Are You Making The Best Possible Use of E-Rewards?

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E-Rewards is often maligned as a good idea in principle – after all, it offers free miles or hotel points in exchange for filling in surveys – but one that eventually ends up frustrating a lot of people. As a result, InsideFlyer UK usually recommends just signing up for a new account when offered a sign-up bonus (using a different e-mail address), before cashing out after attempting the single survey that triggers the bonus.

I don’t find E-Rewards to be nearly as annoying as others. Perhaps due to practice and some “hacking” strategies, I receive a higher “time spent : miles earned” ratio than many. So I thought I would share my experiences with E-Rewards.

Firstly, you can only join E-Rewards if invited by a participating company. This is usually simple enough. Tom has shared sign-up bonuses offered via Avios.com (and BA) and Hilton Honors. Some referrals leave you locked into a limited number of payout options. Other referrals leave you open to a wide variety of payout options. This variety can be overwhelming – unfortunately I can’t remember where I was referred from, but I have lots of payout options on my main account – so the first thing I would like to share is my valuation of the various payout options based on the indicative valuations listed in my recent post.

e-rewards

If you are able to pay out to Iberia Plus, this is usually the highest value reward, with 8,000 Opinion Points getting you 3,000 Avios. Surprisingly, Hilton Honors comes a close second if you are able to pay out the maximum 8,000 Opinion Points for 7,000 Honors points. IHG Rewards Club is an appalling option although, until recently, those points used to be considered Elite Qualifying Points and therefore had substantial secondary value if you were trying to reach Platinum or Spire via the total points route.

Valuation aside, the availability of different airlines and hotel chains can be a lifesaver if you are facing an imminent expiry of miles or points. Rather than buy miles or rush out to do a mattress run, you could chose to pay out a few thousand Opinion Points and extend the life of your miles/points balance for free. Although, even in such scenarios I like to think to myself “would I be willing to spend 750 Avios (£7.50-8) to get 1,000 Club Carlson points or 500 Virgin Atlantic miles?” (the answer is often no and I look for different ways to remain active!)

e-rewards

Of course, miles & points junkies can sometimes forget that hard cash is a whole lot more practical than miles or hotel points. So if you regularly stay at Accor hotels or shop at M&S, Boots, Amazon, Sainsburys, etc. it is also worth considering taking your E-Rewards payout as cash equivalent vouchers.

Payout Restrictions

If you are a survey-taking machine like me – I do them when the adverts come round on the telly… – then you might run into restrictions on the amount of Iberia Plus Avios you can extract each month. As I understand it, you can only:

Withdraw once every thirty days to the same reward partner OR account with that partner

Now, I apologise for the slightly inelegant way of expressing the above. But what this means that, ahem ahem, your “E-Rewards Account A” can payout Avios to your Iberia Plus account whilst your “E-Rewards Account B” can simultaneously payout Avios to your partner’s Iberia Plus account (but not yours). I’ve also found that your “E-Rewards Account C” can pay Avios to either Iberia Plus account, but only if that specific Iberia Plus account hasn’t received a payout from any E-Rewards account within the last 30 days.

What About Finding Surveys to Take?

I suspect that the main complaint with E-Rewards is that you can be e-mailed a survey, fill in the preliminary questions (or worse, fill in what feels like most of the survey) and then get thrown out to only receive the miserly consolation points. I can’t really share my strategies on an open forum using my real name, but with practice you soon learn how to avoid getting thrown out at the first hurdle. But a tip I can share is to hang on to the generic e-mail that E-Rewards sometimes send – it will look like this.

e-rewards

Then, whenever you have some free time, you can click on this e-mail and E-Rewards will usually find a survey for you.

 

Taking surveys in order to earn miles isn’t for everybody. But by making sure you choose the highest value reward options, you can watch the Avios really add up. Even though it does involve some investment of time, how many weeks/months of pay from your day job would you require in order to afford that intercontinental flight in Business Class?

 

Comments

  1. Adam says

    IHG points earnt via erewards are not being credited as elite qualifying at the moment, many people battling with CS to get them credited as EQ as per the erewards T&C’s at present.

