Latest update: January 9, 2018 (January 7 was Day 30/30 for the month involving this blog post) – just over 30,000 credits (30,010 to be exact), waiting on January 12th for the credits to be applied to my account. I went ahead and paid $10 into the account to cover the portion of the bill not covered by the other credits ($20 for Boost Dealz and $5 for auto-pay which brings the price down to $10 on $35 Boost Mobile plan).
This blog post has nothing to do with genealogy or any of the other subjects I generally talk about – feel free to pass it by. It is about ways to possibly save money on your cell phone bill and offer an alternative if Boost Mobile works well in your area.
Update (December 22, 2017 and January 2, 2017) to address some concerns raised in an e-mail I received. First, battery drain can be an issue, but if you turn off the app when not using it and restrict it to Wi-Fi access, that should be less of a problem. Second problem is data drain if using the app using your data plan instead of using Wi-Fi. I usually set things on my phone to Wi-Fi only to reduce the drain on my 3 GB data limit. However, in the past when I ran out of LTE access, my non-LTE access was still fast enough to do most things online. To reduce data drain, see what your phone’s options are to reduce data consumption and implement them. If your phone or your app store has a free app that reduces data consumption, it can be worth it. If Sprint doesn’t work well in your area, this is probably not a good fit for you. Sprint works well where I usually use it. Addit: Another issue raised was privacy. My response to this one is simple: you give up a lot of privacy already online, ranging from name, gender, race and ethnic background (including Hispanic if applicable); income range, etc. when you want to join some websites or are take surveys with them. It’s amazing how much privacy people give up online, then get upset when a company they may not like does the same thing.
For those not familiar with the Boost Dealz Android app, it’s an app from Boost Mobile https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=boost.us.com.boostapp. By installing the app on your Boost Mobile phone (check for compatibility; it’s 58 MB in size and it may not be compatible with certain versions of Android or specific phones). You can earn up to $20.00 credit/month using the app. In my case, I have a $35 plan with Boost Mobile (3 GB LTE data and unlimited slower data once I hit the 3 GB limit for the 30 day billing cycle); my bill is reduced by $5 because I signed up with Auto-Pay, bringing my bill down to $30. Last month was the first time I almost hit the $20.00 credit; I was at $19.45 when the billing cycle ended). This month, by Day 13 of 30, I’m was at 25,430 credits ($25.43 credit). I hit 20,000 credits on Day 10 as I am curious as to what happens to the excess credits – do they roll-over to next month, do they simply vanish as excess credit, or something else? My billing cycle ends the second week of January 2018 and I will update once I see what happens with the excess credits. I will be in the early part of the next credit earning cycle before the credits are applied.
There are three (3) ways to earn credits:
1) Viewing videos when you unlock your phone
2) Watching videos on the app (15 credits/video)
3) Taking surveys (either 295 credit or 925 credits)
In addition to earning up to $20 off your bill using the app, the app offers up to $30 in savings on various products and services. For example, this billing cycle includes free popcorn at Regal Movie Theaters; one month free trial of Hulu; some free photos at Walgreens; and numerous other savings.
For viewing videos on unlocking your phone, you only need to view one/day (although you may get hit with more if your phone is set to lock like mine) and you only get this credit once/day no matter how many videos you watch unlocking your phone. The daily bonus is worth 150 credits. You need to earn a total of 3,000 credits/billing cycle to unlock the credit for the billing cycle. They roll-over the credit if you don’t hit 3,000 in a month, but if you simply watch one video/day for 20 days, you will hit 3,000 credits ($3.00). There is a roll-over points section in the Credit Summary, but that could be for those times you don’t hit 3,000 credits or it could be for the credits in excess of 20,000 in a billing cycle, or both.
