Jackpot Rewards New Program Review

February 25, 2008 · 41 comments

JackpotRewards.com ReviewUpdate:  Site closed, August 2013

COST: $3 per week after a free trial, charged to your credit card quarterly

Please click here to join.

Date Launched: 2/20/08
Reward Per Dollar Spent: Varies
Minimum to Cash Out: $20 per quarter, sent automatically (if minimum not met, earnings roll over to next quarter).
Cash Out For: Rebate check
Earn For: Shopping, signups, referrals
Limit One Account Per: Unclear; appears to be U.S. residents 18+. Javascript must be enabled on your computer.

Notes:
1. Jackpot Rewards says it’s giving back all of its commissions to its members, in return for their payment of the membership fees.
2. The site offers additional features such as free classifieds, sweepstakes (a guaranteed $1 million a week giveaway), and a greatly discounted deal of the day.

My Take:
$156 a year is a steep price to pay for services available for free elsewhere on the internet. From the standpoint of shopping rebates, yes, you can SOMETIMES earn more through Jackpot Rewards than from other rewards programs that aren’t subsidized by membership fees. A full list of merchants and rewards offered is here, so you can compare their rates at a glance with those of other free rewards programs.

I took a look at JackpotRewards’ rates compared to other free shopping rebate sites and the results were mixed. I examined the first 25 merchants from last year’s shopping rebate comparison that Jackpot offers a shopping rebate for, and compared them to the current rates offered by the merchants in the chart. The results were mixed. For 12 of the 25, Jackpot offered a higher rebate. For the remaining 13, you could earn the same or MORE by shopping through a free rewards program. The average across all 25 merchants: you’d earn an extra 0.8% overall by shopping through Jackpot Rewards. Keep in mind that for some merchants you’d earn the same, or less, than you’d earn elsewhere.

Do you shop online enough for that extra 0.8% on average you’d earn from shopping at Jackpot Rewards to earn back the $156 a year in membership fees? If so, then this site’s for you. Doing the math, though, that would require you to spend $19,500 online a year JUST TO BREAK EVEN.

But for the rest of us…no. Not worth it.

Related Articles: Jackpot Rewards Drops Guaranteed $1 Million Weekly Sweeps Winner, JackpotRewards.com Announces First One Million Dollar Sweepstakes Winner

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{ 41 comments }

Beth February 26, 2008 at 9:27 pm

You can actually earn up to 10% cash back on average through Jackpot Rewards.

john February 27, 2008 at 6:54 am

i have to agree with beth. A member can earn between 7 to 10 percent off from many vendors and some are over 10 percent. And the deal of the day is heavily discounted meaning a single smart purchase can make the membership fees worth it.

Becky February 27, 2008 at 11:16 am

My apologies if I was unclear in my wording of the review — I have done more analysis and revised it.
Yes, you can earn as much as 20% cash back through JackpotRewards. Its press release, located here: http://www.jackpotrewards.com/ui/press/Jackpot_Rewards_Launch_Press_Release.pdf said that “Jackpot Rewards provides consumers with the most cash back on online purchases…”, but this is not always the case.
Out of the 25 merchants I examined this morning, Jackpot Rewards paid the same or LESS THAN other FREE rewards programs 13 times. And when I looked at how Jackpot’s rates varied from the best rates at other online shopping rebate sites, the average variance was +0.8%… meaning that on average, Jackpot’s rates were less than 1% better than the free rewards programs. (Sometimes a lot better, sometimes a lot worse.)
Why pay $156 a year to get an average of 0.8% more cash back? You’d have to spend almost 20 grand a year online just to break even on your membership fees!
Would you pay it for the sweepstakes? You don’t have to be a paid member to take part in the Jackpot Rewards sweeps; see free entry details here: http://www.jackpotrewards.com/company/sweepsrules/ Or you can enter thousands of free sweepstakes listed here: http://www.online-sweepstakes.com/
For the deal of the day? Go to http://www.dodtracker.com/deals/ where they list almost 150 daily deals, or go to http://www.jellyfish.com/smacktv/channel/1 and watch products get cheaper by the second on Jellyfish, one product after another, 24 hours a day!
For the free classified ads? Just hit Craigslist: http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites.html
For the “Minimags”? Oh…my…gawd, how many newsletters am I already signed up to receive? Why would I pay to get more?
The last time I saw a shopping rebate site that promised it would give all its commissions back to its members, in return for them paying a membership fee, was BountyZoo. Its membership fee was just $35 and it lasted barely a year before shutting down. And BZ was run by rewards program vets who have a popular website in the U.K. The model just doesn’t work here in the U.S.
Jackpot Rewards has the added “benefit” of being a gambling site, though. Maybe they will find enough gamblers willing to bet their weekly Lotto money on winning the big money at Jackpot Rewards… but from any other standpoint, the site has zero appeal.

