Memolink this week). Also, the rates shown for Giving2Gether.org WILL be changing; these are the rates they’re offering to members who join in their introductory period. G2G’s rates sometimes were given as a range as they depend on volume of sales; I used the lowest value in the range. Memolink’s old rates listed were those from last year’s comparison in February ’04; they may have been changed between then and the site revamp last weekend.
What I’ve put together so far is here: 2005 Rewards Program Shopping Comparison
Read the chart across first — the best rates offered for a particular merchant are highlighted in green; the worst, in red. Then scan downward to see how often you see red or green within a particular reward program — to give you an idea of overall which programs to use or avoid for shopping.
Some initial findings:
1. About half the time Memolink upped its rates for shopping, but about half the time they dropped.
2. Memolink remains a poor choice for shopping (see last year’s report here).
3. MyPoints’ points-per-dollar offers remain poor payers. As I expand the analysis I think we’ll see that their flat-rate offers for purchase (i.e., 500 points for any purchase) are often good values compared to their competitors.
4. Giving2Gether.org right now has FANTASTIC shopping rates. While these are limited-time only, they can afford to drop their rates some and still be a serious contender.