BondRewards Program Review

June 2, 2006 · 0 comments

BondRewards ReviewUpdated, 10/07

Please click here to join.
Date Launched: Offline in 2000, private label program in 2002, relaunched as a consumer rewards program in March 2006
Reward Per Dollar Spent: Varies
Minimum to Cash Out: 50 Bond Dollars (equivalent to $25)
Cash Out For: US Savings Bonds
Earn For: Shopping, signups, referrals, reading emails
Limit One Account Per: US resident age 18 or older
Notes: This site began primarily as a private-label rewards program for some large unions in 2000. They hired MyPoints’ former COO, Charles Berman, in mid-2004. His vision was to make it less of a business-to-business program (running private label programs for the unions) and more of a business-to-consumer program (dealing directly with consumers). In March 2006, they relaunched the site as a consumer rewards program, increasing some of their rebate rates along the way.
This is the tricky part about the program: the only redemption option is the $50 US Savings Bond. These cost $25 to buy and aren’t guaranteed to reach the $50 face value for 20 years. They could reach it faster, depending on the current interest rate, but it won’t take more than 20 years, because the government promises to pay you $50 in 20 years. The bond can continue to accrue interest for an additional 10 years after that.
Now, if you buy something for $100 and BondDollars’ given rebate is 20%, you’ll earn $20 toward the FUTURE value of the savings bond ($50). Because the savings bond is purchased now for half of its face value, you’re only REALLY earning $10…half of what was stated on BondRewards’ site. You could, after all, earn $25 on another site and use it to buy your own Savings Bond. So, to me, what it’s worth in 20 years is really irrelevant; what matters is how much you’re earning NOW.
The only way to compare BondRewards’ rebates to other programs’ is to divide BR’s rates by 2. And this, I guess, is my only real qualm with the program.
BondRewards does have some advantages — if you’d like to earn US Savings Bonds, this is the only rewards program to my knowledge that will pay them. It’s a good way to be sure you build up your savings, and it’s got a guaranteed minimum earning rate, though you may earn more. Savings Bonds make great gifts, too. Just be sure that you remember that 50 Bond Dollars is really equal to $25 US dollars in the present…so half their stated rebate rates. Even halved, their rates are very competitive, and this is the program’s other advantage.
eBags 15.3% — 7.65% halved, vs. 6% at Ebates or Fatwallet 59.5% — 29.75% halved, vs. 25% at Fatwallet or 22% at Ebates
OldNavy 6.8% — 3.4% halved, vs. 3.3% at Fatwallet or 3% at Ebates
SmartBargains 11.9% — 5.95%, vs. 5% at Fatwallet or 3% at Ebates
I know this program is a little confusing; if you have questions I’ll try to clarify this post (just email me).
Also, note that you get 5 Bond Dollars ($2.50) just for signing up.
Like BondRewards? You may also like Upromise, BabyMint, or Ebates.
Related articles: 2007 Shopping Rebates Comparison Chart, BondRewards Doubles Rebates Today for Current Members, Rewards Program Membership Numbers, Busiest Rewards Programs, Disney Rewards and Rebates, Earn Rewards for Ebay, 2006 Year in Review, BondRewards Comments on Best Rebates Award, 2006 Shopping Rebates Comparison Chart, BondRewards Begins Paid Emails, What’s the Best Rewards Program?, Earn For Joining Blockbuster or Netflix
Updated, 10/07

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