For watching videos, most videos are 30 seconds long and you have to watch the whole thing, or at least not close it before you get the option to close it out using the X. Some videos are 45 seconds long, but those are somewhat rare. Addit: even more rare than the 45 second videos are the 15 second videos. Think I had my first one on Day 26
On taking surveys, ignore the estimated completion time on the app as it tends to under-estimate completion time with many surveys taking between 15 – 59 minutes. Also, if you don’t qualify for one survey, they frequently pop up another one which may have a longer or shorter completion time. In my experience, I usually have to go through 6 – 12 (925 credit) surveys before I get one that I qualify for. In some cases, I go through 15 – 30 minutes of the survey only to find out that I didn’t qualify. It usually takes about 1 – 2 hours/day to do the survey, between the time working through surveys I don’t qualify for and actually taking the survey. In many cases, you get 5 credits for starting a survey, but I haven’t figured out if the specifics of when I do/don’t get the 5 credits.
Here are my credits for the first thirteen (13) days of this billing cycle. Note: I have about two (2) hours before it turns to Day 14, but I don’t anticipate earning too many credits tonight. I live in the U. S. Central Time Zone and the new day starts about 10 P.M. my time. I didn’t include the number of videos watched as I wasn’t counting. I tried to make sure and include how many 295 credit and 925 credit surveys I took each day. I will update this blog post once the 30 day billing cycle ends and I figure out how many credits I earned and what happens to the excess credits. The credit totals are cumulative and not how many I earned each day. In rare cases, the credits take a couple of hours to show up, but most of the time, they show up immediately. In some cases, I didn’t note the total number of credits at the end of a day which is why you see notes about X number of hours left.
Day 1: 3055 credits (out of 20,000 maximum); 2x 925 credit survey; several 5 credit surveys; and no 295 credit surveys. First time to hit 3,000 credits on day 1 and also the most credits I had earned in one day up to this point. New day appears to start at 10 P.M. U.S. Central Time. NOTE: On most days, I had dry spells where there were no videos or surveys at various times of the day which is why I plan on speeding through earning the maximum 20,000 credits. So far, Day 14 as I approach almost four (4) dozen 925 credit surveys and have yet to qualify for any (either don’t meet the criteria or are not a good fit with several surveys taking 10 – 20 minutes of questions to reach the “Not a good match” response. Closest I came was spending 40 minutes on one only to accidentally hit Next before I finished and it sent me back to the Survey page. Usually, the survey would still be open, but in this case, it wasn’t.
Day 2: 4,550 (may not be up-to-date); 1x 925 credit survey; numerous videos; 0x 295 credit surveys. Already over 1/5 of the way to 20,000 credits and it’s only Day 2. At this rate, I could hit 20,000 credits by the end of week 1 (turned out to be Day 10, but still well shy of needing 30 days). I would still go with earning the daily bonus for unlocking my phone to see if they still offer the 3,000 bonus for doing 20 of 30 days (update: they do, but it’s 150 credits/day instead of a flat 3,000).
Day 3: 6,420 credits (1×925 credit survey; 0x295 credit surveys; roughly 30% of the way towards 20,000 credits and I have almost 3 hours to earn more).
Day 4: 6,420 credits (didn’t update with 925 survey total until much later on Day 5 which makes Day 4 total around 7,345 credits or higher); includes 1x 925 credit survey which hasn’t credited yet. Took over a dozen to get one survey that let me finish it and credits for watched videos doesn’t appear to be working as it’s stuck on 6,420 when it should be over 7,000 between the survey and the watched videos). It also appeared to have temporarily frozen with the Day 3 credits which were 6,420.
minus about an hour and half of downtime).
Day 5: 11,220 credits (includes 3×925 credit survey + one taken last night that wasn’t credited until this morning; almost halfway to 20,000 credits and only on Day 5 with 6 hours to go – allowing for downtime of an hour and a half).
Day 6: 13,430 credits (includes 2×925 credit survey with 0x295 credit survey).
Day 7: 15, 575 credits (includes 2×925 credit survey and 0x295x credit survey; over 2/3 done in 1 week).
Day 8: 16,590 credits (includes 1×925 credit survey and 0x295 credit survey).