    “IHG Rewards Club Points earned through e-Rewards count towards your Elite Tier status”.

  2. Adam says

    Has anyone transferred VS miles over to IHG recently and did the get credited as elite qualifying?
    I’m reading some worrying comments made over on FT at the moment on the subject.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      I’m waiting for further updates myself before doing a blog post on the subject. The problem is that VS –> IHG is a bad transfer unless you are doing it to push yourself over the top to Spire and get the bonus points. But many people probably only do that in the last part of the year once they know where they’ve gotten to with regular travel. So fewer data points at this stage of the year.

  3. Adam says

    A message posted by IHG CS on the subject of non qualifying erewards points to IHG.

    Beginning 22 February 2017, e-Rewards have made changes to their policies and this includes e-Reward points to be posted as non-qualifying points. We believe that e-Reward will disseminate this change soon to their members. As an exception, we would be depositing points as qualifying points until e-Rewards has made members aware of the new policy.

    You would see on your account that we have taken out the points that were previously deposited by e-Rewards. You will then see another activity on your account that we have deposited the 8,000 points as elite qualifying points.

    It looks like the erewrads route has now been closed, however it’s been confirmed by anow account holder that VS to IHG is still EQ. I’m only doing this route as erewards route closed and need plat other spire.

  4. Adam says

    Hi Craig,
    Need some advise, I need spire to cover to Feb 2018. I have 28k eq in ihg but my 2017 account states I have zero eq at present as all eq points earnt in 2016.
    If I manage to deposit 50k eq points into my account will this update to spire and will this spire last until past Feb 2018?

    • Craig Sowerby says

      Assuming you manage 75K EQP between 1 January and 31 December 2017, you will immediately be upgraded to Spire status and it will last until early 2019.

      The only 100% reliable way to acquire EQP is to stay at IHG hotels and IHG-branded credit cards. (the IHG T&Cs are clear – all exceptions are basically hacks that IHG hasn’t bothered to close since the days of every point counting for status) A quicker way is the “Bonus Point Package” rates, assuming the hotel in question has a sensible price for the extra points. Sometimes you can get 10,000 bonus points for £30-40. Sometimes the hotel offers only 1,000 per night for an extra £10!

      That said, I think it was NickB on InsideFlyer who said that IHG status is uninSPIREd. It’s the least valuable status of the major hotel chains IMO.

  5. Adam says

    Thanks, I was just thinking this morning just to deposit 75k eq points but what about my existing 24k eq points that I earnt in 2016 that gave me gold?
    Do these not count towards extending a tier level as my gold membership expires end of 2017.
    So just to confirm before I transfer over 75k worth, the 24k I already have is no use as earnt in a previous year and won’t count as part of the balance required this year to gain another level like plat or spire.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      Any points earned before 1 January 2017 is useless for status purposes. (of course the points are still there for use on free hotel nights)

      You might have roll-over nights, but that’s a different thing and it sounds like you both qualified for Gold – and want to hit Spire – via the points route.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      BTW, let us know how your experience goes, both with the transfer and the subsequent Spire status.

      I wouldn’t necessarily do what you are doing, but I’m also keen to understand the perspective of others. It is certainly a “travel hack” that might appeal to other readers as well.

      • Adam says

        Just transferred over 30k VS miles sitting in my account doing nothing. Hopefully wI’ll be as quick as my recent HH transfer and in seven days I will hopefully be able to confirm if VS – IHG route is still EQ.

      • Adam says

        I don’t have any other way of getting platinum or spire as I do not stay in any hotels to earn points. My only route has been erewards and VS miles with one of those looking like it has been closed. If VS is still EQ I will transfer 8k clubcard over to VS and then over to IHG to get enough for spire.
        Is Platinum IHG being status matched to HH Diamond at present, anyone know?

  6. Adam says

    Or even 4k clubcard to make ihg platinum, should of said 18k cc to make Spire @ 75k. Would much prefer Platinum if it’s status matched to HH Diamond.