Anonymous March 6, 2008 at 12:45 pm

I would love to see your numbers on how you came up with having to spend almost 20k to make back your yearly due’s. I have made 2 purchases with my account and already have $95 coming back to me. I am planning on ordering some baby things as well for my kids and that will net me more benefit than the $156 I will spend. Oh and by the way, I am not even at 10k yet, never mind your 20k numbers.
Do you understand the difference between gambling and sweepstakes? Gambling means you must pay to play while sweepstakes means you can play for free. You so nicely stated that you can play for free but still called it a gambling site.
The company has also committed to giving half its profits to charity but you forgot to mention that. Why? Do you have something against jackpot Rewards? Are you taking your lead from someone in the Lottery afraid of losing money? Just wondering because you were very bias in your writing and did not keep an open mind.
Also, please look closely at the rules of some of those other “free” sites or rewards sites you listed. You might not be paying $3 a week there but you are paying in other ways. Let’s consider this statement from one of your free sites, “When your e-mail address is registered for any xxxxxxxxxx services/contests, you agree to be placed on our mailing list to receive e-mail newsletters regarding updates about special offers, promotional discount codes, new products, and new services. See our Privacy Policy for additional information.” Now let’s look at that privacy policy mentioned, without posting the entire policy I will just say they collect your private information and also record everything you do on their site. Now lets look at this statement from the privacy policy, “We may contract with other companies to provide certain services to AAT to create or maintain our Site. In some instances, these contractors may have access to personally identifiable information but they contractually obligated to maintain the confidentiality of the information and to use it only for purposes of carrying out xxx business.” Trust me that word business can mean anything from legal on the level work to selling your information for profit. So can we all say identity theft and spam me please?
So a very long story short … pay $3 or risk having your personal identity stolen. Hmmmmm, that’s a no brainer for me.
Folk’s lets all admit that this site is trying to do a good thing with charity and giving money away to the average person while still making money too. How many rewards sites and sweepstakes sites do you know of that actually give a million away each week and give half its profits to charity?
Perhaps you should rethink your analysis and include all the facts. Not just what is readily apparent.

Becky March 6, 2008 at 9:50 pm

Hi! Appreciate your taking the time to comment.
If I was unclear, and I must have been, please allow me to explain it another way:
If you’re paying membership fees at JackpotRewards for the great online shopping rates, you need to be aware that the $156 a year you’re paying is only getting you rates that are, on average, around 0.8% higher than you could get through a FREE rewards program.
But don’t take my word for it. I uploaded the spreadsheet where I did the math, here: http://www.comparerewards.com/jackpotrates.html
That’s where the 0.8% came from.
The “You’d have to spend almost 20 grand a year online just to break even on your membership fees” means that you are spending $156 a year more than everybody else who uses a free rewards site, and for what? An average of 0.8% higher cash back? For all those 0.8% extra shopping transactions to add up to the $156 you’re paying, you’d have to spend almost 20 grand a year…or $19,696.97, to be exact.
I didn’t mention anything about Jackpot donating half its profits to charity because right now THERE ARE NO PROFITS. It’s just a promise, for some time way out in the future when and IF the program becomes profitable.
Look, reviewing shopping rebate sites is what I do. I’m in my seventh year of doing these analyses and I’m just not impressed with what this site has to offer versus other free rewards programs.
Further, in my seven years of reviewing these programs, and in a total of 11 years of using them, my identity has not been stolen. I haven’t had any unauthorized credit card charges. Yahoomail filters out any spam I receive (most modern email programs do that, y’know), and I believe most of what I do get comes from me publicly posting my email address all over the internet, not from my signing up to get cash back from rewards programs.
Have you looked at Jackpot’s privacy policy, BTW? They use cookies and web beacons in emails, and “We may use your email address and other PII contact information provided to us through the Site to send you promotional materials from us…” All this stuff is pretty standard across most rewards programs. That shouldn’t be much consideration at all in choosing a rewards program.
No, if I was going to choose a rewards program, my big question would be, who am I doing business with? Will they be around when I’m ready to cash out? How stable are they?
And that would leave me deciding between Ebates (the company that pioneered online rebate shopping, ten years ago) and Jellyfish (a two year old company recently bought by Microsoft). Both sites, by the way…are free.