Day 9: 16,740 credits (includes 0x925 credit survey – 1 started but didn’t finish until Day 10 and 0x295 credit survey)
Day 10: 20,020 credits (includes 3×925 credit survey and 0x295 credit survey) second one not credited immediately but was after about half hour and this was the first time I completed three (3) surveys in one day. It shows I completed both and only initially gave me credit for one. Reached 20,000 credits so $20 credit earned and only on Day 10/30. Actually shows as $20.01 credit so will continue taking surveys for the next 20 days, but expect max. credit of $20 for the next bill. Will be interesting to see if the excess credit rolls over, or simply disappears at the end of the billing cycle.
Day 11: 22,140 credits (includes 2×925 credit survey and 0x295 credit survey).
Day 12: 24,230 credits (includes 2×925 credit survey and 0x295 credit survey).
Day 13: 25,460 credits (830 PM; includes 1×925 credit survey and 0x295 credit survey) – don’t expect too much above 25,430 for Day 13 as I’m not taking additional surveys or planning to watch too many more videos.
Day 14: (25,700 credits; been through over four dozen 925 credit surveys and have yet to find one that let me earn credits – either not a good match or don’t meet the criteria; in three cases, I closed the survey because it appeared to get stuck for several minutes – this is by far the worst day out of all previous attempts at getting points for a 925 survey; in the past, it only took 6 – 12 tries to find one or more surveys I qualified for and usually took 1 – 2 hours maximum; stopped at four hours today as I have better things to do than drain my battery for no effect). Up to over four dozen surveys and haven’t qualified for any yet; spent over four (4) hours taking the surveys and about to give up. Currently, none available as I have tried every survey I could find since late last night. While I don’t need more surveys at this point, I am trying to do at least one 925 credit survey/day to cover days like today where I may not get any and to reduce the odds of not hitting 20,000 credits during a billing cylce down the road.
Day 15: 26,835 credits (includes 1×925 credit survey; 0x295 credit surveys) – spent very little time and only took a couple of surveys before I found one that I was able to complete.
Day 16: 27,000 credits (unsure if I will be doing any today or tomorrow since it will be Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I have more than enough credits to take both days off.
Day 17: 27,165 credits (for most of the remaining 30 days, I won’t be trying for too many extra credits, other than the 150 credits/day bonus)
Day 18: 27,315 credits
Day 19: 27,465 credits
Day 20: 27,615 credits
Day 21: 27,780 credits
Day 22: 27,810 credits
Day 23: 27,810 credits (I may have missed watching the daily bonus ad yesterday and today or today and Day 24 so I’m not sure if yesterday’s total was from before or after midnight or if it isn’t updating timely as I was dealing with a dead car battery for much of yesterday and today -thanks to two friends who helped me get around and get the battery replaced. Thank you to the Lord for letting the battery several days before the warranty expired. Thank you to Wal-Mart for replacing the battery free, removing the old one, letting me take it to another Wal-Mart to exchange it out, and then for putting it back in once I came back).
Day 24: 27,840 credits (January 1, 2018 total as of 55 minutes before it switches over to Day 25; decided to add the remaining 6 days below and will update them as each passes. Tried for some 925 credit surveys today, but none were showing up and very few ads – not surprising as it’s New Year’s Day)
Day 25: 27,840 credits (was busy doing other stuff so didn’t get the 150 daily bonus credit.
Day 26: 27,885 credits (I don’t appear to be getting the 150 credit daily bonus). It’s not a big issue since I am well over the 20,000 credits needed for the maximum benefit. It could also be due to hitting 3,000 credits with the daily bonus (20 days x 150 credits/day) which is my guess. In the past, I rarely went after the daily bonus every day as long as I was going after enough days to max out the credit before the 30th day.
Day 27: 27,885 credits
Day 28: 28,890 credits (includes 1×925 credit survey)
Day 29: 30,010 credits (includes 1×925 credit survey – first time to break 30,000 credits in a billing cycle) . I went ahead and made $10 payment on my account since the Boost Dealz credit maximum is supposed to be $20 (plus another $5 credit for auto-pay) and my bill isn’t due until January 12, 2018.
