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Member Name: jo1976
Date: 06/12/08, updated on 29/03/12 (211 review reads)
Advantages: Earn points quickly without needing to spend, wide variety of rewards available
Disadvantages: Not good value for cashback shopping, difficult to work out value of points system
Maximiles (formerly Ipoints) is a somewhat tricky site to describe. It is essentially a cashback site, where you can earn rewards by doing your online shopping via the site but, in other ways, it bears more resemblance to 'free click' sites like Pigsback or Mutual Points, if you're familiar with those sites, and also has some elements of being a survey/market research site too!
Rewards are built up by earning points or maximiles. The biggest drawback to me is that it is really difficult to gauge the monetary value of an ipoint so I can't accurately tell you what an ipoint is actually worth. Unlike Pigsback, for example, where each piggypoint is worth 1p, for instance, ipoints don't have a consistent value. I dislike this because I use lots of different points and cashback sites and like to compare the offers and promotions on each to find the best deal and this just makes it difficult to make an accurate comparison. That is perhaps less of an issue than it could be as I tend to stick to 100% cashback sites for my main online shopping as they generally offer a better rate of return than any of the points sites, ipoints included. So, how do I earn my ipoints then and what can I do with them? Read on...
- Email click throughs
This is a similar concept to Pigsback clickthroughs, which is why I have likened Ipoints to that site. Rather than the rigmarole of having to check the site for clickthroughs and those elusive free points, Ipoints send the details directly to your email inbox. You then receive 10 ipoints for clicking through to a retailers' website without any obligation to purchase anything. I usually receive these on a daily basis, sometimes receiving several within the course of a day so the points build up very quickly.
- Surveys and polls
On the home page on the top left of the page, there are occasionally mini opinion polls available to complete. These are just a matter of answering three or four tick box questions and each poll completed earns you 5 ipoints. The only drawback is that these don't seem to be added that frequently.
The polls then identify to ipoints what areas/issues you're interested in and often result in more emails and also full length surveys. The surveys vary in how many ipoints they are worth but tend to be around 200-300 points per survey. In spite of the poll results, I still tend to get screened out from a lot of the ipoints surveys and there is no screen-out payment, unfortunately. I also tend to delay answering them and often find that the surveys have closed before I've completed them so the quicker you can be the better! The points earned get added to your ipoints account within a few days and, again, I've not had to chase any up.
Ipoints does have adverts and banners across the site. A few of these offer 5 or 10 points for clicking through and finding out more. Sometimes this involves watching an online advert or a You Tube clip.
- Sign ups, free points promotions
Ipoints has a very impressive selection of free points promotions - the usual system of signing up for emails from different websites, ordering catalogues, entering competitions etc. I haven't used the site for any 'cash spent' offers but all of the freebie offers I've taken advantage of have led to points being added to my account without having to chase these up.
Ipoints also have the usual bingo/casino offers which seem to offer a lot of points but I would check whether the same offers are available through a 100% cashback site such as Cashbackkings, Topcashback or Quanti before using Ipoints as you're likely to get more back via that route.
This is a really valuable site in its own right which helps you to compare prices at the major supermarkets and switch from one supermarket to another mid-shop, if necessary! It really warrants a review in its own right but an added bonus is the ability to earn ipoints based on the total spend on your online grocery shopping. This is in addition to any discounts and points schemes that the individual supermarkets may offer.
It is also possible to earn bonus ipoints on particular items on offer, helping to build your totals up even quicker. A quick tip, you earn 400 bonus points when you first register with Mysupermarket.co.uk and complete your first grocery shop through them but you can sign up via a different cashback site and get a cash reward in addition to the bonus ipoints! Every little helps.
- Specific promotions
Ipoints currently have a Christmas promotion where you can enter a daily competition by working out a cryptic clue listed on the Ipoints homepage and clicking through to the relevant retailer. Each entry earns 10 'free' ipoints as well as the chance to win prizes. This competition runs until the 17th December so still time to take advantage! A similiar promotion was held over Easter and they also had an Indiana Jones promotion a few months ago where plenty of free ipoints were up for grabs!
Those are the main ways that I build up my ipoints. I've already stated that it is difficult to translate the points into a cash equivalent. This is mainly because of the variety of rewards that you can exchange your ipoints for and the lack of consistency in terms of how much each reward 'costs.' Overall, the sheer number of rewards available and the variety of products to choose from are a real positive feature of the site.
All of the different types of rewards available are listed under the heading 'Spend Ipoints'. They include exchanging points for items directly from sites like Amazon and Prezzybox. Each item is listed for a specific number of ipoints and this includes the 'cost' of delivering the item to your door. There are also gadgets, magazine subscriptions, perfumes, toys, basically you name it you can exchange it for ipoints! The only limit is really the number of ipoints you have earned! One of my particular favourite rewards is exchanging my ipoints for greetings cards from Moonpig. I love Moonpig cards but find it hard to justify the expense. A Moonpig card costs 680 ipoints so you can earn enough points for a card quite quickly. This is a useful option for anybody that's impatient like me! The cards are posted first class directly from the Moonpig site although I can't personally comment on the speed with which other rewards are posted out to you.
When I first registered with ipoints, I was a bit daunted by the numbers of points needed for some of the rewards. Vouchers, particularly seemed particularly poor value for points when compared with some of the free gift options. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Ipoints have recently added some new voucher options. They currently have Asda, Sainsburys, Argos and Arcadia gift vouchers all available at the rate of 2470 ipoints for a £10 voucher. This compares favourably with the 8000 ipoints needed for a £30 Amazon voucher. Although the number of points sound quite high, you do reach large numbers surprisingly quickly, particularly if you use the methods mentioned above.
All in all, I'd highly recommend ipoints, certainly for the ability to earn rewards without any real spend, if not for the actual cashback shopping. It knocks spots off the likes of Pigsback anyway!
Summary: I love getting something for nothing!