  7. Adam says

    Just seen HH status matched only a few days ago someone from IHG Platinum to HH Diamond on status matcher so will be going to that tier instead of spire now.

    • Craig Sowerby says

      You’re not going to be “matched” to HH Diamond. At best you’re going to get an 8-stay in 90 days challenge, as per our post on the subject.

      https://insideflyer.co.uk/2017/01/hilton-hhonors-status-match/

      I sort of worry when I see people say “I do not stay in hotels to earn points”. What value is having elite status then? But I hope you mean that you can get lots of points in other ways to spend on award nights.

      But, yes, there’s no problem getting Platinum status to try the status match/challenge. If you fail just convert more to get to Spire and try again. Don’t forget that you need a recent stay history with IHG, not just the status itself.

      • Adam says

        Slightly different scenario for me than the norm. I need HH diamond by the end of this year for a Rangali stay in Jan 18 so wouldn’t be applying for status match until Dec this year.
        They give 90 x days I believe of diamond status from a match and you will be required to fulfil their requirements of stays within that period to retain the status after 90 x days.
        I don’t need diamond after Rangali stay so doesn’t interest me.
        I already have a stay in ihg booked on points to supply with the match. All I have got to hope is they don’t change any more requirements before the end of this year.
        Yes, other channels supply me free points / miles without ever setting foot inside a hotel or plane!

        • Craig Sowerby says

          On the one hand, I’m shaking my head at all the aggravation just to get HH Diamond for a single stay. On the other hand, of all of the hotels in the world, that is certainly one of those that I would want to have status for. Bring back a Conrad fish for me…

          • Adam says

            HH diamond at Rangali is definetly worth the trouble even as a one off. Free breakfasts for two, resort fee – approx £650, potential to be upgraded to a water villa, afternoon tea and free nibbles every day, champagne & chocolates in room on arrival. Certainly worth 40k VS miles to us!

          • Joe Deeney says

            Good point – at places like that I imagine the prices for food/drink are ludicrous and you don’t really have any other options, so freebies would be particularly welcome.

          • Craig Sowerby says

            Just be aware that there are no guarantees about the HH status challenge still being offered in December. If you have a low category hotel in the vicinity of home/work, you may want to consider doing the challenge and the stays right away. Otherwise you could get the credit card, and do the spend for Gold status as a back-up plan. Not sure whether the Rangali treats Golds much different to Diamonds.

  8. Rob Rixon says

    I’m not a survey taking machine but I have been using e-Rewards for a number of years now. I also do the PopulusLive surveys (£50 every 6 months or so) and YouGov surveys (takes MUCH longer to hit their 5000 points threshold for £50). My current e-Rewards balance will get me 13,000 Avios or 23,000 points using IHG Rewards or £120 in M & S vouchers. Interestingly enough, to get a £20 Sainsbury’s voucher, you have to redeem 250 more opinion points than M & S. I would never have thought that. Chances are the missus will ask me to get the shopping vouchers but I want to get my Avios up to 100,000 for now!

    Anyway – just wanted to contribute! e-Rewards is good because you can keep the account ticking over with points. And even if you don’t qualify for each and every survey, there are enough full surveys to boost your points up to that you will qualify for. I’ve found that I get about 5 e-mails per week from e-Rewards saying that there are survey opportunities available, so when I have a bit of spare time I do them.

    Craig – would you be able to elaborate about what you mean by ‘I do them when the adverts come round on the telly’? Do you mean e-Rewards adverts (I’ve never seen these) or a specific set of adverts? Thanks.

      • Craig Sowerby says

        Exactly, rather than pay little attention to the TV I pay slightly more attention to a survey on my laptop whilst I’m not missing anything. Sorry for any misunderstanding.

        P.S. That’s a good tip for E-rewards surveys. Never say you’ve seen the advert and you’ll whizz through a bit quicker…

        • Rob Rixon says

          🙂 Hehe… Apologies! I rarely watch live TV and therefore don’t watch adverts, hence the misunderstanding on my part. But thank you for clearing it up!

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