Day 30: 15 credits – for some reason, Day 30 cumulative credits ended January 6, 2018 at 10 PM US Central Time, based on past end times/dates. The 30,010 credits are showing in my credit history, but Day 30 has always been the day the credits roll over and yet you can’t earn the 150 credit daily bonus for Day 30 unless you haven’t earned 3,000 credits from the daily bonus already.
As usual, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) when it comes to using the Boost Dealz app. I don’t mind spending 1 – 2 hours a day for 10 – 15 days dealing with surveys and videos if it can save me $20 on my phone bill every 30 days. I have good Boost Mobile/Sprint coverage in the areas I use this phone. Addit: If you don’t have good Boost Mobile coverage in your area or where you normally use your phone the most, this is unlikely to be a good deal for you. In the past, I have used Cricket, T-Mobile, Boost Mobile (later dropped that line many years ago due to cost vs. usage), Verizon, CellNUVO, Twigby, Ting, and RingPlus. Currently, I have phones on Tello (PAYGO plan so $10 gets me a lot of texts which is what I mostly use that phone for), TracFone (for the handful of people who know the number), and Boost Mobile (the one I am using for this experiment).
Cricket Wireless is revamping its rewards plan, ditching the old one as of late February. The new Cricket app is Cricket Ad It Up. I don’t have a Cricket phone so I am only going on the reviews on the app and it appears to be a worse battery drainer than Boost Dealz. As of 12/4/2017, you can earn a maximum of 2,500 points/day and it has a short end date https://cricket-aditup.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115013058727-Does-the-Cricket-Ad-It-Up-have-a-pre-established-end-date- (April 29, 2018). This doesn’t bode well as they did a similar thing to their last rewards program. Better to establish a more or less permanent rewards plan that people can count on it. Even if you go with a maximum monthly reward like Boost Mobile does, it can make the phone affordable.
CellNUVO has a similar rewards plan to Boost Mobile, but you can earn supposedly unlimited credits and use the credits to pay your bill. Near as I can tell, CellNUVO switched from offering their own plans to partnering with several companies, among them – Verizon, T-Mobile, Red Pocket, AT&T, and Sprint, but does not appear to apply to any other MVNOs of the Big Four. Personally, I would love to see them add TracFone and at least each subsidiary’s MVNO owned by the Big Four (MetroPCS for T-Mobile, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile for Sprint, Cricket for AT&T, etc.). You have to add the CellNUVO app and use it to earn points for ads, installing apps (for some of the apps you have to reach certain levels which may require spending money), and surveys. According to CellNUVO’s site, you can earn free phones in their store if you earn enough points. Unless you have a very large memory on your phone, I don’t recommend installing the various apps. If you do install them, wait until you get the silver before uninstalling them. I don’t see in the Store where it has the option to purchase phones using the app and it won’t let get to the Store on my computer. They need to do some serious work on making their website as good as it used to be. For those who were using the service during the latter part of 2017 before they switched to letting you earn credits to pay bills with certain cell providers, there is a lot of distrust in the reviews on the Google Play Store. If you have direct service with Verizon, T-Mobile, Red Pocket, AT&T, or Sprint, try it out for a month and see if you like it compared to the amount of time you spent earning the Silver or Gold. I don’t have direct service with any of these companies so while I am earning Silver, it is more in the hope of using it to get a phone that I can activate with CellNUVO.
Disclaimer: I received no compensation for posting this blog article on Boost Mobile (I don’t count the credits I earned watching videos or taking surveys as compensation for this blog post because they weren’t earned for writing this blog post, and they are available to any Boost Mobile customer with a compatible phone). I am doing it as a satisfied customer who thinks a company should be acknowledged when they go above and beyond. Could it better? Yes, but that’s true of the vast majority of things.