Anonymous March 10, 2008 at 12:17 pm

Well I am happy you confirmed my thoughts with your numbers. As I suspected your .8% was a stretch at best and used to try and sway your readers.
If you are going to do a review you should put all the information up for your readers to review. Just because you didn’t think the charitable portion was worth mentioning doesn’t mean others feel the same way. Also, how do you know if they are profitable or not? Do you know their member count or operating costs or what strings are attached to the money raised?
You should have mentioned the deal of the day too. They have had some very nice deals that you can only get as a member. But that would have hurt your case and theme of your writing. I know there are other “free” deal of the day sites so no need to state it. Rather, put a spreadsheet together and show the jackpot rewards deal of the day prices and compare it to others. It’s not fare to compare just the concept which I know you would do.
Does your website get any commission from the other “free” rewards sites? Just wondering if that is a hidden motive.

Becky March 10, 2008 at 6:10 pm

Hi, Anonymous! I think it’s just ADORABLE that an anonymous poster would accuse someone of having something hidden. ;) Thank you for response, and for the smile!
I’d love to hear the flaw in my math. I’ll happily admit that I’m no rocket scientist, so maybe you can teach me what I did wrong.
You make my point brilliantly about the fact that no one has any way of knowing whether Jackpot is profitable or not, or whether they will actually donate anything to charity. Couldn’t I say right here and now, “CompareRewards.com promises to donate 97% of our profits to charity!” That would be a GREAT marketing line, wouldn’t it? Only, who would know if I was profitable? Who would know if I actually did it? After all, it’s just a “promise,” and promises aren’t set in stone, are they? But by golly, it’d look SO impressive in a press release!
I did mention the deal of the day, if you’ll go back and re-read the review. (Read #2 under Notes.)
Great idea about the spreadsheet comparing Jackpot’s deal of the day prices to other sites! When you get that up, please feel free to post the link here. Love to see it!
Yes, I do receive affiliate income from some of the sites mentioned on CompareRewards, as is disclosed on my About page and through links marked with “(aff)” as per the industry standard. Of the two Jackpot alternatives I mentioned in my earlier response here, I’m an affiliate for Ebates but not for Jellyfish. I don’t understand the accusation that I have some sort of motive about posting my review of Jackpot Rewards. That’s what I do on this website. You’re more than welcome to disagree with my opinion — and clearly you do, however, I’d ask that you watch your tone as your comments are becoming accusatory and insulting and I’m not going to tolerate that.
In my seven years of writing rewards program reviews here, I have NEVER seen a casual member respond so passionately in defense of a two-week-old program, visiting and revisiting my site again to do so. Since you put the issue of full disclosure on the table, I’m sure you’d agree it’s only fair for you to comply as well, by dropping the Anonymous facade and disclosing your motivation for posting here. If you’re an insider who just wants to promote your program, that’s fine, but be honest about it. Whatever the case, it’s obvious you have some sort of a stake in Jackpot.
And — honestly — I wish you luck. I’m afraid you’re going to need it. I’ve heard that Jackpot Rewards is under investigation by the attorneys general of Massachusetts, Florida, Rhode Island, and New York. Perhaps you’d like to comment on that?

michele March 11, 2008 at 12:53 am

Becky,
Bravo! I applaude you loudly.
The anonymous facade of this poster is so thinly veiled.
By not disclosing his (honest) motivation for so vehemently posting – he/she became transparent.. clearly someone who has a stake or held interest in jackpot rewards. – In Which, to anyone else who may be reading, should raise a question or two about honesty & ethics, not only of the individual, but also of the company he may be representing. Under investigation by the AGs office??! Already??!
their only 2 weeks old! I would have to confirm that information, but if true – surely a sign of bigger thing to come.

