The following is a guest post from Pocket Your Dollars reader and freelance writer Renee Miller.
As an unapologetic fan of television, I had to try Viggle, an app that lets you earn gift cards for watching TV. While Viggle hasn’t been the jackpot my television-watching skills certainly deserve, it’s been an easy way to score some extras – specifically, $40 in gift cards in just 7 weeks.
Download the free Viggle app from iTunes or the Google Play store. You will be required to give basic information and you’ll have to set a password. When you start watching a television show, click “Tap here to check in.” Viggle will listen to your TV and determine what show you are watching. The app will check you into the show, giving you points for each minute that you watch. The app will automatically check you out at the end of a show.
Racking Up Points
There are additional ways to earn points beyond just checking into shows. Some shows, usually a handful of primetime shows or sporting events, are worth extra points. To find these shows, tap the “What’s On” icon in the lower left corner. You can then swipe back and forth to see the featured shows and their bonus points. According to Viggle, you need to be checked into a show for a minimum of 10 minutes to get the bonus points, meaning if you were truly bored and up for watching snippets of several shows, you could rack up an extra 200-800+ points an hour. There are also extra ads, show previews and movie trailers throughout the app. Frequently I’ll check into a show and be offered 15-100 points to watch an ad. Finally, Viggle occasionally offers Viggle Live, events where you can answer trivia and poll questions for extra points. Not long ago, there was a Viggle Live event for a NASCAR race that my husband and in-laws were watching. I racked up a few hundred points and some otherwise useless NASCAR knowledge.
Viggle rewards come and go, but there is usually a good variety. Current rewards include $10 gift cards to JCPenney, Sephora, and iTunes, $5 CVS, Barnes and Noble, and Papa John’s gift cards, a $25 Amazon gift card, and more. If you receive more than $600 in Viggle rewards in a calendar year, they will send you a 1099 to gently remind you that you need to claim your earnings on your taxes.
I’ve been really pleased with my Viggle experience. It’s easy to pile up the points, and I’ve used the gift cards for little extras that feel indulgent, like the two Nintendo DS cases my kids wanted. I’m considering spending my current batch of points on a $15 Chili’s gift certificate. I’ll combine it with a kids eat free promotion for a super cheap family night out. I encourage you to give Viggle a whirl, so you, too can be rewarded for your mindless hobby! Let me know what you think.
Your turn: Have you tried Viggle yet?
Renée Miller is a freelance writer based in West St. Paul, Minnesota. She blogs at twindependent.