Surveys are a fun, albeit sporadic (by choice) part of my freelancing routine. Changing seasons sometimes means changing gigs, whereby that little bit extra amongst the transition can be helpful for even the smallest of expenses. At any given time, I’m a member of about 10 survey sites that I rotate through as time permits. PointClub is a survey website that takes top prize for creativity, but has a few shortcomings, too.
Like most survey sites, the initial process involves you creating an account with your first and last name, email address, and password. You’ll get a $5 signup bonus if you’re truly a new member – not one who joined the site a while ago and then left. It’s quite difficult to cheat your way through the PointClub software, which I appreciate.
Once registered, there’s the usual demographic questions like address and birthday. They say that your mobile phone number is optional, yet it’s actually required to redeem/cash in points, which is precisely when I found that out (confirmation code, that sort of thing). It would have saved some time if they had just put that squarely on page there, but it’s unnecessarily hidden behind the adjacent question mark icon.
Learning the landscape…
At this point (pun intended) I took a training and evaluation survey, which was worth 1,000 points. The process is pretty straightforward, but there’s also a member guidebook, help center, and customer support email, all but certainly leaving any hint of confusion in the dust. Continuing on with the fun comic book vibe, Captain PointClub – aka Captain PC – also pops out of the sidebar here and there with witticisms, particularly when it comes to point accumulation (or lack thereof).
Log in daily, and you start building a point streak, progressing through levels after certain blocks of time (usually around 10-20 days per level). Each level means bonus points added to successful survey completion. These point amounts vary widely depending on the survey. For example, at level 9 out of 10, I noted bonus points ranging from 42 at the least, to 189 at the most. It’s basically a percentage of that survey’s worth, with 10% being the most at level 10.
Miss a day in the streak, go back a level (or several), something I experienced all too frequently. As a result of my oops-I-forgot-to-sign-in, it took me the better part of a year to make it to that coveted 10th level. When I did, though, there was much fanfare from Captain PC, and I even got a surprise 5,000 bonus points for making it there the first time!
It all seems easy enough to log in to maintain said streak (level 10, but there’s the matter of correct timing. So I set a reminder on my phone for a set time each night to sign in, and kept it up for a whopping 121 days! Then came the day I took note of my usual reminder, then forgot to log in after, which plunged me down to level 80. After that, I didn’t care so much about regaining point streak glory again, because it really didn’t add that much to the rewards process for me.
Speaking of the surveys themselves, there’s usually quite a few to choose from in what’s known as the mission log. Topics include food & beverage, money & finance, health & wellness, travel, and entertainment. The odds of actually qualifying for a full survey are a bit iffy, but should you screen out, you can still get 12 points, up to 5x per day.
Time and money…
With all of this being said, with a high screen out rate, it can take a really, really long time to accumulate enough points for redemption. There’s simply not enough time in the day to make this truly worthwhile when the surveys can take upwards of a half hour apiece. Plus, the survey answers are reviewed before the points are credited to the account, which can take almost a month from my experience.
When I finally did cash out for a gift card (I chose PayPal out of their many options), it took 10 business days to get the code, with a transfer fee factored in, which I think is quite unfair in the world of survey taking. So, at this point (pun intended again) I will sporadically log in to eventually finish off the amount I need for one last cash out, then bid farewell to Captain PC and his cohorts.
Bottom line: the novelty wears off after a while here, with little to show for heroic survey taking efforts. proceed at your own discretion as to whether you have the stamina and patience for PointClub.
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