I'M ANONYMOUS AND I CAN'T DO MATHS DUR DUR March 11, 2008 at 7:38 am

First the dude was all “Dur dur I can’t do maths, how is $156 / 0.8% almost 20K?”
And then Becky was all “Well, you put it in a calculator and that’s what you get.”
And then dude was all “Oh yeah? Well I don’t agree with your so-called caculator, more like a calculator of BIAS? AMIRITE?”
And then Becky was all “OH NO U DINNT.”

ANONYMOUS March 11, 2008 at 8:25 am

I put anonymous because you can’t tell if I use my right name anyhow. I could be Carl, Bob, Steve, John …. are you really going to know? I personally do not have a stake in the company but I like what they are trying to do and believe in it. Growing up I put myself through school and didn’t always have everything I needed for my education or in general. Jackpot Rewards is promising to help children with charitable donations. If they help only a handful of kids get better educations and have better lives my 3 bucks a week was well spent, regardless of the real benefit I think the company gives with savings. Yes, it’s a nice promise and it’s made by some of the biggest business men in this area who have more credibility than most. If the investors and Jackpot Rewards do not live up to that promise its fraud and that is illegal and won’t go unnoticed. So in this country your are innocent until proven guilty so why should we convict them of fraud before they do anything wrong? Put all the facts on the table, leave bias out and let history be the judge not our beliefs.
Thanks for making it clear about where the money for comparerewards.com comes from. So it is safe to say Jackpot Rewards is positioned to win customers over from the places that support your business. I can see why you don’t like them. I can also see why you could get into trouble for giving Jackpot Rewards a fair review.
As much as I enjoy this blog it’s time for me to move on. It been fun, really it has, this type of disagreement is what makes the world go around. But sadly I have better things to do and like you I am not paid by the companies I favor to write these things so onwards and upwards to other things.
Cheers!

Becky March 11, 2008 at 3:19 pm

So in essence, when I called you out, asking you to admit who you were, you refused, posted yet another accusatory message, and then said you were leaving.
That speaks volumes.
If the goal of my site was to make money at the sacrifice of personal integrity, why would I be talking up sites like Jellyfish and ClubMom, sites for which I receive no affiliate income, while refusing to promote Memolink, a website that does offer an affiliate program?
Nevermind. My reputation speaks for itself.
Maybe yours does, too, but since you refuse to identify yourself, we’ll never know.

Becky March 11, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Michele, appreciate the support — thanks!
You can read more about the investigation into Jackpot Rewards here: http://www.bostonherald.com/business/media/view.bg?articleid=1077833
Of course, everyone should be considered innocent until proven guilty, and I’m not a lawyer so I don’t have an opinion on the legal question involved here… but I see this as being bad for Jackpot either way: If their business model is illegal, obviously that’s bad… but if it’s not, this CFA Promo company plans to set up their own promotions to compete with them.
The competition is great for us consumers, but for Jackpot, maybe not so much.
Thanks again for the backup!
Becky

David March 16, 2008 at 1:37 pm

When you read the rules for the sweepstakes, you find that it is possible to enter the sweepstakes without purchasing a membership. When I selected the “cancel” button to terminate the transaction, the membership was still processed.

jeanne March 28, 2008 at 7:03 pm

Thanks for the info Becky. I work for the company so apologies for what looks like astro turf to us. We’ve been arguing with marketing that such stuff is terrible and corrupts the web. Sigh.
Just to give some background, the company was started as a vehicle for the charities. Our CEO, Jim Miller, is passionate about it which is pretty evident if you google him. You are correct that it is based on profits which we may never realize but _all_ of our financials divide by 2 below the revenue lines. It’s pretty cool.
In terms of rewards, we are not skimming but the company we are working with does to some degree I’m sure. Have you run your spreadsheet on us against 1 other company? Looks to me that if you picked and chose over the 11 other companies, we are still 0.8% better if I’m reading it correctly. How do we do compared 1 on 1?
In any case, again, sorry for what I assume is PR spam. Let me know if you need any other information about the site.
jeanne

Ginger March 30, 2008 at 3:50 pm

I had to come and say that if anyone is reading this, I KNOW that Becky is making little in the way of profits. I rather doubt she does at all based on my own experience with running a web site and attempting to earn a thin dime solo. We’ve been in this business collectively for a very long time. We do what we do because we are passionate about helping everyone earn from the web like we do, find a good deal, a nice coupon or a simple freebie. So, we share what we know and work very hard to tell the truth.
I just wanted to point out, Becky has an impeccable reputation. If she didn’t, she would be one of about 3 people on the planet that knows my true personal identity, home address, phone number and what I look like. I trust no one more on the Internet than Becky.
Seems that truth-telling is enough to make folks want to attack her of late. That just doesn’t wash with me. I attempt to do just what Becky does — protect those that would know no different if we didn’t tell them.
Some people make me want to run down the street with my hair on fire for relief….
Ginger

Joanna Montalbano May 4, 2008 at 11:31 am

Please e-mail me so that I can change credit card information. MC on file will be canceled on May 5th.
Thanks!

Dinger May 7, 2008 at 9:22 pm

I was an early member of Jackpot Rewards. But something was wrong from the very beginning. My enthusiasm quickly started to wane within the first week. The site had issues and it was constantly going down and half of the stuff didn’t work. For instance, I referred friends and never received proper credit for free weeks of membership. I bought a few things through their online mall and didn’t receive cash back into my account. And then just a month into it, they changed their model. They no longer have a guaranteed winner every week as originally promised. That felt like bait and switch to me. And if you look at the winners, they are all from Massachusetts where the company is based and rumor has it the one guy from California is somehow affiliated with the company (an investor or something). Something just seems fishy about all the winners being from Massachusetts where the company is based. After emailing Jackpot Rewards and asking them to address my concerns and receiving sketchy responses, I started to sense Jackpot Rewards is just another get rich quick internet company. I’m not sure if it is incompetence or a flat out scam, but I thought it was best to cancel my membership to protect myself. I just hope that my personal data is safe. If you add in the fact that they are under investigation and nobody can seem to figure out what charity they are affiliated with, it seems to me that Jackpot Rewards is something to stay away from. Has anyone talked to the better business bureau about them yet?

Shawn August 8, 2008 at 6:38 pm

Hey who ever knocks Jackpotrewards dont join. Your loss I have to say I love this site. I don’t buy things for the kickback The deals of the day are great. I might not need all the things I buy yes. I buy a good deal when I see one then I turn around and sell things on eBay. When are you going to get a$599 Dyson for $199 or a garmin 260s for 149 I could go on oh yea I went to the Florida keys Memorial day weekend. The resort I stayed in Mind you, Tranquility bay in marathon. Go ahead look it up! I Paid $ 940 with I recieved a bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and breakfast for 4 all five days we were there This retails over $3000 no resort fees do the math Becky!!!! $940 thats it never saw any bill. They Give free things a way all the time as well. Lets see I have 7 people that joined now that is $70 so hmm 156-70=86 Then I sold my Dyson for 379 on ebay 379-199=180-86=+94 Not to mention the other things I bought that received a kick back, thats 20.08 The grand total is $114.08 amd Climbing. I may have just had 3 more people join. Now I will go watch my Sam sung Plasma for only $1099 50inch wireless mind you with My Pioneer Surround sound in the mids of watching Planet Earth for 39.99 The Also invited me and a guest to Fenway park for Complimentary Food and Beverages… Oh yea One more thing The jackpots are just an added bonus to be entered into 3 a week=12month=156 a year, have you ever played keno or the lottery? Better chance here to win a large amount oh yea and they give to charity!!! So and the end its $1.00 a drawing
Sleep tight

vannessa September 29, 2008 at 3:02 pm

wait what the f are you all talking about aint that a place where you pay and see if u r a winner something like lottery but why r you talking about buying stuff explain pleae.

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connie June 8, 2010 at 12:43 am

I have been a loyal member for a long time but have never win anything, maybe I’m just not lucky, but I hate to say it, I have been checking the winner results constantly and it seems like the winners always, 8 out of 10 times come Massachusetts, the state that the company is located in. And one winner winning the $500 cash drawing twice in one week happens alot too, at least 5 times I have seen it. The odds of these scenarios happening is very rare and only explanation I have is, this is not a “random” drawing. I would only purchase product and service from legitimate business and it makes me question the legitimacy of your site. The only reason I signed up for jackpotrewards.com was for the bonus winning program, and if I was predetermined to never have a chance to win, I would simply cancel my service and just use internet cashback sites that are free of charge.

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